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Justification of PCS' blunder

Marcelle posted an insightful essay on his LJ. You can read it here
And Sacha Chua has also updated her blog. Please drop by and check out her thoughts as well.

Article referred to below is this.
My thoughts:
I know that I have ranted enough about the Digital Pinay thing but I just find the idea absurd.

The title: Digital Pinay
My question: How do you define a digital Pinay? Who will give the best definition of a digital Pinay? The current press release by the Philippine Computer Society said that this is supposed to be a nationwide search for the top female ICT professionals and graduating students. And yet this is what they added in their press release:

"We are looking for the future female CXOs -- the CEOs, CIOs [chief information officers] and CFOs [chief financial officers]." - Leo Querubin

It seems to me that they are looking for managers, call center agents and team leaders who do more interaction with people, not necessarily techie people. They are also looking for students who have are graduating from management courses but have ICT-related extra-curricular activities and ICT-related subjects. Hence, the title Digital Pinay is a misnomer. Don't you think? Digital is usually associated with techies and geeks - what people perceive as hard core techies and geeks. Then again maybe they came up with worse titles like "Digital Diva" (but Iya Yotoko of Digital Tour has already claimed that one) or "ICT Ambassadress" (which is so boring), or "Exemplary Female Information Professional." In any case, it was horrible that they came up with that title. I remember in my LIS courses, librarians and CIOs have been lumped under the category information professionals but not necessarily ICT professionals. I understood from my courses that this is mainly because we deal with the information and not the technology itself, unless you went beyond that, as in some cases. (I am getting groggy, I hope I am making sense. [Time check: 2:30am of 21 January 2005])

Femininity and the ICT industry
To quote Leo Querubin:
"What we really wanted to stress is that you do not have to lose your femininity in order for you to succeed in the corporate world. There is nothing wrong with having beauty and brains."
Geekettes don't lose their femininity because they are good at making code. And it's not that geekettes don't dress up. But for practicality's sake, they don't wear obviously feminine clothing all the time but they wear clothes wherein they could move, do their work. There are also the types that wear dresses and skirts because they are comfortable. Sacha Chua ( is an example of a feminine geekette. And there's also Sinta ( who is quite striking. In real life, I have met very feminine engineers and professors in the UP College of Engineering. So what's your problem, Mr. Querubin? And, may I add, that the female species can express their femininity in various ways? Haven't men noticed that since time immemorial?

"He added that each criterion represents part of the total package that a successful female CEO should have." (from the article on breaking news)
The term for this shouldn't really be Digital Pinay... He just emphasized that it shouldn't be called as such. CEOs are more of managers. But who are the ones who do the implementations? Who? Tell me! Tell me! Managers are supposed to have a certain degree of technical know how. But not as digital as digital can be. (Although there are managers who are like that.) Managers are important but my point is that their logic seems to be faulty at this point that they are justifying the criteria for judging who is the Digital Pinay.

"You might think you're God's gift to programmers, but if you have a rotten attitude I won't hire you," Querubin said.
Fair enough. Everybody knows that, I think. At least I have friends who have expressed this thought to me time and again. There is an attitude factor. But this is, for me, a mere justification of the 60% criteria on the combination of poise, text votes, presentability. Heck, how do they define presentability? A person does not have to be utterly pretty to be presentable. And another thing: If you don't generate enough text votes, does that imply that you have an attitude problem? That people don't like you much? What if you know a lot of people but they don't have much means to support you through text votes? Or if the supporters of another candidate would have more money to vote through SMS... I remember watching an episode of Star in a Million several months ago and it was the wildcard round. The one that got in was a pretty looking girl who did not sing so well at that time. And there was Sandy David, who sang her heart out, was praised by the judges, had a powerful voice and stage presence. She was beaten through - guess! - text votes. *sigh* That is just sooo sad. Maybe people thought she wasn't pretty enough. Or maybe the people who wanted her to win weren't able to text because they didn't have prepaid credits or their post paid lines were cut. You never know... But for me, text votes are a dubious way to judge a person in competitions.

Bad preparation
"Querubin, however, admitted that the judges had not seen the application form when they accepted the invitation, though he said that the organizers have assured them that Digital Pinay 2005 is not a beauty contest."
Good grief! What in the world? They should have seen the first set of forms by now. I have. How could they have not seen the forms? Did PCS leave out the forms on purpose? Or were they too busy to see the details on the forms? Anyhow, they should have seen the forms first. After all, judging an event is a big thing because you are the one who has a final say on things. *sigh* And PCS should have taken responsibility to make sure that the judges know what they are getting into.

My take on this:
PCS is justifying their actions. They did not even include the rules, the cash prizes, the details of the coronation night in the new forms that they sent to Sacha. See? If it isn't really a beauty pageant, why do they call it coronation night?
And these are the last words of Mr. Querubin in the article, "We are not saying that it is not a beauty contest because we think there is something bad about beauty contests. We are saying it's not a beauty contest because it's not."
Hahahaha. So it's not a beauty contest but it has a coronation night? Tell that to my big toe!

Hmmm... Maybe Mr. Querubin is biased towards the corporate setting wherein marketing counts - a lot. Where image has a big booming voice. (Check out advertisements, press releases, et cetera.) But the ICT industry has technical aspects which you cannot deny. So where is it in their criteria for judging? Oh yeah, the 40% intelligence part. It's a big world out there. And people come up with various solutions here and there. That intelligence is very much needed for the innovations that would make a company more competitive. Innovations set trends. Innovations create impact. And there are brains behind such things. I hope that people won't forget that. There are people with passion who may not be potential CEOs but programmers who would innovate, game developers who would change the gaming scene, ICT professors who conduct extensive researches, et cetera. I think that we should give credit to them and let them share their passion to others. These days I find it hard to come across people with passion for their field, not just the money that they get. I would like to see someone who would promote ICT, notbecause of the salary and the perks, but because it is a world to be explored and expanded.

My questions are: How do you see ICT? What is a Digital Pinay? How would you like to envision ICT? Do you have a vision for ICT in the Philippines?

I hope that because of this event, we will re-think our opinions with regards to the answers to these questions. It is never too late to examine ourselves and our society.


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