The Philippine Web Awards is an award-giving body that annually honors the best Filipino-created Web sites and the individuals and teams behind them. Now on its sixth year, the Awards has gained industry-wide acceptance and is one of the most highly anticipated events in the Internet community.
It has attracted thousands of participants here and abroad and has gained the support of major players in the industry. The event itself has enjoyed wide media coverage and record attendance.
Even as it continues to grow, the Philippine Web Awards has remained true to its mission – to honor outstanding Filipino talent in the field of Web design and development. This has given the finalists and winners not only wide recognition by their peers and by mainstream media but has also helped in generating more site traffic and new business for them.
In 1997, the idea of having a version of the US-based Webby Awards for the Philippine Internet community arose. The editorial team of The Web Philippines (now known as Enterprise magazine) initiated the idea. In September 1998, the magazine and its publisher, WS Computer Publishing Corporation (WSCPC) (now Media G8way Corporation) – the Philippine licensee of International Data Group (IDG), which is behind the Webbys in the US – went full steam ahead with the project. Patterned closely after the Webby Awards, the Philippine Webby Awards opened the competition in 18 categories, from Arts to Weird.
It was introduced as “the Famas of the Internet.” The idea caught on, attracting more than 700 entries and enjoying a highly successful awards night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati. It was undoubtedly one of the glitziest and most glamorous events not only in the Internet community but even in the entire entertainment industry. It was attended by the local digerati, some of the best Filipino Web developers and designers, college students and young professionals, and personalities from the media, music, and movie industries. Check out our page on the first awards for photos and a list of winners.
In 1999, the Awards was renamed The Philippine Web Awards. Promoted as “The Second Coming,” it proved to be a bigger event than the first. The number of sponsors practically quadrupled. Joaquin Cunanan & Co./Pricewaterhouse-Coopers served as the official auditors of the Awards. More than 1,100 Web sites were entered and during the awards night, the entire ballroom of the New World Hotel in Makati was packed. This time, it was a mix of suits and geeks. The event no longer just attracted the Net set but also corporate types in search of excellent Web designers and developers. Like in the first year, the 1999 Awards enjoyed TV, radio, print, and of course, Web coverage. Check out our page for photos and the list of winners in 1999.
The Awards in 2000 once again reflected the times. This was during the height of the dot-com fever. With new e-commerce sites, Internet IPOs, VCs and buy-outs getting immense attention, the Philippine Web Awards highlighted the hottest sites. The event was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Shangri-La Makati, which was jam-packed, again beating the previous attendance record. As has been the trademark of the Awards, the event’s slick production showcased Web talent, fun performances, and exciting raffle prizes. Photos and the list of winners in 2000 are in our page.
In 2002, the Awards went all-Pinoy as it incorporated Philippine mythology with information and communication technology, made possible through the artistry of master illustrator Arnold Arre and the ingenuity of computer graphics virtuosos 25by8. Aswangs, kapres, manananggals and a bunch of other Philippine folklore characters were brought to life within the posh confines of Dusit Hotel Nikko, appearing before a huge crowd, dotted by a number of IT and corporate mavens, showbiz luminaries and individuals coveting the Philippine Web Awards trophy. Indeed, it was one magical celebration of ICT and Filipino culture.