The 1st Philippine Web Awards (1998 Philippine Webby Awards)
December 9, 1998
The 1st Philippine Web Awards (marketed as The Philippine Webby Awards) was held on December 9, 1998 at Hard Rock Cafe in Makati, Philippines. Due to some licensing restrictions on the ‘Webby Awards’ name (from the original Webby Awards in the USA that started in 1996), the post-event write-ups and succeeding annual awards then used the name ‘Philippine Web Awards’ instead of ‘Philippine Webby Awards’.
Over 1,100 entries were received. The awards is created and organized by THE WEB Philippines (a bi-monthly publication of WS Computer Publishing Corporation, Philippine licensee of the International Data Group IDG).
Two special distinct awards were also given away that night. The ‘Intel E-Commerce Award for Small to Medium Businesses’ went to Magoo’s Pizza (www.magoos.com), and the ‘PLDT Web Site of the Year’ award went to Jim Ayson’s PhilMusic.com.
The 1998 Philippine Web Awards Nominee Logo
Each website that made it to the final nomination round are given this distinction, they can display the nomination icon that will give the website more accolade.
Featuring ‘Bert is evil’
There was a special portion of the awards night that featured the ‘Bert is evil’ website, a parody website founded by Dino Ignacio (a Filipino-American), which won the ‘Best Websites – Weird’ category in the US Webby Awards in 1998.
Philippine Internet stars
The 1st Philippine Web Awards has been graced with the attendance of popular webmasters — Jim Ayson, founder of PhilMusic.com, Ronnie Miranda (celebrity webmaster of several celebrity sites, such as The Sharon Cuneta site), Alastair Israel, founder of Yehey.com, the Philippines’ version of Yahoo.com, Yehey.com is our first local search engine.
Other future repeat winners also made their mark in the 1st Philippine Web awards night. Ronald RG Guanzon of Web Cafe, The UP Mountaineers website, The Philippine Daily Inquirer website, The Jose Rizal website, are all award-winners in this night. These websites will also win several awards in future Phil Web Awards. Webmistress Cheryl Fuerte Inday (who would win more web awards in the coming years) made her first appearance in the 1998 Philippine Webby Awards where she won a People’s Choice award for the Donna Cruz website.
The night was graced by real celebrities as well. G Toengi, a popular Philippine celebrity has graced the show, as well as The Eraserheads, the most popular rock band in the Philippines during that time, performed and wowed the crowd.
1st mark of Philippine website excellence
The 1st Philippine Web Awards / Philippine Webby Awards has truly marked the start of outstanding Internet websites in the Philippines and has inspired future and upcoming website creators, IT firms, Philippine companies to prepare their sites well, not just for their audience but to get nominated in the yearly web awards. The influx of entries in the succeeding web awards is proof of this monumental first event in Philippine Internet history.
The URL of the 1st Philippine Webby Awards is www.webbyawards.com.ph (Internet Archive link), which was later changed to www.philippinewebawards.com.