CyberFair Project ID: 4984

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Youth, Shine!
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Batangas State University
    Batangas City, Batangas Province, Philippines

8 students, ages 16-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Marissa D. Herrera (Coach/Project Development Consultant), Sheanna Marie D. Herrera (Student Project Proponent) & Myla Untalan (Adviser)

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our selected community is the youth of Batangas City, Philippines, or young Batangueños whose ages are from 12 to 25 years old.

Batangas City, with an area of 27,633.26 hectares, is known as the 'Industrial Port City of Calabarzon' and classified as one of the fastest urbanizing cities in the country today and the home of approximately 255,981 peace-loving, hospitable and hardworking inhabitants. It was proclaimed as a city on July 23, 1969 which became the accelerating point of trading, commercial and industrial activities in the locality. The city is presently classified as a Regional Growth Center and identified as one of the sites for the Regional Agro-Industrial Center and Special Economic Zone as mandated by the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan and the Ecozone Act of 1995.

This capital city is one of the nation's top revenue earning cities and the site of one of the biggest oil refineries in the Philippines. The city is also hosting the first three power plants using natural gas with a combined capacity of 2700MW. It is located 112.00 kilometers south of Manila. Its fine harbor was declared as an International Port and an alternate port of Manila. The city is a land of historical places, of fresh fruits and marine resources and of great opportunities for social and economic advancement.

Batangas City is a place where the old and new are in perfect harmony. The new generation emerged reinventing the future to achieve a world-class development, but still preserving a rich historical and strong cultural tradition.

2. Summary of Our Project

The project,, is a youth portal envisioned to help move Batangas City youth to use their energy and vitality to unite as a group and reinvent the future.

We use in our theme the colors orange, in between yellow that represents “sun” and “red” for blood that signifies “youth energy”; yellow for sun which means “shine”, and “green” for “life”.

We feature articles about what the local government has accomplished so far related to youth welfare promotion. There are also sections on news/updates (with automatic news feeder everyday), career guide, colleges/universities, distance learning, digital age skills, study tips, youth groups, time management, exchange program, project management and resume editing /uploading. On top of these, there are tutor-and-student and part-time students-and-employers matching sites plus e-mentor’s classroom.

Batangas City as a tourism destination is likewise highlighted at “Tour Batangas” and “Travel & Tours” to help promote local tourism and create more jobs. Teeners’ voices can be read at “Teener’s Wishes”, “Pouring Out” sections and “Youth Forum” as well as “Recycle!” message boards.

“Youth Profile” is our local simplified version of “Friendster” where members can register and post their data and pictures, and viewers can search profiles from the database. In the future, we will program it with networking facility.

There’s also “Donate Now” section to show youth cares. The website through its many functions will serve as a source of vast information for the youth. Scalability is one of the functional highlights of our contents. This means that our information can be expanded, with reduced considerable time, efforts and costs, thru most of our dynamic, database-driven webpages.

By this youth portal, our young energetic sages can help “shine the spotlight” on people, places, businesses and other things in the local community, that will help “to empower, motivate and encourage positive change”.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Among the barriers to project completion that we encountered and overcame, were:

1) Project Implementers – The portal project was supposedly to be managed using a team approach but because selected members were all graduating students, they were extremely busy in February 2007 with priority set for academics. The coach clarified the actual phase definitions and deliverables (the looks, functions, persons in charge of taks, etc.), collaboration tools, forms and workflow.

2) Financial Limitation – Although we had the bone structures in mind of what we would want to view on our youth portal, we did not have the technical knowhow to do complex designs. We emailed potentials sponsors for the required funding and used our negotiation skills for ex-deal arrangements.

3) Lack of Right Internet Infrastructure in the Local Government Office – There was no sufficient internet infrastructure in Batangas City Government offices to expedite the transmittal of materials by email. Most materials were printed and scanned. Nevertheless, the information given to us proved to be very helpful.

4) Project Timeline Constraints – Considering the hectic schedule of all involved in the project, time limitation was a big challenge to us. “One at a time” when load seemed to be heavy, was our punch line to go on to energetically complete tasks on hand.

5) Delayed Services Delivery of Webpage Designers –Deadline set by us was not met by webpage designers because of programming required in dynamic, database-driven pages. We requested for IT staff reinforcement for project completion.

6) Multichannel Access – Some of our devices had no access to internet so we decided that even when on the go and far from each other by thousand miles we should be working aggressively to finish tasks. We provided connectivity to our desktop and mobile devices via a mix of connectivity methods for real-time collaboration.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Be empowered. Click together.

The future is fine. Youth, shine!

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

The activities and researches conducted for this youth portal project are in line with the International Schools Cyberfair goals, and support content standards and curriculum requirements of the Philippine Department of Education.

By cross-team approach, we learned that the latest web collaboration technology tools if properly utilized, can help attain the objectives in secondary education, i. e., to continue to promote the objectives of elementary education, and; to discover and enhance the different aptitudes and interests of the students so as to equip them with skills for productive endeavor and/or prepare for tertiary education.

We see this as an effective alternative learning system to educate the local youth. This is parallel to one of the programs and projects in the Curriculum Development Division, Intel Teach to the Future Program--forum in best practices on the use of ICT in teaching and learning.

Evaluating it, our portal contents are also related to the subject MAKABAYAN (Social Studies, Technology & Livelihood Education, Values Education and Arts). The traditional schools are here to stay, but innovations like internet teaching and learning play a vital part to better educate people particularly the youth in preparation for global competitiveness. Our project fits the requirements for the school or class as we offer, for free, mentor’s e-classroom and in the future will tie-up with organizations to provide affordable or subsidized courses online to help extend equal learning opportunities to all.

We motivate the portal users to have their insights and opinions published on our website. They can freely reflect what is good and contributory to the advancement of society. Lastly they can actively interact with other online users and together evaluate the best options or solutions for world problems elimination or reduction.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We basically used the following tools: desktop computers, laptops, laser printers, fax machines, digital camera, telephones, cellular phones, tape recorders, scanner, computer softwares, Bluetooth device, libraries, books, newspapers, and interviews.

The school has an internet laboratory with broadband connection and area network lines but most of the team members utilized their home PC’s and internet cafes because their free time to do the project was only after school hours.

The most valuable tools we utilized were the computers, wireless laptops and removable disks to conduct researches, organize data and exchange information with the team members and webpage designer, and also the reference materials provided by Mayor Eduardo B. Dimacuha of Batangas City, Philippines. Cellular phones as well proved to be very essential devices in terms of mobility in communication.

Among the computer softwares we used on Windows XP platform, with Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers, were: FTP, Microsoft Office 2007, MSN & Yahoo Messengers, Netmeeting & ICQ webconferencing, Task Organizer, Chikka, Gmail webmail and G-talk, MS Digital Image Pro 9, ACD See 9 Photo Manager, Paint, Adobe Photoshop and FaxTalk Communicator.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

As a project proponent, Sheanna Marie D. Herrera, who served as “ambassador” to accomplish the youth portal, talked to different people in the community in person, through letters and phone calls, and through emails.

It was difficult at the start because not everyone could understand the concept easily, without showing them what it was all about on screen, person-to-person. It was made more difficult because while explaining about the project, the development was still in progress so basically we were talking about everything on the air, virtually.

Little by little as the project developed, people who understood the concept finally got impressed on how we were able to come up with future thinker’s idea.

We attracted a UAE-based project sponsor who subscribed to our project. “Success!” was the word that first came to our mind, even if it was not yet completely finished. Another India-based company offered a free chatroom to be built-in soon for e-Mentor’s classroom in exchange for a banner space.

Sheanna with the group members who shared the same passion and excitement, simply announced to the studentry, “Log in to and don’t forget to register.”

The amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences increased their confidence and self-esteem. They also gained friendships with other people, young and adult, whom they contacted in the locality. As more challenges popped out along the way, they got better, broader, more enlightened perspective of the digital world that helped them appreciate the privilege of being behind the youth portal.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The youth portal,, will serve as a development gateway and will move the local youth to be responsible leaders and caring citizens of the world.

The site has been up and running for less than a month only, but somehow our involvement in the project strengthened the relationship between the school and the local community. This serves as an initiative to connect them.

People in our community will know about the local government’s accomplishment report on children welfare promotion last year, and through this site, from now on. This report was not seen in any local website nor published in any local newspaper.

There are sections in our portal wherein viewers will not only remain as readers but they may participate actively by interacting online.

In the future, as we approach representatives from different industry categories to post their announcements (say, employers requiring part-time students), we are certain that new working relationships with people in our community will be established.

We dream to make this portal big, not only as an entry to Cyberfair competition, but to be adopted as youth portal pattern of other youth groups, with theme and templates customized according to their needs and objectives. The objective is to connect the database we have on hand, make this grow, and come up with a huge databank.

Information is very saleable in the Information Age. With the contents planning we have at the moment, we are sure that many people will benefit from this site without leaving their homes, by using today’s technology.

Those who have seen were impressed and optimistic on how we can make a significant positive impact in the local communities and people in other parts of the world. They said that our portal can move them to live beyond today and here.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

This youth portal was conceived by Sheanna Marie D. Herrera, in collaboration with the mother (this Cyberfair registrant), the coach and webpage development consultant—Marissa Doctor Herrera—content writer, webpage designer and HR consultancy services firm manager.

Across the miles, the daughter and mother tandem came up with the idea of coming up and running a youth website which is not static, but dynamic, that will show there is life in it.

Discussing the idea with a UAE-based B2B portal ( owner, paved the way for the initial step of financing the project. Philippine-based IT team, Philweb Services, erased the hosting fees in the package costs, making it net of US$1,300+. An India-based company expressed intent to put chat facility for free, and e-mentor’s classroom model. These were all for exchange banner deals. Luck was with us that was in its promotional period when we designed the YouthShine logo at US$9, saving us US$59 offered by the webpage designer. We used UnionBank CyberEon debit card account to purchase the logo online.

There were exchange of communications by overseas calls between the coach and the principal’s office of Batangas State University, Pres. Nora Magnaye, Sheanna’s adviser Ms. Myla Untalan, Batangas City Mayor Eddie Dimacuha, Batangas City Philippine Information Office Chief Letty Chua, and Cebu-based Philweb Services CEO Von Rod Limpot. They provided moral support, suggestions, promotional tools like streamers, back-up groups to spread the words, and for Philweb, technical support.

The classmates contributed in the research while Sheanna’s siblings (Von and Mara) in getting substantial materials, logistics, scanning and transmittal of scanned/encoded copies to the contents editor, then to webpage designer, back to coach.

Janette Toral, owner of, emailed us regularly about Cyberfair reminders and on rich resources online that significantly helped us to be on the right track.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4984)

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