I’m lucky to witnessed the opening of Google Philippines new home last Thursday (January 26, 2016). Google Philippines is supporting the growth of the country’s digital economy with a Google.org grant to DigiBayanihan, a nationwide digital literacy program that promotes digital inclusion among Filipinos. The support from Google.org is expected to extend DigiBayanihan’s program to one million Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao.
Without using any electricity (just codes) they lighted the Google signage mounted in the Philippine Map. This is an example that Google is ready to digitize the Philippines.
Google.org is the philanthropic arm of Google that supports and champions people and projects that are combatting some of the biggest human challenges of the 21st century.
“This step is part of our continuing effort to create a stronger, more inclusive digital economy in the Philippines. While Internet penetration has improved over the last five years, 2 out of 5 Filipinos are still missing out on the huge opportunities that come with being online. We want to empower them with digital know-how so that they can make the most of the Internet,” said Ken Lingan, Google Philippines country manager.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, who was guest of honor at the launch, said, “With the population getting more connected and engaged every day, it is necessary for individuals, businesses, and communities to have the right skills to thrive in today’s modern economy. That’s why we welcome Google’s commitment to promote digital inclusion and empower every Filipino online, and in effect, drive the country’s economy forward.” Google also highlighted the importance of developers in the digital economy of the country with the launch of the Launchpad Accelerator program in the Philippines. The program provides equity-free support to help start-ups scale into thriving companies.
Take a glimpse below to see their new home:
Everything inside their office are Pinoy theme interiors, from the colorful abaniko hanging in the ceiling, their workstations (sorry we’re not allowed to take some photos) named after some famous province and people like the Palawan and Whang Od. They made sure that they have comfortable working environment for their employees.
The coolest part of their office is the pantry, there’s free food all day for employees. I’m sure no one will starve to death while working hehe!
New Philippine sites up on Google Street View
They also announced the released of 188 new local sites on Street View, including key attractions and landmarks from Batanes to Palawan to Guimaras. With this, over 300 sites from across the country have been made available on Street View since the launch of the first collection in 2015. Street View users can now also navigate LRT-1 Green Line stations online — from United Nations station, to Central Terminal station all the way to Baclaran station. This helps commuters view station accessibility and plan their trip ahead of time. In addition, through an expanded partnership with the Intramuros Administration, its historic collection of religious sculptures is now online on the Google Arts & Culture platform, along with 360° virtual reality tours accompanied by an audio guide of 17 locations within Intramuros that can be viewed on a simple VR viewer like Google Cardboard. Bringing more meaningful content online is one of Google Philippines’ way of helping to unlock the Internet for Filipino Internet users, according to country manager Ken Lingan.