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A pleasant surprise: A Filipino finalist at Wiki Loves Monuments in the Czech Republic

So apparently, I was informed by our friendly Wiki Loves Monuments organizers that Carmelo Bayarcal, one of the many photographers who had entered entries to the local contest (of which three made it to the top 50), has made it to the finals of Wiki Loves Monuments 2012…in the Czech Republic (in Czech)!  Now that is a very pleasant surprise: who knew that a Filipino would make it to the finals of another Wiki Loves Monuments local contest?

That’s a very long way from the Philippines, and we would like to extend Mr. Bayarcal a heartfelt congratulations from all of us at Wikimedia Philippines.  For a backgrounder on his Czech entries, his entries are of the Radnice Staroměstská, the Old City Hall (and its famous clock tower) at the heart of Prague’s Staré Město (Old Town).

The Astronomical Clock at Prague’s Old Town

Inside Prague’s Old Town Hall

More of Mr. Bayarcal’s entries may be seen at his Wikimedia Commons gallery.  And, of course, let’s count down to the awarding for the international competition, which will be done sometime in early December.  Continue to stay tuned for the latest updates on Wiki Loves Monuments courtesy of your friendly local organizers.

Josh Lim
Chair, Communications Committee

Manila 17: the first Wiknic in the Philippines!

Some of the Wikipedians at Manila 17.  bluemask, Chitetskoy and Exec8.

The weather may have not been the best, but Metro Manila Wikipedians pushed through with the first Manila Wiknic, also known as the 18th Metro Manila Wikipedians’ Meetup, at the Sunken Garden in UP Diliman on September 8.  While we were not exactly on the ground (as the Sunken Garden was wet and muddy), we did get to enjoy copious amounts of barbecue and pichi-pichi from the green tables behind the UP Diliman Library.

Four Wikipedians: bluemask, Exec8, Sky Harbor and Chitetskoy, met up with representatives of Project Visionaries Philippines, an advocacy group promoting the right of local photographers to freely photograph in public places in the Philippines.  Amidst the food and the banter, a lot of things were discussed: how to get more photographers involved with Wikipedia, catching up with our topics of interest on Wikipedia, and a few ideas on how to make Wikipedia’s advocacy better-known here.  It was very productive for such a short meetup: sure, this particular meetup lasted only a couple of hours, but it felt like so much had been done.

And hopefully, we can do more.  Wikipedians in Metro Manila have held 17 other meetups so far, and in the future there will be more along the way.

Wikimedia Philippines hopes to continue supporting and sponsoring meet ups of Wikimedians, not just in Manila, but all over the Philippines.  If you want to organize a meetup in your area, don’t hesitate to ask us: we’ll try to help you out!

Josh Lim
Chair, Communications Committee
1 564 445 km1 .

Wikipedia launches largest photo contest

Paoay Church by Lordartworks (CC-BY-SA 3.0) is among the first submitted entries

At the stroke of midnight of September 1 in the Philippines, Wikipedia launched what it’s targeting to be officially the world’s largest photo competition — the 2012 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments. Owing to the success of Wiki Loves Monuments in 2011 where over 5,000 participants uploaded over 165,000 photos of cultural heritage sites from across 18 European countries, this year’s Wiki Loves Monuments has gone global with 35 countries in participation, including the Philippines.

Wikimedia Philippines, the local chapter of the San Francisco-based Wikimedia Foundation, is spearheading the local campaign to gather images of Philippine cultural heritage sites until September 30 when the uploading period winds up. The top ten entries will advance to the international round of the competition where it will compete against the best cultural heritage photographs of the other participating countries. With about 690 officially declared cultural heritage and historical sites throughout the country, plus practically every 50 year-old structure as defined under the National Cultural Heritage Law, Philippine organizers are hoping that a good number of these sites and structures will finally have their freely-licensed photographs so that they can find their way to related Wikipedia articles and at the same time showcase the beauty and richness of the country’s cultural heritage as Wikipedia is consistently among the most visited websites worldwide.

The winners of Wiki Loves Monuments Philippines will be announced on October 20 with the top winner receiving a cash prize of ₱15,000 and an all expense-paid participation at the 2013 Wikimania in Hong Kong. Wiki Loves Monuments Philippines is being held in partnership with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Department of Tourism and the National Parks Development Committee.