Philippine Web Designers Organization — The Story So Far
For those who are wondering who we are, how we started, what we’ve done so far, and how you can be a part of the organization, read on!
The Philippine Web Designers Organization is a grassroots, volunteer-run, non-profit organization that helps develop the local community by championing professionalism & excellence in crafting interfaces for the Web.
To accomplish this, we volunteer our time & talents to organize conferences, meet-ups, hackathons, and workshops to sharpen the skills of Filipino web designers & developers, from students to professionals.
PWDO started in September 2008 because we wanted to have a web design conference in the country. Conversations on social media followed after the first WordCamp Philippines, and we decided to meet.
This initial group included: Regnard Raquedan, Mae de Leon, Sophia Lucero, Sarah Cada, Joni Tardio, Marco Palinar, Jolo Santos, & Rico Sta. Cruz.
The 1st MiniFFC meet-up
October 30, 2008 — Exist Techbar, Pasig
On October 30, 2008, we held the first web designer meet-up called MiniFFC — short for mini <form> function() & .class, the name we had conceived for the conference.
Over fifty people from the web design community came together in Ortigas and listened to talks on web accessibility, design, web standards, interaction design, and user interface design.
Planning for FFC continued as the group was joined by Jojo Esposa Jr., Marie dela Torre, JP dela Torre, Helga Weber, Alfredo Palconit Jr., Jonel Uy, Aja Lapus, & Karissa Villa. By March 2009 we registered with the SEC as a non-stock, non-profit corporation.
The 1st Form Function & Class conference
July 10, 2009 — Asian Institute of Management, Makati
On July 10, 2009, we launched the first <form> function & .class conference at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati.
A mix of three hundred professionals and students learned from our very first set of FFC speakers: Gail dela Cruz, Nap Lara, Rico Sta. Cruz, Regnard Raquedan, Jojo Esposa Jr., Marco Palinar, & Luis Buenaventura II.
That day, we finally accomplished what we set out to do: organize a Philippine web design conference. We made the best out of our modest resources and connections to create this grassroots event for web designers, by web designers, and we’ve been iterating & improving on FFC ever since.
We skipped 2010, but returned in 2011 with a new conference format: FFC spanned a whole weekend of 1-hour plenary sessions by John Leyson, Jason Torres, Andrei Gonzales, & Brian Tenorio; and 3-hour workshops by Dan Matutina, Rico Sta. Cruz, JP de Guzman, & Allan Caeg.
In 2012 FFC sported a varsity theme, with workshops by Jesus Santos Jr., Camille Zapata, Rico Sta. Cruz, Andrei Gonzales, Julius Cebreros, & JM Ibañez; and plenaries by Lindsey Grande, John Imbong, James Florentino, Drei Alquiros, Noel Perlas, Marco Palinar, & JP de Guzman.
For 2013 we chose a throwback theme, “Professionalism & Craftsmanship” and were lucky to have a couple of international speakers, Paul Burnett & Thomas Gorissen, joined by Anthony Santos, Levi Tan Ong, Lindsey Grande, Mark Lacsamana, Ralph Regalado, Andrei Gonzales, Mica Diaz de Rivera, & Aaron Cajes.
As FFC turned 5 in 2014, we pushed for a super-special, superhero-inspired conference by inviting the top names in the industry from all around the world: Jina Anne, Holger Bartel, Sacha Greif, Silas Reyes, Eric Clark Su, & John Allsopp.
FFC6 in 2015 focused on the evils of design, with the revolution led by: Brad Frost, Rachel Nabors, Angela Chua, Angela Obias, Holger Bartel, & James Cabrera. A Masterclass on Responsive Design by Brad Frost followed the next day, and in a week, a Web Animation Workshop by Rachel Nabors.
As the core team gained new faces — Kit Valmadrid, Seph Buluran, OJ Tibi, Ely Apao, Aceler Chua, Natassha Po, Mark Lacsamana, & Drei Alquiros — PWDO ventured into new projects and teamed up with other organizations.
Our UST student partner organization, TomasinoWeb, partnered with us to create an offshoot conference that was targeted towards students, dubbing it Junior <form> function() & .class or JFFC.
Rails for Designers
Collaborating with the Philippine Ruby Users Group & DevCon Philippines, we held a one-day workshop called Rails for Designers.
We created a pro-bono website-building hackathon for non-profits called Caritakathon. As a way of giving back to the community, we invited teams of designers & developers to build sites for deserving organizations within 48 hours. We also held pre-event bootcamps to offer tips and brief the teams & organizations.
This year, we’re opening committee membership to the public, so for more information please visit pwdo.org/join.
Want to learn more about the Rebranding the Form Function & Class web design conference?
Words by Sophia Lucero.