Why go local: Para Sa Tabi, May Pasok Ba?, and Facebuko

Going local

There’s really not much profit (monetary or otherwise) to be had in making local “copies” of the most popular sites today; you’ll probably just be called unimaginative and lame (read: jologs). But these sites are fun little ideas that stir up the chunks in our cultural halo-halo and remind us that quirky is interesting and copying is okay, as long as we make it our own.

(But first, sites that didn’t make the cut:

  1. akomismo.com
  2. akalamo.com
  3. mysandbox.com
  4. twinoy.com

Go figure.) Now, onto the honorable mentions:

Para Sa Tabi

Para Sa Tabi

Google Maps may have reached Philippine shores—and that is an achievement in itself, actually—but getting directions to navigate the metro requires local knowledge. Para Sa Tabi lets you enter an origin and destination then returns a list of routes and commute options for getting there.

See also its analog counterparts, the PEx Commuters’ Guide thread and the ph-commute blog.

May Pasok Ba?

May Pasok Ba?

(Happy Ninoy Aquino Day by the way.)

In the tradition of single serving sites like Is Obama President (yes!) and Is Today Friday (hell yes!), and probably a DIY solution to how pathetic class suspension announcements are handled in this country especially during typhoon season, May Pasok Ba tells you if there are classes tomorrow (meron) or not (wala). With footnotes for notable exceptions.

The site runs on WordPress (gasp!), which means feedback (crowdsource it, baby) and syndication (subscribe to it, baby) are built in.


Gloria Arroyo plays Restaurant City on Facebuko

Parody, like rice, is not exclusive to the Philippines, but it’s our staple nonetheless. And there’s something about the Facebook news feed, whose status updates and app notifications are just begging to be used as allegories for the daily cirques of showbiz, politics, and even ancient history. Enter Facebuko. Another highly customized WordPress install here; a deconstruction of its code must be in order.

Web 2.0 who?

What I love about these sites is they’re not of the “let’s build a web 2.0 product even if we don’t know what that means” mindset. Instead they exhibit one of the better characteristics of web 2.0: paying attention to what people need, not dictating what detached honchos think people need.

Yuppies need commute guides in this crazy U-turn-infested, footbridge-ridden concrete jungle (and no, Mr. MMDA Chairman, a Flash game will not help). Students need reliable updates on class suspensions (I’m looking at you, DepEd, CHED, and PAGASA). And the Filipino people need art imitating real life in a language and setting that’s more appealing, less intimidating.

Lastly, they’re innovative not because they’re telling everyone else they are, but because they listened and responded.

Hi! Thanks for stopping by ★

Design × code × words for a better web, made in the Philippines by Sophia Lucero.