Opening Remarks : Software Freedom Day Celebration 09/17/2011

To All of Us: Open Source Community Members here gathered, i.e. beloved students, esteemed teachers/mentors, colleagues in the industries. We are happy to celebrate, once again, our freedom.

Freedom to collaborate and learn;

Freedom to push ourselves towards global competitiveness and excellence, in the practice of our skills;

Freedom to contribute our talents and help others in discovering their talents as well;

Today, September 17, 2011. We collectively proclaim our freedom.

This freedom that we have been blessed with, brings about empowerment in our learning spaces (academe) and in our workplaces.

In schools, most especially here at the Ateneo de Davao, we have found ourselves engaging in the vast options that we have as we engineer software, business applications and other projects. And our graduates, as they enter the industries, find themselves specializing in different platforms that are recognized in the global IT industry like Android applications development, Django, CakePhp, Ruby on Rails.

When we celebrate software freedom, we appreciate the countless benefits that our local communities enjoy:

1.      The nature of our local industries (start-up businesses) in the city and in this region very clearly depicts the freedom that open source provides. Foremost, No hefty license fees to use and develop our products. Secondly but equally as important, Collaborative development and contribution to global communities also benefit our local industries as global standards are carried over and enforced in the local setting and ensures that even local products, i.e. engineered software are competitive in the global market.

2.      The academe enjoys the breadth of possible learning platforms that it can provide the students. With the vast array of open source tools in different areas in computing and IT, students learn more and get to play with more “toys”. These choices, at most times, lead to their chosen field of specialization that they pursue when they graduate and enter their chosen industries.

3.        The local government is in a much able position to include IT as a priority area of investment and development as more and more sectors recognize IT, not as a “necessary evil” but as an “inevitable good”.


In recognition of the renewed face of our playfield/battlefield, now that open source has enabled not only individuals, and local communities, but also even bigger sectors, we are challenged to:

1.      Ensure that the freedom towards achieving excellence is exercised and sustained during our every day “play” or “battle” and not wait for only every 17th of September.

2.      Ensure that the freedom to collaborate with communities, both local and global, will bring forth more contributions from us, as we now mature from simply beneficiaries to prime movers of the global open source community.

Our University President, Fr. Joel Tabora SJ, SAS College Dean Fr. Dan McNamara SJ, CS Division Chair, Rey Alino, and Open Source Guru, Dom Cimafranca, and the rest of the Ateneo de Davao’s Administrators, are one with me in saying, see you again this time next year. Let us enjoy our freedom today and learn, contribute and engage in the various activities that we have lined-up, together with the countless members of this community worldwide.