‘Sinulog’ opens Global Voices summit

‘Sinulog’ opens Global Voices summit

10th year celebration in Cebu rocks

Over a hundred international bloggers, citizen media advocates, and tech experts from 60 countries moved around the hall dancing the Sinulog to open the week-long series of activities of Global Voices in Cebu last January 2015.

Global Voices is “a border-less, largely volunteer community of more than 800 writers, analysts, online media experts and translators … leading the conversation on citizen media reporting since 2005.” It decided to hold its Citizen Media Summit and 10th anniversary celebration in Cebu City, Philippines.

Global Voices, Citizens Media Summit 2015, Cebu, Philippines

Prayer-Dance Ritual

The Sinulog is a local traditional prayer-dance in honor of Señor Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. An image of the the Señor was said to have been a gift of Ferdinand Magellan when he arrived in Zubu in 1521. Veneration for the Child Jesus has developed into a grand street dancing festival celebrated every third Sunday of January that captivated the Global Voices advance party.

Sinulog dancers likewise wowed the delegates during the 10th anniversary celebration of Global Voices at the grounds of Museo Sugbo, the old colonial provincial prison that was converted into a museum. The party closed a memorable week of discussions on various global Internet and citizen media issues and concerns.


PRWorks Inc., which served as the international summit’s event management partner, immersed delegates of the international event in the local Cebuano culture. The Sinulog particularly caught the attention of Global Voices delegates and advance party who arrived a few days early as they experienced the Sinulog Festival itself.

“This is the first time that a Global Voices summit was not held in a host country’s capital city. Cebu is both cosmopolitan and historic. We went an extra mile to highlight this to our guests. Whenever we manage events, we always take care to extend the gracious way of Filipino hospitality,” said PRWorks Inc. President and Founder Doris Mongaya.

The Global Voices Citizen Media Summit held last January 24-25, 2015 at the Cebu Provincial Capitol highlighted talks, panels, and workshops tackling some of the hottest issues on citizen media, freedom of information, digital security, and Internet activism.

Social Media in the Philippines (ethanzuckerman.com) / PH Citizen Media: A Quick Overview (tonyocruz.com)
I flew to Cebu City for the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit (Robert Reyes of Mozilla Philippines)
Cebu Summit – Community Meeting Day 1 / Local perspectives, global rights (pcij.org)
Netizens Speak Up During Summit (cebudailynews.inquirer.net) / My Greatest Moments in the Philippines #GV2015
As a drone captures Global Voices at 10, a few thoughts from Cebu (Ethan Zuckerman)
Online Crisis Reporting (Ethan Zuckerman) / 10th Global Voices Citizen Media Summit (The Cebu Gazette)
Sex and the Internet. Expression, Activism, Regulation (sexandsensibilities.com)

Organization and skills training

Global Voices, Citizens Media Summit 2015, Cebu, Philippines
Victoria Tinta, representative of indigenous peoples in Bolivia, talks about how they use Internet and social media in their struggles to improve their situation. Seen at the back is Ethan Zuckerman. #GV2015 #PRworksEvents

Before the summit proper, a Global Voices Internal Meeting was conducted at the Harold’s Hotel where most of the delegates were also billeted. This 3-day meeting served as an occasion for Global Voices members who otherwise only meet each other online to interact with each other in person. The internal meeting discussed organizational matters and direction and provided skills training for members. Global Voices is an international citizen media network founded in 2004 at Harvard University.

Leading the pack were Global Voices co-founders Ethan Zuckerman, who is also director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media, and Rebecca MacKinnon, author of the book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom.

Held in time for the organization’s 10th anniversary, the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit became a fruitful venue for sharing fresh ideas and experiences among participants and for inspiring cross-border collaborations among them just like in the past Global Voices Summits in the UK, India, Hungary, Chile and Kenya.

The all-night party at the Museo Sugbo that concluded the summit saw the delegates being treated with native delicacies and a parting cultural extravaganza that put the spotlight on the greatness of Cebu and the Philippines.


The Global Voices Summit 2015 was sponsored by the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, the Province of Cebu, Knight Foundation, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Sun Star Publishing, Open Society Foundations,Yahoo, and PRworks Inc.

PRworks Inc. is a Cebu-based strategic public relations and events management agency that considers the central and southern Philippine islands of Visayas and Mindanao its turf.

Global Voices, Citizens Media Summit 2015, Cebu, Philippines
Presentation on anonymous leaks and whistleblowers using technology. GV2015 Cebu
Global Voices, Citizens Media Summit 2015, Cebu, Philippines
Malou Mangahas of PCIJ talks in panel on Freedom of Information laws. GV2015
Cebu, Global Voices, Philippines, Citizen Media Summit
Isolde Amante, editor-in-chief of Sun.Star Cebu, shares how local journalists covered the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan that left a wide path of destruction in central Philippines in November, 2013.

Globe Media Excellence Awards 2015, Geeks on a Beach 2015, Idea Global Entrepreneurship Workshop 2015

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