Angel's Herald: December 2005

Raising Their Voices - Philippines Best Practice

Posted by: Angelicum on Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Together with a group of friends from all around the world, Angelicum Oda has started a web-centered project called “Young MDG” to educate children and young people about the MDGs.


The YOUNG MDG team met in the virtual world for the first time and brainstormed their ideas through an online forum. It is there that they drafted ideas and finalized decisions on what to include on their MDG website. Angelicum, responding to the question of “why another website,” says: “Knowing that this new generation of young people can maximize and minimize Internet Explorer windows and surf the net for cool games even before their moms stop spoonfeeding them, I first and foremost believe that if there is a medium to publish educational material for children around the world, it is the World Wide Web. It is the cheapest, as well as the most accessible and engaging. I feel it is essential to have a website about the MDGs specifically targeted for children simply because I haven’t seen one yet. Children, especially those who don’t use English as their first language, will find it hard to understand what is offered when you presently search for the MDGs on search engines. Who wants formalsounding explanations anyway? Young people are easily bored and the issue of the MDGs is so important that we have to find ways to make these people interested in reading an MDG site. That’s why we are developing the Young MDG website in a way that it will be colorful and interactive.”

The group that is working on the Young MDG project is now composed of 11 young people between 14 and 19 years old from the following 11 different countries: The Philippines, Jamaica, Finland, Australia, Egypt, Romania, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, USA, and Vietnam. The team believes that with the MDGs being a global issue, they should also have a global perspective when trying to explain them to children in all parts of the world by making a website that is of international quality. “Being on an international team made us realize different aspects of life. It’s also a benefit to have members from under-developed, developing, and developed countries, because we were able to share different points of views in constructing the site,” explained Angelicum.

The website is already being extensively schools around the world by children from 196 countries worldwide, and in 2005, the Young MDG project received awards of international recognition at the Cable and Wireless Childnet Academy held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and the Oracle Education Foundation’s ThinkQuest International held in San Francisco, California.

The project team doesn’t want to limit itself to the Internet platform, though. At this time, the team is already drafting other reference materials like books, brochures and CDs – all targeted at children and young people as well. The team is planning to have these materials distributed to those who don’t have Internet access and computers to further widen the information outreach of their MDG campaign.

More information on Young
MDG can be found online:

For A Change, Good News About A Young Pinoy

Posted by: Angelicum on Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How a computer geek is trying to make a difference - and win awards for it.

While everyone thinks that young people today are jus into a lot of senseless stuff without any care in the world, neither are they interested in doing anything productive - someone pops up who does not fit the stereotype.

Angelicum Oda is not your regular 18-year-old. One can say that he has accomplished a lot of things and he's not even in his 20s. Spending Saturday Afternoon with Angelicum, you would not even believe that he's only 18 because of the way he talks and the ideas he comes up with. He has received numerous awards in web development and traveled all over the globe to places like South Africa, Jamaica, the UK, Canada, you name it. And the travel offers are still coming - thanks to his determination and belief that young people can still make a difference.

It all started years back, Angelicum, Angel to his friends, was bored manning their internet cafe when he stumbled upon a United Nations volunteer site. Wanting to be idle no more, he signed up and got in. "I realized with my present knowledge on web-developing, I could actually help NGOs." Angel said.

It was in 2002 when he was invited by a local UN Country Office to a youth summit. The volunteers were thinking of a themes for that year, a theme for young people to get more involved and become socially aware.

Angel added "Different ideas came out, finally, the UNV country coordinator suggested 'MDGs and Youth for the theme. To her surprise, only two or three out of almost 30 people inside the room knew about the MDGs, I didn't know what the MDGs were."

MDG is Millennium Development Goals. Back in 2000, the UN, with 189 heads of state, wrote down eight goals to be achieved by 2015. The eight goals centered on poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, environment and lastly global partnership. It came as no surprise that quite a number of people, including myself did not know what MDG was. When I first heard about it, the first though that came up to my mind was that it sounded more like food seasoning (MSG, that is).

Angel was inspired when the UN coordinator explained to them what the MDGs were. He said "Realizing how unsuccessful the dissemination of information on the MDGs in our country was, she also stressed that we, the youth are the key contributors for achieving the goals, but how will we be able to help if we don't have any knowledge about the MDGs in the first place?"

His creative juices were in full swing when the idea to start an MDG website for kids came up. Actually if onew visits the site, one gets instantly familiarized with the MDG goals, sort of like an MDG for dummies. "Who wants formal-sounding explanations anyway? Young people easily get bored and the issue of MDG is so important that we have to find ways to make these people interested about reading an MDG site. That's why we are developing the "Young MDG" website in a way that it will be colorful and interactive," Angel said.

The idea of creating the site is really basic but the repercussions are immerse. "Knowing that the new generation of young people can maximize and minimize IE windows and surf the net for cool games before their moms stop spoon-feeding them. I first and foremost believed that if there should be a medium to publish an educational material for children around the world, it is the web."

Now that the website is in full swing, he has received awards and recognition from international bodies. Most recently was last March when Angel was one of the 13 winners in the Childnet Academy Awards held in Jamaica.

But this is just the start. By the end of the month he will attend the UN and Youth Assembly in New York -- the perfect opportunity to promote his advocacies. In September he flies to San Francisco to attend ThinkQuest Live Awards sponsored by Oracle since his website won second place out of 327 entries, an all-expense-paid trip with chaperon - who says computer geeks can't have all the fun? All this success and he is not even in college yet.

But this was not a solo venture. Since the MDG awareness is a global issue, Angel is with a team of young people from Egypt, Jamaica, the US etc. Their work does not stop in doing the site alone. They are continuously researching and finding new ways for us common folk to help promote social changes.

What's next for Angelicum? "Further steps are actual projects targeting each of the goals. A good example is that of Goal-7 of MDGs which is about environment. We will have a separate sire for this project, basically aiming to let teenagers realize and know their responsibility for the environment and be involved with tree-planting activities in their communities," Angel notes. And they would also be producing pamphlets about the MDGs to penetrate a much wider crowd especially those who do not have internet access.

Despite the storm clouds of instability that hover our country in recent times, it is a good thing there are still ideal Pinoys who refuse to just sit and grumble but trying to do something to help us feel good about ourselves.

For more information about the MDGs check the website at

Pinoy Teen Bags International I.T. Award

Posted by: Angelicum

Another Filipino teenager displayed his world class talent at a recently-concluded international information technology competition based in London, England.

Eighteen-year-old Angelicum F. Oda was the first Filipino and one of two Asians in the thirteen winners chosen from among 250 entries from 49 countries, who were given due recognition at the Cable and Wireless' Childnet Academy Awards held in Montego Bay, Jamaica [March 31, 2005].

Angelicum set up a website advocating young people's awareness to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, the Young MDG, which he entered as a project in one of the three categories, New to the Net, the other two being, Individual and Schools.

To develop his project, he received a share from the 30,000 UK Pounds from the web development fund of Cable and Wireless' Childnet Academy, an international non-profit organization working with others to help make the Internet, a great and safe place for children and young people.

With his project, "Young MDG", Angelicum intends to inform young people and interpret for them, the importance of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, and in what possible ways they can help achieve them.

In September, 2000, the United Nations agreed an international blueprint called the Millennium Development Goals to combat some of the pressing issues facing the world’s poor including poverty, hunger, inequality, lack of education, poor health and environmental degradation.

"So far, existing websites and resources about the MDG are somewhat not child-friendly, and are not written for young people's understanding and interest, that's why I thought of making one that is intended for young people like me, " says Angelicum.

Little did he know that his simple back-bedroom idea could grab international attention, since it involves the UN's Millennium Development Declaration, not to mention an all-expense paid trip for two at the Caribbean to attend the Academy Week for ICT-Related seminars and workshops and the awarding ceremony itself. One of the highlights of the week is the a conference entitled "Releasing Potential, Minimising Risk, Download the Future," where and Angelicum and other winners get to interact with the local Jamaican Students.

During a five-week period, the Childnet staff, a special young people's panel, and a team of international judges, meticulously scrutinized all entries and project ideas from many countries which included Canada, USA, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

This is the first time in it's eight years of existence, that Childnet Academy awarded an entry from the Philippines in its international ICT competition. On his way back home, Angelicum paid a stop-over visit at the Taking IT Global headquarters in Ontario, Canada for a meeting about potential collaboration with his projects. Taking IT Global ( is the largest and most informative online community.

On his way back home, Angelicum paid a stop-over visit to the TakingITglobal headquarters in Ontario, Canada for a meeting about potential collaboration with his projects. Taking IT Global is one of the largest and most informative online community.

The full list of winning entries and all information is available at The Young MDG website is still under development and can be seen at

Angelicum, who is homeschooled at the Angelicum College in Quezon City, has been designing and developing personal and community websites since fourteen. Some of his websites tackled personal interests like literature, geography and pet-care. In 2003, his literary site ( was cited by the official Harry Potter website of Warner Brothers . In 2003-2004 the same literary website was shortlisted from among 1000 entries by the Stockholm Challenge, said to be the Nobel Prize equivalent of the IT world.

He's also working for the United Nations Volunteers Country office as website editor and developer. He also serves as ICT-Director for Voice of the Youth Network.

Bagets Na "Sakit Ng Ulo" Pinarangalan Sa Buong Mundo

Posted by: Angelicum
TALIBA - SPECIAL REPORT (Ares P. Gutierrez) - THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2005

Sakit ng ulo ang naging susi sa 18-anyos na si Angelicum Fernandez-Oda para makilala siya at maparangalan bilang isa sa mga natatanging computer whiz kid sa mundo.

"May eye problem po ako since Grade 2 kaya mataas ang grado ng salamin ko. Madalas akong mag absent sa klase sa tuwing aatakihin ako ng severe migraine," paglalahad ni Angelicum o Joco.

Dahil dito, napilitan ang mga magulang ni Joco na ipasok siya sa Home Study Program ng kaniyang pinapasukang Angelicum College sa Quezon City.

"Since YS-7 (katumbas ng Grade 6) halos sa bahay lang ako gumagawa ng modules (aralin)," ani Joco.

Upang hindi tuluyang maburyong sa pagiging home boy, tumulong ang noo'y 14-anyos na si Joco sa kanilang computer shop sa Main Ave kung saan siya ang tumayong Kahero. Dito nagsimulang mabuksan ang pintuan para sa ating Pinoy Whiz kid sa mundo ng ICT o information and communications technology.

Sa pagbubutingting ng computer habang nagbabantay ng kanilang shop, mag-isang natutunan ni Joco kung paano gumawa ng isang Internet website.

"Trial and error lang po. Patingin-tingin ng sites. Tiyagaan lang hanggang sa makabuo ako ng isang Harry Potter site," ani Joco.

Sumikat sa internet ang Harry Potter site ( ni Joco. Umani rin ito ng maraming on-line na parangal gaya ng natatanging pagkilala mula sa official Harry Potter site ng Warner Brothers at napili rin ito ng Stockholm Challenge na itinuturing na Nobel Prize sa mungo ng ICT.

Sinimulang gawin ni Joco ang Young MDG website ( na naglalayong iparating sa mga kabataan kung paano sila makatutulong sa pagsasakatuparan ng Millennium Development Goals ng United Nations. Isinali ang kanyang website sa Cable and Wireless Childnet Academy Awards kung saan napili si Joco bilang isa sa 13 kabataang nanalo sa prestihiyosong patimpalak na isinagawa sa Montego Bay sa Jamaica kamakailan.

"Wala kasing website at maging mga babasahin tungkol sa MDG na child-friendly o 'yung madaling maintindihan ng bata. Masyadong malalim ang pagkakasulat at mahirap intindihin ang mga available na sites ng MDG kaya naisipan kong gumawa ng Young MDG site," paliwanag ni Joco na hinirang na ICT Director ng Voice of the Youth at editor ng UN Volunteers Country website.

Ayon kay Joco, makapangyarihan ang Internet bilang daluyan ng impormasyon.

"Maraming magagandang bagay na makukuha ang mga kabataan sa Internet kung hindi lang sana inuubos ang kanilang Internet time sa chat at paglalaro ng online games," aniya.

Ang magagawa nga naman ng "sakit ng ulo."

Web Whiz Off To Jamaica

Posted by: Angelicum

High-school Web-wiz Angelicum fernandez-Oda has beaten off stiff International competition to "net-work" himself a place at the Cable and Wireless Childnet Academy in Montegobay, Jamaica.

Angelicum, whose home-schooled at the Angelicum College in Quezon City, won the place having entered Childnet's International Web-development competition - part of the Cable and Wirless Childnet Academy 2005.

Childnet International is a children's Internet charity and its mission is to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the Internet a great and safe place for children. In partnership with leading international communication company, Cable and Wireless, it developed the competition aimed at recognizing the outstanding creativity of children and young people who are developing exciting online projects that bring positive benefits to other young people worldwide.

His project "Young MDG" won in the "New to the Net" Category - aimed at young people with limited access to the internet technology, but who have a new idea for a beneficial long-term project.

Select ones can see the development of his Web site and project through

During their time at the Childnet Academy, Angelicum and 11 other winners from different parts of the world received specialist web support, leadership training and technical advice, as well as being given exclusive access to a team of internet experts and mentors drawn from the world of education, business and the public and voluntary sectors.

Stephen Carrick-Davies, Chief Executive at Childnet International said, "The winning projects showcase the positive power of the Internet - to give young people a voice and a chance to create their own online learning tools. It is significant that so many of the projects challenge adults and other young people on important global issues. By bringing winners together with young people from Jamaica, we hope to inspire others to use the Internet constructively to share knowledge and make a difference."

Members of the public can view all winning web sites at