Filipino IT: The New Ilustrados in the Online World
Ilustrados (the learned or enlightened ones) constituted the Filipino educated class during the Spanish colonial period in the late 19th century. They were the middle class who were educated in Spanish and exposed to Spanish liberal and European nationalist ideals. Some famous ilustrados were Jose Rizal, Graciano López Jaena, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, Antonio Luna and José Rizal. –Wikipedia
By the definition above, we may conclude that ilustrados are reserved for the wealthy. However, this is not the case as people in different walks of life are also able to reach this status as asserted by an unnamed blog that I came across. He redefined the meaning of the word ilustrado in a positive light. He defined “ilustrado as man or woman, from any walk of life, who sought higher knowledge, greater understanding of self and country, and fought for it”. This is the definition I will use throughout this article.
What is IT?
IT stands for "Information Technology." It refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies. Many companies now have IT departments for managing the computers, networks, and other technical areas of their businesses. IT jobs include computer programming, network administration, computer engineering, Web development, technical support, and many other related occupations. –TechTerms
I could think of the following examples:
- technical: web development, web design, graphic artist, programmer (or any computer related background)
- marketing: seo, sem, copywriting, doing adwords/facebook ads (or any marketing/sales background)
- finance: quickbooks, use of accounting software, managing financials of companies (or any finance background)
Why do I consider Filipino IT as the new Ilustrados?
Filipino IT professionals are world class. You see them working in different parts of the world, in small and big foreign businesses. I consider them the enlightened ones given that they sought higher knowledge for themselves in order to work abroad. They see a different perspective of the world other than our country.
We always wonder why a person is successful in an online business when he does not know anything about programming. This is because most IT professionals are always in the supporting role. Why not take the lead this time?
During this time of information age, these ilustrados have the opportunity to create a greater impact to society. They could create online businesses without a high barrier of entry. And, the beauty of this is that they could go back to the Philippines without much financial concern. They can manage their online business anywhere in the world.
If we gather together these kinds of people and encourage them to create their own online business with the help of other ilustrados, it would not be difficult to achieve success given that each one will be able to share his or her expertise.
If we instill this kind of mindset to all Filipinos abroad, we can expect a continuous stream of new products, services, and solutions from their online businesses. Our country will prosper once we have these online businesses as part of the wealth of our nation.
Building an online business is a difficult undertaking which requires creative minds and relentless drive. But if passion is collective and talents are pooled, then something of value will be created.
Accelerating a monumental cause like the Filipino Enlightenment into a movement needs pledges and actions from those who believe in the cause and can commit some kind of support for it.
For all Filipinos working abroad and want to go home to the Philippines for good, you don’t need to wait for retirement age to go back home. Start now by creating your own online business. This will create a bright future for you, your family and our country.