Cebuano artist creates pages on the Internet.
Manila Bulletin, September 15, 1996

Cebu City (PNF) -- Cyberspace is giving rave reviews to a Filipino who designs Web home pages. He happens to be a Cebuano painter from this city.

Two weeks ago (Aug. 28 to Sept 3), Microsoft Network (MSN) featured Make It Cebu! in its Site of the Week links area for travel and leisure. This site has been on the Web for barely a month.

The very popular site was designed by Dong Secuya, who is justifiably proud. Only a handful of Filipinos are known as good web designers, and they have received few awards. "Paisa-isang award lang," he says.

Secuya is raking them in.

Last May, another multi-awarded home page by Secuya, the CAI Gallery (Cebu Artists, Inc.), was chosen Spider's Pick of the Day by Bob Allison, who won last year's best amateur site and is a popular Internet figure.

It was also given the Web Oscar -- no relation to the US film awards body -- in April, and in March the Diamond Award from American country singer Starr Lyn, who has here own popular site.

The cyber art gallery got its first award in January, the Magellan 4-star award, from the professional editorial team of the US-based McKinley Group. McKinley has over 1.5 million sites 40,000 reviews.

The CAI Gallery boasts of eight other commendations from several sites, including the America.Net's Kaleidoscope Art Site of the Month and our very own Best of Cyber Pinoys (by Ken Ilio).

Various sites like to give awards because this tends to attract more hits, and possibly, business. Virtually anybody who has a site can give awards, although some are more credible than others. The awards come without trophies or monetary prizes, only recognition for good work.

Secuya believes in uplifting the quality of home pages from the Philippine area. If Cebu is presented well and its home page is noted by major Internet players, he says, the site becomes popular and gains impact.

Secuya says Make It Cebu! is "like a magazine," whose cover layout he plans to keep changing. Also like a magazine, the page has several sections, including Guided Tour, News and Features, Business Tour (presented like a slideshow) and General Directory (maps, restaurants, shopping centers, beach resorts, and pension houses). It also has a Try Cebuano portion for those who want to learn to speak the language.

Secuya plans to offer audio features later, so the user can hear Cebuano music or the Cebuano language as spoken. He also has plans for animation.

Secuya is an Internet presence provider ( connected to the Virtual Servers link in Utah. He plans to make the a "repository" of Cebuano pages and a model for other presence providers.

Meanwhile his current list of clients includes the WG&A Superferry, five real estate companies Southwestern University Museum and VICTO (Visayas Cooperative Development Center, Inc.).

"Only artists can give character to a page," he says. Besides he gives fast service and his fees are competitive.

For a painter who went into designing pages only "because nobody else has," Secuya is gaining unusual recognition. Software giant Microsoft (the maker of the Windows operating system) has called. Two weeks ago, Secuya received a similar query from Turner Broadcasting (producer of CNN).

He says he wants to return to painting eventually, after he's done with this "temporary occupation." -- (Lilette C. Santos)

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