ICT and Faith and Spirituality

Yesterday, the DOST ICT4D round table discussions were held at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay. There were four speakers for the occassion, Mr. Randy Borromeo (Shepherd’s Voice Publishing), Dr. Nasroden Guru (Mindanao State University), Dr. Israel Andoy (Adventist University of the Philippines) and myself. We delivered our reports on three questions:

  • Should faith communities be
    interested in Information and Communications Technology (ICT)?
  • What are the uses of ICT in religion and spirituality?
  • What are the possible contributions of ICT to evangelization and governance?

All reports from the Christian representatives (two Catholic and one Adventist) clearly reflects the way Christian denominations have been using the web and other forms of communications technology these past years. Mr. Randy Borromeo gave us an insight into the way Bo Sanchez — the Preacher in blue jeans — has been furthering the cause of evangelization through streaming media and SMS. Dr. Andoy explained how the use of ICT blends well with the Adventist convictions of the end-times. Drawing inspiration from Daniel 12:4, he declared that the use of ICT hastens the coming of the Christ and therefore it should be used to prepare for His advent. My particular contribution, I think, was to put ICT within the context of recent pronunciations of the Pope (John Paul II especially) and the Pontifical Commission on Social Communications (Church and
the Internet, Ethics in the Internet) and how the facilities of the web can be used in organizations to facilitate coordination, office productivity, task and project sharing, review of identity and self-criticism, fellowship and recreation.

Dr. Nasroden Guru’s report was interesting in that it opened everyone’s eyes to the use of ICT in the Arab world and to the situation of Filipino Moslems in Mindanao. He pointed out some things (like the issue of censorship) that may be relevant for legislation concerning ICT.

The reactors for the reports were Mr. Joel Yuvienco (La Salle Canlubang), Dr. Rey dela Cruz (Gawad Kalinga) and Fr. Eduardo Arupo (St. Francis of Assissi Parish). Fr. Francis Lucas of the Catholic Media Network was the one who gave the final synthesis for the discussions.

Offering intermission numbers were April Malabanan (Jubileeville Evangelical Church) and our parish’s Youth Commission Singers Gina, Rachel, Jessica, Donna with Gilbert (of the Kawan ng Mabuting Pastol) at the keyboards. Merle Opena, herself a DOST official, who was
responsible for bringing me and the parish youth singers to the discussions was also there quiet in the background.