I am Romeo (Romy) Zamora Cayabyab, a web publisher based in Sydney, Australia. Today, together with some friends and family members, I manage about 20 operating websites with content ranging from news to humor, from recipes to history, from poetry to domain names, and other portal-related online operations. Our group’s main website is emanila.com, the award-winning Philippine website in Australia.
As the principal officer of our company, I represent Emanila.com Pty Ltd, a constituent member at the Australian Press Council.
To help us understand the reason for this blog’s existence, you may be interested in the following information about myself and about this site.
Here is my story
I am also an accountant by profession. I specialise in the provision of management advisory and consulting services. I have more than 30 years of experience in the banking and finance sectors in Australia, Philippines and United States. My expertise includes risk management in treasury and foreign exchange operations, international payments systems and business management controls. I was also a lecturer in Accounting at the Nepean College (now part of the University of Western Sydney) and was for many years a Senior Director with the Commonwealth of Australia’s Auditor General. I was educated at the University of the Philippines (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Master of Business Administration) where, for some years, I also taught in its school of business.
A DIGRESSION: This blog site includes news stories and photos of events relating to our First Multicultural Media Awards for Coverage of Community Affairs in Australia award from the New South Wales Parliament. It also contains stories relating to the award we received on December 18, 2012 for Best Interactive Media (Website) in the 2012 Migration Advocacy and Media Awards from the Philippine Commission on Filipinos Overseas under the Office of the President of the Philippines. You may also find articles here in connection with our membership with the Order of the Knights of Rizal and our appointment as a Justice of the Peace for New South Wales.
UPDATE, 10 Sept 2014: TFA Editor-Publisher wins NSW Parliament’s Photographer of the Year 2014 award
So how did I get involved in web publishing?
I am a web publisher by accident!
More than 20 years ago, I hardly touched a computer keyboard. I don’t know anything about operating systems, HTML and other publishing languages. In fact, when I went to the United States for a project assignment for the Australian government, I had to write my report the old and traditional way (ie, pen and paper) which I sent to our secretarial pool in Sydney for typing.
Then out of necessity I had to learn Windows, Perl CGI, and similar languages to help out my son who was in uni but who was more into Mac than Windows. In the process, I thought I became an expert in my own way. (With that hard work, I became a self-taught page encoder and a little bit of programmer. That also was what launched me into web publishing and online marketing!)
My company’s first project was to set up emanila to provide a free translation service for Filipino youth based outside the Philippines.
emanila is a product of the Centennial Celebration of Philippine Independence
About April 1998, my company was commissioned by the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney to develop and manage the “sunrise, sunset” website for the Centennial Celebration of Philippine Independence. In conjunction with that project, we also developed the webpages of hundreds of Filipino Australian community organisations. [Photos at emanila website]
In November 2000, emanila became the first recipient of the Technology Award of Australia’s National Multicultural Marketing Awards.
After November 2000, we have never looked back. The rest is history, as they say.
About this site
I have organised this site into four sections.
My operating philosophy: I want to contribute to the community I live in. I want to get myself “dirty” through hands-on community activities like Greening Australia, Clean Up Day Australia and other events and movements that impact on our lives. As a migrant, I believe I also owe it to my adoptive country to contribute in whatever way I can in areas where I can use my expertise, experience, and passion.
In my observation, Australia upholds four main values: democracy, multiculturalism, environment, and “fair go.” I subscribe to these values.
I regularly comment on news and developments relating to these topics and post my commentaries on this site.
If some of the information on this site may not be applicable to your present situation, I would appreciate if you could pass on the information to those who will benefit from it — like your relatives or friends in the Philippines or those in other countries. Thank you.
My company is not into software development. Our websites use mostly third-party applications.
In 2005, our team decided to migrate our websites to the WordPress platform. Given the nature of our websites however, we regularly look at themes, plugins, widgets, applets, scripts or anything that will cater to making WordPress as a CMS instead of a blogging platform. We examine and test both freely available as well as “premium” themes. For the critical segments of our operations like membership database, we purchase the license to allow us to access developers’ support.
The results of our tests are what I would also like to share in this site.
I will not write on unsatisfactory test results. I will not even mention those poor test results. You will not benefit from them anyway.
But for those that pass our tests, yes I will write about them. When I recommend a theme or plugin, I do so to help others get started quickly with their sites and also to show my appreciation to the developers and designers whose works have somehow helped us in managing our websites.
emanila Websites and Insights
From time to time, I use this site to update our members on current developments in our group. I also engage them and other visitors through surveys and other forms of interaction.
Lastly, there is a small section in this site with links to finance, foreign exchange and other business management-related tools. That section is my link to my profession.
I have also created a blog at WordPress.com to cater to the requests of friends and emanila members where I can share my observations on how to blog at WordPress.com. Also, a tutorial for those with self-hosted WordPress blog sites.
From time to time, I also upload documents which others may download for their own use and reference. Feel free to download them.
Comments? Leave me a message in my mailbox or in any of the Comments box.
Or you can follow me on my network at Twitter. If you’re onto Facebook, you can look for me using “romy cayabyab” as your search term.