All systems go for Twestival Manila
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All systems go for Twestival Manila

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Manila holds its first Twestival!

The Philippines, home of the world’s most exciting festivals held annually in its many towns and provinces, holds its first-ever Twestival tonight March 24 at Le Bistro Vert in Makati City.

Twestival Manila is the country’s first time to participate in Twestival, a global event where Twitter users “tweet, meet and give” to good causes.

JeepneED is Twestival Manila’s chosen cause and beneficiary of all proceeds of ticket sales and donations. It is a project that aims to send specially-designed jeepneys to provincial high schools so students there would have access to computers and other learning materials.

Scores of Filipino Twitter users and Twiteratti have confirmed their attendance at tonight’s Twestival Manila, including journalists, bloggers, and media personalities.

Tonight’s event, which starts 8:00 pm, aims to raise an initial P140,000 for JeepneED, mainly through sales of tickets priced at P250 each and online donations via Ammado.

“Our initial target may be modest—Php140,000 or, like the familiar 140-character tweet, but multiplied many times and converted to money and directed at a good cause,” said Ros Juan, known as @juanxi on Twitter.

She reveals that a reason for choosing JeepneED as the charity of choice was “the uncanny combination of jeepneys, children, education, science, and technology… that appealed to a lot of the ‘Twitterati’.”

Filipino Twitter users have long held Twitter meetups or TweetUps in many parts of Metro Manila, and some key cities nationwide. Twestival Manila ups the ante by linking Filipinos to the global Twestival network, and introducing the possibility of making Twitter users take steps to “give” for others. Truly, a worthwhile cause.

“We’ve had first-hand experience in how social media has helped us in periods of great distress, such as Ondoy,” says Juan. “We now know that social media can be an invaluable tool in raising awareness about certain causes and, subsequently, mobilizing people to help.”

According to ComScore, Inc., a measurement service for assessing digital influence and digital intelligence, the Philippines is the third biggest market in terms of Twitter penetration in Asia, and the sixth worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million Filipinos active on Twitter. A number of experts however say the real figures may be higher if those using mobile phones and logging in from internet cafes are accounted for.

Twestival Manila’s team members include: @diskodiablo, @APhylicia, @Jonver_David, @GlennOng, @ninaterol, @wanderrgirl, @akoposijoy, @kayetuliao, @tiffyabiera, @okaaye, @takeoutsushi and several others.