The Philippines First Multimedia Company

What happened to the Philippines first multimedia company? Like some companies it met its untimely end. It's life cut short by its prematurity - In an age when the Internet was yet to blossom to the glory that it is now. It was an idea, a vision whose time has not yet come.

Though many might dispute the title of "Philippines First Multimedia Company", for me, it would always be the first. I know, because I was its son. If you would check this list, you would notice that it is not listed there. I'll add "Add data to that historical-list" to my to do list then.

It all started with my father Atty. Reynaldo C. Garcia, he envisioned spreading information through the non-traditional and non-print manner. Always loquacious, he imagined a way to spread what he wanted to say to the world through a new medium - digitally. This may sound passe to most of us nowadays in the age of Web 2.0 and millions of community generated content. But, remember, in the mid to late 90's - Microsoft Powerpoint and LCD Projectors were not yet readily available to most people. The Internet back then - was exclusively for the economic and technological elite. Internet was for the Internet and the Techonologists spoke about the technology.There were very few Internet cafes to speak of. At the time Internet access cost Php 50 an hour - that was on dial-up.

Broadband seemed like a distant dream. DSL was something when I was a kid - always wanted but could never have - But now everybody has it. I remember reading newspaper reports that they would install broadband in the posh Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa - there exclusively. I thought back then that it was unfair for the ISPs to start with the neighboring high-end subdivision. But hey, I was a kid back then. Couldn't they just install the wires since that subdivision is less than 3 kilometers away? I really wanted to connect back then.

I had the first Command and Conquer game, as the first original non-pirated game on CD for my birthday back then. I was totally wowed. The box was shiny black, the CDs were shiny and I get to control moving infantry and tanks with a click of a mouse button. Wow! That's a big turn around from playing with the Windows 3.11 paint program back then.

My father read Bill Gates' book "The Road Ahead" and not only embraced the idea of the information revolution - he wanted to become a great contributor to it. Bill Gates' book planted the seeds in my father's brain and my father proceeded to nurture, grow and breed that idea into numerous other ideas that would later on spring forth as his concrete endeavors.

He saw the future that Bill Gates predicted and wanted to ride on it. He formed QuantumNet Systems, Inc. the trademark owner of Eazy Systems and publisher of the first Philippine made CDs - Philippine Business Law Series, and Politiko - at the time when there were no CD burners yet on Philippine Soil - that was in 1997. Maybe there was - but back then whoever had them - didn't publish CDs on the scale that QuantumNet did. QuantumNet strove to provide quality and useful information with the aim to empower individuals and profit a little.

Bill Gates' book "The Road Ahead" was published in 1995 with its CD. My father published his CD Philippine Business Law Series in 1997. Not bad for the Philippines First Multimedia Company.

They published the CD here and had the CDs burned in Singapore.

He also wanted to bring the Internet closer to the people by putting up an Internet Cafe on the first floor of Centillion building, then the headquarters of QuantumNet Systems.

Aside from the CD, QuantumNet Systems also ventured into the WWW in the form of a website: the now defunct Manilanet.com and ArtManila.com. The former served as launchpad for promoting the Philippines as an ideal investment site while the latter showcased the artistic talent that abound in the country's capital.

As a lawyer, he believed that Justice Delayed is Justice Denied, and the way he envisioned that he could change this was to come up with a solution - a digital one to enable the Philippine court system to clear the dockets faster. And he strove to make vast political and legal contacts to achieve this. Along the way, he saw many various opportunities and in my own humble opinion this divided his attention to his goal.

Now, we see numerous similar attempts spread across different fields in the Philippine Bureaucracy as well as the mainstream - most of which are quite distressing. Like the recently scrapped NBN and ZTE Deals.

Though corruption might be the general rule, there are other like minded individuals and organizations in the Philippines that believe in the proper use of technology as an empowering medium. It is a relief to know that no less than the Supreme Court of the Philippines believes in this. Their promotion of Open Source Software is rightly justified primarily on economic considerations.


To be continued...