App linking overseas Filipinos to homeland launched in D.C.
MANILA, Philippines—If you’re a Filipino residing or working abroad and feeling nostalgic about news and even music from home, or if you have concerns that need the attention of Philippine diplomats, all these are just a “push of the button” away.
Filipinos all over the world can instantly have access to Philippine news, entertainment and OPM, among other things, on their gadgets such as smartphones and tablets if they avail themselves of the free app, Radyo Tambuli, the mobile version of the virtual radio broadcast of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.
Through the app they can also make inquiries or report their concerns to the embassy which would in turn inform the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila and the diplomatic posts concerned.
The app also has a button for those who may want to donate money to government efforts to rehabilitate communities devastated by last year’s Supertyphoon Yolanda.
“It’s a one-stop shop of sorts,” was how Elmer Cato, embassy minister and counsel for public diplomacy, described the app which was launched by Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. on Thursday.
The Radyo Tambuli app is now available through Android and iPhone applications.
In a statement, Cuisia said the app would help connect to home some 11 million Filipinos all over the world, including the 3.5 million in the US.
“The app increases our presence in the lives of overseas Filipinos and helps further our digital public diplomacy goals,” Cuisia said.
As of this posting, some 600 people had already downloaded the app.
According to Cato, there was no single platform that brought together Filipinos in the US and in other countries until this new app.
“We hope to be able to do this by providing them with a platform where they could listen to OPM, Filipino fairy tales, language lessons and programs from radio and television stations in various parts of the country,” Cato told the Inquirer.
For now, Filipinos can choose through this app from a selection that includes the 10-minute embassy broadcast, Radio Veritas, People’s Television News, Catholic Media Network, as well as certain provincial radio stations.
Ability to choose
But Cato said they intended to invite other radio and TV stations to join Radyo Tambuli to provide more content and allow Filipinos to enjoy broadcasts and music in different dialects of the country.
“The app will give Filipinos abroad the ability to choose the radio stations they would want to listen to in one platform,” he said.
The launch of the app came seven months after Radyo Tambuli was launched by the Philippine Embassy in Washington in April.
“Any Filipino anywhere in the world who has a smartphone can download the app,” Cato said.
The embassy hoped through this app to have by next year news casts specific for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific through the help of the Philippine embassies and consulates there.
The app was developed by AudioNow Digital, a Washington DC-based company and leading provider of in-language mobile apps for radio broadcasters.
Elan Audio Blutinger, AudioNow chair and chief executive officer, said it was an “honor” for the company to help the embassy with its technology.
Cato said the development of the app was at no cost to the Philippine government.