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Innovators drive youth

Bea Micaller



Team iNON recently visited Kennedy Space Center in the United States to present the app they created for Filipino fisherfolk. DAVID JOHN CUBANGBANG

When a group of diverse individuals triumphed in a challenge hosted by the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), the moment wrought one truth: more than bagging the sought-after award, it was about encouraging the youth to engage in software development.

Team iNON, the  group which created and developed an application that provides solutions to timely and relevant issues in the Philippines, knew it very well

Team iNON, the  group which created and developed an application that provides solutions to timely and relevant issues in the Philippines, knew it very well.
In 2018, it gave birth to ISDApp, a software application that can deliver real-time weather updates to fishermen before they set sail.

According to the young innovators, this is pivotal for a country known to rely on aquatics and other fish products for most of its resources.

“With two of the members (Revbrain Martin and Jeddah Legaspi) growing up in coastal towns of Obando and Malabon, the team thought of helping the underprivileged fishing community through the app,” Martin said in a previous interview with the Daily Tribune.

“Also, as the members embody their company core values of creating wonderful connections, and being in the service of Filipinos worldwide, it translated to our work,” he added.
But Team iNON went the extra mile.

(FROM left) Julius Czar Torreda, Rogelio Patrick del Rosario Jr., Harlan Czar Leuterio, Maria Jeddah Legaspi and Revbrain Martin. DAVID JOHN CUBANGBANG

The Philippine pride, who was able to present its entry in the Kennedy Space Center recently, said during an interview in the headquarters of the US Embassy that their creation brings home more than an accolade.

“It’s a testament that Filipinos can compete on the world stage. I think that one of the missions of NASA Space Apps is proving that developing technology is not only for people who are from the technology industry,” said Julius Czar Torreda, one of the members of Team iNON.

When the five-man group of Team iNON arrived at the famous space center in July, they were astonished and, at the same time, overwhelmed.

“I felt like I was a child again visiting the Kennedy Space Center especially when they unveiled the Atlantis Space Shuttle. And we also got to experience riding the simulation in a rocket,” added Herlan Czar Leuterio.

“We learned something new every day when we visited the Kennedy Space Center,” he added.

One thing they take pride in is having served as a model to the youth who dream to be like them.

“As you can see, the Philippines is more focused on sports and pageantry and not really in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), to be honest. We asked this question also (when we met) Josephine Santiago-Bond — how do we change the mindset of the youth,” explained Torreda, who was still on a high after they met Santiago-Bond, a Filipino NASA engineer, during their US trip.

According to the team, they will use this avenue to inspire and hopefully urge more Filipino youth to take this path.

“If we want to be one of the frontliners in terms of technology, how do we change the mindset? I think that’s also one of the advocacies of our team — to promote innovation in different  countries,” he concluded.