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A Filipino Networking Site Press Release
A Filipino Networking Site

Another Kiwi First: A Filipino Networking Site
Filipinos in New Zealand have had the privilege to be among the first to join, a networking site for Filipinos across the globe.

This comes as no surprise because is the project of retired Kiwi businessman Bob Carpenter.

Bob is the spouse of Edith Carpenter, who owns the company, and the couple is very active in Filipino community events across New Zealand.

Bob says the website, which he developed with the help of Filipino IT professionals based in New Zealand, provides the tools to allow members to build an online global community. Membership to mooplace is 100% no cost to join or to use the website.

“It is our very own networking site. It is a place to have fun, meet and celebrate with fellow kababayans,” says Bob who considers himself a ‘Kiwinoy’.

He and Edith have been married for more than 20 years and their two children , Peter 17 and Jacqueline 13 were born in New Zealand, but join their parents in their annual visits to the Philippines.

Bob retired four years ago as an auctioneer, and was one of the first to develop a site for online auctions in New Zealand. He had initially wanted to develop a business website but Edith had encouraged him to do work on something that will help the Filipino community. “So this is what I have been doing instead of Boating and watching basket ball,” he says in jest. 

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The website is unmistakably Filipino, with a carabao as a motif, against a backdrop of the red, white, blue and yellow colours of the Filipino flag.

Bob says it took him a year to develop the website.

He wanted it to be different from other networking websites for Filipinos, which he says were mainly ‘dating websites’.

He noted that Filipinos in New Zealand, for instance, congregate at certain events like the Sinulog events, church gatherings and the annual Labour Day Weekend event. From talking to his Filipino friends, he learned they want a site where they can upload photos of their families, and their communities and places they have been to. They also want to have links to YouTube where they can upload songs, sketches and videos of events.

Bob explains the most popular postings in the site are videos and photos of Manny Pacquaio, and OPM (Original Pilipino songs). “It is Filipino everything,” he says.

Bob says he and the Filipino IT specialists ensured that the site is secure and robust.

Other current features at Mooplace include:

A directory where members can share their business details - address, phone numbers and websites - to encourage members to use their services.
An Events section where members can list their events. Bob says the calendar is easy to use, categorised into countries, with search functions and a calendar.
A Photo section where members can upload up to 20 photos, five videos and five songs at a time. Every month, Mooplace will hold a monthly photo event. Members can post entries and vote for other members' photos. The first event will be held in December, with the theme 'Family Vacation Photos'. Entries will be accepted until 31 December 2009, 12 noon NZDT.
He is also encouraging Filipinos to contribute to the blogs section, post comments and participate in forums.

Bob expects the section where people can create their own greeting cards will be very popular during this Christmas priod. Members can choose from several Christmas card designs and add their photos and email the finished card.

“It is a work in progress,” says Bob of mooplace, as he will continue to add new features regularly, and listen to suggestions from members across the world.


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