Solar Powered Internet Cafe

by Ka Edong on July 12, 2006

On the Living Asia Channel last night, there was a feature story about a high school in a remote island in Bohol that has a Solar Powered Internet Cafe. How kewl is that?

First Solar powered Internet Café in the Philippines
Talisay, Cabilao Island, Loon, Bohol

Solar power is used to store electricity in batteries and provide power to the computers in the classroom. Internet is accessed through a satellite dish (or at least that’s what I saw in the background). They could have very well used Smart WiFi, but perhaps the service wasn’t available yet when they set-up this Internet center.

Some highlights:

  1. A school administrator claims a stark improvement in college entrance exam results after the establishment of the solar powered internet center.
  2. The school opens up the Internet center to the community so they can communicate with relatives in other parts of the country and the world.
  3. Tourists are also allowed to use the Internet classroom for a resonable fee.

The first solar-powere internet center in the Philippines is a project by a German group a local technical education institute (Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise) and the community members of Loon, Bohol.

It was fun seeing old friend and colleague Roy Zapata in all his school-boy look glory 😉 .
The film-maker, by the way, is my childhood buddy, Kidlat de Guia. Nice work, Kidlat and Roy!

Hey, if they pulled it off at Talisay, Cabilao Island, Loon, Bohol, they can pull it off in other parts of the country too!

ka edong


  • Wow! This is great indeed. Solar power will definitely help us in our domestic power needs. Imagine eaech household having a section if not the entirety of their roofs installed with solar panels.

    We’d be freed from the clutches of dreadful electric bills.

  • Yup … just one thing … huge cost of the solar panels. too expensive for your regular farmer …

  • Published in the Bohol Chronicle, Bohol Sunday Post, Bohol Times — 26 September 2004
    Loon island hosts Philippines’ first solar-powered computer laboratory, Internet café

    Having instant communication with anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world is something to brag about, and this can be claimed by the residents of Cabilao Island in Loon who are now assured of immediate access to worldwide information at just the end of their fingertips.
    Inaugurated Saturday, September 18, the first solar-powered computer laboratory/Internet café in the Philippines is a joint project of the Municipality of Loon, German Development Service (DED), and the Center for Industrial Technology and Economic Enterprise. It is located inside the premises of the Cabilao National High School where it will be used as a computer lab by some 600 students during daytime and as Internet café by the island’s residents and tourists at night.
    Shaped like a heart, Cabilao Island, with its five barangays and population of about 3,500, is already known in the international dive community as having one of the best dive spots in the world. Foreigners and local tourists who want to have a respite from the hurly-burly activities of daily living find Cabilao’s fine, white, sandy beaches as the perfect place for a quiet get-away. It is only a 15-minute pumpboat ride from the mainland.
    Present with Loon Mayor Cesar Tomas M. Lopez, M.D. during the blessing and inauguration were Bohol First District Rep. Edgar M. Chatto, who was the guest speaker. Gov. Erico Aumentado,who could not attend due to a prior commitment, was represented by Rene Villaber. The Department of Education, an integral part in the function of the computer laboratory, was ably represented by Engr. Marcelo Bigonte, who proxied for Bohol Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Cerina C. Bolos. Loon North District Supervisor Teodora Quiwag was also in attendance.
    The German group was headed by Christoph Dehn, Country Director of DED, who was accompanied by Jens Funk, the Information Technology (IT) consultant of the German Development Service.
    In his message, Mayor Lopez extended his heartfelt thanks to the German benefactors who initiated the project and, therefore, provided to the people of Cabilao the unique gift of modern technology that previously has never been given yet to any island in the entire country. He urged the people of Cabilao to take good care of the project and maintain its development through the years.
    For his part. Cong. Chatto said that he had waived all his other commitments on that particular day and time in order to come to Cabilao to personally see for himself the country’s first computer laboratory and Internet café powered by the rays of the sun. He said that he rejoiced with the inhabitants of the island for this priceless bounty of having instant communication with people from all over the world with just a click of a button. The Congressman had previously donated one computer unit for the school.
    The project was realized through funding and technical assistance from the German Development Agency for Technical Cooperation-German Appropriate Technology Ecoefficiency Program (GTZ-GATE).
    Costing P1.7 million, the German group gave 28,400 euros for five computers, solar panels, batteries, inverters and the satellite on-line connection for one year. The local government, through Mayor Lopez, provided P200,000 for the infrastructure.
    Aside from the high school students, the tourists in the island who make use of the amenities offered by any of the three resorts, namely: Estrella Beach Resort, Polaris Dive Resort, and Cabilao Beach Club, compose the major beneficiaries of the project. They are now assured of uninterrupted communication with their relatives and love ones back home, and have continuous update on news and events happening worldwide. Electrical power in the island is presently supplied by a generator, which give limited power only from 6:00 pm to 12:00 o’clock midnight.
    One of the interesting features of the computer lab and Internet café is that it can operate seven days uninterrupted even without sun. The 28 solar panels produce the power which are then stored in 24 batteries (2V/1200Ab) and then transferred to five computers that are hooked to the satellite.
    Mobile phone owners are now also assured of ready power supply as their cellphone batteries can be charged even during daytime.
    Charges for the use of the computers are the cheapest rate of P5.00 per hour for the locals and P100 for tourists. (Adam L. Saligumba/ LGU-Loon Information Officer Designate)

  • Congratulations, thanks for the info and more (solar) power to the people!

  • Ariel Literatus

    Hi Adam im Ariel Literatus from Sandingan. Remember me in Loon Institute? im happy for the people of Cabilao specially for the students. now im here in Spain for work. Be back 2007, hopefully can go to Cabilao. More power to Loonanons!!!

  • Adam is my officemate. You are most welcome to Cabilao in 2007. Adam is asking the kind of work that you have in Spain. Naa ba kuno diri sa Pilipinas imong family? Maayo pa ba kuno ka moduwa og chess? Nakalimot na kuno siya sa imomg dagway. Ang iya rang mahinumduman mao ang imong taliwtiw nga ilong. By the way, I have a cousin who is married to a Literatus – si Nang Linda, taga Basdio, mother ni Pedro “Dodong” Jr. Visit the Loon website at Thanks.

  • nice site

  • Jen de Guzman-Literatus

    Hello! I just happen to get a glimpse of this site and saw my hubby’s comment and your reply, too. I’m Jen Literatus, wife of Ariel Literatus. May I correct you, if you don’t mind? If the Pedro Jr. you were referring to is a barangay official in Sandingan, then si Manoy Dodong na namo. He’s my bro-in-law. He is Ariel’s magwang. Their mom is Mrs. Elizabeth Monreal Literatus, a former teacher in Mocpoc, who was originally from Camotes. Her nickname is Ely, and not Linda. Hope this didn’t make you feel insulted or anything. Ariel and I have been always planning to go to Cabilao. My in-laws’ house is like a stone throw away from that island coz it’s really fronting it. I hope we could finally check it out this December when Ariel comes home for a month-long vacation. And eventhough I’m not from Bohol, I consider it as my second home and I always look forward to our vacations there. I’m just lucky I married a Loonanon. God bless! 🙂

  • Sorry Jen, I though Nang Ely’s full name was Erlinda. I just couldn’t recall that it was Elizabeth. His father Juan actually is a native of Loon who was assigned as a postman in Camotes where he settled with his family. So, it is a complete cycle for Nang Ely.

Previous post:

Next post: