Philippine Web3 Festival strengthens ties to global ecosystem – Manila Bulletin
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Published November 22, 2022, 1:50 PM
by Jonathan Castillo
The Philippines is now reaping the benefits of sowing the seeds of web3 adoption. As the country solidified its position as a world leader in the industry in recent years, we are now seeing more career and income opportunities for Filipinos, according to the esteemed lineup of local and international speakers during the Philippine Web3 Festival.
The festival, held last week in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, marked the first time that global leaders from the world of crypto and web3 convened in the Philippines. They discussed the future of web3 and learned from Filipino founders, investors, artists, content creators, and blockchain gamers how they are advancing the industry and what are the next trends to emerge from the Philippines.
Yield Guild Games (YGG) Global COO Colin Goltra pointed out how Filipinos living in the archipelagic country were already accustomed to the ways of being a network of people—a key ingredient in the rapid adoption of web3 in the Philippines. YGG co-founder Gabby Dizon also noted the rise of the “Metaverse Filipino Worker”, a term akin to OFW or Overseas Filipino Worker, but with a crucial difference.
“What we’ve seen in opportunities with web3, NFTs, and games like Axie, people can go into these virtual worlds, be a top player, a scholar manager, or even a content creator. Basically, you can find a way to earn a living there (in the Metaverse) and help sustain your family without having to be physically separated from them,” Dizon explained.
Building on this, the all-Filipina panel on “Filipinos Building Global Careers in Crypto” discussed what makes Filipinos different when it comes to exploring new technologies and earning opportunities. Christina Vergara of Binance Europe said Filipinos would start by Googling something like “How will I earn from this?” compared to other nationalities, highlighting the Filipino entrepreneurial nature.
Getting started in web3 is also easier than ever. “To help more Filipinos and newcomers get situated in the Metaverse, we’re teaming up with Globe to provide free access to our platform,” said MetaverseGo CEO Ash Mandhyan. MetaverseGo is a platform, or more simply an app, that has a wide selection of blockchain games users can choose from. These allow players to earn while playing and gain access to gaming guilds, including YGG, on the same platform.
Apl.de.ap also graced the event to showcase to his kababayans how web3 offers multiple opportunities for a big break. Aside from his personal experience, like using AR or augmented reality in their concerts, the co-founder of Black Eyed Peas also said the technology is helping him discover more Filipino talent, sharing with them the opportunities he was given as a Filipino who was sponsored to migrate to the United States by his adoptive father—without them having to go there.
“I like to pay it forward… whatever I can bring back like knowledge from the US, building classrooms and computer labs, scholarship programs, and now NFTs. I want to keep doing it but sustainability is the hard part. And now with web3, it is now much easier in terms of sustainability. I don’t have to build structures all the time to be able to help the youth and creatives in the Philippines. You can do it via web3 now and reach more people,” he explained.
To help with Apl.de.ap’s initiatives, the Philippine Web3 Festival will be donating P1 million to his foundation. During the festival, he also announced his collaboration with Sevi, a differently-abled boy with autism. The kid will be part of the First Mint Fund, which is managed by AJ Dimarucot, a scholar of Apl.de.ap’s foundation. The project empowers artists in Southeast Asia to mint their artwork as NFTs by granting them the necessary fees with no strings attached.
What started as another means of remittance for Filipinos quickly evolved to adopting cryptocurrency through earning a livable wage from blockchain gaming. Now they are creating, owning, and trading a part of the Metaverse through NFTs, all while being surrounded by helpful and engaged communities. BlockchainSpace CEO Peter Ing said the future looks optimistic for the Philippines, and the rest of the world is watching.
“Education and regulation are important aspects of web3 adoption in the Philippines. Education erases the stigma, enables Filipinos to understand what they are getting into, and builds on that community that they have surrounded themselves with. Regulation, on the other hand, legitimizes the players in the web3 space. It is a good thing that government institutions here in the Philippines are very open minded and forward thinking when it comes to innovations like web3,” he said.
Biggest Axie tournament in PH
To cap off the festival, Axie Open Manila, the biggest in-person esports tournament for blockchain gaming in the Philippines, was held in Circuit Makati. The tournament saw close to two hundred players, majority of which are Filipinos, compete for a piece of the US$250,000 or about P7 million prize pool from November 17 to 18.
Spamandrice, one of the highest ranked players in the competition, bagged the grand prize of US$27,000 or over P1.5 million. He swept the best-of-seven finals against Zaratustra on Day 2 of the tournament. Five Filipino players made it into the Top 16, with Martinsuuuu finishing the highest at third place to win US$12,000 or about P700,000.
The Philippine Web3 Festival was organized by YGG and BlockchainSpace in partnership with Infinity Ventures Crypto and Emfarsis. It was co-presented by GCash, Globe, and MetaverseGo, as well as supported by Binance, Polygon, Huawei, Angkas, XPLA, MetaCene, MixMarvel, Rangers Protocol, BNB Chain and XY Finance. Axie Open Manila was also organized by YGG and BlockchainSpace, co-presented by Sky Mavis, Globe, MetaverseGo and Circuit Makati, with the supervision of the Games and Amusement Board.
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