The WordCamp that was
After months of preparation, and a flurry of activities over several days, WordCamp Philippines 2008 is now just a memory — but still an exhilarating one!
Being the organizing team leader of the event, I am reluctant to proclaim it a huge success, but judging from the many blog posts and news stories published about it, I believe it can be considered one. My colleague Andrew said he had doubts we could pull it off, but he & Ria, Winston & Migs gave all their best to support my crazy aspirations. And we did pull it off with flying colors!
Thanks to Andrew, we have a WordCamp logo that caught the attention of Matt the man himself! His unique design appears on the camper’s badges, WCP2008 t-shirts, mugs, conference kits and giveaway CDs. (A little-known fact is that, Drew is also our designated driver.)
Ria and Winston delivered on the logistics side of the event. Ria’s plurking also made sure we got enough publicity for the event, the t-shirts and other gimmicks. Migs, as always, was the quintessential emcee. But he was also the one who take care of interfacing with the speakers, and with the WordCampers during the preparation phase.
In Manila, our coordinators made it a lot easier for me to direct the whole exercise all the way from Davao. Juned, Dave and Paul were there for us all throughout. On the days surrounding WordCamp, we were joined by the affable Atty. Jomi Manalo, who helped us entertain Matt during his stay in Manila (he doesn’t have a blog of his own yet, but he and Dave are planning on a jurisprudence-based project that involves WordPress).
Here’s a shout-out to the bloggers and College of St. Benilde students who gave of their time and energy to the whole effort. BIG, BIG THANKS to Gwen, Paul (who flew all the way from Cebu), ChiQ (this one from Cagayan de Oro), Arbet, Shari, Jehz, Rein, Fritz, Fitz, Arpee, Jonel, and Melo (who was instrumental in assisting me in putting together a press conference on the eleventh hour).
The CSB volunteers, led by Luigi Dollosa and Angelique de Leon, gave a phenomenal collective effort in making sure that venue arrangements were smooth and, well, fun! They were so full of energy and enthusiasm you couldn’t help but be infused with their spirit! Thanks so much, guys!
I couldn’t have asked for a better team.
Of course, we couldn’t have made it this successful without the all-out support of Dean Benhur Ong of CSB’s School of Management & Information Technology.
What made WordCamp a worthwhile set of activities were the excellent speakers that we had: Jayvee Fernandez, Gail Villanueva, Hans Koch (who gave 2 presentations), Markku Seguerra, Ely Apao, Kring Elenzano, Karla Redor, Danilo Arao, Aileen Apolo and Regnard Raquedan. Of course, the star of the show was Mr. WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.
The WordCamp sponsors were a tremendous help towards the success of this momentous event. I’d like to give special mention to SPOT.ph, whose relentless efforts in helping the organizers I really appreciate. Special thanks also to Aileen Apolo and Janette Toral, whose friendship and moral support have been inspirational.
The after-party and Rockeoke Night at mag:net café in Bonifaction High Street was made possible by JC Medina. Thanks bro!
WordPress. I’ve promised Matt to do more to grow the number of WordPress users in the Philippines. And with the help of Markku and Gail — the two Filipinos that Matt Mullenweg said he’d known about from way back — the number of WordPress plugin & theme developers as well.
Having brought WordCamp to the Philippines has brought attention to Davao City and Mindanao. It is our hope that this will translate to an increased awareness of all things Mindanao — beyond what is being covered by mainstream media.
But beyond that, I’d like to see more WordPress.com and WordPress.org users out there! And in line with this, I’m going to come up with more events between now and the next WordCamp in the country.
Watch out for WordCamp Philippines 2009!!!