The First Philippine Web3 Festival Is Happening This Week. Here's Why You Should Participate

IMAGE PJ CAÑA

Web3, blockchain, crypto, and other tech jargon might still be turning people off, but organizers of the first-ever Philippine Web3 Festival are betting big on the future of the nascent industry in the country. The festival which is happening in Manila this week (November 15 to 18) aims to showcase where we are in terms of Web3 adoption, and where we’re headed. 

During a press conference to kick off the festival, Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games, which is co-organizing the festival along with BlockChainSpace, briefly went through his own journey as a leading voice in the adoption of emerging technologies in the Philippines. He started in the early 2000s as a programmer and web developer and co-founded a mobile gaming studio in Manila. Eventually he founded his own gaming company called Altitude Games in 2014. A few years later, in 2017, he discovered the blockchain and the concept of NFTs through Cryptokitties.

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By 2018, Dizon was playing Axie Infinity, the gamechanging play-to-earn game that brought the basic idea of NFTs and cryptocurrencies down to the grassroots level. 

“Back then I was thinking, the Philippines was always a follower of whatever’s big in tech,” Dizon said. “I started to wonder when we would be the first at something.”

Leah Callon-Butler, Gabby Dizon, and Peter Ing

Photo by PJ Cana.
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Eventually, the Philippines did take the lead in cryptocurrency adoption in the world and today, we’re the number two country in the world in terms of users of cryptocurrencies in the world. Which is why the time is ripe for a festival celebrating all things web3. Today Dizon is something of a godfather in the space, having co-founded YGG, which is the largest decentralized network of gaming guilds focused on blockchain games and web3 education.

“We are leading the way and helping define tech innovation in this space,” Dizon said. “All over the country, in places like Cabanatuan, Cebu, Iloilo, Baguio, we’re seeing people playing games and interacting online. They learned how to play the games and use crypto wallets.”

Dizon and Ing, who is the CEO of BlockChainSpace, both emphasized the potential of Web3 and the metaverse to level the playing field and grant opportunities to millions of people.

“Opportunities aren’t just bound to where you live,” Dizon added. “Metaverse opportunities can be in the probinsya, as well as access to earning opportunities.”

For his part, Yassin, who is perhaps best-known to users of the internet as the face of the online platform Nas Daily, admitted that he initially hated web3 and cryptocurrency, but embraced its potential to bring people together through communities, which is what his newest enterprise, Nas.io, is all about.

“All you really need is a device, internet, and a crypto wallet,” he said.

The Philippine Web3 Festival brings together giants in the space, including Kenneth Stern, country director of Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms; Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis, which developed Axie Infinity; Sheila Marcelo, co-founder and former CEO of Care.com and now co-founder of Proof of Learn Metacrafters; and Apl.De.Ap of the Black Eyed Peas, who is an NFT enthusiast and who is scheduled to talk about Filipino creativity in the age of the metaverse; and many, many more.

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the festival will also feature the country's largest  physical Axie tournament, which is happening in Makati on Friday (November 18). Over 250 participants have the chance to win as much as $120,000 or P6.5 million in prizes.

The Philippine Web3 Festival is happening this week at the Marquis Events Place in Bonifacio Global City, Tagug. For more information, visit the site.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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