Well, it’s a wrap. WordCamp Philippines was, in this humble attendee and speaker’s opinion, a great success. A big congratulations to Blogie, Chattee, Jim and the other organizers/volunteers on a very well-executed event! Mostly for my own records (*cough* lack of memory *cough*), here’s a run-down on my time in Manila.
Blogie and Chattee (and Blogie’s brother) picked me up from the airport and then once I was checked into my hotel, took me out to get some lunch and hang out for a bit. There was a pretty impressive thunderstorm with some heavy rain in the afternoon which was a bit of a treat since the weather in SF is normally so mild I took a nap in the afternoon and then we went out again for some dinner and drinks with some of the organizers and their friends. We ate at an Italian restaurant at the mall near my hotel, where I also met Regnard from AIM. When we were done with dinner (and a few pitchers of their home-brew beer), we headed to a beer-bar claiming to have 100 beers. My jetlag was kicking in so I could only manage 1 more beer before I was falling asleep in my seat.
When I got back to the hotel, I a bit of drama with my laptop — I had left it plugged in, but of course when you leave the room the power goes out. I guess the laptop didn’t realize it was unplugged, so it drained my battery to the point that it was non-responsive when the adapter was plugged in. Apparently it didn’t even have enough power to light up the small light on the plug to say it was charging. Decided there was nothing to do, so I’d deal with it the next morning.
The next day I went straight to the Mac store which I had luckily noticed the night before, right across the mall from the restaurant we ate at (what are the chances?). They didn’t open until 11, so I went to hunt down some breakfast. At a place called FlapJacks, I bumped into Regnard again, along with the 2 guys (Seth and Gen) who were attending WordCamp from Mozilla. After chatting with them for a while I headed back to my room to hang out and read for a while, freaking out about my laptop still.
11am rolled around eventually and I went to the Mac store… where I was quite embarrassed when one of the support people there plugged it in and it promptly started charging up like normal. He ran some quick diagnostics that said the battery and adapter were both fine, so I charged it a bit more there, then took it back to the hotel to keep charging it up. Crisis averted. Grabbed a juice blend/smoothie to keep me going, and got some work done improving my slides for Saturday’s presentation/talk.
That afternoon I gave an interview at AIM (Asian Institute of Management, the venue of WordCamp) which was videoed (was not expecting that!), adn then met some of the volunteers and checked out the actual venue, all of which looked good. After that we had some halo-halo (Philippines shaved ice + “other stuff” drink) which was very tasty. I ended up spending the rest of the day having dinner in my room and working on my presentation (since my laptop drama earlier in the day prevented me from doing it then).
The next morning I walked to the venue for WordCamp and things got started. They were very well organized and people were excited. My talk was up first and I think it went reasonably well. The way the laptop/projector was set up meant that it wasn’t easy to see my notes, so I just winged it, based on my slides. I did a full intro to WordPress, WPMU, bbPress, BuddyPress, BackPress and GlotPress. Throughout the day (and especially at the end), I took photos with people, listened to some of the other talks and drank copious amounts of coffee to try to stay awake. At the end of the day we had a panel with all the speakers on stage and answered questions from the audience.
That night, Seth, Gen and I joined all the volunteers and organizers out for dinner at a restaurant called WhistleStop. The entire time I had been there, Chattee had been trying to convince me to eat balut, and tonight was the last chance. Seth was all for it, so we ended up doing this:
You can see some more of my photos over on Flickr.