Philippine Web3 Festival 2022 Recap: What’s Next?
One of Asia’s largest blockchain events has come to a close for the year, so time for the burning question; what part will the Philippines play in the future of Web3?
From networking to game demos, speeches to panels and so much more, the first Philippine Web3 Festival showed that Web3 is much more than just a buzzword.
Blockchain fans from around the world gathered to celebrate NFTs, Web3 and blockchain gaming, and to show the world that, despite the bear market, the industry – especially in the Philippines – is still alive and well.
Having attended the 5-day event in-person, here’s my highlights of a manic week in Manila.
The event kicked-off with Jeffrey Ian Dy, representing the government’s IT department, reaffirming their commitment to make the Philippines a major player in Web3 – nothing that what the country lacked in technology and the skills, it makes up for in passion and early adoption.
A highlight of the day was the keynote from Jeffrey Zirlin (@Jihoz_Axie), Growth Lead at Sky Mavis, developers of Axie Infinity. He shared that, despite the bear market, Axie still had over 232,000 monthly active addresses, maintaining its status as the largest NFT project by volume traded.
As a token of his gratitude for the Filipino Axie community, Zirlin shared exclusive alpha on stage (no leaks here!), plus his vision for the future of Axie, noting:
The theme of Day 2 was blockchain infrastructure. Niel Trinidad, Vice President at GCash, the leading wallet provider in the Philippines, opened the floor, noting the “power and potential” of the Web3 ecosystem within the country.
“For anything centralised, check to make sure that they’ve been regulated; that they are in jurisdictions that are legitimate. It all comes down to educating yourself to protect yourself.”
It can be all too easy to forget discussing these lessons as Web3 natives, but repetition is key. “DYOR” isn’t a mantra for nothing!
Creators and blockchain gaming were all the rage on the final day. Apl.de.Ap, Filipino-American rapper and founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, took the stage to discuss First Mint Fund, which covers gas fees for first-time NFT creators in Southeast Asia, helping them start a career in Web3.
The singer-songwriter hyped the crowd, performing the Black Eyed Peas hit “Bebot”, plus a single from his soon-to-be-released new album.
With Gabby Dizon and Peter Ing on stage, the Philippine Web3 Festival announced a donation of 1,000,000 PHP ($17,000+ USD) to the Apl.de.Ap Foundation, which equips Filipino youth with the knowledge and skills to improve their lives. Sevi Agregado, a Filipino NFT artist, also gifted a piece of art to celebrate the singer’s childhood in Pampanga.
Filipinos and Web3 have a lot in common when it comes to community, and it was great to see both come together for such good causes.
With the hallowed halls of the Marquis Events Place emptied, it was time to switch attention to one of the most anticipated side events of the week – the Axie Open Manila. Held at the Circuit Makati, the last day of the Philippine Web3 Festival was dedicated to an all-day Axie Tournament, with 256 players battling for a $120,000 cash prize.
Wrapping up the week was a 2-day afteryparty hosted at La Union, a famous surfing spot, plus a PlayMining Night for blockchain game enthusiasts.
There isn’t consensus as to where the next burgeoning hub of Web3 talent, projects and developments will come from – but the Philippines made it clear that they’re right up there with the rest of the world with the Philippine Web3 Festival.
The event showed a glimpse of how blockchain can transform the world around us; from finance and banking to education and governance, dispelling stigmas and making concrete steps on topics such as education, onboarding, security and more – all built around the cornerstone of community.
With more people, brands and creators moving into Web3 than ever before, it’s clear that Web3 will drive significant societal change – and the Philippines is ready and raring to be the pioneers.