My Ilonggofied WordPress community experience, starts subong!

April 5th — Dojo8 Iloilo co-working space. Evening. After-work hours. See meetup event page for more info. SUBONG means “now!” in Iloilo’s local language.

After running around inter-town (La Paz, Jaro, Manduriao, Bolilao) working as a part-time personal attaché to a certain Jarrah Brilliantes: I find myself fashionably late in the company of the über-lambing WordPress professionals in the city-of-love in the Philippines: ILO-ILO (“ilog” which in English literally means “river river”).

It’s simple but lively kick-off event:

There were introductions.

There were donuts.

There’s a much-needed ‘catch up’ between new & familiar faces. I personally am a “dayo” (or ‘local foreigner’, since I come from a different island & a dialect different to theirs) — but thankfully I’ve oriented my Tagalog mindset to be open & be familiar to Ilonggo behavioral vocabulary.

Most importantly, there were members and eager participants, sharing the same values but bound by a similar interest — in this case: WordPress.


It’s a local WordPress community for Iloilo

The co-organizers emphasized that this community chapter is not meant to replace nor compete with national & regional WordPress Philippines groups.

Primary goals include: to create an atmosphere of collaboration for WordPress experts and aspiring developers in & around Iloilo. To promote values & culture of Panay island and share it with other Filipinos. To bridge the gap between technical & non-technical people alike who are interested in contributing to WordPress or to the local community.

Ideas for potential events and activities were gathered during the kick-off meetup.


Madamo nga salamat (English: many thanks) to the co-organizers: JC & Yen for taking tremendous efforts to pursue this gathering. And to all the attendees who joined our playful conversations & banter: Mabuhay kamo! (English: long live and prosper)


MARC’S SIDE NOTES

I fully feel, believe, and agree that next kind of local “Silicon Valley” setting in the Philippines is Iloilo. Expensive electricity aside (it’s an on-going joke since electricity here is imported & generated elsewhere), it’s a university town with a bustling academic populace. Food, culture, strong sense of local pride — you’ve got it all in this part of the Philippine islands.

BE WARNED: Ilonggo people are very protective of their values & culture. They will open up to non-locals if they deem them worthy. Make a silly move like showing unruly or crass behavior … and you’re out. Seriously.

BE PROUD: If you’re in — you’re in for good. Iloilo boasts of “ma-sabor” (flavourful & delicious) cuisine that’s unique and utterly mouth-watering. Strong ties with other provinces in Panay island: Antique, Capiz, Aklan and Guimaras (known as “mango island”) — it’s a different world if you’re used to Manila or Cebu. Also: avoid mentioning that you’re from these cities to avoid getting into trouble :)

I’M EXCITED: here are the most “malambing” people you’ll find in the country. MALAMBING has no direct English translation. It roughly means loving + caring + thoughtful + but respectful sense of community and friendship towards the kapwa (other beings).

See you all at the next monthly meetup in May 2017: kita-kits!

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