When Old Meets New: A Recap of the PH Tech Leads 2020 Kickoff

Richard Parayno
Philippine Web Designers Organization
5 min readJan 20, 2020


Meet the PH Tech Community Leaders for 2020.

On January 9, 2020, old and new leaders of the Philippine Tech Community gathered at the BHP office to formally kickoff the new year.

The meetup was officially started by Ms. Jen Borlaza (BHP) with a quick introduction to BHP (Broken Hill Propriety), a leading global resources company, with interests in the minerals, oil, and gas industries. Ms. Jen, manages end-to-end resources and on-boarding of talents in BHP, shared to the attendees what their Manila office does, and how the venue partnership came to be.

Icebreakers and Introductions

Moving forward, Kit Valmadrid (PWDO) took the stage and started off the round of introductions around the room. Tech Community leaders, both old and new, introduced themselves, their communities, and what they do in their community.

Kit Valmadrid and Pierce Jonota from the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) hosted the meetup.

After the round of introductions, attendees were treated to dinner by BHP, the venue and food sponsor.

A peek at the delicious food served during the evening.

Welcoming the New Generation of Leaders

As everyone was settling down in the venue after dinner, new leaders and communities were welcomed to the PH Tech Leads Community. Communities such as GoManila, WiTech, WikiSocPH, and GDG Cloud Manila were formally vouched to the PH Tech Community. New leaders such as Richard Parayno (PWDO), Audrey Pe (WiTech), Mae Gallos (GoManila), Brian Tan Seng (GDG Cloud Manila), and Monina Maturan (Salesforce Community Philippines — Women in Tech) were also formally vouched to the community.

Collaborating on the Community Calendar

Next on the agenda was the plotting of dates of major activities of the different tech communities in attendance. Flagship community events such as DevCon Summit, HackReality, UXPH Roadshow and Junior Form Function & Class reserved their slot on the community calendar to ensure that there are no conflicts for the benefit of the organizers and the communities themselves. The community calendar is an initiative started by the PH Tech Community Leads for everyone to align and support each other’s projects. Communities are highly encouraged to create accounts on the PH Tech Community website and upload their events there. Notably, the communities were given a large chunk of time during the meetup to plot important events and to provide Sponsorship Primers since Haifa Carina (DevCon) would be forwarding these to potential sponsors for everyone’s benefit. Ample time was also given to align the monthly hosts and discuss the hosting guidelines for the PH Tech Community meetups.

Reviewing Policies and Guidelines

Aside from working on the community calendar, membership guidelines and criteria were also revisited to account for recent changes in the tech community. Specifically, the policy on students being part of the PH Tech Community Leads was revisited as we are seeing students stepping up and leading organizations that serve not only students, but professionals as well. Due to lack of time and the complexity of the topic, the tech leads settled on the following criteria for membership into the PH Tech Community Leads:

  • The organization must not be school based.
  • The organization must be professional-led.
  • The organization must be a non-profit.
  • The organization must be enthusiast-driven or volunteer-led.

It was then mentioned that the PH Tech Community Leads would maintain two directories, one containing active member communities, and another containing inactive member communities. This would be for highlighting which communities are currently active, while not forgetting to acknowledge the communities that have been members in the past.

Community leaders Kit Valmadrid (PWDO) and Michie Ang (WWCode Manila, SwiftPH) exchanging ideas to improve the community policy.

One Platform to Rule Them All

Later on in the evening, the topic of using a single platform for PH Tech Community Lead Meetups was raised. The main concern shared by the tech community leads is that they want to move away from Facebook events as much as possible. After much discussion about potential platforms used by the different communities, it was agreed upon that for Q1, Meetup would be used as the Event RSVP Platform. For Q2, it was agreed upon that it would be the host organization’s decision what Event RSVP Platform to use, as long as it is inclusive for all of the tech communities needs. These Event RSVP Platforms would then be evaluated by the communities by midyear to see which one worked for everyone.

After the main agenda was tackled, there was a quick, open discussion on what kind of topics could be discussed in the PH Tech Community meetups. Some of the suggested topics were:

  • SEC Registration
  • War Stories and Wow Stories
  • Capacity Planning
  • Sponsorships

As the night winded down, the tech community leads then gathered for a class photo.

Notably, this would be the last PH Tech Leads Meetup that Jordan Deja (UXPH) and Kit Valmadrid (PWDO) attend as active members for a while, as they attend to other things with their lives. We wish them all success in their future endeavors.

A Surprise From AWS

Before the night ended, attendees were surprised by Amazon Web Services with free AWS hoodies for everyone.

Amazon Web Services were also present at the kickoff and provided attendees with free hoodies!

Insights of a Freshman Community Leader

In attendance for the evening was a total of 33 community leaders, with 22 tech communities represented. The PH Tech Community is growing day by day, and we’re currently experiencing a massive shift in leadership as communities begin passing the torch to the younger generations. Exciting times are on the horizon as well, as we see communities bringing their events to malls, organizing bigger, more diverse and inclusive conferences, and even bringing their flagship events to places outside of Metro Manila.

There is no better time than now to collaborate and share with each other our knowledge in managing communities. The past decade saw our communities laying the building blocks of what we have right now. The next decade should be, in my opinion, where we go farther and higher than we have ever been, for the betterment of our communities, ourselves, and most importantly our country.

When old meets new, who knows how far we can go?

If you are a tech community interested in joining the PH Tech Community Leads, you may contact Haifa Carina of DevCon or Bob Reyes of Mozilla Philippines through the PH Tech Community Contact Form.



Richard Parayno
Philippine Web Designers Organization

Community Lead 1/2 of @pwdo. Conversation Designer working with SaaS products.