Wordcamp Philippines 2012 – The Verdict

Manuel L Quezon III, Wordcamp Keynote Speaker
Manuel L Quezon III, Wordcamp Keynote Speaker

This can be the smiley-glass-half-full-cheerful-everything-was-great kind of review but then it wouldn’t be me. I’m sorry that I usually am the “devil’s advocate” about everything but please know that my intentions are never cruel. I’m just stating an honest opinion from me and no one else.

Disclaimer over. Here’s what I really think.

The Positives:

  • Coffee and donuts (thumbs up, Go Nuts Donuts and Highlands Coffee!) were great and people get to have as many as they want. Some even got to bring home boxes of donuts.
  • Pizza from Greenwich was fabulous too. Participants get to munch as many slices as they can while listening to the speakers. Left-over pizzas were distributed to those who want them.

    Wordcamp Philippines 2012 Lunch
    Wordcamp Philippines 2012 Lunch
  • Lunch was tasty although it was cold. It consists of 3 kinds of dish – beef, chicken, and fish. People with allergies even got special lunches. Complete with dessert, the entree would not have been out of place in a wedding menu.
  • Loot bags with T-shirt, ballers, stickers, cookies, and tumblers are not bad. Not bad, indeed.
  • The cost: Php 1000/ person was overall, well spent. And in our group’s case, the company paid for it so it was awesome!
  • Wifi – excellent!
  • Star of the whole conference — I give it to Kimanzi Constable, author of 2 self-published ebooks. His talk was about The Power of Your Story Through WordPress. And as my blog is ilovestories, it’s no wonder, I hang on to every word.
  • Runner up — Danny Arao, a journalism professor in UP (University of the Philippines). He talked about Blogging Ethics and Standards and kept blind-item-ing celebrities even an anti-social hermit would know. He was hilarious, witty, and engaging. Participants even willingly opened up about their cyberbullying experiences to virtual strangers in the conference.
  • It’s a Wordcamp Miracle! I loved that scene with the special ed teacher who connected with the couple who happened to be specializing in the subject of her study.
Wordcamp Loot Bag
Wordcamp Loot Bag

The Negatives:

  • I spaced out a couple of times during some of the talks. Some speakers failed to connect with the audience. It could be that the topics are too technical but there are techniques they can employ to make every topic relevant to most people.
  • Cold lunch.
  • Cold me. Note to self, never again wear shorts in a super air-conditioned conference hall.
  • I didn’t win anything in the raffle. Darn it!
  • Some technical difficulties which could’ve been avoided.

As a first time wordcamper, it was an unexpected surprise after another. Not entirely great surprises all the time but mostly, it really was. Would I recommend it? Sure, why not especially if it’s sponsored by your company.

I would recommend that speakers find a way to be more engaging next time though. All the loot bags and free food in the world wouldn’t compensate for bad speakers as they are supposed to be the star of every conference. Like the SEO saying, “Content is King!”


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