Why are geeks going to Palawan?

Why are geeks going to Palawan?

‘Geeks on a Beach’ 5 on Aug. 24-25

“We have something cool to reveal to you today. The most laid back tech Startup conference in the world will take place in the most beautiful island in the world,” says Tina Amper in an email blast to her list from the previous Geeks on a Beach in Panglao, Bohol.

This time, she announced, GOAB 5 will happen in Palawan this August 24-25, 2017.

No fine details yet. All she conveyed so far was how awesome the island of Palawan is and the discounted rates being offered for the early birds. But while we await  her announcements, read about what we in PRworks think, guys!


For the moment, let us focus on Palawan.

“Puerto Princesa City is the capital of Palawan and home of the world-famous Puerto Princesa underground river, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of New 7 Wonders of Nature. Puerto Princesa is also a gateway to Palawan’s other beautiful resorts such as Port Barton, El Nido, Coron and others,” Tina said.

El Nido in Palawan, Philippines
El Nido, one of the jewels of Palawan. (Photo from the Visit Palawan website)
Underground river in Puerto Princesa.
Must see for first time Palawan visitors. (Photo from the Visit Palawan website)

The 8.2 kilometer Underground River in Puerto Princesa City twists through a breath-taking cave before flowing into the South China Sea. One could enjoy the pristine beach of Port Barton, the 14 kilometer stretch white sand of San Vicente Long Beach,  the stunning views at El Nido and Coron, and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

Some 150 km southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Tubbataha is composed of North and South Atolls and the adjacent Jessie Beazley Reef. It is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world.

Meanwhile, the Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary in Busuanga — a 3,400 hectare island in the Calamian — is the first successful wildlife translocation experiment in Asia that has evolved into a home of important Philippine endemic and exotic wildlife from Africa.

Geeks on a Beach

TechTalks.ph organized Geeks on a Beach or GOAB as an annual international gathering of technology stakeholders pushing for the development of the Philippine startup ecology. The first GOAB happened in Boracay in 2013, followed by Cebu in 2014, back to Boracay in 2015, and last year in Panglao, Bohol.


Aside from talks on the hows and whys of founding, running, and accessing funds for startups, one actually gets to meet government officials, technology stars, and those who provide funds. Not just meet actually. You might find yourself drinking beer or shots of tequila, sing along, drop dead dancing, swim, or just quietly chat with them sitting on the sand.

Check out the Zipmatch.com story:

500 Startups

The global venture capital seed fund 500 Startups has been with Geeks on a Beach since year 2013 with the participation of its managing partner Khailee Ng.

500 Startups is based in Silicon Valley with over $330M in committed capital across four main funds and 13 micro funds. It has invested in 1,800 technology startups all over the world since in 2010

The next year in Cebu, 500 Startups co-founder and managing partner of Dave McClure might have heard more than enough about GOAB and the Philippines that he himself came to keynote the event.

Dave McClure of 500 Startups in GOAB presscon facilitated by PRworks
Dave McClure of 500 Startups (in red shirt) answers questions from journalists and bloggers led by Maria Ressa (extreme left) of Rappler during Geeks on a Beach 2 in Mactan, Cebu. McClure was back again in GOAB 2015 in Boracay. Seated beside McClure is Tina Amper of TechTalks.ph and Earl Valencia, president and founder of Ideaspace Foundation. The press conference was facilitated by Doris Mongaya, founder and president of PRworks Inc.

At Panglao in Bohol last year, Khailee Ng bared plans by 500 Startups to set up a microfund in the Philippines like what they did in Vietnam and Thailand.

PH Startup Roadmap

Geeks don’t just party and do business at the same time when they gather at the beach. They also map out the future for Philippine startups and, in the process, map out the future of the Philippines.

In September 2013 during GOAB 1 in Boracay, Philippine startup stakeholders huddled with Mon Ibrahim, head of the Information Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and decided to work on a startup roadmap for the country.

Work on the roadmap was in progress as GOAB 2 in Cebu happened. Finally, after two years, GOAB 3 saw the launch of “The Philippine Roadmap for Internet-Related (Digital) Startups: 2015 and Beyond.”

Philippine Starup Roadmap
Launch of the Philippine Startup Roadmap during GOAB 3 in Boracay.


The year towards GOAB 4 in Panglao, Bohol saw change coming with the assumption of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the formation of the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT).

GOAB 4 saw DICT Sec. Rodolfo A. Salalima supporting the startup initiative. He later absorbed DOST-ICTO’s Mon Ibrahim and adopted the Philippine startup roadmap.

Check out the final roadmap under DICT:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://prworksph.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/StartupRoadmap_Final.pdf”]

Parallel to the Philippine Startup Roadmap, an exciting development is the National Broadband Plan of administration of President Duterte. During the president’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 2016, he directed the DICT to develop the plan.

Startup stakeholders might want to go through the following working draft:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://prworksph.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Draft-National-Broadband-Plan-for-commnets-until-5PM_24March2017.pdf”]

Tech buzz and more

A gathering of 500 startup stakeholders – along with digital influencers – here and abroad definitely produces a wealth of interesting developments — news, not just on what’s the latest, but also on what to expect in the near future.

Imagine the global buzz that would be generated in a tech conference over a year after the assumption of President Duterte, his independent foreign policy, and the adoption of the startup roadmap.

Selected posts and news on Geeks on a Beach:

Geeks in Boracay mull PH startup roadmap

Drawing up startp, e-commerce roadmaps

When geeks meet in Boracay …

A shot in the arm for for PH startup community

The Philippines: Southeast Asia’s looming startup capital

PRworks in GOAB 5

PRworks, which is a member of TechTalk.ph, used to handle both public relations and event management for Geeks on a Beach. We decided to focus on the event’s public relations starting with GOAB 4.

PRworks, a member of TechTalks.ph, has begun listing journalists and social media influencers interested in covering the event. We are also entertaining inquiries for media partners.

“I have been to Palawan’s famous underground river and the Dos Palmas island resort. I am eager to explore this world wonder again,” I recalled. This was during a media familiarization tour organized by an airline way back in 2009.

This time, I will be with the PRworks team taking care of publicity and media relations for the 5th Geeks on a Beach in Palawan. We hope you will join us.






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