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    • Google held the first Google for Philippines event today, announcing Google Station, Google Go, and Job Search on Google, among others.

      Almost all of the announcements are old products and features that are only made available locally now, but hey, I'm not complaining. At least they're finally here now. Can't wait for free internet!

    • Hi Anjo, it's great to see you here. I read your fond farewell posts on Google+ and checked out your Dribble. Quite fascinating to get some perspective on what life as a designer in the Philippines is like.

      I only got to watch the first 10 minutes of the Google intro, but 100 million people on 8,000 islands?! I can't imagine the connectivity challenges. I noticed the speakers said hello in their native languages but then switched to English. Is that common?

      Google may be determined where you are and do a great job with connectivity, but they have a very spotty record with that here in the states — even in their home city of Mountain View, where I live. We were really excited to get free wifi and they mounted antennas on light poles all over the city, but I'm not aware of many people who use it. I think it's just over capacity. I hope you have better luck.

    • Thanks, Chris! It's these types of thoughtful responses (as opposed to clever quips) that I will miss on Google+. I hope Cake can take its place for me.

      Life as a designer in the Philippines is something I'm still figuring out myself. I sometimes organize meetups which often happen in the business districts, but I still haven't found the right local flavor. A lot of the local events are tackling the same things that the US design scene is talking about, but I seldomly hear about solving for the Filipino problems. Hopefully, I can contribute to changing that in my own little ways.

      Yes, connectivity is a serious issue here indeed. My internet speed so far this year averages at only 4.5 Mbps, and I'm already lucky to have something as fast as that. And yes, we do speak Taglish (Tagalog+English) a lot. Kids these days speak even more English than Filipino. I get the evolution of language, but I'm sad that we're losing good parts of our culture as we speak less of our own words.

      I have no high hopes for Google Station, but we'll see when I find one of the 50 locations! 😄

      Good to meet you here Chris, and thanks for making Cake!

    • Hey Anjo,

      I would like to come down to Philippines, but can you enlighten us on the internet situation down there? All the stories I have heard say that it's really not that great. And while I'm sure it's better in Manila -- it's not really a place on my to-do list. I am more interested in Cebu and the surrounding areas, also Davao, and Palawan and nearby islands!

      Would love some insight into this. ;-)

    • It will be interesting to see how it shakes out — thoughtful conversations versus clever quips. From a financial point of view, I can really see why Twitter, Instagram and Facebook work so well. Lots of addictive little quips keep it light and keep you seeing many ads and checking back many times a day for likes. It becomes a money machine.

      We built it, however, because we like thoughtful conversations. Maybe we'll be like WIRED magazine: longer, more thoughtful conversations triumphing in the end over Buzzfeed's shorter form entertainment.

    • I watched the entire two hour presentation and found it a fascinating glimpse into the Philippines’ digital past, present and future.

      Below are my notes and highlights from the video:

      Current Reality in the Philippines

      Internet access in the Philippines has increased from 37 million to 76 million within the past five years. Half a million new people are coming online each month.


      E-commerce has grown from $1.9 billion in 2015 to $5 billion three years later.  And it’s projected to be over $20 billion by 2025.

      Businesses online are now 2x more likely to grow and 4x more likely to export.

      Google Go apps

      These are lite-versions of Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube and other Google apps.  They are optimized to run on smartphones with 1GB or less of memory.

      Google Station

      Google Station is an initiative to provide free and fast Wi-Fi hotspots throughout India, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Nigeria.  

      They are launching Google Station in the Philippines this month and will have 50 stations active by the end of the month.


      Moving story of Akbar, a university student in Indonesia who used Google Station to learn software programming. While still at university, Akbar was able to sell his programs online, paying for his tuition and even supporting his family after his father retired.

      Google Job Search

      30% of the workforce in the Philippines is Millenials.  Currently, there are over 700K new graduates each year. And more than 4 in 10 Millenials resign from jobs after two years.

      Interestingly, the most popular Google searches for jobs in the Philippines are online jobs, remote jobs and overseas jobs.

      Coding Day

      Each motorist is assigned a coding day by the government.  On that day, you are restricted from driving on certain roads. Google Maps now allows you to enter your Coding number and Google will create an alternate route on your Coding Days.


      It means, “the art of turning challenges into opportunities.”

      Today in the Philippines, women participate 25% less than men in the workforce.


      Inspiring story of how YouTube how-to videos taught a stay at home mom to create recycled crafts, which she now sells as a small business owner.

    • @anjocerdena , I worked for several years for a company with a strong presence in Asia and did several projects with colleagues from Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.  As a result, I’ve developed a life-long fascination with the culture, development and business environment.

      Would you mind if I ask a few questions on the Philippines that I’m curious about.

      How common is internet use in the schools?

      Compared to ten years ago, do you see more young people decide to start their own business?

    • It would be hard for me to describe the internet situation just because I've gotten used to the speeds here. My tolerance for it is likely higher than yours. So I asked my Dutch friend what he thought of it when he stayed here. Here's what he said:

      I did have issues with the internet. And I guess he will as well. We are spoiled with fast internet.

      I haven't been to the areas you mentioned so I can't make an assessment either. However, OpenSignal has a detailed report on speeds per region. I hope this enlightens you!

    • That's actually another thing I liked about G+. I always keep up with the few people and topics that I followed. It's manageable. Because people don't post too often (except during events), I don't have to check back too many times. One weekend is enough to catch up with friends without the next thing taking over the feed. I also have control on which feeds to browse. I can add all my friends and family, but I can adjust how much of their posts show up on my feed.

    • I wouldn't mind at all!

      How common is internet use in the schools?
      Unfortunately, I've been disconnected from the education sector for some time now so I can't answer this with certainty. However, I don't believe it's common yet, especially not outside the big cities. There have been efforts in recent years to have a national broadband network that will connect government offices and public schools, but I don't believe that has rolled out widely yet. The Department of Information and Communications Technology was created less than 3 years ago and it seems like the current priority is to encourage the entrance of a 3rd telecom company (to break the duopoly between Globe and Smart).

      Compared to ten years ago, do you see more young people decide to start their own business?
      It would seem so. The internet definitely helped a lot of young people realize how they can make money online. There's been a notable rise in the number of freelancers and I have seen college students take shots at being online 'influencers'. I think the efforts are mostly individual for now and a lot of it is unregistered, so I don't know if you can really call those businesses.