May have just been another meet up of Manila's Tech folks from the looks of it. But surprisingly, as if by some strange force of camaraderie and unique informal grassroots feel, the first BarCamp Manila is nothing short of magical.
First, there was the mix. Within the first few minutes of the introductions , dev guys, web people and as well as company heads who at first were cooped up with their familiar posse began to acknowledge the whole group of people present as their comfort zones. As the pizza and soda/beer cans slowly began to empty, gone too was the urge to remain within each personal space. The G2VC lounge area has indeed become a real chat room - and this time the people and names have actual faces and bodies, not just avatars.
Second is the timing. This has been a nagging question for quite some time and nobody seemed to know why it has dragged on without somebody pitching it to happen. The dev communities for Ruby and Java and perhaps for other programming languages have been actively meeting regularly. There's also blogger meetups and even software industry shirt and tie meetings. Yet all of them were focused on their niches. Like the much of what makes the web successful at present, you need all these disparate specialties together to increase the chances of success in the tech world. Credit Winston D, Jerome as well as Sacha and a bunch of background movers for recognizing this and making it all happen at such a short notice. Having Jay Aguilar of Google surprise the group with his presence also souped the event a notch higher.
Third - it is fun and educational! Well, one can only guess that all personal interests set aside for something even bigger, the leading personalities in the RP tech world stripped themselves off much of their egos and put passion in their respective works as the homing device to network with like minds in the room. This made up for a high activity chatter well up to midnight. The food and venue were just perfect as most of the people eventually had to turn of their laptops or risk missing the opportunity to get up to people they've known only in the virtual world. At the core, people are all fans I guess. So looking forward to the next BarCamp Manila. Just wondering if a 7-minute live band performance is allowed next time. Check the Flickr pages for pics and Ustream video record of the event in case you missed it.