BlockLab campus tour: Mapua Institute of Technology

Following the success of its first event, Coding Girls Manila organized a series of seminars and workshop events in different schools and universities called the BlockLab campus tour. On September 20, the team visited the Mapua Institute of Technology in Makati City. The event was attended by Mapua students taking up computer science and information technology.

Explaining blockchain
Understanding a complex platform like blockchain is a challenging task. It took me one online course, and a book to understand the nitty-gritty of this emerging technology. Explaining blockchain is even more challenging. Whenever I try to explain it to others, I become conscious of the way I speak about the topic. I try as much as I can to not intimidate people who are new to the concept by using jargons and highly technical terms.

That is why it is truly remarkable to see leaders in the industry discuss the technology in a clear and concise manner. PDAX User Experience Designer JM Elimanco was able to explain how blockchain works to a crowd of IT students within 30 minutes. He made use of an analogy between blockchain and an ordinary object used from day-to-day to make it easier for students to understand the topic.

As JM went along, I witnessed mixed reactions from the audience. Some nodded their heads along as if to assure the lecturer that they understood what he was saying. Some sat quietly and tried to absorb as much as possible from the learning experience. JM also discussed how blockchain can be used in remittances.

I would say that the key to delivering an effective seminar is to present the topic in a way that is relatable to the audience. In this case, JM achieved that by tackling the applications of blockchain in transactions the students are already familiar with.

Building the local blockchain community
Blockchain is a thriving industry. This is evident in the number of tech startups flocking to the platform. These companies often use co-working spaces as their offices. Country head of Blockchain Space Philippines, Peter Ing, explained how co-working spaces play a big role in the growth of the industry and the community. One of the many efforts to spread awareness about the technology is arranging meet-ups. These activities are often held in co-working spaces. The most notable one is the Blockchain Space Philippines. Peter encouraged the students to participate in these meet-ups because this is where industry leaders and enthusiasts get to discuss, debate and network with each other. Plus, it comes with a bonus of getting free snacks!

Blockchain innovation, use cases, and services
Blockchain can potentially disrupt every industry. In the financial industry, Tagcash Founder Mark Vernon discussed several blockchain use cases like equity crowdfunding and non-fungible tokens. Compliance Officer Maria talked about how their company is utilizing blockchain to provide services such as payments and remittances. Merge Commit Marketing Hhead Eren Kereci talked about how their company provides blockchain related consultation and services.

Developing blockchain-based applications
During my lecture, I introduced Stellar to the students. I discussed not only its benefits but also the possibility of creating applications that may interact with it. I also showed them an actual transaction of sending money using a Stellar wallet. It was my way of engaging the students to the topic. Needless to say that it worked. When students saw concrete applications of a theoretical discussion, their excitement grew.

LifeMesh CTO Chris Verceles shared about how to get started with blockchain development in general. He provided insights on how the future would look like when people can monetize their own data using blockchain. Blockchain development can sound intimidating especially to young students, but Chris was able to spark their curiosity.

Even as a developer myself, I became more excited to further my knowledge about blockchain after listening to Chris’ talk.

Panel Discussion
A blockchain event will not be complete without a panel discussion. In this event, the panel discussion was about how blockchain is used in the Philippines. There was also a discussion about the available careers in the industry, and the preparations being made by industry leaders to bring the country at the forefront of the global blockchain industry

Speakers’ Details
JM Elimanco – User Experience and Marketing Copywriter at PDAX
Peter Ing – Country Head of Blockchain Space Philippines
Mark Vernon – Founder of Tagcash
Chris Verceles – CTO Lifemesh and Full Stack Blockchain Developer at Consensys
Tracy Li – Blockchain Developer and Evangelist and Co-founder of Bitchikka
Maria Gaitanidou – Compliance Officer for
Rich Hahn – Marketing Head at SCI
Eren Kereci – Marketing and Sales at Merge Commit
Inno Maog – Chief Marketing Officer at Qwikwire
Wendy Solis – PetnPals

The BlockLab Campus Tour is your quintessential blockchain 101 event. It provides a comprehensive introduction to blockchain. It has a perfect mix of fundamental and technical discussions to encourage students to explore how the technology can benefit them and how they can engage in the industry. For inquiries, email or

(photo credits: SCI Ventures)

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