Philippines is a country. Metro Manila is a part of the Philippines.
We started Python Philippines in Manila because a lot of tech companies operated here. It also helped that the region is where most of the board of trustees worked, making it easy to host meetups. By PyCon 2016, we've done 3 Python Conferences at Manila.
But the Philippines country is large and diverse with different cultures. We don't want Python Philippines to be primarily known as a Manila group. We want to spread the programming language to other parts of the country.
Different region in the country have independently heard of Python and have started their own groups. We want them to be part of Python Philippines. We also want to help them grow their own Python groups.
During PyCon 2015, we've invited local Python communities from around the country to a community panel. This is basically a stage for them to introduce themselves and maybe inspire the audience to start local communities within their home region.
PyTsada, PizzaPy, ManilaPy, WaterPy, DurianPy and PyLadies Manila
After the community panel, we approached the different communities. We proposed bringing PyCon Ph to their region. PizzaPy from Cebu agreed to host for 2016. After that, PyTsada from Cagayan de Oro stepped up to the plate and hosted 2017.
PyCon 2016's theme is diversity
2016 is the first time that we'll bringing PyCon outside of Manila, care of PizzaPy. Visayas is a test for Python Philippines if its possible to do PyCon Ph with the local community. I am glad to say that its a success!
But we also have an ambition: we want to showcase how diverse the Python Philippines community is. So we found speakers to add to the diversity. During PyCon 2016, we have 9 females, 13 males, and 2 children1 as our speakers. Our attendance was comprised of 25.2% female and 74.8% male. We are proud that one of our keynote speakers (who have joined many tech conferences) commented that they find PyCon 2016 to be one of the most diverse conference they went to.
Because of 2016, PizzaPy have raised the bar for PyCon diversity.
PyCon 2017 remains strong in audience participation
After Visayas, PyTsada hosted PyCon 2017 at Mindanao. This time, we have 27 speakers; which is a big logistic challenge. But our host are more than ready.
PyTsada was able rise up to the challenge and did a great job of spreading awareness of Python and PyCon. It was a surprise when we looked at the skill level of the attendees and saw a good split between those new to Python and intermediate Pythonistas. Not only that, but most of the attendees were from Mindanao, showing the influence which PyTsada can reach.
Because of 2017, PyTsada have raised the bar for PyCon logistics.
Python Philippines is a Philippines community
I hope that as time goes by, we will have more local Python communities. I have talked to different people who are interested in starting their own local community. I have told them that once they have regular meetups and are active in their communities, Python Philippines is open to having them be a part of our diverse community.
I hope that those who are starting a local community become inspired and rise to be leaders in their region.
: It was unfortunate that one of our two child speakers couldn't make it at the last minute. Everyone was disappointed. But even when they weren't all present, we were still inspired by them.