Aside from their respective day jobs, members of the CoffeeBot team also have their own side projects to keep them busy- that’s one of the topics the team discussed during the fourth episode of “CoffeeBreak with Coffeebot”. In this episode, Content Development Team Lead Julia Sta. Romana and Operations Director Jessica Madrazo sat with CoffeeBot writer Arvin Tampus to talk about Tampus’ writing project, the Philippine Data Privacy Act, and Pokemon Go.

The broadcast began with Tampus explaining about his writing project that has been in the works for years now. He has been working on posting some of his writing pieces (mostly at night) on the internet, specifically on his blogs. He shared that he recently tried to compile and make a collection out of his works to transition them from his well-worn typewriter to his computer and going online.

Tampus said that he has plans of setting up an interactive poetry reading with other writers. His statement was supported by Madrazo and Sta. Romana who suggested that they have friends that they could refer to him who hold spoken word events. Madrazo then revealed that she found Tampus’ Facebook page, ‘Arvin Speaks Easy’, and is a follower since. Tampus then shared that he has created a collection of new poems, but added that the main problem he’s facing right now is finding an agent to help him publish his work. Madrazo and Sta. Romana then encouraged everyone to check out Tampus’ page and writings.

“We all have a lot of side projects, like Peter, who’s in a band, Jessica has her climate advocacy and we just recently found out that some of our kids are into Pokemon Go, Game of Thrones, and Basketball” Sta. Romana concluded. Tampus agreed and stated that being in CoffeeBot actually helps him learn new internet-related things like the Hemingwayapp, Google +, and many others.

From creative projects, the discussion then shifted to politics. Sta. Romana shared that the Philippine government is currently holding public forums around the country regarding the implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine Data Privacy Act which was passed in 2012. She said that the act is actually relevant to the outsourcing industry since it also deals with outsourcing data.

“It actually talks about outsourcing data, so that means either the Philippines outsources data elsewhere, or people outsourcing data processes here in the Philippines. They’re still fleshing it out, but the good thing about it is that this data protection act is now a priority,” Sta. Romana said.

She also commended the government for making the National Privacy Commission– an independent body recently installed for the protection of this data privacy act. Sta. Romana also added that the act ensures added protection for CoffeeBot’s clients. They also hope that the act receives international recognition of agreements for outsourcing and subcontractors.

Madrazo agreed that unlike other laws that were written by lawmakers and then consulted to IT experts, this act is a lot different, because the IT community is part of its core, covering almost all of the things that people want to see in the data privacy act.

Sta. Romana then revealed why the act was pushed just recently, and all because of this Comelec leak. “If you’ve seen it in the news, it became an international news, one of our government sites was hacked and they were able to access information of thousands of Filipino voters.” She said.

She and Madrazo then confirmed that they found their information on the leaked data. Sta. Romana affirmed that it was, indeed, a big scandal, but it was one that generated some good. It pushed the government to take data privacy seriously, and have it internationally recognized and implemented.

In line with the data privacy topic, Sta. Romana, Madrazo, and Tampus then discussed about Pokemon Go, but this time with Aldwin Edades, Kyra Madrazo and Christine Barnuevo. When asked whether they’ve already tried Pokemon Go, the staff remained silent aside from Aldwin Edades who commented that he finds the app “okay”, but not perfect yet.

Edades said that the game is yet to develop fully because trainer battles are not yet possible and Pokemon training is not yet available. Tampus then joked about whether Edades exposing some of the flaws of the game is even legal, to which Edades affirmed. Edades further stated that although players can look for Pokemons in public places, they still can’t trade Pokemons which was in fact the fun part of Pokemon.

Sta. Romana then went on to ask why the game was banned in the Philippines, to which Edades answered saying that it was due to the leaked installer. However, he also clarified that the person who leaked the installer wasn’t in fact a Filipino, but rather someone from the country that received the game first.

He also confirmed that the ban in the Philippines is only temporary and the game’s developer actually promised to make the game more stable and with fast servers. Madrazo then asked Edades whether he’s excited for the game’s official release. He said he’s not very thrilled about it, but is looking forward for the trainer battles.

Jessica then asked Kyra and Christine about the game to which they responded quizzically while Kyra admitted that Pokemon was never a part of her childhood. Christine then revealed that Pokemon Go actually started as an April Fools joke that was very well received by the audience.

Sta. Romana said that apart from the installer issue, another reason why it hasn’t been released in the Philippines it’s because of the privacy issues within the game. The game requires a Google account which allows the company in on the user’s information. However, Kyra said that having Google’s GPS also has its benefits as it consumes less data when playing the game.

Also, according to Jessica, there have been various complaints of people catching Pokemon on private properties such as the case of a man whose house used to be a church before it was converted to a private home and who filed for trespassing charges due to people barging in on his home to catch Pokemon. Sta. Romana then shared a similar scenario that happened to the National Holocaust Museum in the United States as people had been coming to the place simply to catch Pokemon.

But even with the negative issues surrounding the game, everybody in the discussion agreed that Pokemon Go has its benefits. Institutions have been using it as part of their marketing plan, to which Kyra agreed and jokingly added that because of the game, millenials have been walking long distances again.

Aside from Pokemon Go, they also discussed Snapchat and how articles on Snapchat are very interesting to millenials. Kyra Madrazo then commented that the visuals on articles are also fun, which is accompanied by interesting stories. The group then concluded that since adults have LinkedIn accounts, millenials can enjoy their Snapchat.

Catch the next episodes of CoffeeBreak with CoffeeBot in CoffeeBot’s Facebook page. In the mean time, you can watch the fifth episode below.

Wennelle Jane Baldo
Wennelle Jane Baldo
Wenelle Baldo makes parallels between marketing and pop culture. It's what happens when you're obsessed with Batman, vintage films, and Tom Hiddleston.