INSPIRING: From Cagayan Valley to Silicon Valley: Story of a Pinoy Billionaire

Dado Banatao is a Filipino entrepreneur and engineer working in the high-tech industry. He is a three-time start-up veteran, and co-founded Mostron, Chips and Technologies, and S3 Graphics. He also designed the PC Chipset which is inside all of today’s PCs.

Dado grew up in the simple town of Malabbac, Iguig, Cagayan Valley, Philippines. His father was a rice farmer and his mother was a housekeeper. He would walk barefoot on the streets and learned how to count using bamboo sticks.

He recalls that most children his age would stop school by 6th grade to help their fathers farm, but his father was different. He made it clear that his job was to bring food to the table and Dado’s job was to study. His father wanted a better life for him. However, after graduating from MAPUA, he realized there were no design jobs in the Philippines; so he went to the states and studied at Stanford University.

After Stanford, he built a company which failed; but at the second try, he succeeded.

Dado says that he is not special, but he is determined. While his friends played, he studied. When people said he could not do it, he told himself he could.

When he failed, he tried again.

Now, Dado wants to give back. He established PhilDev, which aims to give scholarships and computers to students. The end goal is for them to start a business which will hire millions and so on. He says, “We (Filipinos) know hardship; it is time to learn success.”

He adds, “My life shows that a different path is possible.”

Engineer Dado Banatao, you are an inspiration!

Do you agree that it is possible for Filipinos to have his success as well? In what way will we achieve success?