The life story of former OFW turned techpreneur Diosdado “Dado” Banatao is an inspiration to all Filipinos.
A man who used to walked barefoot in going to school is now well-known worldwide especially in the technology world. Dado Banatao is best remembered as the first one to create the very first PC chipset. If you use a PC or personal computer in your home or office chances are inside your PC is a technology created and influenced by this highly regarded Filipino engineer.
He also started his first company at age 38! Dream big and make it happen at whatever age!
Excerpt from the FB page of PhilDev Foundation:
“Dado Banatao was born the son of a farmer in the rural Philippines. He grew up in poverty, without shoes or access to electricity.
In the 1980s, Dado’s innovations helped usher in the era of the personal computer. He pioneered the PC chipset and graphics acceleration architecture that continue to be two of the foundation technologies in every PC today. Along the way, Dado founded three companies: S3, Chips & Technologies and Mostron.”
This is his story.
Mr Banatao is an Ilocano from Iguig, Cagayan Valley. He grew up into a poor farming family, but with persistence, hard work and grit, he turned his fortune and that of his family around and is now a very successful entrepreneur in the technology sector.
Today, he gives back to the community by helping out bright young students coming from poor families to finish studies by way of scholarships grants through the foundation he started, PhilDev.
He graduated elementary from Malabbac Elementary School, walked barefoot at times, diligent with his studies even at night with no electricity. He spent his high school years in Ateneo de Tuguerarao through a scholarship. He took up Bachelor in Electrical Engineering in Mapua Institute of Technology for his college degree. He did not stop at that and went to pursue Masters in Engineering in Standford University in the United States.
Mr Banatao worked as an OFW in the 1960s as a design engineer for Boeing 747. A few years after that he established tech companies. Soon after, he came home to the Philippines and founded a non-government organization with primary advocacy of helping poor but deserving Filipino students to continue their education in the field of science and technology. If you are familiar with Philippine Development (PhilDev) Foundation, Dado Banatao is the man behind this NGO.
You can find his name recorded in the Computer History Museum in Mountain Valley, California as a pioneer of the first PC chipset.
Watch this viral video produced by PhilDev Foundation about the life and works of Dado Banatao. You can also read the transcript of the video below.
Transcript for this video by PhilDev Foundation
My name is Dado Banatao. I come from the north. My father was a farmer, I am an engineer.
I grew up in a typical barrio in Cagayan Valley. Back then there was no electricity, no telephones. I was taught math by moving bamboo sticks.
There were no luxuries. Almost all of my classmates stop going to school after six grades, to help in the fields. But my father never ask me to help him, he wanted a better life for me.
He made it clear, his job was to put food in the table, my job was to study.
I went to highschool far frm my home. I felt inferior to the other students, they were from the city. I was a son of a farmer. When my friends played basketball, I studied. I fell in love with engineering, I wanted to build things. But when I graduated from MAPUA there where no design jobs for engineer in the Philippines so I moved to America.
I applied for a masters in engineering at Stanford University. I was excited but I was also so intimidated. Everyone seemed smarter than I was, so I studied twice as hard.
I saw an opportunity to design better computer chips, and I started a company. That company failed, no one told me that I could do it. I have to tell myself that I could so I tried it again. This time we succeeded.
My success is a direct result of my beginnings. It is the same will and determination that every Filipino possesses. Our country is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, but over thirty percent of our people still lived like I did growing up. But my life shows a different path is possible. It is why I started PhilDev, we imagine a Philippines where every school has internet. Where deserving students are given scholarships so they never have to stop learning. Where thousands of young Filipinos starts companies that hire millions more.
We know hardship, it’s time we learn success.
I am not so special, but I am determined. My story could be your story, as Filipinos it must be our story.
Diosdado “Dado” Banatao worked as a Pinoy OFW in the United States, and eventually he established his own companies. He met with failures on first tries but he pushes on, and since then has found success. He is using his success to give back to the Philippines and the Filipino, especially the youth through his work with PhilDev.
May the message of hope, determination, and inspiration that Dado Banatao’s story brings will reach millions of Filipinos, especially our OFWs who are right now working hard for the families back home.
May his story touch your heart too. We pray for more Filipinos to achieve great and meaningful success and to give back to the country we all love.
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