Julian Sonel S. Barcega, also known as Ninong Julz in the Space, is a multi-talented individual with a rich background and diverse career journey.
💼 What were you doing before Web3?
I am a freelance writer and co-founder of Filipino Web3 Community Builders.
Before Web3, I served as a missionary pastor for more than seven years before entering Web3. When the pandemic came, the situation forced me to stay at home.
🤔 How did you get into Web3?
Jopet Arias introduced me to Axie Infinity around March of 2021. At first, I was skeptical about it, but later I found out about YGG and saw how aspiring scholars are trying to get a spot in the scholarship program for the game.
I did try applying, but I wasn’t that active on the server. Around May, Jopet told me that Sushinobi would launch his blockchain gaming guild, Sushinobi Axis Academy, so I introduced myself through chat and got my first team in Axie Infinity.
I saw the game’s potential and reinvested my earnings to have my Axie teams and tried to live stream on Facebook. But floor Axies didn’t quite make the top. Come November, and the market went down.
So, I had to look for another way to earn. Come January, I became a writer for BitPinas. Through the tasks given, I went deeper into the rabbit hole, and I found myself learning more about Web3 and its community.
🚀 What was your first crypto or NFT project?
My first NFT project was the Talikodgenik eNePTi. It was created when I needed to learn how to mint on Opensea.
Also, it was my first “finger-drawn” artwork of people facing backward at the same time looking up. It was my take on the meta of having profile pictures or avatars facing forward or sideways.
The three genesis pieces were sold immediately and as I promised the proceeds will be given to a member of the indigenous groups in our country.
🧠 How would you explain what you do to someone outside of Web3?
I would tell them I create content for Web3 projects and have a community of Filipinos looking for work and working in the industry. I started the Facebook page, The Ninong Julz Chronicles, to share my adventures in Web3 and educate those still unfamiliar with it.
💡 Which creator or thought leader do you enjoy learning from?
I do listen to random people online about leadership. In this season, I guess I am more on Pete Cabrera Jr. He teaches about our identity. His videos help me be grounded and live out my learnings.
🥳 What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
I guess the biggest highlight so far is being invited to talk in front of a crowd to talk about Web3 and NFTs.
It was in Bacoor during the Philippine Startup Week. Although it wasn’t the first time to speak to a crowd, I just felt the trust that I can talk about the topic in real life.
📈 What tech or crypto trend are you watching this year?
I guess the development of Artificial Intelligence is what I am looking at right now. In the development of the “Metaverse,” it could be integrated. Imagine going into a virtual space and you are talking to an AI. Just like NPCs in games.
🤝 What advice would you give someone starting out in web3?
The best advice I could give is to do your research well. Ask people you know who are in the industry. Don’t rely much on the hype and fear. Facts are essential to getting to learn more about Web3. Join a well-organized Web3 community and learn from them.
🎤 If you could do a TEDtalk on any topic, what would it be?
I think I would talk about the importance of Web3 communities and our part as Filipinos in the success of the projects. Second, if religious talks are allowed, I could share my learnings about our true identity in Christ.
🚨 What is the one thing you would bring if you were stuck on a deserted island?
I guess I would bring my Bible. To keep me sane and connected.
The resources for survival are available around there for sure. The learnings I got from watching documentaries might come in handy. Hehe.