We are a FILIPINO startup trying to solve a very particular FILIPINO problem

With over 7100 islands, the Philippines has a population of around 106M

Of which only 27% live in Metro Manila and other Metro cities

And a vast 73% are in the rural and provincial areas

One such island is Siargao island...

The booming surfing capital of the Philippines.

A whole island with a rapidly growing economy…

And only 1 ATM machine - often offline and often cashless.

40 minutes away by motorcycle in another town, away from the economic center.

access to cash - problem in most rural areas

only 14% of households have accounts

86% remain unbanked

only 12% use credit cards

We see a whole set of challenging circumstances...

Access to cash is often a problem in an island like Siargao, as it is in most rural areas in the Philippines.

To begin with, just 14% of households nationally have bank acccounts

- 86% of national population remain unbanked. And this number is even increasing.

And on top of that, credit card penetration for the whole country is only at 12% of population.

These are the challenges that lead to the problem we’d like to solve...

But our unique circumstances bring exceptional opportunities...

"Philippines—I think you have the opportunity to make the world’s best fintech, because you have so many mobile phones. We should make the Philippines a cashless society."

Jack Ma
October 25, 2017
De La Salle University

The Philippines has over 70M cellphone users
- almost 70% of total population

- 12th around the world on the most number of mobile users and one of highest smart phone penetration in the world

Filipinos spend around 4 hours a day on social media alone.

We are ETAKA.

We bring mobile payment solution where it’s needed.

A uniquely local solution...

We're bringing mobile payments to the unbanked.

Starting in Siargao Island with SIARGAO Pay - our Mobile Payment App Solution and Digital Wallet that allows for quick, efficient and secured Cashless Transactions.

A closed-loop system that allows users to load cash values into their SIARGAO Pay App and use them to pay for products and services among SIARGAO Pay Member Merchants.

Smartly named after the island itself, SIARGAO Pay gives a local, proprietary and "our-own" feel to the app.

We've been on the ground and have extensively validated our idea...

And we have signed up the some of the biggest, most respected resorts, restaurants and businesses in the island… Including the following merchants and businesses:

Some of the biggest Resorts and Restaurants:
BRAVO Beach Resort
HARANA Surf Resort
KERMIT Siargao
SIARGAO INN Beach Resort

Popular Bars, Surf Shops and Apparel Shops:
LOOSE KEYS Moto Culture

Custom Boards and Surf Instructors:
Coco SURF Custom Boards
Wilmar Melindo - Surf Instructor
Eloy Nogalo - Surf Instructor
Marama Tokong - Surf Instructor

Even the local Environmental Organization:
Siargao Environmental Awareness or SEA Movement

Our Team

We are Filipino founders and developers trying to solve problems unique to the Philippines.

Teddy G. Catuira
Advertising & Communications Veteran of over 30 years
Multi-awarded Writer/Creative Director and TV Commercials Director
Producer, Creator & Director of Digital Content
Alex R. Resurreccion
Logistics & Operations Professional
Experienced Competitive Surfer
Adopted Son of Philippine Surfing Spots - Siargao, Baler and La Union
Rael Canasa
Developer - Timble CVBA
Founder Chief Software Architect - Creatizens
Founder - The Founder Institute
Founder Chief Hacker - WIZMEDIA Inc.
Allan Pilarca
Developer - Timble CVBA
Web Developer - WIZMEDIA Inc.
Johan Janssens
Co-Founder - Joomla!
Founder - JoomlaTools
Founder Chief Innovator - Timble CVBA


Mike Mapa & Monette Mapa - Founders

Moving Forward...

Unique and Focused Local Solutions

We continue to identify communities with similar problems and opportunities...

Create strong partnerships and collaborations with local merchants to provide relevant solutions.

Providing the market with product features, conveniences and solutions...

And merchants with marketing learnings and analytics pertinent to their businesses.

We believe the situation in Siargao is not unique and may be relevant to a considerable number of areas and markets in the Philippines

7100+ islands of struggling economies trying to get into the digital space...

We see ourselves replicating our SIARGAO Pay solution immediately to other similar communities and areas...

Other Stories...

We spoke to Adam Broadbent from ZuBlu about his Siargao Experience.

How did you hear about Siargao?

For my honeymoon, my wife and I decided to spend 4 months traveling the Philippines exploring its beauty both above and below the water. After a few weeks exploring the Visayas, we were continually told about this magical destination on the eastern edge of the Philippines and it wasn’t long before we added Siargao into our travel plans.

In Christmas 2016, we arrived in Siargao via ferry from Surigao. A winding habal-habal journey (motorcycle taxi) took us towards the famous stretch of coastline around General Luna where the famous surf-break, Cloud 9, is located.

What did you think of Siargao?

Our immediate impression of Siargao was that it is quite unlike the rest of the Philippines and more akin to somewhere like Bali in Indonesia but 20 years ago when it was fairly untouched. With smoothie shacks, bamboo guesthouses, and surfboards scattered everywhere – you know the main aim in Siargao is to surf hard and chill even harder. A combination of great beaches and breaks, good food and the unwavering friendly Filipino culture, Siargao is a gem in the Philippines' crown.

Did you like your experience?

We loved our time on Siargao and ended up spending a full two weeks there over Christmas. We took the time to explore some of the more remote surf breaks as well as other unique locations on around the island such as Sugba Lagoon and the Magpupungko rock pools.

What was a memorable experience?

Our favourite experience was spending a day at a remote surf break near Union Beach which had a great left and right-hander with either one pumping depending on the swell direction. To reach it we had to leave the main road and navigate our way through dozens of palm trees before they opened up into this gorgeous bay. It was glorious!

Any unfortunate incident?

One of the main challenges we found traveling to some of the more remote areas of the Philippines was the lack of ATMs and access to money. On one occasion, we even got stuck on an island as all the ATMs had failed or were empty and we were unable to pay for a ferry or alternative transport. We ended up having to borrow some money from friends that we repaid later.

Will you ever go back?

I can’t wait to go back but am continually recommending friends to go there in the meantime. To ensure Siargao’s charm is maintained, I’d recommend visiting as soon as possible!

About Adam Broadbent

Adam is the CEO and co-founder of ZuBlu – a travel platform providing divers with a simple yet intuitive way to discover exciting dive experiences across Asia. The website marries a powerful search tool with an exciting range of dive destinations and eco-friendly resorts, putting the power of discovery and choice into the hands of ZuBlu’s guests. To discover your next underwater experience in Asia head to www.zubludiving.com

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