This blog was created with the sole intent of showcasing Pinoy good-ness and talented-ness and survivor-ness around the world. So, it is only fitting that I make mention of Diosdado “Dado” Banatao here. For most Filipinos, the name is unfamiliar. But for the powers-that-be populating Silicon Valley, the man is the brilliant billionaire – the first-ever and the only Filipino so far to have attained that status, who has made and continue to make, significant contributions to the growth of information and communication technology.
Watch a Feature About Dado
I “discovered” this guy almost two years ago, when I was scouring the net for some possible good-hearted individuals or corporations willing to sponsor my mom’s struggling private school in the Philippines. During my endless searches in the internet, the name of Mr. Banatao came up. Well, I could not find a way to contact him to ask for his help, but I came to know him better by reading articles about him.
I was inspired and amazed to read about his accomplishments and contributions to information and communication technology. To put it in a nutshell, he is partly responsible for making computers affordable for ordinary people. He worked on several IT technologies that are now part of our ordinary computing life. If the following accomplishment of this Cagayano-Filipino is not amazing to you, I don’t know what is:
- First single-chip, 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator (while at Commodore in 1976)
- First 10-Mbit Ethernet CMOS with silicon coupler data-link control and transreceiver chip; got 3Com into the Ethernet PC add-in card business (while at Seeq in early 1980s)
- First system logic chip set for the PC-XT and the PC-AT (while at Mostron in 1984 and Chips and Technologies in 1985)
- First enhanced graphics adapter chip set (while at Chips and Technologies in 1985)
- Pioneered local bus concept for PC (while at S3 in 1989)
- First Windows accelerator chip (while at S3 in 1990)
- Chips and Technologies – initially acquired by Intel, now an Asilent Telechnologies brand.
As you can see, he is a trailblazer, an inventor, a genius! I am so proud that one of our own race was used to come up with all these things, some of which I cannot even begin to fathom. At the same time, I also wonder what good could he have done had he not left the Philippines…
Mr. Diosdado “Dado” Banatao was born in the town of Iguig, Cagayan Valley (my home province, too!) in 1946. He is a member of the Ytawes minority group of Cagayan.
He graduated cum laude from the Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila and also holds an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He is currently the Managing Partner of Tallwood Venture Capital, a firm that encourages bright minds to nurture their ideas and translate them into things that are useful and helpful. He is also involved in other corporations and businesses. From that poor little boy who went to a public school in Iguig, he has come a long way indeed. To know more about him, click here or search his name in the internet and you will be given a lot of write-ups about this brilliant man.
Dado Banatao plays as hard as he works, too. He splurges on big-time toys only seriously moneyed boys can afford – planes and expensive cars. His first job as a professional was as a pilot with Philippine Airlines before he transferred to Boeing in the US. His family lives in the US now and they are all involved with the Filipino communities there. He and his wife Maria are givers – they never fail to give back for all the blessings that they received and because, according to Dado, he came from humble beginnings, too. His children are all achievers and that must really be a source of pride for this kababayan and his wife.
I am sure there are more Dado Banataos back in the Philippines. I hope that like him, they will also be brave enough to follow their dreams and work harder to make them into reality.