Howard Garancho, AxU Scholar ng Nueva Ecija: Abutin ang mga Pangarap sa Tulong ng Play-to-Earn

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For the English version of the article, go straight here.

Sa isang bayan sa Nueva Ecija, maraming mga Pilipino ang kumita ng sapat sa kanilang pangangailangan dahil sa paglalaro ng NFT game na Axie Infinity. Bumisita si Leah Callon-Butler, columnist sa crypto news site na Coindesk at director ng Emfarsis, kasama si Nathan Smale, principal consultant ng Emfarsis, sa Cabanatuan upang makita ang mga Pilipinong nagbago ang buhay ng dahil sa “Play-to-Earn.”

Dito sa pangatlong parte ng Play-to-Earn Profiles,” aking ininterview si Howard, isa sa mga nakabangon dahil sa paglalaro ng Axie Infinity at scholar ng AxU (Axie Unversity) sa Cabanatuan at nainterview din siya documentary na pinamagatang: “Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines” na produced ng Yield Guild Games kasama ang Delphi Digital at dinirek ng Emfarsis.

Ano na ba ang pinagkakaabalahan ni Howard ngayon? Ito ang kanyang Kwentong #SalamatAxie at #PlayToEarn.

Tagalog: Howard Ammon Garancho, Axie Infinity Player, AxU Scholar

Si Howard ay nagtatrabaho ngayon bilang isang marketing staff, nagsimula siyang maglaro ng Axie Infinity  noong Nobyembre 2020. Meron ng kinita si Howard na humigit kumulang na Php70,000 simula ng November hangang February. Ngayong Mayo inaasahan niyang nasa mga six digits ang payout nya mula sa paglalaro ng Axie Infinity.

Malayong-malayo ito sa kinikita nya sa day-job nya na Php6,000.

Ang perang kinikita niya sa paglalaro ng Axie Infinity ay pinambayad niya sa ilang mga bills sa bahay, inabot niya sa mga magulang niya, nakabili na din siya ng tricycle na ginagamit niyang service sa trabaho.

Hindi lamang tulong pinansyal ang paglalaro ng Axie Infinity sa buhay ni Howard, dahil na din dito tumataas ang self-confidence niya. Tumutulong na din ngayon si Howard sa pagte-train ng mga bagong scholars ng Axie Infinity ng Yield Guild Games o mas kilala sa tawag na YGG. 

Nagbabalak si Howard na magkaroon na rin ng sarili niyang account. Plano din niyang mag invest sa Axie Infinity Shards (AXS). Sa mga susunod na buwan gusto din ni Howard na magkaroon na ng sarili nyang scholarship program para sa kanyang mga kaibigan.

Paano ka natutong maglaro ng Axie Infinity?

Ken Garancho, one of the entrepreneurs behind Axie University, introduced Howard to Axie Infinity

Si Tito Ken ang nagturo sa akin maglaro ng Axie. Isa siya sa mga founders ng Axie University dito sa Cabanatuan. Tinanong nya ako kung interesado ako sa play-to-earn game. Sabi ko po gusto ko subukan. Pero bago ako nag-start ang dami ko munang mga tanong, katulad ng, kapag matatalo ako sa game mababawasan ba ang kikitain ko?

Kapag kasi nag start ako ng kahit ano tiningnan ko talaga ung downside niya para ready ako. Sabi naman ng Tito ko walang mababawas kahit pa natalo ka, hindi lang madadagdagan yung panalo mo.

Paano ka nagsimulang maglaro?

Binigyan lang po ako ng introduction sa game, sabi lang sa akin parang Pokemon game, tapos ako na nag-explore. Inobserbahan ko lang ang gameplay ko lalo na sa battle arena, nag notes ako ng mga tamang card combos. Bukod pa dun nanonood din ako ng mga Youtube tutorial videos.

Mula ng nagsimula kang maglaro, magkano na ang iyong kinita?

Mula Nobyembre 2020, kung pagsasamahin inabot na siguro ng mga Php 70,000. Sa buong buhay ko ito na yata ang pinaka malaking pera na kinita ko. Life changing siya. Akala ko hangang minimum wage na lang ako. Pero dumating ang Axie pinatunayan nitong na kayang-kaya ko abutin ang mga pangarap ko.

May iba ka pa bang NFT games na nilalaro?

Bukod sa Axie wala na ako nilalaro pero naririnig ko ung Alien Worlds, gusto ko din subukan.

Sa ngayon ay isa kang Axie scholar, may plano ka bang magkaroon ng sarili mong team?

Yun po ang plano ko iniintay ko lang po yung payout ko ng March at April.  Ine-expect ko po makakuha ako ng nasa Php 54,000 to P58,000 tapos may naipon na din po ako. Ang advise po sa akin ng Tito ko ay bumili muna ng isang team tapos ung iba i-stake ko sa AXS.

Paano nabago ng Axie ang buhay mo at ng pamilya mo? 

Bata pa lang ako gamer na ako, kahit isang beses hindi naman ako kumita sa paglalaro ko. Sa ilang libong oras na ginugol ko sa paglalaro ng iba’t-ibang games hindi ako nakabili ng kahit man lamang sana pang-lunch. Buti na lamang may kaibigan ako na parati ako nililibre ng lunch, para naman masuklian ko ang kagandahang loob nya tinutulungan ko siya sa mga lessons at assignments namin sa school.

Malaking bagay ang perang kinikita ko sa Axie, binigyan ako nito ng lakas ng loob at pag-asa na kaya ko abutin lahat ng pangarap ko. Umpisa pa lang ito ng maraming opportunity na dala bagong technology ang mahalaga lang ay maging open tayo at maging matapang sa pag take ng risk.

English: Interview with Howard Ammon Garancho, Axie Infinity Player, AxU Scholar

In one rural area in the Philippines, an entire community has earned a living from playing the blockchain game called Axie Infinity. Leah Callon-Butler, columnist for major crypto news publication Coindesk and director of consultancy firm Emfarsis, together with Emfarsis’ principal consultant Nathan Smale travelled to Cabanatuan to meet the very people whose lives have changed because of “Play-to-Earn.”

In the third article in our “Play-to-Earn Profiles” series, I interviewed Howard Ammon Garancho, Axie Infinity player and a scholar of AxU (Axie University) in Cabanatuan who appeared in the documentary: Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines” produced by Yield Guild Games in collaboration with Delphi Digital and directed by Emfarsis.

What’s Howard up to these days? This is his #PlayToEarn and #ThanksAxie story.

Howard works in marketing, he has been playing Axie Infinity since November 2020.  The total money he earned from playing the game reached almost Php 70,000 last February and he’s expecting around the same amount of pay this May. 

It’s very far from the Php 6,000 monthly he gets from his day job. 

The money he’s getting from playing Axie paid off his bills, gave his family extra money, and even bought him a tricycle to bring him to work every day. 

Playing Axie Infinity gave Howard a sense of new life directions and is building his self-confidence. He now plans to buy his Axie team and invest in Axie Infinity Shards (AXS). In the next few months he plans to breed Axies and put up his own scholarship program.

How did you learn about ‘Axie Infinity’? Who Introduced you to the game? 

Ken Garancho, one of the entrepreneurs behind Axie University, introduced Howard to Axie Infinity

It was my Tito Ken who introduced me to Axie.  He asked me if I’m interested in play-to-earn games. I told him I want to give it a try.  But before I started playing the game, I asked him a lot of questions like: “What would happen if I lost in the game? Are my losses deducted from my wins?

Every time I start something new, I habitually find out the downside or its disadvantages first. He assured me that regardless how much losses I incur in the battle arena it will not be deducted in my pay.

How did you learn to play?

I was given a brief introduction about the game play, I was told that it’s similar to Pokemon games and from there I explored it myself. I observed my own game in the battle arena and I took notes of my best card combo. Aside from that, I also watched video tutorials on Youtube. 

Do you have plans of buying another Axie team soon?

I have plans to breed Axies soon, I want other people to try and experience earning money from play-to-earn games like Axie and somehow help them. I believe it can change their lives just like how it changed ours.

Since August 2020, how much do you think you’ve earned in total?

More than Php 70,000 I guess. But so far this is the biggest money I have ever received in my whole life in a span of four months. It’s life changing and liberating. Growing up, I thought that my whole life would be stuck in the  minimum wage as I believe that it’s better than nothing. But something great came in my way and it’s changing me, it’s changing how I see technology that it’s not all for enjoyment but a highway to earn a living.

Have you started playing other NFT games?

Aside from Axie Infinity, I haven’t tried any play-to-earn games, but I’ve been hearing about Alien Worlds and I’m keen to play it. 

You have been an Axie scholar ever since, do you have any plans of buying your own Axie team soon?

Yes, that’s the plan. I’m just waiting for my March and April payout. I’m expecting around Php 54,000 to Php 58,000 which will be added to my saved money from my previous payouts. I am supposed to buy two teams, but my Tito advised that I should get one team for now and stake the rest of the money in Axie Infinity Shards (AXS).

How is the money helping you and your family?

I bought a tricycle from the money I earned from playing Axie. A motorcycle sounds good, but I find a tricycle more practical. I use it as my service going back and forth to the office. I’m now employed again and working in Digital Marketing. It’s handy, especially if I need to transport big items from work. Also, it fits both my parents safely inside if they need to go anywhere within our community, like the public market.

How did playing Axie Infinity change your life? What is the biggest contribution of Axie in your life?

Playing Axie Infinity and getting paid more than the minimum wage is something I never thought in my life would happen.  You see, I’ve been a gamer ever since. I started very young and I play a lot of games, mainly for enjoyment. I spend hours and hours every day winning every game quest and battle. But I never earned any single penny. The only thing I get from playing is the momentary feeling of achievement, and after a while, I’m back in my old hungry days.

In my college days, I never had enough lunch money, but I’m fortunate that I have a best friend who lets me eat free, and in return, I helped him with school work. It’s a win-win.  But sometimes I feel sad because you know how people look at someone like me, people who barely make ends meet, you know, poor people like me. 

When I first received my payout of more than P50,000 in February, I felt that I couldn’t be poor for the rest of my life.  My 100,000 hours of playing countless mobile games are finally paying off. I felt a surge of self-confidence. It gave me the feeling of “I can do more.”  Recently my Tito made me a trainer. I trained new Axie Infinity scholars. Axie Infinity is giving me countless opportunities to discover myself. 

This article is published on BitPinas: Howard Garancho, AxU Scholar ng Nueva Ecija: Abutin ang mga Pangarap sa Tulong ng Play-to-Earn

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Joy Gurtiza

Joy Gurtiza is a cryptocurrency enthusiast, mommy blogger, and food photographer. She's fascinated with genuine, heartwarming, and inspiring human stories. Excited with the metaverse, she plans to pioneer a full-service fast-food chain exclusive for people with cats! Follow her on Twitter @joybitesme.