It’s been 10 years already since I had a sketch of a proposed internet shop in one of our commercial stalls in the province fronting the national road. Way back then, internet shops are not that accessible and available to the community. Not all household do have their own computers then much that dial-up internet was a luxury to many.

It was only during 1997 or rather 12 years ago that I was able to get a glimpse of the World Wide Web thingy. It was my friend Jett at UP Diliman who took me to this “study center” behind Vinzon’s Hall where he assisted me in opening up my first email account – i_am_ericson@lycos.com. Hehehe. What an awkward email address to use!

Since then, I got addicted to the internet plus my love for computers and programming. I have even thought of putting up my own “study center” then which was later coined as the “internet cafe” or “internet shop” now. The original intention 12 years ago that lead me to this “study center” was for a typing job.

Most stores then in the UP campus then who has their computer sets (386 and 486 clones) in their premises are for typing jobs. No more, no less. Internet which was linked to research was not that famous then. Well, at least for me or perhaps it was famous then as well but I was just too ignorant to notice. Hehehe.

Going back 2 years after that first encounter with the World Wide Web, I was already mastering and even practicing my skills in computer for a fee – a midnight snack. I would repair and upgrade computers in return for an egg sandwich or a pancit canton which was so important then for an insomniac dorm geek like me.

I suddenly became a businessman only that I render service not for money but for food. Hahaha. Since we lack a computer room at Yakal Residence Hall, I talked it out with some dorm mates who owned their personal computers to join me pool our equipments and create a dormitory “study center” with computers for rental.

I submitted the proposal but because money was involved, the dormitory manager did not approve for it. Thus, we all ended up bringing back all our computers on our respective rooms. Instead, I sold my computer to start my soon-to-be “buy and sell” business and “computer assembly and supplies” sideline. 

The first sale I made was a success in the beginning but then it all ended up as failure because the buyer did not fully understand the meaning of “refurbish”. He was expecting brand new equipment for half the price that he almost sent me to the Student Disciplinary Tribunal! Hahaha. That sale marked the birth of the salesperson in me.

I sold almost hundreds of computers in our town alone and put up some computer rooms for schools. I have upgraded the same number as well. I was almost synonymous to Mr. Quickie or 911 then where if you have problems with computers, you have to call for Ryan. I hate to brag but this is how it was.  

In 1999, I have proposed an investment to a businessman uncle for funding. I took a sketch pad and a pencil and drew the floor plan for a “study center” or perhaps the very first “internet cafe” in our town. Because the cost then was way too expensive, I only thought of having 2-5 computers. All was on the go until I shifted to programming.

10 years after or on March 2009, my parents along with my sister and her husband decided to use the vacated stall in our place for an “internet shop” con “hobby shop” plus a “PCSO Lotto Outlet”. It was something that was due a decade ago but then we decided to push for it though we already have 2 competitors just a stone throw away.

I was looking too high that I thought of investing in a corporation or onto some schemes so complicated. I got into commercial software development and deployment plus service and consulting even before I have engaged myself into full time employment only to realize that I just wanted a simple business to keep the family busy and united.

Thus, we have put up yet another humorous idea… the PATATU INTERNET SHOP. Hehehe. Anyway, the name and its meaning truly deserve a separate blog entry that I will post soon to best explain how and why we have settled for such a business name. Hehehe. Cheers!