Mikey Ilagan, Everybody Loves This Geek

 Michaelangelo "Mikey" Ilagan - Interactive Interface Developer by day; as Geekadelphia editor-in-chief brings together Philadelphia's best tech contributors who make a difference. (Photo courtesy of Mikey Ilagan)

Michaelangelo "Mikey" Ilagan - Interactive Interface Developer by day; as Geekadelphia editor-in-chief brings together Philadelphia's best tech contributors who make a difference. (Photo courtesy of Mikey Ilagan)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, geeks were looked upon with trepidation and skepticism. Most earthlings like me did not understand geek speak or what fascinated these legions of techie tribes. Getting to know Michaelangelo “Mikey” Ilagan of Philadelphia changed that. Mikey, in his early 30s, is an interactive interface developer at Think Brownstone by day. But after work hours, he is the Geekadelphia editor-in-chief. Mikey is a true geek. His enthusiasm is infectious. In all he does he appreciates the technical, scientific, artistic and fun side of people, events and new products.

Mikey runs Geekadelphia, which is more than a Philadelphia geek website. It brings together the who’s who of Philly’s techie scene through public events, film premieres, art shows, new products and the much-awaited, sellout Philadelphia Geek Awards held at the Academy of Natural Science at Drexel University. The annual awards’ black tie event, with over 400 guests, was dubbed “Philly’s Best Party of the Year” by Phillyvoice.com. Tickets always sold out in minutes. Mikey co-produces this show, which recognizes outstanding technical contributors in Philly. This year, the Philadelphia Geek Awards has partnered with the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy to launch a grant fund of $2,000 to award the best geeky projects to enrich the city.

As Geekadelphia EIC, Mikey oversees a squad of writers, designers, developers and creative minds. Since 2007, Geekadelphia’s site has accrued five million hits, averaging 2,000 daily. On social media, Geekadelphia broadcasts to thousands of engaged followers on different platforms 24/7. Mikey maintains a strong “social media omnipresence” which he values. For him, it’s not just about posting a photo on Facebook. Social media bring people to people, promote products or events and build relationships.

 Mikey Ilagan, Geekadelphia editor-in-chief, with producers of the annual Philadelphia Geek Awards recognize awardees who make the tech scene better. (Photo courtesy of Mikey Ilagan).

Mikey Ilagan, Geekadelphia editor-in-chief, with producers of the annual Philadelphia Geek Awards recognize awardees who make the tech scene better. (Photo courtesy of Mikey Ilagan).

Mikey, newly married to wife Allie, proudly taps on his Filipino roots. He was raised by Filipino parents, first-generation immigrants in Philadelphia. “My family molded me. I want to contribute to diversity in the field of web design. Though dominated by males, the industry has growth opportunities to be more inclusive. Those with similar aspirations can seize these chances and learn to create the web.”

There have been low moments. Mikey recalls the recession when full time jobs were tough to find. “It required positivity. I pulled through, found a steady job.”


Mikey is a true geek. His enthusiasm is infectious. In all he does he appreciates the technical, scientific, artistic and fun side of people, events and new products.

The amiable Filipino in Mikey shines through in relationships with friends, co-workers and when he runs for health or charity. It’s that “pakikisama” trait which enables him to get along with everyone on the planet.

Eric Smith, Geekadelphia co-founder said, “Mikey is a giving person. He puts himself before others constantly and that’s the best trait a geek can have. Mikey is altruistic. He gives back. He does that in spades.”

Geeky Mikey informs, inspires and changes the world. His simple mantra for earthlings is, “Don’t sweat the small things. Look on the bright side even at difficult times.”

May the force be with you always, Mikey.


 Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site AsianInAmericamag.com.


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