I got a tour yesterday of Laro Corporation Philippines from COO Nobuhiro Fujii and programmer David Uy. Only two years old, Laro (Filipino for "game") is one of only three game development companies I know of in the Philippines. A PS2 game Laro worked on made #3 in Japan.
Fujii-san, a programmer on Final Fantasy IX, regaled me with stories of his work at Square Enix, the origins of ATB, Japanese gamer tastes, and Hironobu Sakaguchi's powerful aura at work. David showed me an all-Filipino team surrounded by topnotch technology, game design textbooks, Leithold (may he rest in peace), anime figurines, and original-language manga.
What really sticks in my mind is the reason Laro's founders choose the Philippines. According to Fujii-san, the big game development houses in Japan suck up all the talent, so there isn't much left for smaller players. The Philippines, on the other hand, has a vast pool of untapped game development talent -- a pool Laro has been swimming in for two years now.
Hope to see more companies like Laro playing in the pool.