Archive | February, 2009

First Filipino Freethinkers Forum – Live Stream

Watch live video from Filipino Freethinkers Channel on

Posted in Video2 Comments

FFFF Venue Maps

You won’t lose your way with these fine maps made by Tin. Thanks Tin! And thanks to for the source images.

And here are some directions c/o Benj:

If you’re talking public transpo, go to the MRT station nearest you and head to Ayala.
Cross EDSA and look for buses/jeep going to Fort Bonifacio/ Market! Market! (there’s a terminal next to a shell station)
You will see a long row of shops before Market Market – get off as soon as you see them.
Walking to Market! Market! Fully Booked will be to your RIGHT. 🙂

By the way, to coordinate transportation with other members (carpooling, commuting, etc.) please visit our forum.



Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization0 Comments

Final Draft of Forum Schedule: Subthemes and Speakers Added

Here’s the (almost) final draft of the Forum schedule. Note that the 5 open forum segments (1-5) will be introduced by a short 5-10 minute talk, which leaves 20-25 minutes to discuss each subtheme.

12:00 – 1:00 (1:00) Registration
1:00 – 1:10 (0:05) Tribute to Freethought Heroes
1:10 – 1:15 (0:10) The Past and Present of Philippine Freethought; Practical Freethinking defined
1:15 – 1:45 (0:30) 1: Freethought and Politics — Dr. Sylvia Estrada Claudio on the RH Bill
1:45 – 2:15 (0:30) 2: Freethought and Philosophy — Geri Villas on Secular Humanism
2:15 – 2:45 (0:30) 3: Freethought and Science — Maria Isabel Garcia on Science and Freethinking
2:45 – 3:15 (0:30) 4: Offline Freethought — John Paraiso on Grassroots Freethinking
3:15 – 3:45 (0:30) 5: Online Freethought — Benj Espina on Freethought and New Media
3:45 – 3:55 (0:10) The Future of Filipino Freethinkers
3:55 – 4:00 (0:05) Call to Community

Thanks in advance to all our speakers!

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization0 Comments

2 Days to Go, 12 Seats Remaining

Nope, that’s not a Greenbelt cinema. Nor did I Photoshop our website onto the screen.

FF Theater

That, my friends, is the U-View, our venue for this Saturday’s FFFF. Only 12 warm and comfy slots remain, and one of them can be yours. Just put your procrastination mode on hold and register now.


Registered participants will get one of these nice buttons — absolutely free (size and shininess may vary from picture).


But wait! There’s more. Register and you’ll get a chance to own one of these commemorative collector’s T-shirts — absolutely free (increases freethinking by at least 28% (results may vary)).

Register now!

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization5 Comments

FF Meetup No. 4: The Week Before FFFF

We’re back where we started.
The Filipino Freethinkers (FF) began the fourth week of their fellowship where they were born.

Starbucks Shangri-la remains a heavenly haven for heathens — comfy couches to lounge on, lots of space to speak ala-Carl (with gusto), and a mass held right after, just to remind us of where we all came from.

And this journey from unreason to reason we all share. And just like the first meetup, new members sat on the hotseat to share their stories.

Some simple, some funny, some sad — but each in its own way special and interesting and engrossing. Which is why we almost forgot what we met up for — to prepare for the First Filipino Freethinkers’ Forum (FFFF).

Yes, we’re back where we started.

But we’ve come a long way.

The FFFF has evolved from a unicellular acronym to a fully fledged forum with appendages. These arms and legs, AKA committee members and leaders, have been working overtime.

Registration is ongoing, fast and easy — if you’re even hassled just a little the registration committee leader, Danny Boy, will pay you a visit with his portable registration machine, AKA laptop.

Donation is similarly simple, with our recently setup Pay Pal link (see sidebar). And again, if you’re hassled, Wella and the other fundraising committee members will pay you a visit with their purple velvet donation bags, complete with wooden oak handles.

Which brings us to some really good news. Thanks to our recent donors, both local and overseas, we’ve just about met our target to pay for venue rental. (Which by the way is not too shabby.)

Still, we need to raise more money to completely pay for the venue, food, and souvenirs (Don’t worry Tony, we’ll get you a Tshirt for sure! 😉 ) So like the churches say, give like you’re guilty! (Ok, they don’t say that,but you get the point.)

Speaking of souvenirs, Boo Frank couldn’t make it, but Tin printed a few sample T-shirt designs. We’re still working on whether to get the shirts or just give away iron-on transfers.

Some other good news. Thanks to our PR leader, Benj, Dr. Claudio, a prominent advocate of the RH bill is speaking at the forum. You may recognize her from her recent posts on the mailing list, each of which foreshadows a very interesting talk, indeed.

Another potentially interesting talk will be given (potentially) by a prominent science writer, Maria Isabel Garcia, the probability of which depending on Margot’s powers of persuasion. Good luck Margot!

The rest of the speaker slots will be filled by our very own members: Benj on Practical Freethinking via New Media, John on Grassroots Freethinking, and Geri on Freethought and Secular Humanism.

The speakers, like the forum program, is still not final. So stay tuned to the About FFFF page and to this space for updates.

In case you haven’t read Benj’s post below, the event will be streamed live via our Justin TV channel. But for those who can’t watch live, the A/V committee, headed by John and Igme, will cover the invent via voice recorder, cameras, and camcorders (we have two now 🙂 ), and a team lead by Geraldson will edit the coverage before uploading to our gallery.

Whew. We’ve really come a long way.

But there’s still a long way to go.
Presentations need preparing, funds need raising, food needs cooking, tshirts need printing, and most importantly, FF needs evolving — we need extra sets of arms and legs. If you’d like to help by donating yours, please show your support.

We promise you a very rewarding journey.
Our members have access to the most awesome books and movies (all legal, of course), and the most delicious food (thanks to Danny, Tania, and Ed for sponsoring our snacks so far). So join us. We promise you a fun and friendly journey. Best of all, like our thinking, it’s free.

Posted in Meetup, Pictures6 Comments

Can't Make It To The First Filipino Freethinkers Forum? Watch It Online!

February 28 would mark a momentous occasion for Freethinkers currently in Manila and surrounding areas due to the holding of the First Filipino Freethinkers Forum, but if you can’t make it to the event for one reason or another – logistical reasons, work, family engagements or an impending nuclear war in your neighborhood — you can always catch the event online via live stream.

So if you’re abroad or at a far-flung area in the Philippines, point your browsers to the Filipino Freethinkers Channel on from 12NN to 4PM this Saturday (February 28, 2009).  We will be live streaming the event complete with all the guest speakers presentations and the open forum that follows each segment. The channel also features a chat feature so you could also talk with the other freethinkers watching this historic event from all over the world.

If you can’t be online during the actual live stream, we will also upload videos of the event

Posted in Video0 Comments

Now Open: Registration for FFFF on Feb 28

Registration for the First Filipino Freethinkers Forum is now open! Join us on February 28th from 1PM to 4PM (registration starts at 12NN) at the U-View in Fully Booked at 902 Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City. The topic will be: Practical Freethinking. The event will be free-of-charge, and food will be served. To confirm your attendance, please complete the following form and send it to [email protected]:

*TELEPHONE: (Preferably cellphone, for texting purposes)

Fields with asterisks are required. Alternatively, you can use our online registration form. Do not submit your registration form to this mailing list! Choose one of the above options.

Please register on or before February 27, 2009.

(None of your personal information will be sold or shared to third parties.)

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization8 Comments

FF Meetup No. 4 Details

When: Sunday, Feb. 22, 1-4PM

Where: Shangri-la Starbucks (top floor, same as the first meetup last Feb.1)

Who: FF members, especially FFFF committee leaders and members. All interested freethinkers who wish to help with the FFFF are also welcome.


  1. Committee leaders report on the work of their team.
  2. Program/agenda for the FFFF will be finalized.
  3. Next actions will be scheduled and assigned.
  4. The usual off-topic discussions/distractions 🙂

Posted in Meetup0 Comments

FF Meetup No. 3 and the online Filipino Freethinkers Forum

We should call Guinness. At 6 hours, this is officially the longest freethinkers’ meetup in history. Why did it take so long?

Before going to Danny Boy’s crib we met at McDonald’s Commonwealth at around 5pm, which is 530pm in Filipino time. Then aside from Dinner and the usual off-topic discussions, we got down to business and planned for the FFFF. We got a lot of things done: roles were delegated, committee discussions  started, and next actions assigned. At 11pm, as much as we would’ve liked to go on, we decided to call it a night and continue collaborating on the forum.

Which brings me to the online Filipino Freethinkers Forum (eFFF). We decided to create a forum for the following reasons:

  1. Better organization via categories and topics. In only two weeks we already had more than 500 messages on the mailing list, which was pretty difficult to search through.
  2. New members can easily search and participate in old discussions. We have new members coming in all the time, and it wouldn’t be realistic to expect each one of them to read 500 messages as initiation.
  3. New ideas on old topics can be added to the existing discussion. Instead of starting a new discussion from scratch, members can search for old topics, read what has already been said, and then continue the discussions.
  4. You can choose the topics you’re interested in. Instead of getting a lot of updates about things you don’t care much about, not to mention filling up your email inbox, you can control which discussions to participate in and which to ignore.
  5. Better administration and security features. There’s only one level of security in a mailing list, and with discussions of different natures, granular permission levels are a must.

We hope you support us by joining the forum. There we’ll do most of the planning and also post the latest announcements about the FFFF. Which by the way is less than 2 weeks away. Expect the forum to get busy really soon.

Posted in Meetup, Pictures7 Comments

A Band of Thinkers: FF Meetup Number 2 Pics

Posted in Meetup, Pictures8 Comments

FFFF Schedule 2nd Draft

After some discussion (and  a number of digressions), we’ve managed to work out a number of additional details for the upcoming FFFF:

1.) The theme of the forum will be something along the lines of “Practical Freethinking – Expressing and promoting Freethought in our modern Filipino society.”

2.) There will be 4 speakers or so, taken from within our little fellowship.

3.) The format for each open forum, after the registration and the opening ceremony, will be:

  • Moderator introduces the speaker
  • Speaker presents his/her ideas for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Audience discussion
  • Moderator summarizes the discussion on the topic

4.) Red has volunteered to be the moderator, though some have expressed he would be better off as a speaker.

5.) Speakers have not yet been determined, but we’re looking for a diverse group of speakers (regarding their approach to the theme), strong personalities, some competence for public speaking, and of course willingness.

6.) Speakers are encouraged to use slides. Red has volunteered to help create the slides.

7.) Audience members are encouraged to write down their questions and pass them to someone assigned to read them. We may allow a microphone to be passed to audience members for participation.

8.) Although we encourage free speech, speakers and the audience are asked to avoid profanity.

9.) While the FFFF is intended to be a forum for freethinkers, believers are welcome to join, provided that they keep an open mind, do not react violently and carry no deadly weapons.

10.) We are also accepting volunteers for Bouncers.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome. And join the group chats whenever possible, to share what you would like to see in the FFFF.

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization5 Comments

FFFF Schedule 1st Draft

Here’s what we’ve come up with so far. We’re still working on the details, but from this you’ll get a feel for what the event will be like.

12:50 – 1:00 Registration

1:00 – 1:10 Opening Ceremony

1:10 – 1:40 Open Forum 1: Coming Out as a Freethinker

How did you reveal your being a freethinker? Is it even necessary? What would you suggest to other freethinkers who have yet to be true to themselves by revealing who they are to others? Should there be support groups for those on the fence?

1:40 – 1:50 Tribute to Freethought Heroes in History , including Darwin

1:50 – 2:10 Open Forum 2: Freethought Fallacies

What are the common misconceptions that people make about different kinds of freethinkers? What do we do about them? What are the definitions even freethinkers cannot agree about among themselves? What does it mean to be an agnostic? An atheist? A humanist? A deist? A freethinker?

2:10 – 2:40 Open Forum 3: Freethinkers in Relationships: Romance and Family

What is it like to be in a romantic relationship with a religious partner? Is it possible to be in love and leave out matters of faith, especially when both of you believe this is the most important thing that influences a person’s life, for better or for worse? Religion plays a central role in most Filipino familes. What are the challenges that freethinkers face in the context of family relations?

2:40 – 2:50 Break/Tribute to George Carlin

2:50 –  3:20 Open Forum 4: Freethought in the Philippines

Is the Philippines ready for freethought? What is the current state of secularism, science, and freethought in the nation? Should we even address these issues when poverty still denies our countrymen food to eat, clothes to wear, and homes to live in? Or should we put the promotion of free thought, science, and reason in the backburner?

3:20 – 3:50 Open Forum 5: The Practical Freethinker

A lot of people, many freethinkers included, believe that the Philippines is not ready for freethought, that freethinkers should not be evangelical, let alone militant. What then is the practical application of one’s freethinking? How can a freethinker help society without being too idealistic? What is the “low-hanging fruit” or quick win that freethinkers should aim for? How can freethinkers help society take baby steps in their desired vision?

3:50 – 4:00 Closing Ceremony

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization5 Comments

FF on FF: Filipino Freethinkers on Friendster and Facebook

Please join our social networking groups 🙂

Friendster group (you have to be logged in to Friendster):
Facebook group (you have to be logged in to Facebook):

Thank you very much!

Posted in Announcements, Organization8 Comments

A Band of Bloggers: FF Members Write About the First Meetup


This will probably go down as one of the most successful freethinkers event ever… I was really proud to be a part of this gathering. Words won’t do justice the way I feel about the unexpected turnout.


So the Fellowship of Freethinkers adjourned with smile in their faces and hope in their hearts that someday, we will be the instrument in reaching out to people to help them think, make them realize that knowledge and wisdom will always be, ALWAYS BE the greatest weapon against any adversary ( imagined, or unimagined ) they will ever face.


. . . the people spoke with eloquence, passion, and realism (mixed with hope of things to change for the better). and better i mean the country to be more scientific, more secular.


This bunch is something else. I applaud the participants’ openness and straightforwardness (minus the arrogance ^^,). I am definitely pleased to be a part of this. It makes me feel okay thinking that I am not alone.


I’ve lived my atheist life almost entirely online. Ultimately, it is not as rewarding as spending an afternoon chatting with other interesting people… In the end, atheists are people too. Isn’t that what we’re all about?


Getting to know each other is the most vital part in every meet-up. The meet-up is a blend of atheists, agnostics and there are even deists in the group. There is also a “point-laugh” atheist (That’s new…). Majority is non-militant when it comes to religion… that’s fine with me.

Posted in Meetup2 Comments