Archive | March, 2009

Maps and Directions to FFF2 Venue

Ateneo Map
Katipunan Map (Ateneo is on the middle-right)

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization7 Comments

FFF2 Registration Extended

So far we have:

  • 41 Registered Participants
  • 16 Maybes
  • 57 Potential Participants

This exceeds our initial plan to have no more than 50 participants. But when we visited Ateneo, we found out that the venue can hold up to 100 people!

But for comfort, we’re capping registration at 80, so there are still 39 seats left, not counting the Maybes. Walk-ins are welcome. But if you’d like to reserve a seat and some food you can still do so by registering here.

I’ll be posting a map here soon. See you on Saturday!

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization0 Comments

No FF Meetup Tomorrow, March 22

Since a lot of you can’t make it, there won’t be a meetup tomorrow. In the
meantime we can prepare for the upcoming FFF2 next week, Saturday, March 28 by:

  1. Registering for the forum on the registration page.
  2. Thinking about the theme, “Freethinkers in an Unfree World,” and reflecting
    on your own freethought journey. In the forum, you can share the stories you
    remember and the solutions that have worked for you, as well ask about
    alternatives to problems you are still facing.
  3. Discussing some of these issues on the mailing list or forum.
  4. Spreading the word about the forum to freethinking friends who might be
    interested. You can send them here.

Thank you very much, and hope to see you next Saturday!

Posted in Meetup0 Comments

Registration for Filipino Freethinkers Forum 2

Where: a conference room in Ateneo (Katipunan) (ISO building near Xavier and Bellarmine bldg.)
When: 2-6PM – Saturday, March 28, 2009
What: Filipino Freethinkers Forum 2

“Practical Freethinking: Freethinkers in an Unfree World”
The problems freethinkers face in Filipino society and
the alternative solutions to cope or deal with it

Free admission
Free food

Anyone willing to discuss issues relevant to the theme within the framework of freethinking (reason, evidence, free inquiry).

Seats are limited so reserve your slot now! Deadline of reservations is this Sunday (March 22), 12 MN.
To reserve, please visit:

Or fill up the following form and email them to me at :

*TELEPHONE: (Preferably cellphone, for texting purposes)

For questions, comments, or suggestions, email me at the address above.

Thank you, and reserve your seats soon!

Posted in Announcements, Meetup, Organization5 Comments

Filipino Freethinkers Forum 2 (FFF2): Updates

The last meetup wasn’t all fun and games. The food was great, too (thanks again to our cooks, Tania and Tin).

But seriously, we did do some planning for the Filipino Freethinkers Forum 2 (FFF2). Here’s what we have so far:

Potential Venues:

  1. Somewhere in UP — (Pecier, any updates?)
  2. McDonald’s Party Place — Danny’s idea, he’ll ask about it
  3. Popular Bookstore — despite its popularity only Geri and Wella knew about the place
  4. Somewhere in Ateneo — Tin is following up with some friends
  5. AIC Gold Tower Penthouse in Ortigas — accessible place with plenty of space


We decided to have one main theme per quarter, so for the next two forums we’re using the FFFF theme, Practical Freethinking. This time we’re focusing on relationships:

  • Private — at home and in love
  • Public — in school and at work

The central questions:

  • What is it like to be a freethinker in an unfreethinking world?
  • What are the different ways of adapting to (or changing) these challenging situations?


  1. Members share obstacles they have overcome (or have overcome them), the battles they are still fighting, and the fears they know they’ll one day have to face.
  2. The group will then frame the problem, abstracting themes and providing an overall context of the situation.
  3. Members share and discuss the wide spectrum of alternative actions and possible solutions, from inaction to moderation to militancy.
  4. Participants may make calls to action — individual or group — that may be discussed during the forum or after.

Date and Time:

These details will depend on the availability of the venue. For now, the FFF2 will be held either on March 28, Saturday, or March 29, Sunday, between lunch and dinner, any time between 1PM and 6PM. We’re still discussing the duration.

Stay tuned.

We’re working overtime to make this work as the forum is only two weeks away. Subscribe via email or rss; or join the mailing list or forum for announcements.

Till then, you may think of what you could share with the other participants on the FFF2:

  1. Stories you’d like to tell.
  2. Questions you’d like to ask.
  3. Advice you’d like to give.

Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing all of you on the forum!

Posted in Meetup5 Comments

FF Meetup No. 6: Smoking Skeptics vs. Happy Humanists

Sunday, March 15 at Red’s House.

Is Skepticism better than Humanism? The time for debate is over — the answer will be decided by the first FF Grudge Match.

Hosts: Team Tani (Red and Tin, the birthday girl)

Coaches: Boo Brothers (Frank and Mikong [sorry Mikong, nadamay])

The Contenders:

The Happy Humanists (Geri and Wella) vs. The Smoking Skeptics (Danny and Tania)

Game 1: Tetris


Danny's Skeptical Treatise on Tetris


Danny's smug smile vs. Geri's game face

Result: Happy Humanists win! (Happy Humanists 1; Smoking Skeptics 0)

Game 2: Let’s Tap


Let's Tap some tissue boxes!


Wella celebrates -- prematurely?

Result: Smoking Skeptics win! (Happy Humanists 1; Smoking Skeptics 1)

Game 3: Rock Band 2


Wella's Alanis vs. Tania's Bon Jovi -- difficult decision . . .

Result: Tie! (Happy Humanists 2; Smoking Skeptics 2)

Final Result: Humanism is as good a philosophy as Skepticism (Though the Smoking Skeptics question the results due to the provisionality of all knowledge.)

More pics:

Posted in Meetup, Pictures4 Comments

FilipinoFreethinkers.Org for Filipino Blog of the Week Award

voteI’m not really sure how this happened, but FilipinoFreethinkers.Org has been nominated for a Filipino Blog of the Week Award!

So if you’d like our website to win and be featured on the award’s 152nd week, please vote for us at Composed Gentleman’s website.

Just tick our checkbox on their poll widget on the right sidebar (see pic on the right) and click Vote.

Thanks for your support, and remember, vote wisely!

Posted in Announcements, Organization1 Comment

1001 Mailing List Posts and Other FF Statistics

I just added the 1001st post to the mailing list a while ago, and decided to check some other numbers on the FF. Here’s what I found:

Friendster: 50
Facebook: 65
Mailing List: 74
Online Forum (eFFF): 97
Offline Forum (FFFF): 62

Offline Activity
Forum: 1 forum, 62 participants (out of 80+ registered)
Meetups: 5 meetups (13.6 members per meetup)

Online Activity:
Mailing List: 1001 posts (27.8 posts per day)
Forum: 1309 posts (58.9 posts per day)

Not bad, considering we started on February 1, 2009, and are only 36 days old!

Posted in Organization3 Comments

On the First Filipino Freethinkers Forum

Here’s what some of our supporters and members are saying about the First Filipino Freethinkers Forum —

Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, shows his support with a long message:

To everyone attending this forum, congratulations and thank you for being willing to publicly express your atheism. It’s never an easy thing to do and the fact that you’re doing it with a group of other people will help others join you in the process. If I can offer any advice it would be this: Don’t lose sight of your mission. You may not get very far trying to convince people God may not exist. However, you could be a safe home for atheists who are afraid to come out and may not know anyone else who thinks the way they do. Make yourselves known and be compassionate toward anyone who seeks you out (and even challenges you). Do as much good as you can and show people that atheists are just as honest and charitable as any religious group. Don’t fight over labels (atheist, Humanist, etc). Keep in mind that you’re here to help others, discuss atheism, and be proud of what you (don’t) believe in. Many people don’t have the guts to face reality, but you’re doing it. I thank you personally for that, and I’m sure many other Americans feel the same way!

So does Dan Barker, president of the FFRF, with a short one:

Great idea for a group. You are the real heroes.

Prudence was late but glad to hear Dr. Claudio speak:

But I’m very glad that I’ve been able to hear Dr. Sylvia Claudio’s talk on freethought and politics and the RH bill. I didn’t know that she was one of those who’ve been working so hard so that the bill may get the chance to be passed in congress. And I quite envy her that she grew up in a family that is not particularly religious (which actually left me wondering what would have happened to me if I were in such a situation). I think maybe we could have another forum specifically for the RH bill and how we, as freethinkers and ordinary citizens, can help get the bill passed.

While Dr. Claudio was glad to speak and felt like she’d come home:

So this group, just being there–I did not care if I was the older-one-flowing-over-at the-mouth. I was home again, in a group of 60 or so people I had just met.

What is more, I am happy with how these young people are using the internet to fight their struggles. I am elated to find people who are a natural constituency for the RH bill. I am thrilled at the thought that one does not have to come from my socialist background to care about the rights of people.I am over-the-moon at seeing their committment to reaching out to the marginalized. I am overjoyed that they are committed to a better country (and world).

Rence felt the same:

I really learned a lot from the forum, and I think its a good start.

As what one of the speakers said, it had been a “kid in a candy store” moment for me too. There are so many things in my head that I would like to have someone explain to me, share with me and I found out that there are others like me too.

And bigenya summed it all up nicely. Really, her(?) recap is the most complete I’ve seen so far. I can’t pick a quote — bigenya’s summary resists summary — so I’ll just end this post with her ending:

Finally, Red told us about the daydreams of cat herders. I cannot think of a better way to put it. Our Freethinkers have successful herded the strays. And Red is right, “the best cat food is community.”

Posted in Meetup, Organization3 Comments

FF Meetup No. 5: the FFF2 and Carl's Luck

Last Sunday, Carl Camper (not the prank-pulling Carl) woke up excited. The day he had been waiting for had finally arrived. And then he looked at the calendar — it was March 1.

March 1? March 1! But the First Filipino Freethinkers Forum is on February 28 . . . and February 28 was — Yesterday!

He spent the whole Sunday depressed about his bad luck, with only the promise of videos to be uploaded soon as consolation.

So a week later, in our first meetup after the FFFF, I wasn’t surprised when the early bird award went to none other than Carl.


The previous early bird champion, Igme, had a seminar at work. Others were similarly preoccupied — some had office work, some had school work, some would rather lurk.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I took attendance that the headcount reached 10 (yes, I did take attendance, you can ask Monk).


I’m sure there would have been more, had it not been International Women’s day. (To all the women of the world, hope you had a good one!)

To begin the meetup, as all first-timers have, Carl sat on the hotseat and shared with us his journey to reason. In spite of our incessant interruptions, Carl concluded and we moved on to the agenda.


First, we talked about what we could have done to make the FFFF better. We agreed it was a success, but some of us had regrets — missing the chance to ask certain questions or argue with certain speakers or bring certain people to the parking lot.

Next, we discussed the Second Filipino Freethinkers Forum (SFFF) or Filipino Freethinkers Forum 2 (FFF2). (Haven’t decided yet. Any suggestions?)

I assured Danny, one of our hard-working committee leaders, that the FFF2 (I think that sounds nicer) won’t be as grand as the first one, and will take a lot less work.

There won’t be fancy food or merchandise, so expenses will be less (but donations are always welcome). The duration will be shorter — 2 hours at most — but the forum will focus on one narrow theme, to allow for more in-depth discussion.

A committee lead by Pecier will try to book us a venue at UP Diliman, former home of the UP Atheists’ Circle (UPAC). I haven’t heard from him lately, but I’m sure he can get the job done, especially with a lot of guys from UP offering to help.

And as a small informal group, we’ll need all the help we can get. Which is why we’ve been talking about setting up a more formal group that will be more accountable for responsibilities assigned to them, hopefully ensuring that forums such as this will be prepared and executed in a more efficient and effective manner, consistently.

At first there was some hesitance to being part of a more formal group. But after I explained the group’s goals and methods, all ten members in attendance joined in and expressed their willingness to support its objectives.

With this, the FFF2 is now on the horizon, and will be held somewhere in UP Diliman on March 28. Freethinkers, please mark your calendars.

After this we took the mandatory group picture (which I forgot at the forum!) then called it a day at around 5 PM.


Some had to go home but Carl, who came all the way from the south, wanted to make the most of his long trip with an after-meetup party. So the six of us who remained drove to my place, five of us in my car, Carl excitedly tailing us in his motorcycle.

And then Carl’s bad luck returned. When we arrive at my place he discovered that he’d left his driver’s license all the way back at Shangri-la (an irrational parking policy, I know).


He wanted to immediately go back, completely wasting his trip, but we convinced him to stay for a while. He made the most of this by playing Rock Band 2 and Let’s Tap wildly, winning the most games. His luck continued when he got home without being caught by the MMDA licenseless.

But I think there’s only one way Carl can really turn his luck around: Attend the FFF2 on March 28, a SATURDAY. Or maybe he can wear an agimat or anting-anting.

Posted in Meetup, Pictures, Video3 Comments

Freethought Poetry: Mothers

This is a first of its kind in the site, and it’s still experimental. Red mentioned that perhaps more of us could share prose or poetry about freethought, so here goes my first dive into this mess 🙂


Mother, you bid to bathe me with boon, and still you do

Try, for you feel it’s your responsibility to.

You’ve sacrificed, and supplied me with sustenance

There was a time, I remember, when our parlance

Were very much attuned to each other’s ideas and thoughts

But then I studied and grew, and I think you see it was not for nought.
Continue Reading

Posted in Poetry, Society6 Comments

Mobilization tomorrow for the RH bill

Dr. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio, who spoke about the Reproductive Health bill at the FFFF, has posted the details of an RH mobilization for the supporters of the said bill:

Continue Reading

Posted in Announcements, Society3 Comments

Watch the First Filipino Freethinkers Forum

You can now view all 16 FFFF videos on this playlist or on the embedded player below. Enjoy!

Parts 01-02: Introduction and Freethinkers Game
Parts 03-05: John Paraiso on Grassroots Freethinking
Parts 06-07: Geri Villas on Secular Humanism
Parts 08-11: Maria Isabel Garcia on Science and Freethinking
Parts 12-15: Dr. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio on the RH Bill
Part 16: Benjamin Espina on Freethought Online

Posted in Meetup, Organization, Video3 Comments

First Filipino Freethinkers Forum Parts 1-5

EDIT: I’ve changed the individual video into a playlist, so you can navigate to the other parts by clicking its thumbnail or on the Next and Previous Arrows on the edges of the video window.

Posted in Meetup, Organization, Video100 Comments