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.