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FF Special Guests

Do you remember Cafe Sci’s event with Dr. Steve Jones? A bunch of us supported them when they interviewed him via Skype video in Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street. The audience loved it, and Steve seemed to be enjoying as well. This planted the seed of an idea into our heads.

Read the full story

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FFF2: Freethinkers in an Unfree World

Here are the videos (playlist) and much anticipated group picture of the Filipino Freethinkers Forum 2 (FFF2) held last Saturday:


Thanks to:

  • Tin and Tania — Fantastic Free Food
  • Igme — Competent Cameraman with Incompetent Tripod
  • Teddy — Free Books. Farewell! We’ll miss you! (Teddy’s going to Australia.)
  • Team Irate and Team Agent — for being good sports. Rematch?
  • Thysz — for inspiring the team names
  • Ateneo — for the nice, cool venue.
  • And to all the participants (in body and in spirit). See you on the next one!

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Maps and Directions to FFF2 Venue

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

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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!

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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 [email protected] :

*TELEPHONE: (Preferably cellphone, for texting purposes)

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

Thank you, and reserve your seats soon!

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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.”

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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

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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.

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FFFF: Fabulous Fotogenic Filipino Freethinkers?

I know a lot of you have been waiting to hear about the FFFF, but I’m still sobering up from the hangover — happiness, not alcohol, though some of you did get drunk literally with beer and poetry 😉

For now all I’ll say is it exceeded my exceedingly high expectations in many ways, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s 242,000. Enjoy.

P.S. The videos might take longer to share — all 3 hours of footage took more than 9 GB. Bluray, anyone?

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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.



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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!

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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!

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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.)

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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.

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