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Tag Archive | "Meetup"

My First Time

It was my first time. I was young and inexperienced with the ways of the world. She was a few years older than I was. Beautiful, stunningly beautiful. She led me to the room. She told me to relax as she slowly pushed me towards the bed. I sat there frozen as she started unbuttoning her blouse. I could see the excitement in her eyes. She started to breathe heavily. I saw sweat beads forming on her chest…

But that’s not how my first time really happened, and that’s not the first time I wanted to write about…

Sunday. 30 January 2011. Starbucks, Ansons Ortigas. The third Filipino Freethinkers meet-up of 2011. My first time.

I’ve been coming and going different online forums for years and years already but around 2009, if I’m not mistaken, a group sprung up from the forums and decided to meet up: the Filipino Freethinkers. I’ve always been interested in meeting the group since I was once part of a similar group back in college, the UP Atheists’ Circle in Los Baños. I regularly receive Facebook event invites to their meet-ups, but I never seemed to find the time, or when I did have time, the thought of driving all the way to Ortigas just killed it for me. (I live in Las Piñas.)

Anyway, I finally went to the meet-up. I was early so I got my usual Venti Soy Latte and grabbed a seat. The FF people then started coming in. I recognized Red Tani since we were FB friends, so I approached him and introduced myself to him and the group. We started to grab chairs and congregated. There were several of us newbies that day and there was even another Jason, an Australian Jason. We introduced ourselves first. Then the “veterans” followed suit.

It was a large group so we were split into two discussion groups. It was a fairly structured group discussion. There were four topics, and everyone had the chance to put in their two cents. I’d rather not delve into the details of the discussions since I do think a thread on the FF forum should take care of that. I think it would be important to note that you don’t have to worry if you’re unfamiliar with the topic, because there will be someone more than willing to put you up to speed on the issue being discussed.

After the discussions and the picture taking, the members invited us to join them for drinks at Congo Grill. There the talks became more informal but fun and intellectually stimulating nonetheless. I had to leave ahead of the group but I would have stayed longer if i could.

I ‘m glad I made the trip to Ortigas. It was worth it. For an atheist living in the Philippines, it tends to be frustrating not to be able to freely share your thoughts and ideas with others since there’s always that big chance you’d hit a nerve when it comes to others’ beliefs. We’re living in a predominantly Christian nation, and Christians are usually sensitive when it comes to their faith. At the FF meet-up, I was among like minds. Not all were atheists, but what mattered was that it was a group of people with open ears and open minds. The discussions made you think. Some may have different views, but that didn’t matter. That’s the beauty of being among freethinkers. We know that there is no absolute truth and that we’re all entitled to our own truths, ergo, there is no need for conflict during discourse amongst freethinkers. Basically, you’d get a healthy exchange of views and ideas.

The FF people were also very welcoming. I could see that many of them have already formed tight bonds, but they never make you feel left out. And of course, nothing beats conversations over alcohol. Twas a fun first time and it will surely not be my last.

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Send Us Your Virgins: A Recap of the 1/30/11 Freethinkers Meetup

There was a lot of fresh blood at yesterday’s meetup: Jason the corporate photographer; yet another Jason, the Australian with a soft spot for sustainable farming; Arf from the budding FF-UP Manila Chapter; Coli and Leni from UP Diliman, who were presumably lured to the meetup thanks to Cy’s Green Lantern bodysuit; etc.

Simply irresistible.

The best self intro I’ve ever seen definitely went to newbie Abe. A pity for those who couldn’t attend; you just missed one of the most awesome moments of collective unease in the history of the organization. What exactly transpired, however, shall remain locked deep in the hearts of those present.

Here is Abe (standing in black shirt), hovering over the damned.

The afternoon’s topics guaranteed rowdy discussions: the current situation in Egypt, and what to make of theocracy in such situations; whether the death penalty should be adopted; the ethics of putting up fake online accounts; and the following question: If there was a remote island populated by a self-sufficient community of blind people, would it be right for these people to blind their future offspring?

(For those who would like to continue discussing these topics, or who were unable to attend yesterday, they’re now up on the forums. This’ll be a regular thing from now on.)

While the newbie table was rife with discourse…

…the other table was ALL about the sexual tension.

Once again, the meetup and succeeding inuman resulted in a rollercoaster of emotions.

This is Happy Tania.

This is Not-So-Happy Tania.

(Pictures of the Too-Drunk-to-Care Tania have been deleted out of propriety.)

In the end, we’re glad to know that the day’s discussions and succeeding shenanigans have encouraged the newbies to return. Every meetup, after all, is a guaranteed venue for epic conversation, a motley crew of new friends and, well, whatever the hell this is:

You know you want it.

Posted in Humor, Meetup, PersonalComments (3)

Holding the Fort: A Recap of the January 15 FF Meetup

Over the past few months, FF meetups have been garnering an average of 35 attendees, which always includes several newcomers. Last Saturday’s meetup at Fort Bonifacio’s 32nd Street Starbucks was no different, rife as it was with many fresh faces — including twin babies which, out of sheer delicadeza, our atheist FFers successfully avoided eating.

Frank reveals exemplary control of his appetite.

Newcomers included super couple Andre and Delia, an experimental particle physicist and biologist, respectively; their aforementioned twins Julia and Cecilia, who were very well-behaved and disarmingly adowabol; shutter-happy Hombrey; Jojo, a familiar presence in FF’s FB pages; and Atty. Florin, to whom we will probably turn in case we get thrown in jail.

Here is Atty. Florin being all reasonable and lawyerly.

Here are Andre and Delia, charming and outspoken scientists both.

Hombrey takes a break from his paparazzi duties.

Jojo (extreme left) in the flesh!

Discussions were rich and lively as usual. Among the topics tackled were: whether to share your particular belief about gods and the afterlife (or lack thereof) with a dying person; freethinker-style parenting; how FF members, atheists in particular, felt upon realizing what they currently believe in; and a primer on modern-day Paganism.

Aldrin and his mesmerizing accent explains Paganism.

The post-discussion mingling and succeeding inuman was just as rowdy —

Something tells me we were talking about a penis.

Even Baby Julia is aware of her delicious-ness.

Chris luvz da ladiez.

And, well, these two.

Suffice it to say that last Saturday was a success, and will pave the way for more manic meetups in the months to come. Furthermore, FF’s motley crew has been growing steadily, and it’s refreshing to have such a varied bunch of folks to hang out with on these occasions.

So for those who’ve always wanted to attend a meetup but have some reservations about going, screw your reservations. The Freethinkers, as the name suggests, are as welcoming as they come, and we hope to see even more fresh faces very soon. Moreso if they have small children.

(Photos c/o of Jeiel Aranal and Chris Siena)

Posted in Humor, Meetup, PersonalComments (7)

November Meetup 2

600px-Banner_of_the_Qulla_Suyu.svgSunday, November 22, 2009
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Starbucks (near cinemas) at Shangrila Mall

Meetup Agenda:

  • Ang Ladlad vs. COMELEC
  • Homophobia
  • Secularism
  • Activism

[image by Huhsunqu.]

Posted in Announcements, MeetupComments (1)