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Your Face is an Ordinance: A Recap of FF’s Latest Weekend Extravaganza

Keep Your Theology out of My Biology; Get Your Rosaries out of My Ovaries; ‘Ala Bang May Utak sa Council; and the crowd favorite, Your Face is an Ordinance

Last April 9, the Filipino Freethinkers (FF) helped kick some ideological ass at the second protest versus the infamous Ayala Alabang Barangay Ordinance 01. Our placards were a hit the second we walked up to the village’s Madrigal Gate, lending a good bit of snark to the morning’s events.

Keep Xerez out of my Cervix; Abstinence Ain’t Valid

The protest kicked off with a lot of chanting among villagers and non-villagers. It was a heartening mix of people–upper, middle, and lower class alike…

Jesus! Give Us Some Privacy; CBCP Checklist: Delay RH Bill, Oppress Women, Protect Child Molesters, Pass Ordinance

united in their stand against the barangay council’s blatant violation of church-state separation and their outright mangling of the truth regarding reproductive health.

Alliance Against Vaginas; Modern Dei Fascists

Kenneth, FF’s RH Bill Committee Head and a member of Silly People’s Improv Theater (SPIT), was especially happy that day…

Thespian titillation at its finest

…after having met Broadway star and outspoken RH ally Lea Salonga.

The ironically-named “Team Unity,” composed of the barangay council members responsible for the ordinance

Apart from the chanting, villagers also encouraged motorists to honk their disapproval of the ordinance…

Honk if You are with Us!

…which many motorists did!

The chanting was soon followed by a brief string of speeches from some pro-RH personalities, such as Jay Ignacio, whose footage of the anti-ordinance villagers’ meetings and the latest ordinance hearing have made the rounds online…

…former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral…

…Lea Salonga…

…Peter Wallace, one of the most prominent foreign businessmen in the country…

…Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) Chair Elizabeth Angsioco…

…and Dr. Guy Claudio, Director of the University of the Philippines’ Center for Women’s Studies, Senior Faculty Adviser of FF-UP Diliman; co-founder of the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, prominent member of the Akbayan Party List…

Word up.

…and the person responsible for The Most Awesome Pic Evar.

The following day, FF banded together for its fortnightly meetup, which generated one of the liveliest discussions we’ve had in a while. This came as no surprise, however…

…thanks to the day’s main topics: Medication to Boost Your Morality, and Rights for Ugly People.

Kenneth is an Episcopalian, as evidenced by his shirt

Even Kenneth made sure to attend the meetup, despite the understandable aftershock of having met Kim/Eponine/Fantine/Jasmine/Mulan in the flesh.

In the end, whether rallying on the streets or engaging in discourse, the Freethinkers know how to make good use of the typical weekend–sans drugs and violence!

Although moments like this one can’t be avoided. Let’s call it an occupational hazard.

Photos courtesy of Garrick Bercero, Jeiel Aranal, and Patrick Charles Rigonan

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Fudging Numbers

Anti-RH groups will hold what they call the “grandmother of all rallies” against the RH bill. I hope the attendance numbers will not be fudged again just to promote their cause.

Fudged again? Here’s a chronicle of the numbers game that took place for a similar show-of-force attempt last month (all underscoring supplied):

2/11/2011 – press release by Human Life International, 100,000

On Sunday, February 13, 100,000 pro-life activists will march through Manila in opposition to a so-called “Responsible Parenthood” bill that has been repackaged to appeal to the pro-life majority of Filipinos.

2/12/2011 – news report on an anti-RH rally in Cebu, 1 million

… Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, Human Life International director, said the bill, which is being readied for deliberations, is the same as the previously filed proposals that aimed to make way for abortion and other ways that hamper human life. … On Sunday, around one million people are expected to attend a rally against the RH bill in Manila.

2/13/2011 – website post by YouthPinoy, an anti-RH Catholic youth alliance, 5,000

Of the estimated 5,000 people at this pro-life rally mainly organized by Pro-Life Philippines and the CBCP Commission on Family and Life, there are several thousands of young people who have chosen to spend their Sunday protesting against the highly-controversial RH Bill or the Responsible Parenthood Bill.

2/14/2011 – news report by Malaya, 5,000

Organizers said the rally which was participated in by some 5,000 would be the first in a “show of force” events.

2/14/2011 – news report by CBCP News, 10,000

“We stand with you for life,” said Lanao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo, a Muslim, told the around 10,000 protesters.

2/15/2011 – news report by PNA, 5,000

“We stand with you for life,” said Lanao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo, a Muslim, told some 5,000 protesters who joined the rally at the PICC complex.

2/18/2011 – news report by, over 50,000

Over 50,000 pro-life Filipinos gathered in opposition to the so-called reproductive health (RH) bill last Sunday at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

Anti-RH groups predicted two attendance figures: 100,000 and 1 million. Then they reported three figures for actual attendance: 5,000, 10,000 and over 50,000. Two news sources gave the same attendance estimate: 5,000.

Who’s telling the truth? I think you can figure that out for yourself. (Kudos to YouthPinoy!)

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