What Do the Filipino Freethinkers Do?
When we believe in something, we do our best to support and further it in the public sphere. In the fight for the RH Bill’s passage, for instance, we have taken to the streets with like-minded organizations to protest before the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and show our solidarity before the Batasang Pambansa during the RH Bill sessions.
We are also fond of more creative demonstrations, from holding the world’s very first Excommunication Party, to performing street theater on the steps of St. Peter Parish, to getting all dolled up at the LGBT Pride March.
Freethought and education go hand in hand, and we dedicate plenty of our time to debunking myths, clearing up misconceptions, and refuting outright misinformation.
We hold lectures and guestings at colleges, universities, and media outlets on a variety of freethought topics, such as the one on evil and morality at De La Salle University-Taft, and the one on faith and the clergy on NU107’s RockEd Radio. We’ve held our very own freethought-themed film festival at the University of the Philippines’s Cine Adarna, and have even guested on international news network Al-Jazeera.
We also serve as watchdogs, sounding off on public pronouncements rife with fibs and fallacies, and relaying the truth through our website and other social media. Two of our most circulated disclosures were on the “exorcism” at the Manila Cathedral, and on Dr. Ligaya Acosta’s presentation at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.
Of course, we also make it a point to continue our education, holding field trips to museums and exhibits, and attending lay forums such as the Café Scientifique series of lectures.
We wouldn’t be where we are without our fortnightly meetups. Since February 2009, the Filipino Freethinkers have been meeting every other week for a few hours of friendly—and usually rowdy—discussion. Topics are very varied, and often timely—the ethics behind the latest scientific discoveries, the consequences of certain current events, suggestions for improving our society on both small and grand scales, etc. To date, each meetup sees an average of 30 attendees, which always includes a handful of newcomers.
Our website is also a prime venue for personal commentary. If you have a story to share or a bone to pick, you can submit short essays to us for possible publication on the site. Our most popular essay to date is Dustin Celestino’s tongue-in-cheek Why the RH Bill is Bad: The Real Truth behind the Supposed Truth about the RH Bill, which we highly recommend.
Our voices are being heard in the mainstream, too. See our In The News page to see how the mass media (in the Philippines and abroad) have featured Filipino Freethinkers’ voices and viewpoints in ongoing discussions about reproductive health, LGBT equality, and separation of church and state.