The biggest and First Atheist event in Asia was held at Bayview Park Hotel at United Nation Avenue, Malate, Manila under the Philippines Atheist and Agnostic Society (PATAS).
Marissa Torres Langseth, the chair of PATAS who invited all speakers and that’s why PATAS is existing flew all the way from New York City, USA because of this event .
Executive Director John Paraiso gave the explanation on how and when PATAS started with Ratt Ryott as the host in the event.
Attended by 200 non-believers and speakers from around the globe like author Dan Barker and The first atheist who publicly announced his beliefs or no beliefs at all , Poch Suzara, Filipino Freethinkers President Red Tani and his wife Kristine with friend Marguerite Alcazaren, President of Alliance of Atheist Humanist Tanya Smith, controversial artist Mideo Cruz with his exhibit. And yes I have a picture with him plus his alleged “blasphemous” exhibit according to Madam Imelda Romualdez Marcos .
I invited all national media to cover the event and brought two from CALABARZON, a catholic Dolores Ledesma from the Office of the Philippines Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and DZRH Radyo Natin Felix Gonzaga who considers himself an Atheist but with two different Gods (The bad and the good).
Different merchandise like T-shirts, buttons, stickers and books from the speakers were displayed together with Artist Sunny Garcia and his painting of Marissa Torres Langseth.
Here’s the transcript of ChairTorres opening address,
“Good morning, Magandang Umaga – World Renowned Atheists, International and local Alliances, Distinguished Guests, Our Founding Executive Director Jose Juan Paraiso, My Most Beloved Members of PATAS, Our Dear Countrymen:
Welcome to the Philippines – “the only country we have; the pearl of the orient seas; land of the morning, child of the sun returning”… And, yes, “It is fun in the Philippines” About 22 years ago — there were only 65 million of us; I read, the Philippines is now a nation of 93 million… 93 million of which Ninety seven percent (97%), are Catholics or Christians of different shades. The rest are either Muslims, Buddhists, or Atheists and Agnostics –of which very few have come out, or the rest are still hiding under their beds or wearing dark glasses inside their closets.
Our country is still steeped in religion and wrought in grinding poverty – with skewed culture, ruled by “technicalities of law,” scared of ghosts, entertained by western movies and their Filipino versions. Most Filipinos place their hopes on the lottery, fantasies, fairies, miracles, superstitions and gods, and their weapon is only prayers.
The Philippines we have today is no different from the Philippines the national heroes, Jose Rizal wrote about, and Andres Bonifacio fought for — more than a hundred years ago! We may use computers and ipads and iphones, but the belief system is as old as 500 years ago, the time of inquisition and religious crusades. But no one is as brave really as the Filipino, who led the first revolution against colonialists in all of Asia and who fought world powers with their “outrageous fortune of slings and arrows ” and pointed bamboo poles against the enemy’s “blood and thunder, lightning and steel!”
And twenty six years ago, Filipinos – of whatever classification we now have for people, marched and faced with nothing, but their hands and petals of flowers they threw upon the thousands of soldiers who rode atop armed tanks of deadly destruction. Their slogans were nothing but the slogans of their heart and overthrew a most despised dictatorship that ruled the nation for more than 14 years. More importantly, the Filipino People-Power Bloodless Revolution echoed and inspired similar revolutions throughout the world. Indeed, even with all its flaws, warts and all, according to Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino – “The Filipino Is Worth Dying For!
And the Filipino is worth re-launching a Reformation once again. A paradigm shift – a transformation against a world of delusions, illusions and superstitions and against the slavery of the mind. This paradigm shift is for the final liberation of humanity – for humanity to destine itself, of itself, and for itself! The time has come for us to transcend and unleash ourselves from such bondage relying only upon ourselves and never again on imaginary beings.
THAT paradigm shift STARTS TODAY, HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES!
Welcome to the Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society! Welcome to PATAS! There is no place I would rather be than be here today in PATAS.
I am tremendously honored to stand before you to present the very first SEC registered atheist/agnostic society in the Philippines, the Philippine Atheist and Agnostic society, better known as PATAS.. Our foundation is “good without god” and PATAS which means equality or fair in Tagalog.
WE demand equality and fairness in all aspects of life , and , we are here to give atheism a FACE and a VOICE in the Philippines.
PATAS was founded on Feb 14th, 2011 amidst chaos, confusion, backstabbing, elitism and gossips, very few courageous and ebullient atheists made it to the phenomenal event.