Bacolod City houses one of the most active chapters of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI). The chapter was initiated in February of 2014 and has since left a mark in community outreach and volunteerism. HAPI Bacolod has had partnerships which helped secular humanism grow not only in following, but also in status as one of the most known societies in Bacolod City and with nearby areas. In spite of the recognition, the chapter remains humble and continues to serve humanity through projects and events that are timely and relevant.
Strong bond among its members amid differences attributes to HAPI Bacolod’s success. Evident of this success is the establishment of a youth affairs arm, the HAPI Junior, which is also based in Bacolod City. HAPI Junior engages the youth in innovative projects and events that promote secular humanism. It bridges the gap between generations through issues and policies that concern humanity in general.
In March and April of 2018, International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), to which HAPI is a member organization, launched ‘Cafe Humaniste’ in Bacolod City. It was a series of talks that shone light on secular issues in a relaxed and intimate environment. HAPI Bacolod organized all of the series, and has found it very feasible and effective to promote secular humanism in the Philippines.
Recently, HAPI Junior took pride in completing clean-ups at two coastal communities in Bacolod, one was even featured by Sun Star in its daily publication. Each clean-up started with an environmental talk on plastic pollution and its negative effects to Earth life. The Juniors also succeeded in engaging the local governments and their constituents to actively participate for a better environment.
Inspired by ‘Cafe Humaniste’, HAPI Bacolod will soon launch HAPI Talk, a platform for secular education that will showcase issues and topics that the Filipino society oftentimes neglects. Through youthful and intelligent discussion, HAPI Talk hopes to influence the audience to be critical in thought and be expressive of their ideas. The first HAPI Talk will be spearheaded by HAPI Junior, touching on the topic of bullying. Future topics may include feminism, social media etiquette, and blind patriotism.
Partnerships are aplenty for HAPI Bacolod in 2018! A new partnership with Mandalagan National High School will see the opening of a HAPI club in the coming school year. One of the initial proposals for the club is a prototype aquaponics farm under the existing ‘Gulayan sa Paaralan’ project of the school. Also, HAPI and other humanistic publications will soon find a home in the school’s library.
Newly elected Kagawad of Barangay 29, Griderick Alila, is an active HAPI Bacolod member and a hardcore human rights activist from the get-go. He has pledged to advocate secular humanism in the constituency, beginning with another prototype aquaponics farm for his barangay. Also, a HAPI literacy project that will reinforce the efforts of the local daycare is in the pipeline. Griderick saw first-hand the lack of educational opportunity for his constituents, so he aims to improve their plight through literacy.
HAPI Public Relations Officer
HAPI Bacolod Member
A poet, an activist, the mediator. — Angelique Anne Villa