It is truly a milestone when a seed, planted on the ground and plowed amid the harsh storms, grows of vibrant green leaves, adding a little bit of life to what seems like a harsh world, and bears fruits of a farmer’s tender love and hard labour.
This is definitely a metaphor to the humble beginnings of the HAPI Dumaguete Chapter— starting off as good friends, then good friends with advocacies, advocacies turning into purpose, and then purpose turning our lives one way or another.
We kicked off early as we joined our very first activity and that is the Zero Waste campaign in Dumaguete and joined hundreds of individuals, young, old, students, youth, environmental activists. Although it may be kind of a question to the mundane mind, we humanists care, above all else, for the earth as it is the main source of everything we have and by living responsibly we may only thrive and live for others.
“But through the years, human minds have gone past the stage of depending on a supreme being in doing good for others and for the earth. Why must there be a need to take care of this world we live in? Simply because this is our home and we will not be able to execute our goals for humanity without a home to embrace us in,” in one article of HAPI, Humanism for the Earth.
Ever since we have brainstormed for ideas on how to celebrate humanism and create an impact not only on the youth but to our communities mostly in Negros Oriental. We have come up with activities such as partnerships with environmental organizations, symposiums, online campaigns, and others.
Notably, just last July 2019, our HAPI Duma lead convener Javan Lev Poblador was able to represent the Philippines during the Asian Humanism Conference (AHC) 2019 in Singapore where he met different people from various backgrounds and learning from their endeavors on humanism. He was also able to know the types of approaches in pushing a secular society.
According to Javan, “We never hesitated to help each one another towards this goal. I understand that more work still needs to be done to get to the point where eventually, everyone places a great emphasis on human values and life. The good thing is we have made our move and we are getting there.” Indeed!
So, by August of 2019, we were able to hold Dumaguete’s first TAO – A Café Humaniste. TAO is under the Cafe Humaniste series in which Duma held the third installment. It was successfully projected by our speakers Junelie Anthony Velonta and Jong Poblador, and I kid you not, it was one of the best experiences HAPI Duma could have ever had. Definitely, this wouldn’t be our last Cafe Humaniste!
October 2019, as part of HAPI’s initiative in pushing for a green world, the organization sponsored Bangon: Parada Para Sa Klima, organized by the SUSG Environment Committee. HAPI Duma members also participated during the passionate parade against environmental crisis along with sign humorous signboards about the earth and over 500 participants from all over Negros Oriental.
This was an initiative not only done by Dumaguete but also Bacolod, and many other cities in the country and the world.
Now, as social media has been known to be a very relevant platform for advocacies especially for the digitizing age, HAPI formally launched HAPI Youth and “The Apostate Collection” headed by none other than your HAPI Duma team! We have over 40 orders nationwide and we’re not saying you’re too lame to not have yet ordered, but yeah, you are. So much for not being too much “in your face”.
Truly, it has been a great year for the team and we couldn’t have done all of our work without the help of a lot of people along the way. From the motivation, the support, the lessons, we have all learned to step up on greater heights for a better world.
Although it may have been quite a rough road for us, having only a little time to spare as most of us go to school or work, as rumbling as bees, we still manage to gather as a group of one thing to prove— we do not need higher beings to be able to act right, and that is acting out of love, out of humanism.
Happy anniversary, HAPI Duma! Stay fly!