My Farewell Article

 

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The woman who lit the fire – Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS)Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS)

As Vince Lombardi puts it, the achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.

Lighting the fire has never been an easy task to accomplish. You have to endure the heat, before enjoying the light. You have to keep the fire aflame by having strong perseverance and continuing determination. How long the fire remains depends on how determined the one who protects it.

Same goes with how an organization works. If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity towards it, then there will be no passion and intensity within it.

In the Philippines, when atheism was not making a big boom, critical thought seemed to have been declining to below zero, logic was not a prevalent subject, and ignorance was taking the large step, nobody was taking action to dismantle illiteracy. Although books, Science classes, and academicians were in a large scale, still, the number of individuals walking the brave road is still in its low level.

Good thing, there is a woman whose great influential prowess dawned a now internationally recognized organization, the Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS), named Marissa Torres Langseth. A woman who all her life has been fighting for the extirpation of an inescapable human gaffe and profound public ignorance hiding behind a cloak called atheism/humanism.

Who is she and why did she found such an organization?

 

Marissa Langseth, called by her acquaintances and colleagues as “Ms. M”, is a woman of bravery, compassion and intelligence. On top of that, she is a woman of humility who does not act as boss but as a leader. The line between a boss and a leader can be drawn bigger than expected. A leader could be a boss or a boss could be a leader or it could be the complete opposite where a leader is not a boss, nor is a boss a leader. While boss orders his followers to take the road, leader accompanies his followers on how to take the road. Often times, or always, Ms. M acts as the latter more than the former, which in turn became instrumental to making her organization prosperous and uncannily successful.

She established PATAS in February 14, 2011 which initially aimed to be an agent of social awareness and public understanding concerning non-belief. This organization has taken its wings too far by performing several activities through its international brand. The organization is committed to replacing traditional falsity with rational and secular explanations to social difficulties, grounded in the lack of belief in the supernatural.

Ms. M is an atheist and philanthropist who enjoys her married life in the United States of America. She works in one of the biggest companies in the USA,  same country as a consultant and a medical practitioner, happily married to a Protestant  since March 31, 1996. She envisions an organization that can make a difference one community at a time. By representing the PATAS organization in various Humanist associations, Ms. M has established multiple international bonds and given the society its global acknowledgment. These international bonds include the American Humanist Organization (AHA), International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), Atheist Alliance International (AAI), to cite a few more.

In addition, the construction of the local PATAS libraries and international offices is greatly attributable to her dedication of making her organization a success, a huge reality. She donated books and funded personally the establishment of the libraries, which now cater to the atheist minority bereft of resources to buy books.

Ms. M has been spending her personal funds for the activities and undertakings of the said organization. These activities include the humanistic endeavors, coming out  campaigns, be it as an atheist or a homosexual, and charity efforts, say, feeding programs, to help those who are in need. Also, activities for the introduction of atheism in the country are mostly personally funded by Ms. M, with the collaborative effort of the above mentioned international communities.

One of the many remarkable undertakings of her organization is the very first atheist/agnostic convention in the South East Asia, which was held in Manila, Philippines, in Bayview Plaza Hotel in United Nations Avenue under the ameliorative assistance of Ms. M herself, AAI through the kindness of its president, Tanya Smith, and IHEU through the benevolence of Roar Johnsen. Other major international societies were American Atheists Inc., and Institute for Science Human Values (ISHV). The convention was a huge accomplishment with 180 participants from all over the world, most of whom from Manila.  Some visitors came from Davao, Cebu and Iloilo while others, from Bicol region and Baguio took the bus for 8 to 12 hours just to attend the said convention. The convention came out as a revolutionary, radical crusade to do away with religion and dogma, something that the organization initially stood for.

The convention was covered by 2 major television news networks in the Philippines: ABS-CBN (Alto Broadcasting System, Chronicle Broadcasting Network) and GMA (Global Media Arts) news. ABS-CBN was there from 7 A.M. to 12 P.M., however unfortunately, none was aired since the owner is religious. The other news network, GMA, aired the convention for four times, featuring interview from John Paraiso, who then was the president of PATAS.

Another feather to its cap, and another first, is the Asia Humanism Conference, with its theme, Combating Injustice: Humanist Approach for Disadvantaged or Marginalized Youth in Asia , held at the DepEd Ecotech Center, Cebu City on June 21 to June 23, 2013, sponsored by Ms. Marissa Langseth herself, with her organization’s  international affiliate, International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO). The conference was conducted to show that humanism is a positive ground for altruism and benevolence through different talks and experiences shared. Furthermore, it was conducted to showcase how learning about Humanism can be a more ethical choice rather than subscribing to any religious movement. The conference worked in trying to deliver the message that to believe in humans and their capability to do good things is a more logical stand than to look up to the heavens and pray for good things to happen. The conference focused on major issues including women’s rights, matters regarding the LGBTQIA’s, and the modern roadblocks to achieving Humanism.

But sometimes, you get tired protecting the fire because of too much disturbance, and you have to let someone protect it for you.

The woman who started it all is now vacating her post to give a bigger road for her health and her marriage.

Ms. M is scheduled to retire as the Founding Chairwoman of PATAS in 2015 but was moved in January 2014 due to health and personal issues.

However, she said she would still continue her philanthropy to support her scholars and focus more on her work as a medical practitioner and consultant in the US.

PATAS waits for her decision to come back again soon. It wishes her the best in life and it hopes she still continues to help those who need one. She may be leaving but her legacies won’t.

Thank you, Ms. M.

(Article made by Aljohn de Leon on Nov. 2013)

Nursing: Not a bed of Roses (Why I call myself Narsdoktor) – A repost

I always imagine myself to be successful. I always think positive about myself..

I came to the US of A in 1990. My reasons are just like any RN: because of poverty and the need to go abroad to uplift my condition in the Philippines. Although, I went to KSA prior to my arrival in NYC, it did not really do a lot of improvement in my life at that time.

As soon as I got to New York City, I was in motion. I studied every night so I could pass the NCLEX just once. I did not have time and money to enroll myself in some review classes. All I did was study Appleton every night. I worked extra so I could send more to my family in Cebu. I would work double shift 3x a week.
Needless, to say, it was not a bed of roses. I was always haunted by memories of being away from my family. Loneliness would creep in from time to time.

I passed the NCLEX right away and was promoted the next day to a supervisory level.
I thought, it would be better, but worse. As a manager you are on call 24 hours a day. Some vacations were curtailed because of the Dept of Health survey (state). In short, you are management personnel, they can twist you like a pretzel.
I became a rebel, answering back to my superiors because, I always want to do what is right for my patients, for my staff, for everybody. I am not the regular “subservient Filipino nurse” in town. I was a different Filipino RN.

I was forced to resign, but landed a very challenging job the next day. I became an emergency RN, not by choice but by unforeseen circumstances. It was actually a blessing in disguise. I was too good at it, I got my Certification (CEN) just after one year of ER exposure. It sparked a little encouragement in me, so, I went back to school for my Masters degree in Nursing. I enrolled in a City University of NY (CUNY-Lehman College). In order to pay the tuition fees, I needed to get another job, on top of my obligations like sending money home to the Philippines, my board and lodging and the like. In short, I had three jobs while I was taking up my graduate school. I could not believe until now that I did it!

I studied part time and worked full time and I finished it.
I guess, my determination made me do it.
I also got married while I was in school. My husband was very supportive of what I do even until now.

I did not stop at my graduate school, I was too ambitious, nobody can stop me. I went to get a Post-Master’s Certificate in Adult Nurse Practitioner. My father in law volunteered to pay for it because the tuition fee was quite expensive. I need to maintain a 4.0 (equivalent to flat one in the Phil), I needed to impress him.
For two years, I did not see my husband because of my studies. When I went home, he was already asleep, when he leaves for work, I was still sleeping. We were in that kind of arrangement for 2 years until I finished school and landed my dream job.

I became an adult nurse practitioner of a care management company with flexible hours, benefits galore and huge salary. I have been doing this for 10 years and counting. This is the kind of job everybody is fighting for. I am my own boss.

It is like my retirement job really. Where in the world can you find a job like this?
I call myself narsdoktor. I am a primary care provider with prescriptive privileges, pretty much like an MD. Our salaries and responsibilities are almost the same.
I could say, I am reaping the fruits of my labor, after experiencing different jobs as an RN. I will never go back to work as an RN. I am pretty happy as a narsdoktor.

The Last Laugh

Whatever you do,

Successful or not,  still reflects what I did before

My legacy will continue and you just continued it.

You are a charlatan, doing  advocacy  to spite me?

Pretending will end when you get tired of your pretenses.

Whatever it is , I am still vindicated.

You cannot escape from my shadow.

Too much obsession of what I do.

Can’t work without copying me?

I have the LAST LAUGH, hear me roar.

You are a charlatan and insecure, for sure.

and please, I do not hate an imitator, who is my secret adoring fan.

this is your plan? Continue my legacy, but you are a fool just the same.

Calling me names before? now you know, you are wrong and mistaken.

When do you send me a public apology? because private apologies are

No longer effective.

Snakes and termites use my name  to advance their game.

I have the LAST LAUGH, just the same.

Do not do this advocacy to impress me.

Why I left PATAS: The TRUTH

Snakes and Termites : The truth why I left PATAS

Two years ago in November  2013, right after my vacation in Barbados, I came back to NYC with a very heavy heart. I had a premonition that something was  happening with my first baby, PATAS,  the  first organized SEC registered  nonreligious society I founded  to hopefully,  make a better Philippines via critical thinking, reason, atheism and logic.

The snakes have gotten out of their cages and treated me like a rat. What is going on? They thought, I was siding with Cebu? The divisive attitude of PATAS-Manila made all PATAS-Cebu leave without ado, some of them blaming me for siding with Manila. OOps..where did I go wrong?  They thought they can lead better than I do?  I was not siding with anyone, I was neutral all along. Both chapters had power struggles,  some were greedy to the core, some were thieves and arrogant bastards and really low life. A lot of them still owe me money  up to this day and some are in hiding hoping I will not find them. All of those whom I have helped and given computers were all “bad people”. I should have known that some pinoys suffer from self-entitlement and have chip on their shoulders.

Honestly, I was already on the verge of my retirement from PATAS,  thus, I was serendipitously  training the CEO and President about effective leadership. To my dismay, both have stabbed me in my heart, the rest stabbed me in my back. They were very insecure about  their leadership, they could not even agree with each other. One left after a few months. Oh well, they have just removed the glue that made them stick together.

I caught them in a secret chat with their dearest  friends making me look like I was hiding the donations for Cebu. Truth be told, they knew that the donations went straight to Cebu bank. We had a proof of that also. The funds were with LA.  How come they did not go to Cebu to find out what really was happening? How come Cebu members were not receptive to them ? They were supposed to be on the same team? What went wrong? It is easier to blame the founder, you know, she is just in the USA sitting on her butt. The blaming attitude of most Pinoys came out. The greedy and arrogant behavior of some pinoys came out! How I wish, one of them flew to Cebu to check them out.

The new Board of Directors were behaving like snakes and  termites. One of them, RP,  offered to make me the Chairman Emeritus, since they know very well that  I built PATAS with my own funds, sweat and blood with a little help from donors and volunteers in Luneta. the Nerve!! How dare them!!! I declined the offer three times. This very same person has been badmouthing me ever since I declined his offer. I even caught him red handed. They forgot, I have some loyal people who report to me anything negative said about me. Oh the nerve!! did you forget : there would have been no PATAS without my money and effective leadership? His secret apologies were not enough frankly, he needs to apologize publicly for humiliating me publicly. where is he now? He is still trying to do some “termite and snake techniques” again.

There was one BOD  – (RT) who hates me for no reason at all. He forgot that I gave him 1000 pesos as fare from Baguio to Manila. This person is only fierce online, but he really behaves and looks like a lamb in person. He is so desperate for my attention, he stalks me around, and knows everything about me, but TROLLS everyone. I do not like to think that he hates my guts. He stopped bashing me when his good friends became my staff in HAPI. Have you realized your mistakes now? I need a public apology.

One of their BOD officers,  hacked into my FB account and publicized some of my chats with my scholar. I know who this one is. He even posted them on FB, on his dummy account. Does he really have to know what I am thinking about? How insecure is he ? Miss my money and my attention. His  kids will never get any from me. Tough luck.

Apparently their behavior and backstabbing attitudes ricocheted,  they obviously were not getting along very well. PATAS shrunk like a prune : Most of their chapters were gone, they cannot even revive Cebu and eventually the “Three Stooges” left PATAS all at the same time  and made their own specialty group promoting their own self interests.

I thought, they can be revived by the Patascon? I was really hoping too, it is still my baby, you know.

The insecurity came out again, they made their  visitors uncomfortable by their comments about the HAPI pin worn by the topnotch HAPI officials . Oh well, some people do not learn their lesson.

I could just have made my own personal foundation for philanthropy and charity. The heartaches and sadness these people have given me were too much. I almost had a heart attack.  I have already lost a lot of money because of my advocacy.  I do not really need donations. But, it is nice to get some from people who support my advocacy, and  it is better because there is strength in numbers and diversity.  I must admit,  I will not do this again. Herding cats is a daunting task. I could have retired earlier had I saved all my losses from my advocacy and what I have lost from supporting  my scholar.  I could have taken that tour around the world  x 2 earlier!!

Water seeks its own level. I am HAPI now. My journey has ended.

The Bitter Gourds

Some people will remain bitter all  their lives:

> those who have wrong perceptions and always misconstrue other people’s words, so that they can feel good about themselves.

> those who have been banned by successful societies .

> those who are not successful in their career.

> those who are poor leaders, resigned fast and furious because he cannot lead, when asked to clean up the mess.

> those who were not accepted back to become admins.

> those who sided with thieves and scammers.

> those who cannot do what I do.

>those who think that they  are intelligent..but has no proof at all.

> those who have very bad attitude, they cannot see their own bad behavior.

>those who are pathological liars, they do not even know  that they are lying.

> those who have underestimated me, thinking I will never leave them. Tough luck, you are wrong?  I need a public apology.

> Those who have no integrity nor credibility as evidenced by lack of donors and sponsors. It bit you already, can’t you see.

>Good wishes to the backstabbers. My life would have been boring without your “stupid moves”, it has awakened me that some atheists can be really assholes and do not deserve a dime from me.

Ask yourself, maybe you are one of them.

I do not need donation for myself. I even retired early, I did not miss my 6-figure salary and bonuses. My society will survive even if we do not receive donations. Your guess is as good as mine. No need to display  my 1099 and W-2.

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