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An Interview with Andy Uyboco


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/01/18

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is your relationship with HAPI? How did you find them?

Andy Uyboco:
 I learned of HAPI via Marissa Langseth whom I have been acquainted with for some time before she founded the organization.

Jacobsen: What is the state of humanism in the Philippines at the moment?

Uyboco: I think it’s a growing movement. There is less stigma about it than when you position yourself as atheist or irreligious. I think HAPI is taking very positive steps in promoting humanism because it is not just about another group ranting against religion, but there are actual programs in place to uplift the general well-being and happiness of people.

For example, there are people in HAPI who are focused on educating poor children, there are others promoting environmental concerns, and so on.

Jacobsen: How do you see the future of humanism in the Philippines?

Uyboco: I have a bright outlook towards it. As long as people are committed to working for the good of humanity, then we can transcend the artificial wall of religious differences.

Jacobsen: What will be some of its difficulties in the near future, and even at present, in free practice in social and cultural life, and even political and legal life?

Uyboco: Present and near-future difficulties — in terms of philosophy and political views (e.g. secularism) — would still be difficult to implement because most people still adhere to a strong religious belief system. It does not help that at present, there are a number of politicians and government figures citing religion/faith as a motivation for crafting policies or procedures. (

Jacobsen: Is Duterte a problem for the irreligious in the Philippines?

Uyboco: It depends. If we’re talking about religious issues, I don’t think it’s a problem as he’s been pretty liberal about dissing religion himself, and that sort of helps a bit in breaking the chains of religious fervor. However, if you talk about humanist policies, then that’s where the issues will start coming in. Even though I supported him in the last elections, I will be the first to admit that he doesn’t make it easy for humanists to defend him. I do not think he is an evil man, just an old man who is set in his ways — as I explained to someone before who wondered how I could support him. I look at him like an ornery old relative who likes to cuss and bully everyone around, but he’s done enough good things to show that there is a heart that cares underneath that tough exterior, and I and many in Davao understand and kind of give him leeway for that, even those in my circle that are irreligious. But I know and realize that that itself creates problems as he is under international spotlight whether he likes it or not, and his careless statements here and there would be dissected and may be even interpreted as policy.

Jacobsen: Any upcoming work coming out of the school of design and arts?

Uyboco: Oh, I haven’t been teaching for 7 years now since I moved back to Davao City from Manila. I’ve been in the pharmacy business since then, growing and expanding the family enterprise that my dad started back in the 50’s.

Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Andy.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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