Sunday, October 25, 2015

IAF Alumni, Meet and Greet 2015 at FNF Manila

Last Thursday night, October 22, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) - PH Office hosted its annual reunion for alumni of the International Academy for Leadership (IAF), short courses and seminars (1-2 weeks long) in Gummersbach, Germany. Here, FNF PH Country Director Jules Maaten speaking, giving the opening remarks.

It's a beer and sausages reunion. Venue was the San Lorenzo Village multipurpose hall, Makati City. Below, lots of huge German sausages, sliced. And pork bar bq, and litson manok.

Two choices of beer, Lager and dark, free flowing from two huge kegs of beer beneath the dispenser and plastic cups. I feasted on both, one after the other, my tongue enjoyed the roller-coaster change of beer tastes. :-)

Program MC was Pauline Sanchez. She called on three alumni -- Jorgia Salonga, Mikael de Lara Co, and Tricia Robredo -- to briefly share their experience at the IAF in Gummersbach. Below, Assistant Sec. Kael de Lara Co.

Pauline asked for any volunteer from other alumni who wanted to share their experience, I raised my hand. I said that I  attended the seminar on "Local Government and Civil Society", late October 2008. Our seminar facilitators defined decentralization as those functions that can be done by the local governments, do not assign to the national government. And civil society is defined as those functions that can be done by civil society, of mature and responsible individuals, do not assign even to local governments. Which means that a state of civil society has the smallest, leanest possible government presence.

I find this political philosophy the most radical in the planet, at least among the major ones (vs. socialism or conservatism or democratism, etc.). And that makes me a big fan of (classical) liberalism and the FNF.

After the short sharing of experience, the game -- we were divided into four groups. A quiz, on six subjects -- general knowledge, movies, music, food, sports, and another one. 

Our group was the overall winner, thanks to the great and quick minds of John Coronel, Taikee Calleja, Noel Medina, and Lambert Ramirez. My contribution to such victory was minimal, if any :-)

The group photos, fun and wacky. Beside me is former Cong. Erin Tanada.

Then the karaoke and sing along. Outside the room, near the beer and sausages, someone pulled out a guitar and there was another round of singing. Kael, Paolo Zamora and Bing Salvador are good guitarists. We sang some songs by U2, Bob Marley, Pearl Jam, other rock bands.

Thanks again Jules, FNF-PH team, for another fun-filled night and reunion with my fellow IAF alumni. FNF events are always among my priorities, so long as I get an invitation.

All photos above from the FNF-PH Office fb page.

See also:
Decentralization 3: Challenges to Local Government, November 18, 2008 
IAF Seminar 2008, Gummersbach, Germany, January 21, 2011 
FNF Philippines and Liberal Challenges 2013-2016, June 14, 2013 
IAF Seminar, Gummersbach, Germany, Part 2, October 13, 2013 
Rule of Law 22: IAF Seminar in Germany, April 09, 2014

No comments: