His gray hair is his crown. He talks with much solemnity. His stance reflects a loving and a caring grandfather. Amidst all of this, Mr. Suzara’s arguments assert a reality that is in complete opposite of this looks. He communicates the brutal fact of the Filipino Society – a reality that is distorted by religion.
Mr. Suzara’s transition from a theist to an atheist came as a result of thorough reading and study of the contradictions of Christianity and personal observations on the impoverished disposition of the country. When he was a student in DLSU, he claimed that he asked a number of questions to his professors that in the long run the latter was not able to answer. As such he said: “When I was kicked out of La Salle, first year, I thought there is something wrong with me, na tama nga ang mga teachers ko, na this boy is psychologically freaked out. Sobra kase ang questions ko, but don’t they think that questions are more important than answers”.
From then on, Mr. Suzara sought to answer his own questions that led him to personally study Christianity in particular. He has also observed a number of activities within the Catholic Church that he perceived as a major contributing factor on the furthering of the problems of the country. He said: “Religion distorts your mind and distorts your heart. Kase the idea that this life is nothing… its the next life that counts. Once you believe that wala na e, you wont love your trees, your flowers, your rivers… the superstitious baggage that cripples the minds and hearts”. Mr. Suzara maintained that the major cause of the backwardness of the country is attributed on the highly religious nature of the Filipinos and the alienation of an individual from his or her immediate family. In relation with this, he also said that Filipinos are perceived to be more connected than the priests than one’s own mother and father. Mr. Suzara furthered: “We are closer than the priests by calling the priest father. And yet mas importante ang pare sa family”.
For a significant number of years, Mr. Suzara became an agnostic. However, on his thirties, he finally decided that being an agnostic became closely synonymous to being a coward. Upon that realization that is furthered back up by his studies and rationalizations on the irrelevance of religion, Mr. Suzara became an atheist. He said: “From agnosticism I realized that I am some sort of a coward that I can’t take a stand. When I was 30 years old, I became an atheist”.
Mr. Suzara is a college undergraduate from De La Salle University (DLSU). Mr. Suzara on the other hand preferred to label himself as a PHSDO (Philippine High School Drop Out).
Mr. Suzara had studied abroad and has become a member of the Bertrand Russell Society in the United States; later on when he came back to the Philippines on 1964, he established the Bertrand Russell Society of the Philippines and became its co-chairman. He had the organization registered on Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), hence becoming the first ever established non-profit organization in the country focusing on Atheism and Free thinking.
Also, he has labeled himself and the organization as the first ever Atheist endeavor which went out on public, as such, the thesis claimed that Mr. Suzara is the “first” Filipino Atheist.
Mr. Suzara has written a number of essays and a book on atheism which are: The Freethinker’s Reader Vo. I, Only in the Philippines, The Fools and the Wise, I Was Once a Devout Christian, The Joys of Freethought, Vol. I, Bertrand Russell to the Rescue and his book, Philippines- Damaged Culture? East and West View, on which his a co-writer Earl Wilkinson also played part.
He currently lives in Makati City with his family.