Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brief History of Freemasonry (Philippines)

In the Beginning...

The history of Philippine Masonry may be likened to the history of the first Grand Lodge. On the Feast of St. John the Baptist in 1717, four of the pre-existing Masonic lodges in Great Britain organized what became the first Grand Lodge of the world. On December 19, 1912, three lodges that were chartered under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of California finally succeeded in establishing the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands, the forerunner of what is now officially known as the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.

Masonry existed in England long before the creation of the first Grand Lodge, so was Philippine Masonry already alive even before the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. In 1856, for example, Primera Luz Filipina, the first Masonic lodge in the Philippines, was formed by Jose Malcampo y Monge, a naval captain who subsequently became Governor General of the Philippines. Primera Luz was chartered by Gran Oriente Luisitano and admitted only Spaniards in its fold. Subsequently, three other lodges were established one after the other: the first by the Germans, the second by the British consul in Nagtahan, and the third by the Spaniards in Pandacan.

Not only that, Dr, Serafin Quiazon, head of the National Historical Institute of the Republic of the Philippines, while researching in London on the British trade with the Philippines, stumbled upon a significant piece of historical data. Guissippe Garibaldi, that brilliant Italian revolutionary whom President Abraham Lincoln offered a command in the United States Army during the American Civil War, captained a vessel that anchored in Manila Bay sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century. There is little doubt that the tenets of the Craft landed with Garibaldi in the sandy beaches of the Philippine Islands during that period.

The Filipino Patriots Embrace the Tenets of Freemasonry Abroad...

It was the influx of the students who pursued higher studies in Europe, among them Marcelo H. del Pilar from Bulacan, Graciano Lopez Jaena from Iloilo, the Luna brothers from Ilocos, Galicano Apacible from Batangas, Domingo Panganiban from Camarines Norte, Jose Alejandrino from Pampanga, Tomas Arejola from Camarines Sur, Ariston Bautista from Manila, Julio Llorente from Cebu, and the country's foremost hero, Jose Rizal from Laguna, that made a conglomeration of Masonic patriots from the entire archipelago. In 1886, some of them joined Lodge Solidaridad No. 53 in Barcelona, Spain, while others joined Lodge Revoluccion, and, exposed to the tenets of the fraternity, established local lodges upon their return to the islands. Nilad Lodge was formed first on January 6, 1891, and, in no time, several lodges mushroomed in Manila and its environs, even reaching as far as Zamboanga in the southern backdoor. By 1893, they had succeeded in establishing the Grand Regional Council under the leadership of Ambrocio Flores. Three years later, the Philippine Revolution conflagrated an armed rebellion that was initiated by the Katipunan led by Andres Bonifacio. Bonifacio's organizational skills and the secret codes that he employed were said to have been copied from the Masonic secret rules and procedures. These ultimately led to the downfall of the nation's conquistadors who for more than three centuries wielded the stick without dangling any carrot over the subjects of the entire archipelago.

It can be said, however, that Masonry during those tumultuous and rebellious years was in suspended animation. The "hawks," among them Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, became Katipuneros; the "doves," which included among others, Jose Rizal, Numeriano Adriano and the thirteen martyrs of Cavite were herded in the dungeons and ultimately shot at Bagumbayan. A third group called the "chameleons" or balimbings, simply changed their coats and did what they thought best, be pliant as a bamboo and swing to the rhythm of nature, wherever the wind blows.

The Americans Enter the Political and the Masonic Scenes...

Then came the American conquerors that hounded the self-proclaimed Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo and his ragtag band to the boondocks. Many of these Philippine Masons, already sporting their avowed roles as "Rebolucionarios," were at their wits’ end, eluding the pursuing Gringos. What the Filipinos did not realize was that these soldiers were led mostly by Masons: Generals Arthur MacArthur; John J. Pershing who was then but a captain, a Shriner and who answers to the monicker "Black Jack Pershing;" Harry Bandoltz; and James G. Harbord; the last two named generals later forming the forerunner of the Philippine Constabulary or the present-day Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Country As A Free-For-All Masonic Jurisdiction...

The surrender of General Aguinaldo effectively ended the armed insurrection against the Americans and also resulted in a field day for the different Grand Lodges and appendant bodies of the Masonic fraternity. Early to make their presence felt were the American Military Lodge led by the United States Volunteers from North Dakota, the Knights Templar, and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri, a lodge composed of Negro soldiers from the United States. These were immediately followed by the Grand Lodge of California through the creation of what is called "The Sojourners Club" and thereafter was followed by creation of Manila Lodge No. 342, Cavite Lodge No. 350 and Corregidor Lodge No. 386

On the local front, first to reorganize was Grand Master Ambrocio Flores who attempted to establish the Filipino Grand Orient in 1899. This was followed by the Gran Oriente Espanol through the reactivation of Modestia Lodge No. 199, the Grand Orient of France that was introduced by Dr. Trinidad Pardo H. de Tavera, the Philippine Grand Orient that was established by Jose Utor y Fernandez, and the Grand Lodge of Scotland that established Lodge Perla de Oriente 1034 in Manila and Cebu Lodge No. 1106 in the Visayas. Gran Oriente de Espana also came into existence and so did Gran Oriente Luisitano Unido, making the country a conglomeration of several Masonic disciplines and jurisdictions.

Furthermore, the Americans brought to the fore several appendant organizations, notably the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, the Mystic Shrine and the Order of the Eastern Star. Even the Chinese secret societies composed of Chinese Masons who claimed kinship with the worldwide fraternity entered the picture. All these complemented and co-existed with one another.

The Formation of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands...

Invariably, confusion ensued. The Americans kept membership in their lodges to themselves; the Filipinos clamored for recognition, until, finally, the three American lodges that were chartered under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of California sought dispensation from their Mother Grand Lodge to form their own and thus established in 1912 what came to be the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. Their respective Lodge numbers were also changed and became Manila Lodge No. 1, Cavite Lodge No. 2 and Corregidor Lodge No. 3, respectively.

Masonry Silently Works by the Sidelines...

It is interesting to note that Masonry worked in mystic ways. Unknown to many, Generals Harry H. Bandholtz and Gary G. Harbord took Manuel Luis Quezon into their protective wings and gave him his political start in Tayabas by helping him get elected an Assemblyman. It was most reasonably because of his close association with the two that encouraged Quezon to join the Masonic fraternity by petitioning for membership at Sinukuan Lodge No. 273 in 1907. His appointment as Resident Commissioner in Washington would later serve as guiding light in his future Masonic endeavors when he was refused admission in a lodge in the United States on the ground that his lodge in the Philippines was clandestine. At about the same time that Quezon was initiated into the mysteries of Masonry, Rafael Palma petitioned for membership at Bagong Buhay Lodge 291 while Juan Sumulong joined a lodge of Gran Oriente de España and later became member of Bagumbayan Lodge No. 4 under the jurisdiction of the newly-formed Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands; three illustrious Freemasons who were all admitted to the Philippine bar and would make their respective presence felt in the corridors of power of the American-guided government.

The Polarization of the Brethren into Two Main Bodies...

The existence of lodges under several jurisdictions became as confusing as would two amateur players playing chess with so many boisterous kibitzers watching the game on a chessboard. The California Lodges recognized the Scottish Lodges but did not accept brethren from the Filipino Lodges. The Scottish Lodges maintained relationship with both the American and Filipino lodges but completely ignored the black-skinned Prince Hall lodges. Until finally the Masonic field polarized into only two main bodies, the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands composed of the white-skinned Americans, and the Regional Grand Lodge which consists of the brown-skinned Indios of the land.

Merging Into One Masonic Roof...

It is doubtful whether Masonry in the Philippines could have achieved easy unification and harmonious relationship without the combined talents of Governor Francis Burton Harrison and Manuel Luis Quezon. Harrison was appointed Governor General in the Philippines and had publicly acknowledged that he owed his appointment to Quezon. The Governor was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on July 11, 1916 and brought with him his pro-Filipino inclination to the Masonic world. It was therefore inevitable that the fusion gained headway on both sides and when the election for Grand Master was held for the first time under the fused bodies in 1917, the Americans who were easily outnumbered, were surprised to see MW William H. Taylor reelected during the first year of fusion. It was also the start of what would later amount to a Rigodon de Honor of electing a Grand Master, much like the checkered floor of King Solomon's Temple; if it is white this year, then it should be brown next time. Una sin otra were the Spanish words for it.

Growth, Expansion, and the Role of Filipino Masons...

The years that followed the unification registered impressive growth for the Craft. In four years time starting in 1918, thirty-eight lodges were established. The Filipinos that were elected Grand Masters, alternating with the Americans every two years, was led by Manuel L. Quezon. MW Quezon was followed by Rafael Palma, Quintin Paredes, Wenceslao Trinidad, Francisco Afan Delgado, Teodoro M. Kalaw and Vicente Carmona, in succession. These illustrious gentlemen were also quite active in the corridors of power. At this point and time, most of the notable political figures were Freemasons. It was therefore no wonder that Monsignor Michael O'Doherty wrote in his diary in 1917 shortly after his installation as Archbishop of Manila, "Masonry is a menace. Osmena, (the incumbent Speaker of the House) is the only government official of any standing who is not a Mason here in Manila."

The Nation Gains Independence...

The 1935 Constitution led to the granting of the country's Commonwealth status and ultimately her independence. This Philippine independence was gained largely through the efforts of Masons. No wonder, the names Manuel L. Quezon, Rafael Palma, Quintin Paredes and Manuel L. Roxas alternated in shuttling to and from the United States to lobby for the untangling of the country's umbilical cord with the United States. When the election of the Constitutional Convention delegates were tallied, 42 out of 202, or 21 percent of the total, were Masons.

The War Years...

Wars always inflict destruction not only to the country and its people but more so to the Masonic fraternity whose tenets would not allow them to stay idle by the sidelines. Masonic records were destroyed and countless of its sons were either incarcerated or suffered heroic deaths. Topping the list is MW Jose Abad Santos who was executed by the Japanese government for non-cooperation. Grand Master John Robert McFie, RW Jose P. Guido, Deputy Grand Master and RW Antonio Ramos, Junior Grand Warden, also became casualties. So did many more of its sons.

Rebuilding From the Ashes...

It is a truism that after the storm is peace. Lodges were rehabilitated, new ones were added and, progressively, the tenets of the Craft were indelibly imprinted in the country's history unnoticed by many as it vaulted through the 21st Century.


The sheer lack of drum-beaters within the Craft does not allow that the sterling qualities of members go unnoticed. A major factor that influence this situation is the generally subdued attitude of the members themselves. Except for the brethren who are in the know, the public does not realize that Freemasonry and its adherents always play important roles in the nation's history.

The two EDSA revolutions have produced Freemasons from both sides of the political fence whose names, because of the lapse of time, will no longer be mentioned.

The Recent Political Turmoil- Results updated to March 1, 2007

But the political turmoil that rocked the country that was caused by the allegation that the nation’s president won through dubious means has shown several members of the Craft unflinchingly doing their duties on both sides of the political fence. Eight brothers whose sterling qualities are admirable may indirectly be mentioned.

At the other side

A brother from Salug Valley No. 216 and the whistle blower who produced the tapes that rocked the entire country, a former Deputy Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, whose dedication to the cause he believed in is beyond compare. What happened to him, his whereabouts and the status of the cases filed against him are unknown.

A brother from Luzon No. 57-the Philippine Army’s Brigadier General who sacrificed his expected pension six days before retirement by honoring the Senate investigation on the alleged election irregularities in Mindanao and even subjected him to court martial for his heroic deed. A case was filed against him at the military tribunal but media has since been ominously silent on the status of the case.

From the Philippine National Police

From Bontoc No.140-the Director of the PNP who walks the tight rope doing police functions to the best of his abilities, cognizant of the constitutional rights of his fraternal brothers at the other side that these are duly protected. He has since retired as PNP Chief and after retirement was appointed head of the National Irrigation Administration.

From. Pampanga No. 48- the Deputy General of the PNP for the National Capital Region who is in charge of the peace and order in the entire metropolis and whose ending statement when interviewed over the radio is invariably "May God bless us all always," debunking the myth that Freemasons are Godless.

Word has it that he was recently appointed ambassador to Indonesia.

From Congress

From Jacobo Zobel Memorial No. 202- The debonair Chairman of the Public Information Committee whose finesse and fair play at conducting the investigation is indeed admirable. His political fortunes still reverberating, it would be safe to guess that he is running for reelection on his seat at Congress.

From. Kutang Bato No. 110- The Chairman of the Justice Committee, who formerly was both Justice, and Public Works and Highways secretary, adeptly steered the proceedings exonerating the lady president from impeachment charges and thus eluded being thrown to the wolves at the upper branch of the Legislature called the Senate.

His present preoccupation is undermined but if his stint at Congress has not yet reached the final third term, may again present himself as a candidate for reelection in his home province.

At the Judiciary

From Hiram Lodge No. 88- a past Grand Master and revered elder in the Fraternity whose appointment as the most eminent jurist of the judicial branch, being the most senior member at the bench was thought certain, was bypassed by the appointing authority using the political maneuver called revolving-door -policy. Although publicly admitting he was hurt, he accepted calmly the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and promptly continued his work at the bench doubly aware that the All Seeing Eye never sleeps and that he will ultimately be vindicated by God Almighty.

On December, 2006, he was finally appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court thus vindicating his case and finally reached the apex of his illustrious career at the bench.

And finally, from the Executive Branch

The Fraternity’s immediate past Grand Master, member of Alfonso Lee Sin No. 158 whose indispensable duty as Secretary of Public Works and Highways require that he performs without fanfare at the sidelines and also to do the tasks and biddings that his superior dictates.

In February 2007, he was appointed Secretary of the Department of National Defense by the country’s president thus pole vaulting from the Department of Public Works and Highways to the more awesome task of defending the nation’s citizenry.

This brief history, first written in 2002, updated in 2006 and again revised to cover significant events to March 2007, can never end for as the earth rotates upon its own axis each day, worthy brothers also etch out daily their own accomplishments that bring honor and glory to this ancient and honorable Fraternity.

Updated March 3, 2007

Votaries of Honor by MW Reynold S. Fajardo, PGM
The July-August 1982 issue of the Cabletow
The March-April 1988 issue of the Cabletow

Freemasonry in the Philippines
By: Bro. GeminianoV. Galarosa, Jr.
Dagohoy Lodge No. 84


M. W. H. Eugene Stafford
First Grand Master
Masonic Year 1913

He sired the Grand Lodge...

Some years before his death, Harry Eugene Stafford incorporated a last request in his will that upon his death his body be cremated and his ashes sent to the land he loved so much, the Philippines. "Some evening, at sunset, from the location of my old home next to the Manila Polo Club, have some Brother go out into the sunset, that path of glory I have so many evenings paddled out into toward Corregidor and scatter these ashes into the water and drop the container after."

His request was granted. On August 7, 1954, at sunset, a special Masonic funeral service was held in Manila Bay on board a U .S. naval launch and in the presence of friends and Masons, the ashes of Stafford were scattered over the waters in front of the home where he used to live.

Stafford came to the Philippines as a volunteer surgeon with the rank of Captain in 1899. He was wounded under fire several times and was awarded the Purple Heart for "action beyond the call of duty." After getting out of the hospital the last time, he was directed to report to General and Bro. Arthur MacArthur as his personal surgeon. Years later he would also became the personal physician of Gen. and Bro. Douglas MacArthur.

When Governor and Bro. William Howard Taft arrived in the country he instructed Stafford to start a civilian hospital and medical service, including a training school for nurses. Dr. Stafford established this training school against the protest of two members of the Philippine Commission, Commissioners Benito Legarda and Jose R. de Luzurriaga, who both assured Gov. Taft that it would be impossible to find Filipinas who would want to do such work! Dr. Stafford easily proved them wrong, and the thousands of efficient, heart-warmingly faithful Filipinas who have followed in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale, justify his foresightedness. From the Civilian Hospital rose the magnificent Philippine General Hospital of today.

After leaving the Army, Dr. Stafford entered private practice in Manila and was for many years one of the leading surgeons of the Philippines. He retired about 1935 and later moved to Baguio where his attractive home became a centre of social activity.

Stafford was an earnest Mason and his Masonic record shows how much he loved the Masonic fraternity.

He become a Master Mason in 1892 in Roome Lodge No.743 of New York City and served as its Master in 1895 and 1898. When he came to the Philippines he demitted from Roome Lodge and became a charter member and the first Worshipful Master of Manila Lodge No.342, then under the Grand Lodge of California. On the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines in 1912 he was elected as its first Grand Master.

In his Scottish Rite Bodies, he was coroneted by the Mother Council of the World in Washington, D.C., on May 7, 1936 and was crowned by the Supreme Council of the Philippines as Sovereign Grand Inspector General on July 29, 1950.

Stafford was in Baguio when the Japanese entered the Philippines, and he was interned there for the duration of the war. After his release, he related that he was taken care of during the war by Mrs. Evangelista, proprietor of the Zigzag Hotel in Baguio, who was a member of that pioneer class of Filipina girls who had registered to train for nurses in those early days of the Civilian Hospital. His students had not forgotten him.

Stafford left for the United States in 1945 and never enjoyed good health until his death. The horrifying treatment by the Japanese during his days of internment left effects from which he never recovered.

In the years he lived in Baguio, Stafford devoted his time to writing about the Philippines. His book The Sun God's Wife, about the legends of the Mountain People of Benguet, contains many quaint sayings and much homely humour and wisdom, and many passages manifest his love for the people of Benguet. And he never wearied of writing about Manila sunsets. In the tale of The Sun God's Wife, in the farewell of the Sun God, there is a message in Stafford's own words that could be his farewell to his brethren.

Evening comes and the Sun God, knowing that he soon must go tears up his robe of prismatic colours and spreads it across the western clouds in benediction, a farewell and a promise of his return on the morrow.

These colours flame and blaze and are reflected in the sea, whose rouge-lipped waves become gently heaving, ruby swells, slowly, kaleidoscopically, they change and grow into softer pastel shades. And in the ineffably sweat sadness of all beautiful things ending, the light hastens to follow its master, and darkness falls; the stars come out one by one; a saffron moon creeps up behind Mt. Makiling, etching the land and sea in mystical black and gold. The mellow, bell-like call of the conch-shells of the fishermen of Baclaran Beach brings nostalgic reminiscences of southern hunting nights with the hounds. A warm, soft, caressing veil of intoxicating perfume - ylang-ylang or dama de noche, perhaps malacoco sweeps across the face. "

Farewell, a fond farewell.


Martyr and Hero

Jose Abad Santos was born in San Fernando, Pampanga, on February 19, 1886, the son of Vicente Abad Santos and Toribia Basco. He obtained his early education in the town of his birth, but in 1904, the Philippine Government sent him to the United States where he studied in Santa C1ara Collage, San Jose, California and in the University of Illinois, receiving from the latter institution the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Later, he took a postgraduate course in George Washington University, where he was granted the degree of Master of Laws.

As a government pensionado, he was obligated to serve the government for a certain length of time, and so on his return to the Philippines, he entered the Government service on December 1, 1909, as a clerk in the Executive Bureau at a salary of P80 a month. On July 31, 1914, he was appointed an assistant attorney in the Bureau of Justice, and was successively attorney for the Philippine National Bank, technical adviser and ex-officio member of the first Independence Mission to the United States, and Undersecretary of Justice. On April 26, 1922 he was appointed Secretary of Justice. He resigned in less than a year but was re-appointed in 1928 and so served until June 18, 1932, when he became an Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, where he served until December 6, 1938. President Quezon then recalled him to his old position of Secretary of Justice, in which he remained until May 23, 1941. On December 24, 1941, President Quezon appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and he so continued until his death at the hands of the Japanese invaders on May 7, 1942. In all these positions he served with honesty and faithfulness, performing all the duties incumbent upon him as a servant and official of the Government and never taking advantage of his trust.

President Quezon, recognizing the great merit of the man, added to his duties as Chief Justice those of Secretary of Justice and Secretary of Finance, Agriculture, and Commerce, and took him with him to Corregidor on December 24, 1941. There he worked unceasingly until February 20, 1942, on which date he left with the President and the Vice-President for the Island of Negros from which the President and Vice-President later departed for the United States by way of Australia.

Before his departure, President Quezon gave the Chief Justice his choice of going with the party or remaining in the Philippines. He chose the latter course, saying: "I prefer to remain, carry on my work here, and stay with my family."

There has been argument as to whom the President on his departure, entrusted the reigns of government, but the following letter, addressed to Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, settles the question:

March 17, 1942

My dear Chief Justice Santos,

In addition to your duties as Chief Justice and acting Secretary of Finance, Agriculture, and Commerce, I hereby designate you as my delegate with power to act on all matters of government which involve no change in the fundamental policies of my administration of which you are quite familiar. Where circumstances are such as to preclude previous consultation with me, you may act on urgent questions of local administration without my previous approval. In such cases, you are to use your own best judgement and sound discretion.

With reference to the government-owned corporations, you are also authorized to take such steps as will protect the interest of the government either by continuing, curtailing or terminating their operations as circumstances warrant.

Sincerely yours,

Manuel L. Quezon

His many years of able service proved sufficient preparation for the trust so suddenly placed in him. His experience had also been broadened by his previous service as President of the Philippine Bar Association, as President of the Young Men's Christian Association; as member of the Abiertas House of Friendship; as educational adviser of the Colombian Institute; and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Women's University. He was also undoubtedly strengthened by his Masonic relationships.

His Masonic record shows that he filed his petition for membership in Bagumbayan Lodge No.4 on February 23, 1919, and was elected on April 9, 1919. As already stated, he went to the United States that year with the first Independence Mission to the United States, and while there, he was initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason by courtesy by a Masonic Lodge in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to the Philippines he was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft in his own lodge on August 27, 1919, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on September 6, 1919. He was a faithful worker in his lodge and became Junior Warden thereof in 1935, Senior Warden in 1936, and Worshipful Master in 1937.

His worth was recognized by his brethren and in 1934, he became Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, Junior Grand Warden in 1935, Senior Grand Warden in 1936, Deputy Grand Master in 1937, and Most Worshipful Grand Master in 1938.

Abad Santos imbibed deeply at the wells of Masonic learning and teaching, and never forgot the duties he owed to God, to his country, to his neighbor, and to himself. He was deeply religious in the best sense of that term and had no heart for bigotry or intolerance. He was a quite-spoken, deeply meditative individual, who took God as a companion and friend. The duty he owed to his Country he paid to the last drop of his blood. To his neighbor he was a wise friend and just counsellor. To himself he applied the rules he thought should be applicable to all men.

As to his death, he could have saved his life had he so desired. Had he been willing to violate his oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States, the then ruling government of the Philippines, he could have been the head of the puppet government later set up within this country by the Japanese invaders. But he chose to keep his word, knowing that this choice meant death, but an honorable death, the kind to which only such a great spirit is entitled.

Here is a brief resume of the immediate event leading to this martyr's death. He and his son were captured by the Japanese while on the road in an auto near Carcar, Cebu, on April 11, 1942 At the time of his capture, he identified himself as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and was taken with his son to a concentration camp in Cebu, where the Japanese learned that he was the actual head of the Philippine Government and subjected him to continued investigation ending in a demand that he do something, the exact nature of which his son never learned. He heard only his father's answer, an answer which sealed his doom - "I cannot possibly do that because if I do so, I would be violating my oath of allegiance to the United States."

In attempted justification of his execution, the Japanese falsely imputed to him the destruction of the bridges and other public works in Cebu, a falsehood sufficient for the purpose of his accusers.

About the end of April 1942, the Japanese took along the patriot and his son on military expedition to Mindanao. A landing was made at Parang, Cotabato, under fire from the USAFFE, and it is related that our subject was the only man on the landing barge who remained standing erect; his Japanese guards had to shout and signal to him to make him lie down. A forced march of three hours with his heavy baggage on his back, through a marshy jungle, brought no complaint from his lips. He showed no sign of regret for the course he had taken, and he remained in high spirits. They finally reached the Constabulary barracks where they stayed until the next day, when they were transported by truck to Malabang, Lanao. After being confined for three days, in the Constabulary barracks there the Supreme Moment came unexpectedly, but oh! how gloriously!

At two o'clock in the afternoon of May 7, 1942, a Japanese interpreter came to the barracks and told the Chief Justice that he was wanted at the Japanese Headquarters. He went, but returned after a short time and called to his son - Pepito, come down. I have something to tell you." Father and son repaired to a nipa shack nearby, where the father said calmly and naturally, "I have been sentenced to death. They will shoot me in a few minutes." The son filled with horror broke down and cried, but smilingly the father mildly admonished his son: "Do not cry. What is the matter with you? Show these people that you are brave." He added: "This is a rare opportunity for me to die for our country; not everybody is given that chance”.

He said that he hoped that all of his children would live up to their name, and then father and son knelt together and said a short prayer. They then, embraced and were separated, one remaining in captivity, the other setting out for eternity - but earning a martyr's crown on the way. A few minutes later, a volley of shots told the son that his father had gone to his well-earned eternal rest. Later that afternoon, the Japanese interpreter took the son to the place of execution and pointed out the father's grave telling him: "Your father died a glorious death."

And thus ended the life of a jurist and statesman, a patriot and martyr, a dignified but humble spirit, a becomingly modest and self-possessed individual who never lost his head or his temper even under the most trying of circumstances. Hatred and malice were alien to his soul, and he never spoke ill or derogatorily of anyone.

He was well known as one of the ablest, purest, and noblest of men who ever graced the government service. He was gentle, kind, and true. As Rizal, he was an idealist; as Mabini, he was stoical.

For his valor and patriotism, his wisdom and devotion to what is right, his name deserves to be inscribed on the Scroll of Fame, and for the martyr’s death for his country, he deserves to be eternally enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen.


The Jurist...

The session of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite held in March 1991 saw the election as Sovereign Grand Commander of Reynato S. Puno, a brilliant and distinguished jurist with a powerful pen and one of the most highly respected Masons in this jurisdiction. Born in Manila on May 17, 1940 he was barely 51 years of age, the youngest ever to be elected to that exalted position in the 45-year history of the Supreme Council.

Puno carries impressive academic credentials: Bachelor of Science in Jurisprudence, University of the Philippines (1962); Bachelor of Laws, U.P. (1962); Master of Comparative Laws, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, (1967); and Master of Laws, University of California, Berkeley, California, (1968). Furthermore, he finished all academic requirements for a doctorate in Juridical Science at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, (1969).

As an undergraduate in U.P., Puno was one of its outstanding student leaders in the tumultuous decade of the sixties. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Philippine Collegian, the official weekly student newspaper of the UP (1960-1961); Chairman, Editorial Board of the Law Register, the official student newspaper of the UP College of Law, (1960-1961); Recent Documents Editor of the Philippine Law Journal which is published by the U.P. College of Law, and Asst. Editor-in-Chief of the 1962 Philippinensian, the official graduate annual of U.P. He received the Outstanding Student Award for Excellence and Leadership given by the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity of the UP College of Law in the year 1960-62.

As a post graduate student of law, Puno distinguished himself in academics. He was a full scholar of the Academy of American Law of Dallas, Texas; a full scholar of the Walter Perry Johnson Foundation of Berkeley, California; and a partial scholar of the University of Illinois. He obtained the degree of Master of Comparative Laws (M.C.L.) with high honors and was the valedictorian of his class consisting of 23 graduate scholars from various parts of the world. He won the American Jurisprudence Prize in five (5) subjects. He was also made an honorary citizen of the State of Texas.

After his graduate studies, Puno readily established his mark in the legal profession. He engaged in the general practice of law, became a law professor, served as Bar Examiner and authored numerous articles that were published in different law journals and periodicals.

In 1971, Puno responded to the call of public service by accepting an appointment as Solicitor in the Office of the Solicitor General. The 70's witnessed the most momentous constitutional cases litigated in the Supreme Court. Puno had the opportunity to participate as counsel in these transcendental cases where the government prevailed. In 1972 he was designated as Acting City Judge of Quezon City; barely 32 he was the youngest at the time. At 33, he was named Assistant Solicitor General with the rank of a judge of the Court of First Instance, again the youngest to hold such position. At 40, he was appointed by the President as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. For years, he carried the distinction of being the youngest justice of the country.

When Estelito Mendoza became Minister of Justice, he prevailed upon Puno to join him as Deputy Minister of Justice. This was the position he was occupying when President Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed in February 1986. The new president, Corazon Aquino, decided to scrap the Marcos Constitution and promulgate in its place an interim Constitution. This task she assigned to Minister of Justice Neptali Gonzalez, who, in turn, delegated the delicate work to his two trusted Deputies, Puno and Minerva Gonzaga-Reyes. The Constitution drafted by them was eventually promulgated and came to be known as the Freedom Constitution, which served as the fundamental law of the country until the Constitution of 1987 came into effect. In several public pronouncements, a grateful Minister Gonzalez, openly attributed authorship of the Freedom Constitution to Puno and Gonzaga-Reyes.

The judiciary, however, is the true love of Puno. After the promulgation of the Freedom Constitution, he requested to be returned to the Court of Appeals. But he was destined to serve in that Court for only a few more years. His merit was soon recognized and President Fidel Ramos elevated him to the highest court of the land where characteristically he became its youngest member. Puno has been with the Supreme Court for only a brief period, but already legal scholars are crediting him with the authorship of landmark decisions.

Puno has been bestowed some of the most presti�gious awards in the country. Among others, he was chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in the field of law; Outstanding Prosecutor of the Philippines by the PC-CIS; Outstanding Citizen of Quezon City; and included as one of the 1000 distinguished citizens of the Philippines in 1980. In 1994 the Philippine Wesleyan University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities. In 1996, he was chosen as Outstanding Alumnus of the UP College of Law. The following year he was chosen as the Most Outstanding Alumnus of the University of the Philippines. In 1998 he received the following: Grand Cross Award, the highest award of the Supreme Council 33 A&ASR of the Republic of the Philippines, the Grand Lodge Gold Medal, the highest award of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines and the Grand Cross of Rizal, the highest award of the Knights of Rizal.

Puno's Masonic career is just as checkered. He was raised in Hiram Lodge No. 88 on May 1, 1964; elected as its Worshipful Master in 1976; appointed Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge in 1978; served as District Deputy Grand Master of District No. 1 comprising Metro Manila in 1979; elected Junior Grand Warden in 1981-82, Senior Grand Warden in 1982-82, and Deputy Grand Master in 1983-84. In 1984-85 he was elected Grand Master. At 44 years of age he was the youngest to assume the purple of the Fraternity in three decades.

In the Scottish Rite he joined Luzon Bodies in May 1971 and was honored by the Supreme Council with the Red Cap on February 11, 1978 and the White Cap on February 11, 1983. In 1985 he was elected the Venerable Master of Luzon Bodies, then on September 25, 1986 he was crowned a Sovereign Grand Inspector General and Active Member of the Supreme Council. He served the Supreme Council in various important capacities and in March 1991 was elected as Sovereign Grand Commander for a three-year term. At the sessions of the Supreme Council in March 1994, the members wanted to re-elect him for another term, but because of the demanding nature of his work in the Supreme Court he begged off. Incidentally while he was Sovereign Grand Commander, he was elected Emeritus Member of Honor by the Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction.

Puno is also active in the other branches of the Masonic Order. In the Royal Arch, he was greeted as a Royal and Select Master in Luzon Council No. 9, K.T. He has been elected to the ASOKA Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine. He is also a member of the Royal Order of Scotland and a Noble of the Aloja Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. Last but not the least, he is a member of the Supreme Council of the DeMolay and recipient of the Legion of Honor Award of the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay.

Puno is married to the former Luzviminda T. Delgado with whom he has three children, Reynato, Jr., Emmanuel and Ruth. Like all the members of his family, Puno is a pillar of the Methodist church.


The Judge..

Juan C. Nabong, Jr. has always been known for his impeccable integrity. Firm in his decisions "nothing short of being proven wrong would move him to change his tune."

His father, Juan Nabong, Sr., was a lawyer by profession, President of a well-known University (PCU), and an active Church layman, while his mother, Rosalina S. Cruz, was a deaconess of the Harris Memorial Training School. The two complemented each other in bringing up Juan Jr., to the stature he has attained today.

After graduating from Union High School of Manila, Nabong, studied law at the University of the Philippines. He was still a law student when he was chosen as one of the members of President Ramon Magsaysay's Consultative Council of Students.

Nabong finished his law studies in 1958, but his thirst for more knowledge, led him to pursue a masters degree in law at the Manuel L. Quezon University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1967 and a doctorate in civil law at the University of Santo Tomas, where he graduated meritissimus (most deserving) in 1970. His doctoral dissertation received the highest commendation and was adjudged a model for its approach, form and style by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.

Nabong enrolled next at the Centro Escolar University for a doctorate in Public Administration, then he attended the Academy of American and International Law in Dallas, Texas, in 1982.

After passing the bar examination in 1959, Nabong joined the Claro M. Recto Law Offices as an Assistant Attorney. In February 1977 he transferred to the Office of the Solicitor General. Six years later was appointed Judge of the Regional Trial Court in Iligan City.

In April 1986, Nabong left the Court to assume the position of Administrator of the City of Manila. During his term he represented Mayor Gemiliano Lopez, Jr. in an official trip to Guam designed to initiate a Manila-Guam sister-cities relationship. In 1987, in recognition of his achieve­ments as City Administrator, the Philippine Media Practitioners Association (PMPA) gave him the Tagumpay Award for Best City Administrator.

From 1970 to 1978 Nabong taught graduate studies at the Philippine Christian University and served as Dean of its College of Arts and Sciences, editor of the PCU Journal of Educational Research, and member of the Board of Trustees. He has also been connected with Knotts Memorial Methodist Church and the Salvation Army of the Philippines.

Nabong is an inveterate joiner. At one time or another he has been connected with the Translators Committee of the Philippines, the Philippine Society of International Law; Philippine Lawyers Association; Philippine Political Science Association; Integrated Bar of the Philippines; Philippine Historical Association; Philconsa; YMCA, YWCA, Rotary, the Y's Men's Club of Manila, Knights of Rizal, Poetry Club of Manila, and the Para-psychology Society of the Philippines.

Nabong, however, considers Masonry his foremost com­mitment. The highlights of his Masonic career are, as follows:

- Past Master, Hiram Lodge No. 88 (1966)
- 33rd Degree, Sovereign Grand Inspector General, A&ASR (Since 1985)
- Past Eminent Prior, Knight York Cross of Honor,Filipinas Priory No. 62. As such he represented the Philippines in the KYCH convocation in Canada in 1984.
- Twice recipient, Grand Lodge Diploma of Merit for Distinguished Service
- Past Puissant Sovereign, Asoka Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine
- Former Secretary, The Cabletow, publication of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines- Past Grand High Priest, Most Excellent Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the Philippines
- Past Most Illustrious Grand Master, Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the Philippines -Past Eminent Grand Commander, Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the Philippines.
- Grand Master, Grand Lodge of the Philippines, 1989.

Since 1984 he has been an active member of the Philippine Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay. In 1971 he was International Awardee, Cross of Honor, Order of DeMolay. For four consecutive years he was chosen Outstanding Chapter Advisor by the Loyalty Chapter, Order of DeMolay.

Remember the Rubi Tower disaster in 1969? Nabong was among the volunteer workers in the disaster area and helped victims day and night. Today he is chairman of the board of a foundation that takes care of over 50 street children.

In 1972 he received the Bronze Meritorious Service Award from the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United Stated.

In 1972-73 he took part in a project to establish a Christian university at Dasmariñas, Cavite. This project contributed to the establishment of the PCU as the Christian University of Manila.

In 1982 the Alumni Association of Union High School of Manila elected him to the school's Hall of Fame and gave him the Outstanding Alumni Award. UST, likewise, recognized him as an Outstanding Alumnus in the field of Law.

In 1984 Nabong wrote the lyrics of the IBP Hymn with WB Jose B. Abejo doing the music. The duo, by the way, collaborated in the Sigma Rho anthem of U.P. way back in 1953. In 1985 Nabong wrote the lyrics of the U.P. Golden Jubilee Hymn.

He co-authored and stage-directed the Masonic historical play "Aguinaldo the Mason - His Initiation into the Katipunan," which was presented in Manila, San Pablo and Iloilo City.

That is the kind of man who, in his inaugural address as Grand Master, challenged every Mason in the Philippine jurisdiction with these words: "Gumising ka, (Juan Mason), madinig and tinig mo, ngayon."


The Police General

Jose Percival Adiong, the man elevated to the Grand Oriental Chair in Cagayan de Oro City on April 2, 1996 was born in Bais, Negros Oriental. He gradu­ated from the Negros Oriental High School, and wanted, at first, to become a civil engineer, but when he passed the examinations for the Philippine Military Academy, he transferred to that school and graduated as 2nd Lieutenant on March 26, 1962.

Percival quickly rose through the ranks. In 1971 he was promoted to Major and at 30 years of age became the youngest Provincial Commander ever in postwar military history. At this time, too, he received the Military Service Medal and the Anti-Dissidence Campaign Ribbon.

In 1974, he earned for himself the Senior Parachutist Badge. He also pursued Master's degree in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management.

From 1975 to 1978 he served at General Headquarters of the AFP, but in May 1978 he returned to the PC/INP and became the Chief of Operations of Metrocom and was awarded the Long Service Medal. From October 1979 to January 1982 he was Chief of Staff of the CHPG. Incidentally he was promoted as Colonel in December 31, 1979, when he was only 38 years old, almost two years ahead of all his classmates in the PC/INP.

In 1982, he obtained his Master's degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College at Fort Bonifacio.

In the next nine years, Adiong served in various positions of responsibility.

As HPG Director, he supervised operations that led to the death of Igmedio del Mundo (alias Boy Kano), then Bula­can's most wanted person, and his three cohorts. Moreover, he organized and directed Intelligence efforts and personal­ly led the HPG operation that led to the capture of Romulo Kintanar of the CPP/NPA at the Makati Medical Center on August 5, 1991. As a consequence thereof, he was promoted as Police Chief Superintendent (PCS) on September 24, 1991.

As NARCOM Director from August to September 1992, he supervised the operations that led to the con­fiscation of almost P200 Million worth of shabu, marijuana and other prohibited drugs. As RECOM 3 Director from September 1992 to April 1993, he led the PNP elements that joined forces with the PACC's Task Force “Habagat” and the CIS in operations that resulted in the death of Alfredo "Joey" de Leon, then the country's public enemy no. 1. As a result, he received the Distin­guished Service Star and the Bronze Cross Medal.

On July 13, 1993 Adiong was made Police Director. He served as Chief of the Directorial Staff up to July 1994, when he was appointed Deputy Chief for Administration of the PNP. Not many Filipinos, know that General Percy, together with a significant number of his fellow Masons, provided tight security for Pope John Paul II, during the latter’s visit to the country.

On August 9, 1994 Adiong was promoted as Police Deputy Director General and after his retirement was appointed number two man in the NAPOLCOM.

Adiong has been a Mason for over three decades. He was initiated passed and raised in Bagumbayan Lodge No. 4 in 1967. He has been an active member of the Scottish Rite, Shrine, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Order of Amaranth, and the Royal Order of Scot­land.

In 1979, he was elected Worshipful Master of his Mother Lodge. The following year, he was appointed Grand Marshal, and in 1981 District Deputy Grand Master.

In the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held in Davao City, April 1993, he was elected Junior Grand Warden. He became Senior Grand Warden in 1994, Deputy Grand Master in 1995 and Grand Master in 1996.

His loving family, composed of Sis Gloria Carbajal, sons Jose Frederick, Napoleon Omar. Paul Jepthan, and Mark Oliver, and daughters Melanie Zorajaida and Marina Joy, share his illustrious life.


The Geodetic Engineer

Danilo D. Angeles, who saw the light of day on February 20, 1943 in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, is the eldest in a brood of 10 born in an era when the term "Family Planning" had not yet been coined. His father was a small town tailor who could hardly afford to send his children to college, but to Danilo poverty was not a bar to a college diploma; it was just a handicap which he could overcome with industry and perseverance.

After finishing high school, he hitched a ride to Manila to pursue his dream. The next years saw him doing menial jobs as janitor, furniture shop helper, service station attendant, where the hours were long and the wages low. However, the kindness of people he hardly knew lightened his load. Thus, one school president allowed him to pay his tuition fee on installment as well as his ROTC uniform. Later in life, he would discover that his benefactor was a Mason - Gonzalo T. Vales, PM of Pintong Bato Lodge No. 51.

Angeles failed to realize his dream of getting a diploma in Civil Engineering. Ever the realist, he shifted to Geodetic Engineering. He finished his course in 1965, and placed fifth in the Board examinations given that same year. Angeles started sub-contracting jobs for established geodetic engineers, and before long he established a name for himself in his chosen profession. Ably assisted by his wife, Angeling, the former Angelita Escuadro Javier, Angeles later branched out to real estate brokering.

As a Geodetic Engineer Danilo was elected by his peers as a member of the Board of Directors of their association and, in 1994, they honored him as the Most Outstanding Geodetic Engineer in private practice in Central Luzon.

Danilo joined the Masonic brotherhood in 1975 at Cabanatuan Lodge No 53. After four years he was elected Master of his lodge. Thereafter he was tapped by the Grand Lodge to serve a Senior Grand Steward, Junior Grand Lecturer and Senior Grand Lecturer. By 1995 he was Grand Master.

During Danilo’s tenure in the Grand East, Masonic activities were balanced by efforts to rationalize the administration of the Grand Lodge. All administrative positions were classified and provided with their respective job descriptions. Salaries were standardized on the basis of a new Salary Grade Structure. A Code of Ethics for employees was also adopted.

But of all his achievements as Grand Master, his theme, “By our Acts Shall Masonry be Judged” is perhaps the one that will be remembered for a long time. A gentle admonition to all Masons to be ever conscious of their acts, the theme expresses an eternal verity that will remain valid and relevant for as long as Masonry exists. This is perhaps the reason why Grand Master Samuel B. Walker of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut personally asked for Danilo in 1996 to allow his Grand Lodge to use the same theme.

Danilo is an active member of the Supreme Council 33° of the A&ASR of the Republic of the Philippines and is the SGIG for East Central Luzon. He is also an active member of the Order of DeMolay and a Life Member of the Royal Order of Scotland. He is, moreover, an Honorary Member of ten lodges in the Philippines, one in the United State and one in Australia.

The union of Angeles, and his lovely wife, Angelita, is blessed with three children: George, a civil engineer now married to the former Elvira Enriquez, a University Accountant, Mary Jane, a BSBA graduate now married to Rogelio Bustos Jr. and Mary Ann Nanette, a BSCCS graduate. He has four grandchildren, Geoffrey Adrian and Gedrick Elvin, Monicka Faye and Georginne Angela.

Angeles is a superb athlete. He is a class “A” tennis player and has won several tournaments. A health buff, he regularly lifts weights.

Aside from his Masonic membership Danilo holds membership in the Rotary Club, the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines, Inc., the YMCA , the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the Nueva Ecija Tennis Association. In 1997, during the celebration of Cabanatuan City’s 47th founding anniversary as a chartered city, he was chosen as the “Most Outstanding Citizen of Cabanatuan City”

MW Napoleon A. Soriano

Most Worshipful Brother Napoleon A. Soriano, the eldest of the five children of Fortunato V. Soriano, Sr. of Guimba and Felicidad M. Alejos of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, was born in his mother�s hometown on November 29, 1950. He may be young in age, but he brings into his stewardship of our Grand Lodge a wealth of experience.

He graduated from the Cubao Elementary School with honors, and from the Ramon Magsaysay High School, also in Cubao, Quezon City, as valedictorian. He was an academic scholar at the University of the East in Sampaloc, Manila. It was in this university where he met Sis. Erlinda S. Lopera, who was, like him, actively involved in the student government.

When he was in his third year at the U.E. College of Engineering, he became a working student, first serving as officer in charge of the electrical shop of Impact Corporation in Cainta, Rizal; then as the mechanical/electrical head of the maintenance department of S & J Cottage Industries in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City. During this period, he complemented his academic training by attending a series of seminars or creative thinking and problem solving and related topics sponsored by the Philippines Inventors Society.

In 1973 he was graduated from the U.E. College of Engineering with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. In the year following, he passed the licensure examination for Assistant Electrical Engineer. Then he was employed in the Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication (PLDT) Company.

In February 1977 he passed the licensure examination for Associate Electrical Engineer; in August of the same year, that for Professional Electrical Engineer, landing on 8th place. From that year up to 1987 he served as instructor in the U.E. College of Engineering, his Alma Mater.

In 1978, he took enrichment courses, such as Project Feasibility Study Preparation & Development and Construction Project Management, at the De La Salle and Ateneo Graduate Schools. He also attended seminars on Control Administration sponsored by Konsulta Philippines Inc.

In 1979, Engr. Nap Soriano attended the 4th National Convention of the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines. In the year following, he served as Staff Assistant in the Bldg. & Grounds Administration Division of the PLDT Company. As such, he participated in seminars of Technical Report Writing and Effective Building Administration at the Communication Consultants Inc. and the Asia Executive Resources Inc., respectively. He, moreover, went on an observation trip/plant visit in several countries, such as England, Germany and Japan.

From 1981 to 1991 he was Manager in the Bldg. Maintenance Department of the PLDT Company. During this period he participated in seminars on conference leadership, counseling as management tool, project management, building & ground maintenance, and administrative policies and procedures. He was at the same time a part-time instructor in Electrical Engineering at the Perpetual Help College of Rizal in Las Pi�as, Metro Manila.

In 1991, he was promoted to the position of Senior Manager in the Building Maintenance Department of the PLDT Company. As such, he went on another observation trip/plant visit in Germany, France, Belgium and Finland.

In 1994, he became Senior Manager in the Civil WorksDevEx of the PLDT Company. Then from 1997 up to the present, he has served as Senior Manager in the same company�s Project Support Division II.

He is set retiring from the PLDT Company this year in order to focus his attention on the affairs of the Craft in general and of the Grand Lodge in general.

In 1982, when he was already the Manager of the Building Maintenance Department of the PLDT Company, he was initiated, passed and raised at Walana Lodge No. 13. Two years later he received the Scottish Rite degrees at Luzon Bodies.

MW Bro. Soriano demonstrated his proficiency in the three degrees of Craft Masonry. Hence, he was chosen chairman of the conferral team of his Mother Lodge. He was so active in the affairs of his Lodge that the brethren elected him Junior Warden in 1985. In the same year he received the degrees in Filipinas York Rite. Subsequently, he conferred the same degrees to candidate of the York Rite. He also became a member of the conferral team of Luzon Bodies, A. & A.S.R., and that of the Grand Lodge.

In 1986, MW Nap Soriano received from his Mother Lodge the Most Outstanding Service Award and was chosen the Outstanding Master Mason of Masonic District 1-A.

His reputation as a ritualist spread like wild fire or wing of a hurricane throughout the whole jurisdiction. Hence, he was invited to preside over the installation of Blue Lodge officers as well as funeral services for deceased brethren.

MWB Soriano was elected Secretary of Walana and of Masonic District 1-A in 1988. In the year following, he served as the Master�s Deputy for the same Masonic District; he was moreover, conferred the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH0 by the Supreme Council of SGIGs of the 33rd and Last Degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Republic of the Philippines.

In 1990, he became a member of Afifi Temple, specifically of Maginoo Shrine Oasis, A.A.O.N.M.S.

In 1991, he served our Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Deacon; in 1992, as Grand Standard Bearer.

A dual member of Pagkakaisa Lodge No. 282. MW Nap Soriano was one of the Charter Members of Baliwag Lodge No. 301 and Dr. Jose P. Laurel Lodge No. 325. He is, furthermore, an Honorary Member of the following Lodges: Bagumbayan No. 4, Biak-na-Bato No. 7, Iloilo-Acacia No. 11, Luzon No. 57, High Twelve No. 82, Noli Me Tangere No. 148, Sierra Madre No. 181, San Mariano No. 307, Don Antonio Cosin No. 308, Ganano No. 313 and San Mateo No. 319.

In 1993, MW Nap Soriano served as the Treasurer of Walana Lodge No. 13. In 1994 he was an alternate candidate for the position of Junior Grand Warden. But in the year following, he was nominated for the same position. In the 1996 Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge in Cagayan de Oro City, he placed second to now Past Grand Master Franklin J. Demonteverde. In 1997, he was not nominated again. But the brethren elected him Junior Grand Warden in the 1998 Ancom in Manila.

�I must give thanks first of all to the Grand Architect of the Universe and then to you, dear brethren, sapagkat kung wala kayo, wala rin ako�My election indicates that time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things,� he stated in part in his brief acceptance speech.

MW Nap Soriano, when a Junior Grand Warden, chaired our Grand Lodge�s Committee in Necrology; he was also vice-chair of the Committee on Finance and member of the Committee on Awards.

In 1999, MW Nap Soriano was coroneted 33rd Degree inspector General Honorary (IGH) by the Supreme Council of SGIGs of the 33rd and Last Degree of the A.&A.S.R. of Freemasonry of the Republic of the Philippines.

In 2000, besides serving on several Grand Lodge Committees, he acted as Secretary to the Board for General Purposes.

Staunchly believing that Freemasonry is a worthwhile way of life, MW Nap Soriano had involved the members of his family in Masonic affairs. Sister Erlinda is, in fact, a member of Manila Court No. 4, Order of the Amaranth; their son Erickson, a Past Master Councilor of the Loyalty Chapter of the Order of DeMolay; and their daughter Eloisa, a member of Bethel No. 22 of the International Order of Job�s Daughter.

The Sorianos have involved themselves in local community development, often extending assistance to less fortunate neighbors and fellowmen. The jeepney drivers in their employ expressed to us their admiration of the Sorianos benignity towards them.

Most Worshipful Napoleon Alejos Soriano, our Grand Master for Masonic Year 2001-2002, is optimistic we will progress as a Craft if and when we are united in purpose and proud in accomplishing things, especially the various prongs of his administrative program, together in close harmony.

He is counting on the unstinted support and helpful cooperation of all of us, members of the Masonic Family in this jurisdiction.

MW Napoleon Soriano joined our Celestial above on February 15, 2007.


The first time Kuya Bert Pagotan mentioned that he intended to be the Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines, everybody in the group thought he was kidding and there were hearty laughs all around. The laughter was understandable considering that the date was sometime in April 1995 and he had just been appointed District Grand Lecturer in his Masonic District, plus the fact that not a few bottles of beer had been had by all. When the laughter died down, Kuya Bert added, “in 2030”. One or two laughed again but those who familiar with Kuya Bert knew it was not idle talk.

Most Worshipful Roberto Q. Pagotan is today what he said he would be ten years ago.

To many brethren, Kuya Bert is an enigma. Indeed, how could someone come out of nowhere and like a flash shoot up to the most exalted position in Philippine Freemasonry in record time? To be sure, Kuya Bert is no ordinary man.

Born to a prominent family from Cavite in a Pasay City Hospital, he spent his early childhood in Looban, now part of Barangay Aniban, Bacoor, Cavite. His favorite sport was boxing. He became so proficient that at the age of six he knocked out a sparring partner. Later on, his family moved from place to place and consequently Kuya Bert, fondly called “Baby” then by his parents, had to transfer from one school to another, sometimes even in the middle of the school term.

Although he usually topped his classes academically, he was given scholastic honors only up to his third grade. Thereafter, due to residential requirements, the honors were denied him. However, when he was graduating from the elementary grades the school authorities waived residential factors and granted him the top honors. He likes to narrate that when he attended the commencement exercises he was all alone; nobody in his household accompanied him. His teacher had to pin the medal upon his chest. An uncle later rebuked him for not informing them that he was the class valedictorian, but to Bert it was no big deal.

As Kuya Bert entered his teens, ever gregarious by nature, he gravitated towards the usual barkada. The barkada, Philippine style, was the surest way to take one’s mind away from school assignments and Kuya Bert was no exception. His neglect manifested itself in poor grades that were noticed by an uncle who promptly took steps to distance Bert from his barkada. He wangled from the eminent Zamoras a summer job for his grandson at the Manila Hotel.

Before Bert’s stint as an apprentice was up, the employees called a strike. He was inside the hotel when it started. He stayed on and as the strike dragged on his services were repeatedly extended. Management was so impressed with Pagotan’s work that he was given a regular item. Thus at the tender age of 15 the future Grand Master became a full time worker. At the plush Manila Hotel, Kuya Bert entered a new world of sophistication and he adapted to the environment as fish to water. Soon he was on a first name basis with regular VIP guests. His natural PR skills evolved to new heights. He learned to relate with people from all walks of life, from lowly waiters to foreign dignitaries.

Bert familiarized himself with all the aspects of hotel operations. He even managed to set up a modest, but relatively profitable, business for himself as a sideline. He bought PX goods from the United States Naval Base in Cavite which was near his residence and sold them to hotel guests. Once, while he was operating an elevator, a foreign guest who was a church minister and his wife, seeing how young he was, inquired about his personal circumstances. Learning that he had stopped schooling, the minister convinced him that there was a way for him to finish his high school without interrupting his work and gave him a brochure on correspondence courses. Grabbing the opportunity, Kuya Bert mailed his application. After an extended period of time, the American International School sent him a letter of admission. That was the good news. The bad news was that it cost $123.00. In those days that amount was enough for a down payment on a good second hand car.

Crestfallen, Bert was ready to forego his ambition to get an education. However, when the minister leaned of Bert’s predicament, he offered to pay for the tuition on condition that Bert promised he would finish his course.

The innate goodness of the church minister was not lost on Bert He realized that the world is full of men with genuine concern for their fellow human beings. He accepted the offer and made a firm resolve that if he ever attained a position in life where he could afford to extend a helping hand to others, he would never hesitate to do so. Thus, was implanted in Bert’s heart the Masonic teachings of love and charity.

Kuya Bert immersed himself in serious study. His benefactor was the proudest person when Kuya Bert, at the age of 17, got his high school diploma as the valedictorian of his batch. His good showing encouraged him to study further. Soon he finished a special course in Psychology at the same exclusive school.

In the meantime, the hotel manager offered him a promotion as a front desk manager, but Bert turned it down. He was making more as a bell captain and, more important, he did not have to dress up like a mannequin.

Bert was doing well. He was working in the best hotel in the Philippines, was personally known to the hotel’s president and was a close friend of his children, one of whom (Richard) he used to tutor in math. Kuya Bert, however, decided to look for greener pastures. He accepted a offer from a brother-in-law to manage his business manufacturing ladies lingerie’s. It was a total departure from his former work but Bert proved equal to the task. His natural ability to relate with people became his main asset in managing the budding business. Ever the extrovert, however, he was uncomfortable confined in a factory. As soon as an opportunity to work in a large concern was offered he accepted.

His next job - with Allied Air Freight Inc. - introduced him to a line of work that was totally suited for a man of his aptitude. He familiarized himself thoroughly with all aspects of its operation and developed a network of friends engaged in other aspects of moving cargo by air, land or sea.

Other noticed Kuya Bert’s business acumen. A company he had helped pro bono during the tough times that followed the imposition of Martial Law offered him the position of Chief Operating Officer of the fledgling Bagwis Air Cargo. Assured that he would have a free hand in managing the corporation he accepted, but not after a serious effort by his employer to retain him.

With Kuya Bert at the helm, Bagwis Air Cargo was soon literally flying high on the road to prosperity. Success however gave birth to a dispute among the owners with Kuya Bert caught in the middle. He refused to take sides and instead resigned. It was only a matter of time after Kuya Bert left that Bagwis Air Cargo flopped.

The enterprising Kuya Bert then entered into a partnership with a relative in the manufacture of pressure tanks. They were doing well, however, one of the former owners of Bagwis Air Cargo sought his services and offered him a block of shares as part of his compensation. It was an offer difficult to refuse. And so Wings Freight Forwarders came into being with Kuya Bert owning a third of it.

With Kuya Bert as vice president for operations the result was predictable - success. Again however, success led to discord between his partners, and again he was in the middle. He left in disgust and even forfeited his share. Not long after, the corporation closed shop.

Kuya Bert decided to venture on his own. With the help of his wife, Shirley, he founded CARGO MATE INCORPORATED. It was to be the flagship that gave birth to five other corporations all fully owned by Mr. and Mrs. Roberto Q. Pagotan. One of them, Genetrix Incorporated is co-owned with two brother Masons who are based in Saipan, Marianas Islands.

While Bert was actively pursuing his business ventures he did not neglect his personal development. He found time to secure a bachelor’s degree from A. Rodriquez College and take special studies in Management at the Ateneo de Manila University. He even enrolled as a law student at the Philippine Law School. Typical of his character, when he saw how dilapidated was the classroom at the law school, he had it repaired and air conditioned at his personal expense.

Having consolidated his business holdings under the solid day-to-day management of Sis. Shirley, Kuya Bert Pagotan embarked upon humanitarian and other charitable endeavors.

In the 1980’s he was drafted into active duty as a major in the Philippine Air Force reserve force. Emerging at the top his training class in 1984-1986, he immersed himself in the Philippine Air Force’s intelligence work. As evidence of his exemplary service he was awarded 19 service plaques of merit and awards, plus 12 commendations for various achievements while in active duty. Twice (1986&1988) he received the coveted Officer of the Year award of the Philippine Air Force Reserve Command.

Early in his military sojourn he was assigned to the command of General Vicente Eduardo, then Director of Prisons at Muntinglupa. At the New Bilibid Prisons he analyzed why recidivism was high among hardened criminals.

There is an area in the prison compound where hardened criminals were quartered. Even guards were not allowed to venture into this area without the express permission of the Director himself and even then only after taking very elaborate safety precautions. One day, the daring Major Pagotan, simply walked into the compound. Before the flabbergasted hardened criminals could react, he brought out his peace offering: bottles of liquor. The Major drew the response he expected; the convicts immediately brought out their hoards of food for “pulutan.” It was a typical display of Kuya Bert’s human relations skill. He soon earned the trust of the hardened convicts. General Eduardo was seething with rage when he found out what his young aide had done.

The future Grand Master became a frequent visitor of the compound. He discovered that the convicts who were released almost always came back, because they found it difficult to cope with freedom. It was next to impossible for them to secure gainful employment and out of frustration they committed crimes and pleaded guilty just to be returned to prison. He offered to set up scholarships for their children. His reason was that an education would give the children a better chance of finding livelihood. It would increase the odds that the prisoners would return to a family with a decent income.

Using his own funds he sent to school, each year, 30 to 35 children of convicts. When there were not enough he sent to school the children of lowly paid prison guards.

Among the officers in the armed forces whom Kuya Bert befriended was Navy Lieutenant (s.g) Isidro Banaria. On one occasion Lt. Banaria, confided to Kuya Bert that he wanted to join a civic club. Major Pagotan advised him to think twice before joining for he once belonged to civic club but he left after finding out that their supposed charitable deeds were just for show. He instead advised Lt. Banaria that it would be better if he became a Mason because, according to Major Pagotan, Masons practice charity without publicity or fanfare expecting nothing in return. His friend inquired if he was a Mason. The Major replied that he was not. “Well,” Lt. (s.g.) Banaria said “I thought so, but you see, I am a Mason!” After a few moments of embarrassing silence, Major Pagotan meekly asked his friend how to go about becoming a Mason. And so, with VW Banaria as his sponsor, the future Grand Master came to see the Light.

Pagotan forthwith devoted his full attention to Masonry. His rise was astounding. Barely a year after his raising, he was elected Junior Warden of his Lodge, Pagkakaisa Lodge No. 282. At some point thereafter the lease over their lodge hall expired. A few brethren “volunteered” his garage as a temporary venue. Kuya Bert Pagotan not only agreed,” he repaired his garage to make it suitable for lodge use.

A year later (1933) he was elected Senior Warden. The members actually wanted him to be the Master, but because of his reluctance they were constrained to elevate someone else. Four months later the Master resigned. Kuya Bert realized it was a set up but he had no options; he had to occupy the Oriental Chair.

Upon being installed as Master, Kuya Bert proceeded to build his Lodge temple and finished the work in seven months.

Kuya Bert was chosen as the Outstanding Worshipful Master by MW Pablo C. Ko, Jr. The following he was tapped as District Grand Lecturer by MW Danilo D. Angeles. And so started his journey to the purple of our Institution. His unselfish and untiring devotion to Masonic labors was so amazing MW Angeles singled him out as the “Most Outstanding Mason.” VW Roberto Q. Pagotan continued his exciting adventure in our exalted Institution. In 1996-97 he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for Masonic District No. 13. The following year he was entrusted with the position of Chief of Staff of the Grand Master in addition to being Senior Grand Lecturer and Associate Editor of the Cabletow. In 1998-99 MW Enrique Locsin made him his Executive Assistant

These accomplishments were not lost among then brethren. In 2001, the members of the Grand Lodge elected him Junior Grand Warden. In 2002, he became the Senior Grand Warden, in 2003 Deputy Grand Master and, ultimately, in 2004, Grand Master of Masons under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines.

A Courageous, Principled Public Servant and Freemason

It takes courage to stand for principles and be counted and more, to stand tall when many would rather hide their identity to keep their jobs and/or avoid religious prejudices. Not with the current Secretary of National Defense (DND), Gen. Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., 2005-2006 Grand Master of Masons of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines. Whatever governmental entity Secretary Ebdane is associated with, he stands tall and never hides his being a Freemason. No wonder, when he was Chief of the Philippine National Police, uniformed men knocked at the door of the Craft. It is known that those at the Department of Public Works and Highways who were shy to make known their membership in the Fraternity came out openly and boldly despite the dominant Church’s renewed warnings against Freemasonry.

Birth, Family

MW Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. first saw the light of this world on December 30, 1948 in Candelaria, Zambales. Married to the former Alma Cabanayan, he is gifted with three children and three grandchildren.

Civilian Education

MW Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. is a holder of a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Arts in Criminology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Security Administration.

A believer in continuing education, MW Ebdane, Jr. broadened his intellectual horizon despite myriad activities that go with his work.

Police Education and Training

MW Ebdane, Jr. graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1970. From then on, he honed his skills by attending various courses, such as: PC Officers Basic Course, Philippine Constabulary Training Center; Basic Airborne, FT Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija; Tactical Survival and Adventure Training, Australian Army Jungle Training Centre; Tropical Warfare Technique, TANTC Intelligence Officers Basic Course Special Intelligence Training School (SITE); Military Intelligence Collection Course; VIP Security and Dignitary Protection, National Intelligence Training Center; Intelligence Officer Advance Course, SIT Incident Management. USCTTG; Command and General Staff Officers Course (1988-89). FT Leavenworth, Kansas, USA; Jump Master Course, PC Special Action Force; Senior Police Officers course, Singapore Police Academy, Senior Police Executive course, international law Enforcement Academy, Thailand; and Senior Crises Management Course, US State Department. The above-enumerated courses toughened MW Ebdane’s resolve to put muscle into whatever assignment given him. Courage to ready one’s self for life’s challenges stems from rigorous training.

Government Posts and Assignments

MW Ebdane’s phenomenal star speaks of his ability to steady his course. From Operation Officer of PC Region 3, Camp Olivas, Pampanga, he became the Provincial Commander of the Nueva Ecija Constabulary Command. After his stint as Provincial Commander, he was assigned as Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion and much later Commanding Officer of the Philippine Constabulary Special Action Force. He was later on assigned as Provincial Director of the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office. Returning to Manila, he was assigned as Director of the Western Police District and rose to become the Regional Director of the National Capital Region Police Office. There was no stopping the rise of MW Ebdane, Jr. when he was assigned as PNP Director for Human Resources and District Development to Deputy Chief PNP for Administration and Chief, National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force.

From July 2002 to August 2004, MW Ebdane was Chief of the Philippine National Police. His watch was not without criticism but he stood tall in pursuing his vision. It was not a surprise that after his assignment as PNP Chief, President Gloria Arroyo appointed MW Ebdane, Jr. as National Security Adviser and Director-General, National Security Council and concurrently Vice-Chairman of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force and National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator during the same period.

When MW Ebdane, Jr. was appointed Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways on February 15, 2005, jaundiced critics doubted his credentials. Our Grand Master is not only a military man but a civil engineer as well.


Awards, our Grand Master has aplenty. To mention a few: Distinguished Conduct Star, the Philippine Legion of Honor, Degree of the Commander, two Distinguished Service Stars. PNP Distinguished Service Medal, Medalya ng Katangi-Tanging Gawa, Bronze Cross Medals, Military Merit Medals, PMA Cavalier Awards for Leadership and Command Administration and Master Parachutist Badge. Grand Master Ebdane, Jr. earned his reward, award and honor because he deserved it. He is an achiever par excellence.

Masonic Career

MW Grand Master Ebdane, Jr. was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in 1978 and was elected Worshipful Master of Dapitan Lodge No. 21 in 1995 and 1998. He was appointed Grand Lodge Inspector in 1997 and District Grand Lecturer of Masonic District No. 5 in 1998. In MY 2000, he served as District Deputy Grand Master of District No. 5.

MW Ebdane, Jr. served as High Shereef, Saigon Shrine Oasis and High Priest, Royal Arch Mason. He is a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH), A&ASR.

Awarded Outstanding Mason in the Field of Police in 1995, MW Ebdane, Jr. was given the highest gift that his brethren could give on April 29, 2005, namely, his election as the Grand Master of Masons of the Republic of the Philippines, an honor only a few can attain. He is proud of his membership in the Fraternity albeit his being a Cabinet Secretary, a five-star General, Doctor of Philosophy, and an achiever of no mean note. He is a towering figure not only as a civilian but a Freemason whose influence is contaminating. Those in the dark have knocked at the door of Freemasonry because our Grand Master has set his light on the hall for everyone to see. He stands tall in practicing the Masonic tenets, amidst ages-long ecclesiastical denseness and naiveté.

To MW Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., Freemasonry is not a secret society but an open dynamic entity which draws good men to her fraternal bosom. He is a Grand Master who wants to revisit the past for the future.


I met a young Brother at a Masonic assemblage in Davao City many years ago. Since he at once treated me as a long-time friend, though that was the first time we met, I felt at ease with him. No hang-ups, no grandiloquence, no pretenses. In subsequent meetings, he remained constant. Since then, he has just been his natural and confident self, thereby demonstrating that sincerity and plain dealing distinguish Masons from those who are not.

Yes, MW ROMEO A. YU, our Grand Master for 2006-2007, is a young man and Mason who shuns hypocrisy and indolence. He is tireless, dedicated, committed, selfless, caring. He exudes a vision truly attesting to his resolve to help bring our Grand Lodge to greater heights of achievement, as well as to help the Craft in our grand jurisdiction recapture its old glory.

He has recurrently told the brethren, “Freemasonry, like brotherly love, which is one of its principal tenets, is a beautiful and many-splendored thing. We must keep its beauty and spendor unsullied. We should, each one of us, have the passion to do things beautiful because such a passion is power. We should always think, speak and act as worthy and exemplary Masons.”

Indeed, our Grand Master for 2006-2007 has demonstrated a style filled with genuine love for the Craft and characterized by unfeigned humility and sincerity. He is happiest when he is sowing and sharing blessings with others, especially his brothers in Masonry.

Youngest Post-War Grand Master

MW Romeo A. Yu is the youngest Brother in the post-war era to occupy the Grand Oriental Chair. During this era, as imposed in the 1984 Masonic Law Book, the minimum age of a candidate for the position of Junior Grand Warden (JGW) is 40 years.

MW Romeo A. Yu was born on March 10, 1963 to the late VW Raymundo L. Yu, Sr. and the former Joaquina Y. Ang. So, on installation night he is 43 years and one month old – approximately 10 months younger than MW Reynato S. Puno when he was installed Grand Master in 1984.

Like MW Puno, he believes that we can regain the Craft’s old glory only if and when we do not suffer any consideration to induce us to act in a manner unworthy of the respectable character which we, as members of the Masonic fraternity, sustain; only if and when we ever display the discretion, the virtue, and the dignity which become a worthy and exemplary Mason – a Mason both in creed and in deed; only if and when we convince the world, by our actions, that, as a Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, USA, once said, “Freemasonry is having a faith to live by. Freemasonry is being a self to live with. Freemasonry is having worthy causes to live for. Freemasonry is a never-ending pursuit of excellence.”

Thus, MW Romeo A. Yu has issued this clarion call to the brethren: “Our teachings in Masonry are all directed to excellence in performing our duties to God, our country, our neighbor and ourselves. Those precious Masonic teachings of love, benevolence, truth, temperance, prudence, justice and so forth should be internalized and showcased in our daily conduct. Many of us occupy influential positions in government and in private industry. We must constantly remember that in every moment of our life – in public, at work, at pleasure, or even when we are alone with ourselves, we are Masons. Then most probably we can influence the non-Masons and hopefully change the direction of our country towards a better future.”

MW Romy A. Yu may be the youngest Brother in the post-bellum era who has reached the Grand East, but we are optimistic he will steer and guide the ship of the Craft in our grand jurisdiction safely to its destination because he belongs to a Masonic family and because a string of achievements and recognitions has been strewn in his path, preparing him for wider latitudes, bigger horizons, and firmer grounds for leadership in the Craft in general and in our Grand Lodge in particular.

Belonging to a Masonic Family

Our Grand Master for 2006-2007 may be said to be a chip off the old block; for his father was a Past Master of Sarangani Lodge No. 50 in Davao City, which is also the Lodge to which his maternal grandfather, Bro. Ang Kiong Yee, belonged; the Senior Grand Deacon during the term of MW Juan C. Nabong, Jr. (1989-1990); a 33º Inspector General Honorary (IGH) who got himself actively involved in the affairs of Davao Bodies, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (A.&A.S.R.) of Freemasonry; a Past Valley Deputy of the Valley of Davao City; a Past President of Filipinas Shrine Club; and a magnanimous contributor to the construction and completion of our present Grand Lodge building, Plaridel Masonic Temple II.

MW Romy A. Yu’s paternal grandfather, Bro. Yu Tiong Sun, likewise, was a Widow’s Son. He was a member of Iloilo-Acacia Lodge No. 11 in Iloilo City.

MW Romy A. Yu’s brothers, moreover, are all members of the Craft. VW Raymundo Jr., chairman of Merrill Lynch International Bank in Singapore since 1983, was Worshipful Master of Service Lodge No. 95 in 1988 and Grand Organist of our Grand Lodge in 1990. Bro. Valentino, a holder of a Master’s degree in Electronics who now works in the USA as a computer engineer, has continued to be an active Master Mason. VW Romero, MW Romy’s twin brother, who is a practicing lawyer whose line of specialization is Labor Law, served as Worshipful Master of Service Lodge for two consecutive terms (1990 and 1991) During this Masonic year, he serves as Grand Sword Bearer. VW Victor, a CPA-lawyer, has served as a strong pillar of the same Lodge, has contributed articles to The Cabletow, worked as Grand Historian during MW Napoleon A. Soriano’s year in the Grand East, and labored as Senior Grand Lecturer (SGL) during the administrations of MW Eugenio S. Labitoria and the late MW Ricardo P. Galvez.

MW Romy A. Yu’s lady and inspiration in his Masonic initiatives, Sister Christine Go, who is a political science graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and the vice-president of Mintrade Corporation in Davao City, also belongs to a Masonic family. Her father, Bro. Guilbert C. Go, like MW Romy’s father, has been a member of Sarangani Lodge No. 50. Her mother, Sister Pacita Go, is the sister of MW Pablo C. Ko, Jr., our Grand Master in 1994, whose father, Bro. Pablo Ko, Sr., was long associated with the Craft, and whose brother, VW William C. Ko, is a Past District Deputy Grand Master (PDDGM). Sister Christine’s brother, Edward, was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason at Service Lodge No. 95 in 2001.

Hence, MW Romy A. Yu is highly resolved to further strengthen the Masonic family in every district of our grand jurisdiction. He fondly hopes that the brethren will get members of their families more actively involved than before in affairs Masonic.

His Profession

Our Grand Master for 2006-2007 is a business executive by profession. As such, he has helped his family to gainfully engage in the lucrative business of real estate and agriculture. He will doubtless use his expertise for improving the financial condition of our Grand Lodge.

The First DeMolay Grand Master

Just as Walt Disney was proud of his membership in the Order of DeMolay, MW Romy A. Yu tells those with whom he comes in contact that he joined the Feliciano Iñigo Chapter, Order of DeMolay, when he was but 15 years old, and that at present, he is an Active Member of the Philippine Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay. With his ascension to the Grand Oriental Chair, the dream of MW Rosendo C. Herrera, PGM, Grand Master of the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay of the Republic of the Philippines, that a DeMolay become a Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons in the Philippine grand jurisdiction was finally realized.

One of the thrusts during his year in the Grand East, therefore, is to give full support not only to the Order of DeMolay but to the other Masonic youth organizations as well, namely, the Order of Rainbow for Girls and the Order of Job’s Daughter. He wants to see members of these organizations get more actively involved than before in Masonic functions. He also wants the brethren in the different districts to harness the support of the officers and members of the Orders of the Eastern Star and the Amaranth. He really wants to see a stronger Masonic Family in the Philippine grand jurisdiction, and he fondly hopes that more DeMolays seek membership in the Craft.

String of Achievements, Recognitions

At 21, he filed his petition for membership in Beacon Lodge No. 213. He was initiated, passed, and raised in that Lodge on June 23, August 18, and September 8, 1984, respectively.

In 1985, he acted as vice-chairman of his Mother Lodge’s Committees on Masonic Education and Rituals. He was at the same time Masonic District No. 18’s Correspondent to The Cabletow.

In 1986, he was elected and installed Junior Warden of Beacon Lodge No. 213 and in 1987, its Senior Warden. On January 2, 1988, at age 24, he was installed as Worshipful Master of the same Lodge.

When he was still a Warden, he chaired his Lodge’s Committees on Masonic Education and Rituals; besides, he served as overall coordinator of the district when this hosted the Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge in Davao City – the first Ancom outside Luzon.

During his years in the South and West, he was a member of the Advisory Council of Feliciano Iñigo Chapter, Order of DeMolay.

Since 1989, WB Romy A. Yu has been adviser to his Mother Lodge’s Committees on Ways and Means, Special Projects, Masonic Education, and Rituals.

In 1989, at 26, he was the Grand Lodge Inspector (GLI) for Toril Lodge No. 208.

In 1990, at the age of 27, he was appointed by MW John L. Choa as his Deputy for Masonic District No. 18.

During his term as District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM), VW Romy A. Yu played a significant role in the formation of Podomo Lodge No. 294. Besides, he organized the District Council and made this fully functioning.

Up to today, he has been one of the principal advisers to the officers of Podomo Lodge, a regular member of the District Council’s Board of Advisers, and a perennial resource speaker in the same district’s leadership training seminars. VW Romy A. Yu, moreover, chaired the Board of Trustees of the Davao Masonic Center (DMC) Foundation, Inc. He spearheaded the completion of the existing edifice; the construction of the DMC Multi-Purpose Social Hall, which was consecrated and dedicated by MW John L. Choa, PGM, on November 22, 1990; and the concreting of the vacant lot, which is now being used as sports and parking area.

During the 1991 Annual Communication in Bacolod City, VW Romy A. Yu was chosen Most Outstanding District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM), while Masonic District No. 18 was declared Most Outstanding District.

Subsequently, at 28, he was appointed by then Grand Master Jose R. Guerrero as Grand Bible Bearer.

Since 1991, he has served as a member of the Working Committee of the Grand Guild of Past Masters of the Philippines (GGPMP).

In 1993, he served as adviser on finance to the Executive Committee that oversaw the conduct of the Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge in Davao City.

In Masonic years 1994-1995 and 1995-1996, during the terms of MW Pablo C. Ko, Jr. and MW Danilo D. Angeles, respectively, he served as Junior Grand Lecturer (JGL) for Northern Mindanao.

In Masonic year 2002-2003, during the administration of MW Eugenio S. Labitoria, he again served as JGL, this time for South Central Mindanao.

He “traveled” to different parts of the country, serving as Installing Officer during the installation of the officers of various Lodges, as well as lecturer during the conferral of the degrees of Masonry on candidates therefor. He also attended the conventions of other districts than Masonic District No. 18. When time permitted him, he attended the special events of different Masonic Districts and Lodges.

Because he got actively involved in their affairs, the following Lodges made him Honorary Member:

Mati Aurora Lodge No. 190
Don Salvador P. Lopez Memorial Lodge No. 276
Panabo Dalisay Lodge No. 237
Dadiangas Lodge No. 225
Maribulan Lodge No. 304
Sultan Kudarat Lodge No. 348
Ruperto S. Demonteverde Memorial Lodge No. 320
Gen. Artemio Ricarte Lodge No. 322
Bukidnon Lodge No. 245
Leonardo T. Pañares Lodge No. 220

Elected Junior Grand Warden (JGW)

In the Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge held in Manila (which was supposed to have been held in his native city, Davao), VW Romy A. Yu was catapulted by the brethren to the honored position of Junior Grand Warden (JGW). This was the first time ever that an alternate nominee was elected to the Grand South. His election as such was viewed by the brethren as the GAOTU’s way of saying that he could help a great deal in the task of leading our Grand Lodge to greater heights of achievement, so that, eventually, the Craft would recapture its golden moments when it was able to exert its deciding influence on the affairs of our nation. The brethren were confident that, with his youthful dynamism as well as his zeal and enthusiasm for the Craft, RW Romy A. Yu could contribute significantly to the task of regaining our old glory. Truly, the GAOTU causes many a tight spot to open into the right place.

Involvement in Grand Lodge Committees

RW Yu has worked in various Grand Lodge Committees, such as the following:

Committee on Masonic Education (1994-1995, 1995-1996)
Committee on Works (1994-1995, 1995-1996)
Committee on Necrology (1994-1995, 1995-1996, 2003-2004)
Committee on Revision of the Constitution (2001-2002)
Committee on Finance (2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006)
Committee on Masonic Temples/Buildings (2005-2006)
Ancom Special Committee (2005-2006)

Subsequent Grand Lodge Positions

RW Romy A. Yu worked “in the quarries” as Senior Grand Warden in 2004-2005 and then as Deputy Grand Master in 2005-2006.

A Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine

Like his father, our Grand Master for 2006-2007 belongs to Davao Bodies, A.&A.S.R. He was, moreover, created a Noble of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.); specifically, he is a member of Aloha Temple.

A Grand Representative

MW Romy A. Yu, furthermore, is the Grand Representative of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of China near the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines, which, by the way, sponsored the formation of the former in 1949, during the term of MW Esteban Munarriz, who served the Craft as Grand Secretary for 24 years.

Theme, Slogan, and Thrusts during His Year in the Grand East

The brethren are optimistic that he will perform well his assigned task to lead the Craft during his year in the Grand East because he is willing and ready to spend time and effort to serve the brethren and their families; because he is proficient in the rituals; because he is possessed of knowledge of the Craft’s teachings and principles, rules and regulations; and because he himself may be considered a Mason in creed and in deed.

Hence, our theme for 2006-2007 is “Masons in Creed and in Deed,” and our slogan is “Think, speak, and act as Masons.”

His thrusts are (1) maintenance of high ethical and moral standards in public; (2) membership growth and development; (3) financial discipline in the Grand Lodge and subordinate Lodges; (4) well-oriented members through continuing Masonic education and studies; (5) uniform and impressive rites and ceremonies; (6) promotion of harmonious relationships among Masons and between Lodges; (7) support of the public school system; (8) support of youth organizations and appendant bodies; (9) environmental concerns; (10) concern for sick and elderly brethren, widows and orphans; (11) lost sheep program; (12) improvement of communication and flow of information; and (13) building bridges of understanding between the Craft and its critics.

MW Romy A. Yu has put together a program of administration designed to bring into a happy reality our vision of a dynamic Masonic fraternity committed to becoming once more a deciding influence in the affairs of our nation. To this end, he urges each of us to exert a little more effort to continue learning and living Masonry’s touchstone tenets and pure principles, so that our conduct will so reflect the effectiveness of these tenets and principles as to stimulate other good and true men to seek out Masonry.

Listen to this urgent message of his:

“If and when all of us without exception avidly study Masonry and strictly obey with all our heart its mild and gentle teachings, we will doubtless be recognized by all and sundry as a fraternity marked by moral leadership, educational advancement, and philanthropic endeavors. We should, each one of us, ever remember that to preserve unsullied the reputation of our fraternity, as well as to remove every aspersion against it by the regularity of our conduct on all occasions and in all places, is a duty incumbent on every Master Mason. By the actions of each one of us the name of our fraternity is kept strong, unblemished and honored. Our fraternity is made real through the behavior of each one of us. How important, then, it is for each one of us to be a Mason both in creed and in deed at all times.”


Grand Master 2007 - 2008

Jimmy agrees that, as 17th-century romantic English poet William Wordsworth paradoxically stated, “The child is father of the man”; for he attributes his successes, academic and professional, to the way his parents, Fernando Leus Gonzales and the former Aurea Ruiz Yutuc, brought him up. According to him, his parents created a home environment where prevailed strict discipline and loving concern, as well as filial piety. The youngsters (Nelia, Jaime, Lydia, and Susan) were stimulated by their parents to spend their time wisely and usefully, to study and work as hard as they could, to shun vice, and to observe “xxx such a prudent and well-regulated course of discipline as may best conduce to the preservation of your corporeal and mental faculties in their fullest energy, thereby enabling you to exert the talents wherewith God has blest you as well to His glory as the welfare of your fellow-creatures.”

As a result of proper parenting, Bro. Jimmy neither smokes nor drinks, nor does he engage in hanky-panky, and yet he is considered by friends and brethren “a jolly good fellow” because he likes clean fun and is pleasant to be with.

Outstanding Student Leader

His parents sent their unico hijo to De La Salle University (DLSU) since they wanted him to be a beneficiary of the boon of Catholic education. He was an honor student therein; hence, he was a member of DLSU’s elite Jose Rizal Society. He was, moreover, awarded by no less than Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos Most Outstanding Cadet of the Philippines.

He, furthermore, did a Jose Rizal. We will recall that Rizal took up three different courses at the same time: Medicine, Philosophy and Letters, and Surveying, and he finished all of them with flying colors. Similarly, MW Bro. Gonzales took up BSC-Accounting and AB-Economics simultaneously and completed both cum laude et honore, likewise.

Participant in Seminars, Training Programs

Even when he was already a successful business executive, he continued to search for the Light. To further hone his managerial skills, he participated in various seminars and training programs.

In 1976, for instance, he attended local seminars on such subjects as Interpersonal Behavior, Management by Objectives, and Basic & Advanced Management Skills. In the same year, he participated in the training programs on Portfolio Management and The Bond Market sponsored by the Bankers Trust of New York and the American Express Bank of New York, respectively.

In 1980, he went to North and South Carolina as a Rotary Exchange Scholar.

Four years later, he underwent training in Leverage Buyout, under the auspices of the American Management Association. An avid learner and a keen observer, he got the knack for buying and taking over large international corporations.

MW Bro. Gonzales completed all academic requirements of his Alma Mater, DLSU, for the degree Master in Business Administration (MBA).

Dexterous with the PC Computer, familiar as he is with a variety of spreadsheet, word processing programs and power point presentation software, he is at present taking up another graduate program, this time via the online process.

Clearly, then, MW Bro. Gonzales has imbibed and practiced the message of the Ashlars.

Devoted Pater Familias

Like Rizal, he almost had a son. At first, frustrated he was. Eventually, however, he accepted the “misfortune” as God’s design for him and Sis. Lylwynn. The GAOTU blest them with four lovely daughters: Camilla, Katrina, Rea, and Lisa. Bro. Jimmy has brought up these young women in the way his parents reared him. Like him, Katrina and Rea were honor students; they graduated with the degree B.S. - Global Business from the Arizona University cum laude and magna cum laude respectively.

No matter how busy he is in corporate and organizational matters, he manages to spend quality time with spouse and daughters, thereby demonstrating his proficiency in the use of the symbolic 24-Inch Gauge.

Active in Civic and Professional Organizations

MW Bro. Gonzales also exemplifies the oxymoronic statement “ Busiest men find time.” He finds time to attend the meetings and other activities of the civic and professional organizations he is affiliated with. These include the Rotary Club of Makati, the Management Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Philippine Industries, the Employees Confederation of the Philippines, the Makati Business Club, the Financial Executives of the Philippines, and the American Chamber of Commerce.

Part-time Professorial Lecturer

He also exemplifies the pun “To have happiness is to halve it.” If time permits, he wants to share his know-how with younger Filipinos, particularly those enrolled in his Alma Mater, DLSU.

In 1974-75, for instance, he taught Investment Management at the DLSU Graduate School of Business. In 1981-82, he was a professorial lecturer in Cost Accounting for Industrial Engineers at the DLSU College of Engineering.

Excellent Executive

MW Jimmy Gonzales has had a successful business career because he is gifted with an uncanny business acumen, unintimidated by odd jobs, and able as well to level off with friends, associates and employees as to dispense all his jobs with equal facility.

Shortly after his graduation from DLSU in 1970, he worked for a year as Cost Accounting Manager of Proctor & Gamble, PMC. Then he moved to Bancom Development Corporation (BDC), where he served as Portfolio Manager for about five years.

In January 1976, he was promoted to the position of Asst. VP of BDC. As such, he was the Chief Investment Officer of the company’s Investment Service Dept. At the same time, he worked as Portfolio Manager of Banfeb Management Corporation, which managed the Philippine Investment Company.

In January 1978, he was BDC’s First VP and Head of its Investment Management Division.

In July 1980, he moved to Atrium Capital Corporation, then the largest investment bank in the country. There he was Senior VP and Investment Management Division Head.

In September 1981, he was the Executive Director of Trisec Funds, Inc.

A year later, he was VP for Corporate Planning of Interlek, Inc., a marketing company based in San Jose, CA. He was also VP and Chief Financial Officer of Tool & Die Masters, Inc., a semi-conductor equipment manufacturer based in Santa Clara, CA.

In September 1985, he was President and CEO of Mondragon Retail Stores, Ltd.

In April 1987, he worked as Managing Director of Eastern International Management Corporation, a consultancy company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and as VP for Finance of Indian River Resources, a company engaged in ocean salvage operations.

In March 1988, he was Chief Financial Officer of Eurotechnology, S.A., a semiconductor assembly house based in Madrid, Spain; Director and Chief Financial Officer of Laguna Rubber Corporation (LRC); and VP & Chief Financial Officer of Reynolds Philippine Corporation (RPC).

In April 1990, he was EVP and Chief Financial Officer of Chemholdings Corporation, the majority owner of RPC and LRC and the minority owner of Chemoil Corporation, petroleum refinery and trading company based in San Francisco, CA.

In November 1994, he maneuvered the takeover of RPC by the GGN Holdings Corp., which he and his business associates had organized. He therefore became the President and CEO of the Reynolds group of companies.

Though he retired in January 2002, he is still Managing Director of Reynolds Kitchen Magic, Inc., a company that he now owns.

At the time of this writing, he has been hired by the Salim Group as Treasurer of Chemical Industries of the Philippines.

As an executive, our current SGW dispenses all his jobs with equal facility; Hiram Abiff-like, he is inflexibly faithful to his trust. He is a consistent practitioner of the principle of subsidiarity, confidently delegating powers to subordinates and sincerely going down to the production line and the clerical department, thereby immersing himself in the subculture of the lower ranks.

Interested in the welfare and happiness of the employees of the Reynolds group of companies, he introduced therein value-driven programs, such as “Walk Your Talk”, “Enhancement Resources Information and Control” and “Upward Bound”.

Said he: “Those programs aim to instil in the RPC workers positive attitudes that would enhance their efficiency and provide them with a new outlook in life. They also seek to generate oneness, industry, sharing, concern, and total involvement in the workplace, as well as boost the workers’ morale and productivity by rounding up their physical and intellectual well-being.”

He instituted “Coffee with the President”, where other managers and the employees get to huddle with the CEO and talk about their individual and collective concerns.

All this makes us, his brethren, optimistic that he will lead the Grand Lodge and its constituent Districts and Lodges to greater heights of achievement.

Dynamic Masonic Leader

Initiated, passed and raised in Jose Rizal Lodge No. 22, Bro. Jimmy served as Master of Dapitan Lodge No. 21 in 1992; as Grand Lecturer for Masonic District No. 5 in 1995 and 1996; as the Grand Master’s Deputy for the same District in 1997; as Senior Grand Steward of our Grand Lodge in 1998; as Grand Auditor in 1999 and 2000; as Asst. Grand Secretary in 2003-2004; and as Junior Grand Warden in 2004. Indefatigably, he performed the duties of whatever position and title he assumed.

In 1980, he was made a 33° Mason or Inspector General Honorary (IGH) of the Philippine Bodies, A.&A.S.R. He is at present the Supervisor of Luzon Bodies, A.&A.S.R. When he was Venerable Master of the Philippine Bodies in 2001, he spearheaded the revival of the Saturday Scottish Rite Luncheon Forum, which antedated Kapihan sa Manila Hotel and others similar.

He is also a member of the elite Royal Order of Scotland and a past High Shereef of Maginoo Shrine Oasis, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (AAONMS). Besides, he is an Active Member of the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay in the Philippines.

A proficient user of the symbolic 24-Inch Gauge, he effectively and efficiently performs his duties in his several stations in life.

In fine, like many a Brother, MW Jimmy Y. Gonzales is a gem of a man and Mason. Ergo, the brethren will not regret having elevated him to the Grand Line. He has his own vision of how to make us a dynamic Fraternity.


The Penultimate Quest

Leaders are born and those destined to be kings, emperors or potentates are divined to be such, their future long ago written in the stars, their travels on earth already designed in heaven. Pacifico “Boy” Aniag is such a man. Born in the Year of the Dragon, he was long ago destined to someday occupy the coveted Grand Oriental Chair in a manner fit for royalty. He is one of a rare breed of men who are privileged to be called -- “The Most Worshipful.”

Born in Bgy. Atlag in Malolos, Bulacan, on October 6, 1952, The Most Worshipful Pacifico “Boy” Aniag, Grand Master for the Masonic year 2008-2009, hails from a family of Masons. The elder VW Francisco Aniag, Sr., a devoted husband to wife Catalina Briones, who are now both deceased, was a Past Master of Malolos Lodge No. 46 in Malolos, Bulacan, who became a Grand Master’s Deputy for the then Masonic District No. 7. Brother, Francisco, Jr., a former congressman of the 1st Congressional District of Bulacan, is a member of T.M. Kalaw Lodge No. 136, and a dual member of Malolos Lodge. His son, Carlo Pacifico, a 3rd-generation Mason, is a Past Master of Malolos Lodge and scion to a long-honored tradition of Freemasonry in their close-knit family. A third and eldest brother is Orlando, a retired Bank Manager.

MW Aniag started his studies in Malolos, and was a product of De La Salle College (now a university) in Manila. From there he went to the Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University in Boston, USA for a Special Course on Financial Institutions for Private Enterprise Development, prefacing his interests in business and politics.

He was born to a life of plenty but he remained humble and condescending despite his stature. The family owns a printing company and the Enrian Development Corporation, which is engaged in fish farming. Posting a sterling record in commerce and trade, he was named Director of the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and at the same time a member of the Bulacan Federation of Aquaculturists. “Boy” Aniag is also a business partner behind the C & K Handicrafts, which produces quality paper mache packaging products and the founder and president of the Bulacan United Methodist Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

He began his political career in 1982 as the Barangay Captain of Bgy. Atlag. In 1987 he was elected municipal councilor and later won handily as a member of the Bulacan Provincial Board and served as Majority Floor Leader for three consecutive terms. He also chaired several committees, particularly Rules, Trade & Industry, Cooperatives and the Committee on Information & Communications Technology. He also served as a member of the ad-hoc committee on Systems & Procedures and as a Director for Luzon of the National Board of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines, and shared his varied expertise with his peers to the benefit of his constituents.

MW Aniag has the character traits of the Grand Master Hiram Abiff as he possesses fidelity and unfeigned piety to the Great Architect of the Universe. This may be gleaned from the fact that he is a lay leader of the United Methodist Church and a member of its Philippine Central Committee while also a member of the General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA and the lone non-American member of the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Church Foundation, also in Nashville. He has served or is still serving in the governing Board of several Methodist Church institutions such as the Wesleyan University based in Cabanatuan City, and Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo, Manila, as well as the Administrator of the Bulacan Ecumenical School.

The future Grand Master first knocked on the doors of Masonry on January 25, 1978 when he submitted his Petition for membership to the Malolos Lodge. He was initiated on March 11 of that year, then passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on April 08, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on June 10. In 1982, he was unanimously elected Junior Warden and in 1984, occupied the Oriental Chair The year following, he was re-elected as Worshipful Master, an opportunity he relished the second time around. During these times, he endeavored to prove his worth, manifesting early on a gift for leadership and mastery of the Craft. In 1986, he was tapped by the Grand Lodge as Grand Master’s Deputy for Masonic District No. 7, retracing his father’s Masonic travels and making an imprint on those with whom he shared his fellowship.

Notably, MW Aniag has always been active in Masonic and Appendant Bodies, first as a Master Councilor of the Loyalty Chapter of the Order of DeMolay, where he was invested with the degree of Chevalier of the Order of DeMolay, the highest honor of service to the Order, and in the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay, where he holds a charter member portfolio. He was the Deputy Grand Master of the Supreme Council from 1990 to 1994 and was invested with rank, honor and dignity as a recipient of the Legion of Honor of the Order of DeMolay in 1992, it being the highest honor within the power of the Supreme Council to extend to those who have rendered exemplary service to humanity. In the Scottish Rite, MW Aniag, who is a life member of the Luzon Bodies and a charter member of the Bulacan Bodies, was just recently crowned 33° SGIG for the Orient of Bulacan and Pampanga, by the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Republic of the Philippines. He is also a member of the Manila Bodies of York Rite Freemasonry, and the Royal Order of Scotland.

He was chosen Junior Grand Lecturer for Luzon in 1995 getting a preview of the grandeur of Masonic pomp and pageantry and this time, he set his moist eyes on the Grand Oriental Chair. A man driven by his own destiny, he worked hard to earn the respect and recognition of the brethren, knowing fully well that on their goodwill repose the coveted priceless jewels that would someday grace his esteemed shoulders.

As with his Masonic commitments, MW Boy Aniag is just as active in the community through his many memberships in prestigious civic groups, including the Jaycees, where he served as President of the Malolos Chapter in 1979. In 1986, he was voted President of the Rotary Club of Malolos. In 1989, he was chosen as the team leader of the Rotary Group Study Exchange Team which traveled to England, and also served as District Governor of Rotary International, District 3770, from 1992 to 1993. The Most Worshipful is the President of the Bulakenos Golf Club. A pillar of concern for his community, he was honored by his kababayans in Malolos with the “Katangi-tanging Maloleño” Award for Public Service in the year 2000.

The 89th Ancom expectantly convened in the breezy heights of Tagaytay City in the summer of 2005. An anxious but confident Boy Aniag humbly vied for the position of Junior Grand Warden. In the election that followed, he was neck to neck with his closest rival although leading in the count having captured the approval of most of the delegates and besting three other hopefuls. In an impressive show of Masonic brotherhood and humility, he won a pace-setting election in Tagaytay City when the other candidate conceded after the second count, gamely paving the way for his proclamation and setting a precedent which hopefully, will characterize Masonic elections in the years to come. Nothing like this had ever happened before.

Since becoming a Junior Grand Warden, MW Aniag launched into his role as the Grand-Master-in-Waiting with a sense of mission of a man of vision. Having seen the current status of the fraternal organization on a broader perspective, he began to realize the difficult situation of bringing together people of diverse discipline and intellect cemented by the teachings of Masonry and make them work towards a common objective of reaching greater heights for the organization. He witnessed different approaches and interpretations to basic philosophies contained in the Masonic guidelines and traditions. Parallel to a choir trying to blend different voices to produce a beautiful melody, HARMONY became a byword and an accompanying phrase to fit the Masonic fraternity’s situation began to develop. “Harmony, The Strength and Beauty of Masonry” started to crystallize in MW Aniag’s mind and convinced him that this is the key towards the fraternity’s goal to reach new heights.

Like the vast expanse and the legendary waters of the Pacific, magnificent in its breadth, so bountiful and mysterious in its depth, posing a great challenge to man’s daring and ingenuity, so full of history and romance, Pacifico too, has in more ways than one, flirted and lived with the paradoxes and the truths of that great ocean. As in politics, business, or in his quest for personal fulfillment, he has kept within the circumscribed limits of his Masonic and religious orientation, his lambskin apron – pure and spotless.

Voicing his thoughts and ideas, MW Aniag said, “The ancient teachings of Freemasonry must be preserved at all costs if we intend to remain as a potent moral force in our society. This is what Freemasonry is all about, and its very reason for being.”

MW Aniag is married to the lovely Alice Umlas, and is blessed with three children: WB Carlo Pacifico who is married to Eleonor Pablo, Katrina, who is a Systems Audit Analyst of the Provincial Government of Bulacan, and Benjamin Antonio, who just graduated from his elementary studies. There is no doubt that even as he leads the brethren into an enlightened phase of Freemasonry while launching civic and charitable works as he undertakes the spreading of the gospel of brotherly love, relief and truth, MW Aniag is already laying the foundation for future generations of Masons to appreciate and replicate. Conscious of ever honoring the golden traditions of the past, he has already sown the seeds for making tomorrow better.

No comments:

Post a Comment