Friday, December 17, 2010

Message from the Worshipful Master - December 18, 2010

Message from the Worshipful Master - WB Oscar V. Badelles

Greetings My Brother:

     Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the preparation for the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in our own way, by going to the mall of our choice.  We join our loved ones in sharing old family traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall in the manner of the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, by driving around the parking lot until a shopper emerges from the mall, then following that shopper to a soon-to-be vacated parking space.  Hallelujah!

     Modernity may have altered some of our habits, but the passage of time has never changed the essence of Christmas.  It is still the best time for sharing and giving.  It has been said that no candle loses its light while lighting another candle.  So never stop sharing and helping others because it makes your life more meaningful.  Christmas is the time for forgiving and healing.  Everyday we ask the GAOTU to forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sinned against us.  It is only by forgiving others that we ourselves are forgiven.  We are told to cast away hatred, dislike and jealousy to attain contentment and peace of mind.  Christmas is the time for loving and being loved.  Its fulfillment will make Christmas the most festive and joyous season of all.

     For us Masons, we celebrate Christmas, irrespective of our faith or belief, because it gives us again the chance to thank the GAOTU for the many blessings He showered us, the gift of life, of a dutiful wife, children, and family and the inimitable kinship and fellowship of the brethren withersoever dispersed.  Christmas gives us Masons another reason to practice the tenet of Brotherly Love by which we are taught to regard the whole human race as one family, the high and low, the rich and poor, the young and the old, all created by one Almighty Father, and inhabitants of the same planet, who are to aid, support and protect each other.  By so doing, we become better men and true Masons.


- - - - - -
Bro. Jaime P. Magnetico - Dec. 10
Bro. Rogelio C. Nuñeza - Dec. 11
VW Edwin S. Co - Dec. 14
WB Benigno P. Reyes (+) - Dec. 17
VW Graciano Audwin T. Garzon - Dec. 18
Bro. Melvyn T. Salise - Dec. 22
Bro. Carlito L. Chan, Jr. - Dec. 28
Bro. Victor M. Orbe - Dec. 28

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Felicitations to the lovebirds of Iligan Lodge No. 207 on their WEDDING ANNIVERSARY:
VW Eufemio & Sis. Gloria Calio - Dec. 9
WB Rolando & Sis. Liberty Layumas - Dec. 10
VW James & Sis. Fely Yu - Dec. 19

- - - - - -
(Annual Election of Officers and Christmas Party with Tribute to Widows)
December 18, 2010
                   Recitation in unison of opening prayer *

 * Reading & Approval of the Minutes of the Last Stated Meeting
 * Reading & Approval of Secretary's Financial Report
 * Reading & Approval of Treasurer's Financial Report
 * Reading of Communications

 * Home for the Aged Visit - Bro. Jaime P. Magnetico
 * Reading of Section 2, Article II, Part III - The Uniform Code of By-Laws for Subordinate Lodges
 * Election of Officers for MY 2011



6:45 P.M. - Messages/Commentaries Visiting WMs, GLI, DGLs, AND DDGM

                   Recitation in unison of closing prayer *

7:00 P.M. - Fraternal Dinner

* - Pursuant to the GLP Plans & Programs for MY 2010 - 2011
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"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." - RALPH WALDO EMERSON


Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Revisiting" the Account by a Witness to Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal's Execution

by WB Celso B. Hilbero, PM (#270)
The Cabletow, Vol. 86 No. 4, November - December 2009, pp 24-27

On December 30, this year (2009), we commemorate the 113th anniversary of Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal's unjust execution at the Bagumbayan field.

Bagumbayan field was not what the Luneta or Rizal Park is today.  In those days the waters of the Manila Bay still reached the other side of the Malecon Drive (now Bonifacio Drive); the Luneta then went as far back as the site of the old Bagumbayan police station, near where the lush bamboo thickets grew.

Let us "revisit" what a witness to the execution, Hilarion Martinez, narrated to a certain Alberto B. Mendoza, which was  published in the Sunday Times Magazine on December 25, 1949.  At the time his first person narrative was published, Martinez was already 72 years old.  But at the time of Bro./Dr. Rizal's execution, he was only 20 years old.

Martinez's First-Person Account
 Rizal's execution at Bagumbayan field

Bro./Dr. Jose P. Rizal, photo taken in early August, 1890 when he arrived in Madrid, Spain

"It was six o'clock in the morning of December 30, 1896, when we woke up at our quarters at the corner of Sta. Potenciana and Magallanes Streets, in Intramuros, to attend the execution of Jose Rizal, about which we had already been briefed the day before.  We were the Leales Voluntarios de Manila, a semi-military organization under the command of Capt. Manuel Leaño.  Our immediate officer was a youthful Spanish lieutenant named Juan Pereira.  I was twenty years old then, and a member of the drum corps."

"We marched out of Intramuros through the Puerta Real, or where Nozaleda (now General Luna) Street out through the walls on the south, clad in our camamo uniforms and with our cajas vivas (or drums) strapped around our waists.  We proceeded to what is now Padre Burgos Street, under an overcast sky and in a chilling December morn."

"As we rounded the corner of P. Burgos and General Luna Streets, we got a glimpse of the cuadro, a square formation of about ten companies of Filipino and Spanish soldiers.  The former occupied the inner portion of the quadrangle, while the latter were at the rear.  This formation was strategic because the Filipino soldiers' position with-in the cuadro signified that the Spanish authorities wanted Rizal to die in the hands of the Filipino soldiers.  If the latter disobeyed the command to fire upon Rizal, the Spanish soldiers positioned at the rear would fire upon them."

"There were civilian spectators, too.  The side of the cuadro near the bay was open."

"As we approached the quadrangle, we saw some Spanish military officers earnestly talking in low voices.  Rizal was not yet anywhere to be seen.  Not having had a glimpse of the man before, I began to wonder what he looked like.  I remembered what my mother had told me about Rizal: that he was so learned that he could not be poisoned by anybody because he always carried with him his own spoon and fork, by means whereof he could detect whether his food was poisoned or not;  that many other legends had started to be woven around him;  and that he was fighting for the cause of his country and countrymen."

"Soon the small crowd heard the muffle sound of our approaching cajas vivas (or drums) draped with black cloth during  execution ceremonies.  A slight commotion broke out at the right end of the cuadro near the bay as some soldiers with fixed bayonets entered, followed by a man in black suit, his elbows tied from the back, on his head a chistera (or black derby hat), on one side a Spanish officer and on the other a Jesuit priest."

This was probably how Rizal might have looked like when he was escorted
to Bagumbayan by the Spanish soldiers and Jesuit priests.

"When I saw the man, I knew he was Rizal."

"A group of Spanish officers who were standing nearby opened into a media luna (i.e., a semicircular formation).  Then a Spaniard (we would learn later he was Lt. Luis Andrade, one of Rizal's popular Spanish defenders and sympathizers) affectionately shook the latter's hand.  When Rizal was near the center of the quadrangle, the mayor de la plaza, a colonel, announced at the bandillo: 'En el nombre del Rey, el que se levante la voz a favor del reo sera ejecutado' (In the name of the King, he who raises his voice in fovor of the criminal will be executed)."

"A deep silence enshrouded the whole assembly."

"The commanding officer accosted us and gave us this injunction:  'Should Rizal attempt to speak aloud, beat your drums so hard as to drown his voice'."

"I looked at Rizal.  He was regularly built, unshaven, and quite pale, perhaps as a result of his detention.  But he was visibly composed and serene.  A Jesuit priest approached him, prayed, and blessed him."
"Then a colonel approached Rizal likewise, as the commanding officer ordered us to move two paces backwards.  The firing squad, composed of six Filipinos, came forward and took our former position behind Rizal."

"I saw Rizal exert effort to raise his right hand, which was tied at the elbow, and take off his chistera."

"My heart beat fast, and as in all other executions I had witnessed before, I felt tense and nervous.  Amid the silence, I saw Rizal move his head very slowly up and down, his lips moving as if he was praying."

"Then the commanding officer raised his saber - a signal for the firing squad to aim.  Then he dropped his saber to a fuego position.  The simultaneous crack of rifle-fire shattered the stillness of the morning.  Jose Rizal exerted one last effort to face his executioners and toppled down with a thud, his face towards the sky and his derby hat thrown ahead.  He fell dead at his feet in the direction of the bay."

Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal's execution at Bagumbayan field

"Many of the reos or offenders had been caused to kneel and be hoodwinked before they were shot on the head.  But Rizal was spared that humiliation."

"Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a small dog appeared and ran in circles around Rizal's fallen body, barking and whimpering.  (This incident would much later be the subject of our talk in our quarters.  To some of my comrades, it was an omen of a coming misfortune.)"

"Then the capitan militar de la sanidad (i.e., medical officer) stepped forward, knelt before the fallen man, and felt his pulse.  Looking up, he beckoned to a member of the firing squad to come forward and give the final tiro de gracia (i.e., another close-range shot to the heart), probably to ensure that Rizal could not come up with the miracle of life anymore.  I thought I saw a faint haze from Rizal's coat, but it might have been a wisp of morning mist.  Seeing the body of the fallen Rizal in front of me, I felt very weak."

"The officers began to show animation again.  They fell in formation and marched to the tune of the Spanish national air, the paso doble Marcha de Cadiz."

"As in previous executions, we members of the drum corps filed past the body to view it for the last time.  When I heard to command "Eyes left", I did not shut my eyes as I had done at the sight of the several roes whose heads were blown off by rifle-fire.  I really wanted to take a close look at the man one last time.  He lay dead on the dewy grass.  The day had already progressed, and little did I realize then that I was gazing at the face of the greatest Malayan, and that I was witnessing history of in making."

The original burial site of Bro./Dr. Jose P. Rizal, where he was
interned right after his execution, at Paco Cemetery.

 The newly finished Rizal monument, the final resting place of the remains
of our national hero, Bro./Dr. Jose P. Rizal

Concluding Statements

Hilarion Martinez was, indeed, lucky to have lived in historic times.  He subsequently joined the Philippine Revolution.  During the Filipino-American War he was a member of the "Batallon de Manila" under General Pantaleon Garcia and Col. Rosendo Simon.  He distinguished himself in several engagements, so that he was promoted later to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.  In an assault on the American cavalry stationed in the church of Tondo, he was captured and imprisoned for about eight months in Intramuros and later in Cavite, where he was released shortly after the cessation of hostilities.

We, too, are fortunate because a man sacrificed his life on Bagumbayan field - a sacrifice which hastened the birth of our nation and which led to the savoring by us and our children of the sweet fruit of freedom and independence.

To Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal, at least two factors were of paramount importance for a revolution to succeed.  First, proper motivation.  And the proper motivation should be "Bayan muna bago pamilya, bago sarili" or "Tayo muna bago kami."  He suggested this motivation in the first two stanzas of his untitled valedictory poem, as follows:

"Farewell, country I adore, region loved by the sun, Pearl of the sea of the Orient, our eden lost.  I'll be happy to give you my sad, withered life.  Were it more brilliant, more fresh, more flowery, I'd also give it to you, I'd give it for your good."

"In the fields of battle, fighting with delirium, Others give you their lives without doubt, without regrets."
"The place matters not: cypress, laurel or lily, Scaffold or open field, combat or cruel martyrdom, 'Tis all the same if country and home demand it."

Second, proper timing.  He did not join the armed struggle against Spain initiated by Bro. Andres Bonifacio because he thought the Filipino insurgents were not yet well prepared for a protracted fight with the Spaniards.  But by the time he was about to be executed, he felt the Filipino revolutionaries were already quite prepared.  He eloquently enunciated the importance of proper timing in this stanza:
" I die when I see your sky being colored
And announces the day after the dark night.
If you need coloring with which to dye your dawn,
Turn my blood, pour it out in the right hour,
And let it gild its newly-born light."

Let us strive hard to have the proper motivation and the proper timing in order not to suffer the supreme sacrifice of Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal and other Filipino heroes to go to waste.  With proper motivation and proper timing, we will serve as vanguards against abuses and corruptions in government; we will also be beacon lights for our children, so that they, too, will clear the path towards a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Philippines.  With Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal in our minds and hearts, I know we can develop our nation into, metaphorically speaking, "a pearl of the sea of the Orient" - a nation imbued with the priceless principles of  pagkakaisa, pakikisama, pagsasarili, pagkabayani, and pakikipagkapwa-tao.

Speaking through Elias in Chapter 63 of his immortal Noli Me Tangere, entitled "Noche Buena," Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal said, "Mamamatay akong di man nakita ang ningning ng bukang-liwayway sa aking Inang Bayan!  Kayong makakakita, batiin ninyo siya... at huwag kalilimutan ang mga nalugmok sa dilim ng gabi."

No, we must not forget Bro./Dr. Jose Rizal and other Filipino forebears who labored and fought hard for our country and people to be free and independent.  Rather, we must remember them for their noble deed of giving their lives for our nation's welfare and happiness.  No, my brethren, we must not forget their supreme sacrifice!
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"I now more firmly believe in the existence of a creative being through reasoning and by necessity, more than my previous belief through faith."
"No one can pass judgment on the beliefs of others using his own beliefs as a norm."
"I believe in the redemption by the Word, and humanity rising again triumphant and glorious."
                           - Jose P. Rizal 


Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Secret Life of Houdini

(By William Kalush and Larry Sloman, from  The Far Eastern Freemason, 1st Quarter 2007, p 32-35)

      Harry Houdini, 32°, famous as a magician and escape artist, taught soldiers how to escape from restraints and sold $2 million in Liberty Bonds.

     "The reason people drown on a sinking vessel is because they lose all sense of direction."  The instructor said.
     Houdini looked out at the fresh faces of the young recruits and, for a fleeting second, reflected on what it was like when he was their age.  Life seemed so much simpler then, he thought, and for another fleeting second he envied their ability to be in a position to make the ultimate sacrifice - to give their lives for their country.  He would do everything in his power to make sure that eventually would never transpire.
     For their part, the Sammies, the appreciative name that the French gave the American soldiers, felt a mixture of apprehension and awe.  In weeks, they would be crossing the ocean to fight in France alongside their counterparts in the English and French armed services.  Basic training had been rigorous, but who could believe that it would have included a course on how to escape from a sinking torpedoed vessel given in a small room on the promenade floor of the enormous Hippodrome theater by none other than Harry Houdini?  They all wondered if they would be able to get his autograph at the end of the session.
     "The first rule when you find yourself underwater is; do not succumb to panic.  I can't stress that enough,"  Houdini lectured.  "Stay calm.  Use your eyes.  If visibility is clouded, slowly allow your body to rise up in the water until your hands come in cont(r)act with a deck, side, or the floor of the craft."
     Houdini picked up a length of rope.  "Now, I want to teach you the basic principles of extrication from entanglements of all kinds - whether from ropes, broken pipes, beams, or wreckages.  Can I have a volunteer, please?"
     Every arm in the room immediately shot up.
     When Houdini got through tying up the young soldier, he looked like a trussed turkey.
     "Now, I have restrained this young man in the same manner that I would use if I were to tie a medium to prevent him from being able to produce any physical manifestations in a seance room.  I would venture to say that he's not going anywhere."
     The Sammies all laughed.
     "The odds are that your captors will not go to such lengths," Houdini lectured.  "They might simply tie your hands beyond your back, but even such a simple restraint would be effective if you don't perform a subtle maneuver, which I shall show you, that will allow you to obtain some slack in the rope, and ultimately to free yourself from the bondage."
     Houdini walked over to the table and picked up a pair of handcuffs.
     "If your captors are particularly well equipped, they might have a pair of these German handcuffs as standard issue, in which case, your escape from their restraints would be harder, but not impossible," Houdini said.  "After I show you the rope escape, we will learn a few simple, effective techniques of defeating these German irons.  And then. . . ."
     He strolled over to the other side of the room, where a large iron cage had been set up.
     "This is a prison cage that has been fitted with typical German locks.  As you see, this particular one can accommodate up to three prisoners in the field, but there are variations that go twenty-two feet long and can haul a dozen or more men, each securely chained to the other.  As a measure of last resort, I will teach you a method to defeat the lock on the cage, so you can free yourself under cover of night."
     "Any questions so far?"
     Houdini looked out at his audience.  They seemed intimidated by the master magician.
     "I think our friend here has a question," Houdini said, glancing at the soldier that he had tied up so expertly.  "But he can't raise his hand."

     When the United States declared war against Germany on his birthday in 1917, Houdini immediately went into action.  For most of 1916, while on his vaudeville tour, Houdini, at his own expense, had been recruiting local magic clubs to join the SAM [Society of American Magicians] in an effort to revitalize what he felt was a moribund organization.  Working with Oscar Teale, an eccentric old ex-magician and Spiritualist exposer, another in a succession of father figures in Houdini's life, Houdini persuaded groups in Buffalo, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City to come aboard.  Now, a day after was was declared, Houdini introduced a resolution at the Society of American Magician's meeting that was unanimously passed that "its members collectively and individually do hereby tender their loyalty to the President of the United States of America and express a desire to render such service to the country as may be within their province."  Teale dispatched the resolution via letter to President Wilson.
     Fellow magicians took up Houdini's call.  Archie Engel, a Washington D.C. magician, became a secret agent for the Treasury Department during the war.  Dr. Maximillian Toch, a chemist and New York City SAM member, was put in charge of the military's camouflage division and, working with other magicians, he developed the battleship gray formula used by the U.S. Navy.  Toch's chemical expertise was also used in devising ways to transmit secret messages.  Eventually a camouflage section of the Regular U.S. Army Engineers was formed and the SAM members from all over the country enlisted in it and shared their expertise for the war effort.  An amateur magician named Dr. Charles Mendelsohn, who was an expert cryptographer, was put in charge of deciphering German codes for the U.S. Military Intelligence Division.  Even before we entered the war, the Department of Justice hired a magician named Wilbur Weber to do counterintelligence on German spies who were operating in the Northwest.  He used his magic tour as a cover for his spying activities.

     In July [Houdini] embarked on a series of fund-raising benefits for the Red Cross, and then dashed from Camp to camp entertaining the troops.  And when Secretary of the Treasury William McAdoo began to finance the U.S. war effort by issuing "Liberty Bonds," Houdini became one of his most determined fundraisers, in one case by literally selling the shirt of his back.  During a Hippodrome appearance, a man in the audience offered to buy $1,000 in bonds if the magician could get out of his shirt in thirty seconds.  By the time the audience countered six, Houdini was waving his torn shirt above his head.  "I'll buy another $1,000 bond if you will give me that shirt," the audience member screamed, and went home with his prize.  Within a year, Houdini had sold a million dollars' worth of bonds.  By some accounts, by war's end, the total reached two million dollars' worth.

     When Houdini performed at military camps, he made sure to include his "Money for Nothing" routine, where he seemingly materialized a succession of $5 gold pieces out of thin air.  Each coin produced was presented to a boy heading overseas.  In this manner, over time, Houdini personally gave away more than $7,000 (which today would be about $250,000).  The same year, he also contributed money to build a hospital ward that he dedicated to his mother.

     By June of 1918, a mere fourteen months after war was declared, Houdini had sacrificed more than $50,000 between lost salary and his own out-of-pocket expenditures in his ongoing war efforts.  In a letter to R.H. Burnside, the manager of the Hippodrome, he recounted his efforts that helped "buy ambulances" and raised funds for the Liberty Bond campaign.  "My heart is in this work, for it is not a question of 'Will we win' or 'Will we lose.'  We must win, and that is all there is to it." 

SCOTTISH RITE JOURNAL.  JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2007 (The Far Eastern Freemason. 1st Quarter 2007. p32-35)
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"It is only with the heart one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye." - Antoine De Saint-Exupery


Friday, November 26, 2010

17th Western Mindanao Masonic Convention @ Zamboanga City

November 12, 13 and 14, 2010, the brethren of Masonic District RDX-D and ARMM (Lanao) sojourned to Asia's Latin City, Zamboanga, to participate in the 17th Western Mindanao Masonic Convention.  The group was participated in by our very active Worshipful Master, WB Oscar V. Badelles accompanied by his 2 wardens, Senior Warden, Bro. Jaime P. Magnetico and Junior Warder, Bro. Hilario Abel Gomez.
The group was privileged to use the service van provided by VW Vice-Mayor Henry C. Dy, which ferried them from Iligan City and back.  Thank you VW Henry Dy for your continued support in our lodge undertakings.

Likewise, some of the sisters joined their respective husbands in the journey to enjoy the scenery and tour which was very much educational to everyone.

Well, to relieve everyone from reading boring text...the pictures that follow will surely paint a thousand words!


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"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." - John Burroughs


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Message from the Worshipful Master - November 20, 2010

Message from the Worshipful Master WB Oscar V. Badelles

From "Reflections On Masonic Values" by VW Mabini G. Hernandez

Before the sunset curtains the day's play
I ask myself, "what have I done for the day?"
If the blessings showered I have shared?
And the wounded I have cared?

If I had not,
Then let me share,
Let me care,
Not tomorrow, but today
Before the sunset curtains the day's play.

     Frankly, the message of this verse resonated so strongly that it made me ponder, at the twilight of my term, if I have shared, cared and done enough during my tour in the east.  Only you, my brother, knows the answer to that question.  I am nevertheless sharing its message that before you say adios and good bye amigo, make sure that you have made your peace, specially with the GAOTU.  That one should never give up even if it appears to be already late in the day - there is enough time to do that which is just and right.

     Along this line, I urge the brethren to continue your support for the remaining activities of our lodge.  And the one area where your cooperation is most needed is in the attendance during our lodge meetings and activities.  This Saturday morning, we will be hosting again the Walk For Your Health.  And needless to remind you, we shall have our annual elections next month and your presence thereat is indispensable.  Also next month, we are expecting a visit from the brethren of our sister lodge, Leonardo T. Pañares Lodge.  Let us reciprocate the warm welcome and fellowship they extended to us during our visit to their lodge.  The will be followed by our joint Christmas Party with the brethren of Judge Valerio V. Rovira Lodge No. 259.

     In closing, I would like to greet our Muslim brothers and sisters on the occasion of the festival of sacrificial offering known as Eid al-Adha.  Congratulations also to all Hajjis for carrying out one of the five pillars of their Islamic duty.

- - - - - -

Bro. Camar A. Umpa - Nov. 3
Bro. Aurelio A. Dacalos, Jr. - Nov. 11
WB Victor G. Mariano - Nov. 11
VW Henry C. Dy - Nov. 14
Bro. Cristito Dinopol, Jr. - Nov. 27

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Felicitations also to WB Alvin & Sis Jackie Bacolod on their WEDDING ANNIVERSARY on November 17th.

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"The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it." - Carl Jung



(Article is taken from THE FAR EASTERN FREEMASON, October - December 1992 Issue, p37)

1948 saw a four cornered contest for the Presidency of the United States. The candidates were: Thomas E. Dewey, 32°, Governor of New York; Harry S. Truman, 33°, Past Grand Master of Missouri; J. Strom Thurmond, 32°, Governor of South Carolina; and Henry A. Wallace, 32°, former U.S. Vice-President. All the pollsters predicted a landslide win for Dewey, buy they were proven wrong. Truman, the only 33° Mason among the candidates, won.

President Harry S. Truman

In the Philippines, it was a three cornered race in 1935. All the candidates for President - Manuel L. Quezon, Emilio Aguinaldo and Gregorio Aglipay - were Scottish Rite Masons, but Quezon was the only 33° elect. Quezon won handily.

President Manuel L. Quezon

It seems 33° masons enjoy an edge in political contests.
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"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carl Buehner


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meeting Brother Masons in Zamboanga City

Last October 28, 2010, I had the privilege to travel to Zamboanga City with my beautiful wife, Revilla, Sister "Binky" to our masonic family, to attend the 4th Mindanao Bloggers Summit.  This travel to Zamboanga City was my second, and first for my wife.  My first travel was to attend the Mindanao Business Conference which Zamboanga, "Asia's Latin City" hosted.  I was then with businessmen and some City Councilors to promote business in Iligan and look for prospective investors.  There were 3 of us travelers then.

This time, except for my wife, I am alone.

But though alone, it is in this trip that I met fellow travelers.  Not that they are "glad to meet me thus alone", but they are glad I'm sure to have met me, as much that I am really glad to have met them.  The first brother I met was Bro. Amin who is a member of Mt. Apo Lodge No. 45.  He too, like me was a participant in the 4th Mindanao Bloggers Summit.  Bloggers by the way is the term used to identify people who writes on the internet on any topic under the sun.  Bro. Amin is a Food Critic and writes about FOOD!  My favorite subject (to eat!).  Visit his blog at

Bro. Romar Amin of Mt. Apo Lodge No. 45

And while we were savoring the beauty of Zamboanga, specifically strolling along Paseo del Mar, then deciding to eat at Pinokyo (Pinoy and Tokyo food combined), I stumbled upon two great brothers in the person of WB Ed and Bro. Arellano.  WB Ed is a Past Master and Bro. Arellano's mother lodge is Maranaw Lodge 111.  I was surprised to have met a brother almost at the edge of the country whose mother lodge is the mother of our lodge.

Worshipful Brother Ed Ferrer and Bro. Arellano who I'm surprise to
learn that Brother Arellano's mother lodge is Maranaw Lodge No. 111.

One proud comment made by my companions to my wife (while WB Ferrer and Bro. Arellano were talking) was that I have many friends in Zamboanga.  My wife said no, they've just met.  And our companion asked how come they seemed like they've known each other for quite some time?  My wife said that they are brothers in Masonry and she explained that it is always the case with Masons,  every time a Mason meet another Mason, they'll greet each other and talk like they've been friends for a long time.  

I have not told my wife yet why I feel at ease every time I meet a seems that I have met a brother whom I have not seen for a long time.  So for me, I feel happy and proud to have met a Brother Mason.

I now know why.  But I would also like to know from you why?  Write your views and let's start sharing our experiences with Brothers whom we've met on our sojourn.

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"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence." - George Washington


Saturday, November 6, 2010


(From the book "My Dear Son" by VW Mabini G. Hernandez, Courtesy of WB Victor G. Mariano, PM, PGLI)

My Dear Son,

Do you know what MASONITIS is?  It is a very peculiar disease which only Masons are susceptible to acquiring.  However, non-Masons may have symptoms only of this illness.  But to have symptoms of and/or afflicted with MASONITIS, the subject-person must have goodness in his heart.

Those whose hearts are not in the right place and those whose moral values are ethically below normal are totally immune from MASONITIS.  This disease is highly communicable to those who believe more in godliness and less in religiosity.

MASONITIS is also habituating.  But unlike addiction to drugs, which is harmful to one's health, those who are psychologically addicted to it are healthy, open-minded, happy, and contented.  They are very active.  They never have a dull moment in life.  Those who die with, but not of, MASONITIS, die happy in the thought they have served God and their fellowmen.  They are contented and fulfilled that if given a chance to live again, they would want to be afflicted with MASONITIS early in life.

Prognosis of MASONITIS shows an abundant desire to learn and to improve one's self, feeling of joy in being of help and service to his fellowmen, more devotion to family and friends; unqualified dedication to duty; optimism and humility are highly developed; lack of appetite for worldly things; weakening desire for sensualities; sharpened memory; slow to anger, quick to forgive; addiction to truth, right and justice very manifest, steadfast and unwavering belief in God evident in thoughts and in deeds.

There is no cure or treatment for MASONITIS.  Even death which many non-Masons usually believe ends all, is only the start of another chapter in the lives of those afflicted with MASONITIS.  It is incurable.  It is so pleasurable that those afflicted with this malady do not wish to be rid of it.  It is so edifying that those with MASONITIS purposely "expose" themselves in their neighborhood, in their offices, in society, and even in government, in the hope that other might be contaminated with the virus of this very gratifying ailment.

How is your MASONITIS, Sonny?  I hope you will release yourself from shyness and continue your share in a silent but eloquent crusade to contaminate good men with this badly needed ailment MASONITIS.

God bless and regards to the family.

With love,

* * * * * *
This is one ailment were every true Mason wants to keep and wants other men to be contaminated with.  To those Masons who plans to influence people of this disease, I sincerely hope that nobody finds a cure for it.  And to those Masons who are susceptible to a cure because they are exposed to uncontaminated environment, my brotherly advice would be to always remember that our first and foremost belief is that Masons are Good Men trying their very best to become Better Men, if not the Best Men!

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"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." - Sir Winston Churchill

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friendship, the Best of Life's Treasures

 By Buford B. Lich, 32° 

Once an associate of Abraham Lincoln took him to task for his attitude toward his enemies saying, "Why do you try to make friends of them?  You should try to destroy them."  Lincoln replied gently, "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make them my friends?"

As Freemasonry demonstrates, the best of all life's treasures is friendship.  Our friends, if many and true, can add more to our happiness than all the riches in the world.  Friendship comforts and has a balm for a thousand ills.  It dispels the dark clouds of despair while transforming all the relationships of life.  No relationship is complete until it has grown into friendship.  Friendship is tested by adversity, but true friendships are strengthened by struggle.

A broad nature is capable of many friendships.  One friend appeals to you for one reason, another for some other reason.  Friendship is the heart's library.  The wise friend is your book of philosophy.  The courageous friend is your book of heroism.  The industrious friend is your book of achievement.  The merry friend is your book of humour.  As no book crowds another on your bookshelves, so no friend crowds another in the library of your heart.

There is no such thing as a one-sided friendship.  If you profess to be a friend, then be to your friend what you want him to be to you.  Devotion to the cause of fellowship is the truth which makes love possible and mankind happy.

(Supreme Council 33° Southern Jurisdiction.

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"The secret of a good life is to have the right loyalties and hold them in the right scale of values." - Sir Winston Churchill


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Message from the Worshipful Master - October 16, 2010

Message from the WB OSCAR V. BADELLES, Worshipful Master

Greetings My Brethren
As we enter the last quarter of the year, we have the tendency to relax and take things for granted.  Consequently, we tend to commit mistakes and lapses particularly in our rituals.  We, specially the officers, should take proper caution by going over our Monitor once again and avoid errors.

The brethren are invited to join us to attend the Western Mindanao Masonic Convention at the Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City on November 12 & 13 (Fri & Sat).  Our on (Zamboanga) Chairman, Bro. Jimmy Magnetico already booked six (6) rooms for us at the Marcian Business Hotel.  And for the convenience of the brethren, VW Henry Dy had graciously lent his 10-seater Toyota Hi-Ace van.  The final schedule will be announced by Bro. Jimmy Magnetico.

I would like to acknowledge and thank VW Audwin Garzon and WV Warly Sanguila, who joined VW Ben Alipio, DDGM and VW Edward Banawa, DGL, in attending the 18th degree funeral service last September 28, 2010 in Cagayan de Oro City for the late VW Renato "Atong" Gurrea, one of the pillars of our sister lodge Leonardo T. Panares Lodge No. 220, who recently dropped his working tools.  Your initiative have lightened the labors in the east.

Regarding our traditional Christmas party, the district children's party and family bonding - I suggest that we hold them jointly for better attendance and economy preferably early December to avoid conflicts of schedule with other activities.  The brethren are urged make suggestions - how we can share the joy and spirit of the season to our brethren, family and fellowmen.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate WB Mervin V. Salazar, PM, who will be presented with the certificate and pin of the Life Membership by Longivity during our meeting.

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*   Reading & Approval of the Minutes of the Last Stated Meeing
*   Reading & Approval of Secretary's Financial Report
*   Reading & Approval of Treasurer's Financial Report
*   Reading of Communications

*   17th Western Mindanao Masonic Convention - Bro Jaime Magnetico, SW
*   Iligan Lodge 207 Christmas Party & Family Day - Bro. H. Abel B. Gomez
*   Presentation of LML Certificate to WB Mervin V. Salazar, PM
*   Reading of Section 2, Article II, Part III - The Uniform Code of By-Laws for Subordinate Lodges

*   WB Eduardo G. Ulindang, PM, GLI
     Topic:  "Immortality of the Soul"


6:45 pm - Messages / Commentaries - Visiting WMs, GLI, DGL's and DDGM



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You are invited to join the forthcoming activities:

1.   October 16 - Walk For Your Health - UDLMC @ 5 a.m.
2.   October 20 - 23 - Cagayan de Oro City - 5th Annual Scottish Rite Convention
3.   November 12 & 13 - Zamboanga City - 17th Western Mindanao Masonic Convention

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Bro. Hilario Abel B. Gomez - October 4
Bro. Antonio Ll. Bartolome III - October 5
WB Wilfredo R. Bacareza - October 12
Bro. Arthur Ll. Padilla - October 20
Bro. Urso A. Penalosa - October 26

Felicitations also to BRO CHARLES & SIS LIZA ANG on their WEDDING ANNIVERSARY on October 6th.

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"Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it;  the tree is the real thing." - ABRAHAM LINCOLN


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beyond the Veils : The Apron

The most distinguished mark of a Mason is the apron.   Thus, great men like George Washington, Jose Rizal or Andres Bonifacio, when depicted as Masons, always have an apron on them.  While the Apron has multiple meanings, it always alludes to the inner states of the Mason - whether it is his character or levels of consciousness.   -  Editor

Candidates Apron 

An apron is worn by operative masons to preserve their garments from stain;  and thus, in speculative Masonry, the apron reminds us that we must keep ourselves from moral defilement;  or in the figurative language of the Holy Scripture, must keep our garments white and keep ourselves unspotted from the world.  White is a color which has always been considered as emblematic of purity and joy.  The apron is made of lamb-skin because the lamb has in all ages been recognized as the emblem of innocence, and was therefore chosen by God Himself to be offered to Him in sacrifice, as a type of great propitiatory sacrifice, the Lamb of God - the Lamb without blemish and without spot, that taketh away the sin of the world.  The Mason's apron is, therefore, not only a symbol ever reminding him of the duty of maintaining to the utmost possible degree Purity of heart and Purity of life, and of ever seeking greater perfection in both, but also of propitiation for sin, and the pardon ready to be granted to every one who seeks it in the way appointed.   I thus inspires him to work with hope, and that hope further encourages to further endeavors after those attainments which will make him a good man and a good Mason, exercising an influence for good amongst all around him - in the Lodge, in his own family, and in all the relations of life.  (Wm.W. Vickers, W.M., originally published in The Canadian Craftsman, June 1898)

The first, and among the most impressive symbols of Masonry to confront the candidate, to most initiates, is the apron.   The candidate is told that it is "an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason".   

What is "innocence", as the word here is used?  Surely not ignorance!  The lamb, the baby, the lily are "innocent", in the sense that they know nothing, especially nothing of evil.  But a man grown - and no male less than a man grown may be a Mason - must know evil to distinguish the good ...  The innocence is that of intent not to do evil, not of knowledge of evil.  The Mason is "innocent" when his heart is gently towards weakness, chivalrous towards those dependent upon him, tolerate of his fellow's weaknesses, forgiving of his brethrens' mistakes.

Beneath this is the really great meaning of the apron;  that of the dignity and worth of labor, the honor of being a workman, the glory of being a contributor to life and living.     (Torrione Lodge of Research, 1954,

Freemason Lambskin Apron

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You will find another hint of this teaching(of the higher self and the lower self in a human being) in another symbol of the craft :   the apron.

In the Entered Apprentice, the triangle fold is lifted up, symbolizing the separation between the higher self and the lower quarternary.  In the Fellow-craft, the lower square is folded halfway, symbolizing the partial subduing of the lower personality by the higher.  In the Master's degree, the square lap is fully covered by the upper lap, thus the lower self is fully mastered by the higher.   (Vicente R. Hao Chin, Jr., Introduction to Morals and Dogma)

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1.  The Apron is a symbol of the corporeal vesture and condition of the soul (not so much of the temporal physical body, as of its permanent invisible corporeity which will survive the death of the mortal part.)

2.   The soul fabricates its own body or "apron" by its own desires and thoughts (see Genesis III, 7, "they made themselves aprons")  ans as these are pure or impure so will that body be correspondingly transparent and white or dense and opaque.

3.   The investiture of the candidate with the Apron in each Degree by the Senior Warden as the Master's delegate for that purpose is meant to inculcate this truth;  for the Senior Warden represents the soul which, in accordance with its own spirituality, automatically clothes itself with its own self-made vesture in a way that marks its own progress or regress.

4.   The unadorned white Apron of the First Degree indicates the purity of soul contemplated as being attained in that Degree.

5.  The pale blue rosettes added to the Apron in the Second Degree indicate that progress is being made in the science of regeneration and that the candidate's spirituality is beginning to develop and bud through.  Blue, the colour of the sky, is traditionally associated with devotion to spiritual concerns.

6.  In the Third Degree still further progress is emblematized by the increased blue adornments of the Apron, as also by its silver tassels and the silver serpent used to fasten the apron-strings.  In the First and Second Degrees no metal has appeared upon the Apron.   The candidate has been theoretically divesting himself of all base metals and transmuting them into spiritual riches.   With Mastership he has attained an influx of those riches under the emblem of the tassels of silver, a colorless precious metal always associated with the soul, as gold by reason of its supreme value and warm color is associated with Spirit.   The silver serpent is the emblem of Divine Wisdom knitting soul's new-made vesture together.

7.   The pale blue and silver of the Master Mason's Apron become intensified in the deep blue and gold ornamentation worn by the Grand Lodge Officers, who in theory have evolved to still deeper spirituality and transmuted themselves from silver into fine gold.   "The King's daughter (the soul) is all glorious within;  her clothing is of wrought gold," i.e., wrought or fabricated by her own spiritual energies.   (Walter Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry)

 Past Master's Apron

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The Apron, which is made of lambskin, is in its fabric a badge of sacrifice.   The lamb in all ages has not only been a symbol of innocence but also an emblem of sacrifice.   He who wears this lambskin with an understanding must be prepared for the time when hard things are to be done, when trials are to be endured, and fortitude glorified.   A good example of which is of the 60,000 or so Freemasons interred in the Concentration Camp during World War II.   The crime for which they were there?  Being a Freemason.
(Christopher A. Harris, MPS FGCR)

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 The "Right of Investiture", the ceremony of emblematically clothing the candidate, is neither original nor unique to  Freemasonry.   Use of the apron in the Hermetic ceremonies of ancient Egypt is evident.   The apron was worn as a symbol of priestly power in the Levitican economy.   The Persian mysteries incorporated the white apron and, in the Hindustan, the investiture consisted of a scarf being tied around the candidate's waist.  Without question, the Operative Masons used the apron as an item of protective clothing.  (Plez A. Transou)

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"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering cna the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."  -  Helen Keller