Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Philippine Flag - Its Masonic Roots

(Note:  In commemoration of the celebration of the National Flag Day come May 28, I feel that it is but proper to republish this article from "The Far Eastern FREEMASON" 2nd Quarter 2007 edition, with the hope that it will enlighten people who will read it and will pass it to those who are still uninformed.  May everyone who reads this enjoy and feel honored and proud of our heritage, withersoever dispersed!)

By :    Ill. Reynold S. Fajardo, 33ยบ
          PGM, Grand Lodge of the Philippines

Time and again it has been asserted that masonry played an important role in the design of the Philippine flag and that some of its symbols were meant to memorialize the Craft.  These assertions are essentially plausible, for the man principally responsible for its design - President Emilio Aguinaldo - was a zealous masonic partisan.  In one of his speeches delivered after the Revolution, Aguinaldo said :  "The successful Revolution of 1896 was masonically inspired, masonically led, and masonically executed.  And I venture to say that the first Philippine Republic of which I was its humble president, was an achievement we owe, largely, to masonry and the freemasons."   Speaking of the revolutionists, he added :  "With God to illuminate them, and masonry to inspire them, they fought the battle of emancipation and won."  During the Revolution, Aguinaldo frequently displayed a marked bias in favor of freemasons and masonry.  He made membership in the masonic fraternity an important qualification for appointments to government positions.  His nepotism was so pronounced, a critic of masonry denounced it as one of the "evils" of the Revolution.   In his Memoirs, Felipe Calderon, the President of the Malolos Congress, claimed that the "sectarian masonic spirit" undermined the insurrection.   He also argued that some serious dissensions among Filipinos originated, "more than for anything else, from the mania of Aguinaldo, or rather of his adviser, Mabini, to elevate any person who was a mason".  It should not come as a surprise to anyone, therefore, if Aguinaldo decided to extol masonry in the Philippine flag.

Some of the claims made in favor of the masonic link of the Philippine flag, however, are so lavish they strain the reader's credulity.   If all are to be accepted at face value, we cannot avoid the conclusion that our national emblem is a clone of the masonic banner and that all the devices and symbols used in it are of masonic origin, from the triangle, to the sun and stars, down to its colors.   The lavish claims, however, were made by freemasons, therefore, the possibility of exaggeration or embellishment, owing to over enthusiasm, cannot be discounted.  Moreover, Aguinaldo did not make a written affirmation of the masonic connection of the flag.   On the contrary, some of his official statements do not jibe with the exceedingly generous assertions of the freemasons.   A close scrutiny of the claims in favor of Freemasonry must, therefore, be undertaken.  But first let us describe the Filipino flag.

National Painter Fernando Amorsolo's (1892-1972) depiction of the making of the Philippine Flag.

The Hong Kong designed flag that Aguinaldo brought with him from his exile on board the US dispatch boat McCullock, and which became the official flag of the first Philippine Republic, consisted of two horizontal stripes, blue on top and red below.  It had a white equilateral triangle at the hoist that is smaller than that in our flag today.  Within the triangle, at its center, a mythological sun was depicted with eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth in black, bearing eight rays without any minor rays for each, and three five-pointed stars, one at each angle of the triangle.  All these devices were in gold or yellow color.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Message from the Worshipful Master - May Stated Meeting

Greetings my brethren.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the brethren who joined me to the ANCOM 2010 last April 22 to 24, 2010 namely, SW Jimmy Magnetico, JW Abel Gomez, WB Ed Ulindang, WB Dominic Siao, Bro. Carl Chan, Bro. Sandy Sy, and Bro. Ali  Bari.  The venue, SMX Convention Center, was great and world-class, but the hosts were not - they did not even have a printed copy of the program!  The delegates had to fend for themselves as there were no directions nor instructions from the organizers.

Bro. Abel Gomez gave a strong delivery of the white lambskin apron during the National Elocution Contest held at the Grand Lodge, but unfortunately, he did not get the nod of the judges.  Still, we are very proud of Bro. Abel.

RW Juanito G. Espino, Jr. was overwhelmingly elected as Junior Grand Warden during the ANCOM. He received 898 votes out of the 1,105 votes cast in the first balloting.  The new officers were then installed at the Grand Lodge last April 24, 2010 together with our new DDGM Ben Alipio and the DGLs Ed Banawa and Joseph Sanguila.  Fittingly, Davao won the bid as the site of the next ANCOM since RW Juanito Abergas, who will be installed as the next Grand Master, spent a great portion of his Masonic life there.   In a way, it will be a homecoming for him.

Just before leaving for Manila, I personally gave the P4,500.00 raised last meeting to Sister Fe Reconalla, who was then confined at the Mercy Community Hospital.  As to the P5,000.00 coming from our general fund, I would be requesting Bro. Abel Gomez to help me deliver the same to Sis Fe Reconalla since I do not know her current residence.  The brethren are requested to include her in your daily prayers to the GAOTU.   -  WB Oscar V. Badelles

* * * * * * * *
Greetings to our Birthday Celebrants for the merry month of May :

         Bro. Danilo N. Gonzaga                   May 2
         WB Alvin S. Aspiras                        May 4
         VW Robert S. Co                           May 13
         Bro. Loyd Jose C. Aguilar               May 19
         Bro. Alykhan U. Ali                         May 19
         Bro. Franciso Victor S. Laya           May 25
         VW James T. Yu                            May 30

Source :  Iligan  Lodge No. 207 Bulletin and Notice of Meeting  May 15, 2010

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"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."  -  Carl Buehner


For the information of everyone, particularly the brethren who sold and/or bought ANCOM 2010 raffle tickets, the results are:


(1) 31589 - Factoria Lodge No. 311
(2) 77490 - Makiling Lodge No. 72
(3) 61484 - Gilbert Sanchez
(4) 49595 - Mencius Lodge No. 93
(5) 59711 - Pinacanauan Lodge No. 318


(1) 28762 - Zambales Lodge No. 103
(2) 19865 - Dagohoy Lodge No. 84


(1) 36628 - Magat Lodge No. 68

Thank you for your cooperation and support in this undertaking.

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"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;  remember that what you have now have was once among the things you only hoped for." - Epicurus

Travelers who made it in the 2010 Iligan Elections

My heartfelt Congratulations to our brothers who won in the recent 2010 Elections here in Iligan City.  Their winning the polls is an assurance to our people of an honest and committed government service with a vision of having a very beautiful, prosperous and peaceful city.  And as they begin the next 3 years of their terms, we look forward for a very fulfilling journey towards what our vision of aspirations will be.

VW Vice Mayor Henry C. Dy, PDDGM and member of Iligan Lodge No. 207 on his historic 3rd term
as Vice Mayor of Iligan City, being proclaimed by the Local City Board of Canvassers.

VW Dy giving his short acceptance speech after he was proclaimed by the Local City Board of Canvassers.

Bro. Moises D. Dalisay, Jr., another member of Iligan Lodge No. 207, poses with the City Board of Canvassers after being proclaimed in the 6th position as elected City Councilor of Iligan.  Bro. "Moi" as he is fondly addressed by everyone who knows him, is now on his 3rd and last term as City Councilor.

WB Frederick W. Siao, Past Master of Manticao Lodge No. 243, a first timer in politics, placed a very impressive 3rd spot as City Councilor.
 WB Freddie Siao, with VW Henry - his father, VW Dominic - his brother (Past Master of Iligan Lodge No. 207, 2002), Sister Ampoy - his lovely and beautiful wife, and Sister Nene - his mother, proudly poses for our camera documenting this very happy and historic moments in their family's history.

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"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but has no vision." - Helen Keller

Saturday, May 1, 2010

35th Charter Anniversary and Past Masters' Night

April 17, 2010, our monthly stated meeting went on smoothly as scheduled...attended by brethren from different lodges of our district plus the attendance of  Bro. Leo Acosta of  Macajalar Lodge No.184, Cagayan de Oro City who, by the way, religiously attends meetings when he is here in Iligan. 
On this Stated Meeting,   we also celebrated our 35th Anniversary as a lodge which falls exactly on April 26.    Thirty five (35) years is quite a long time (of course not as long as 75 years which our mother lodge is celebrating this year!) 
As we ended our stated meeting and gathered around the function hall to partake the food prepared for us, we realized that we have in our midst, in our roll of members, stalwarts who have guided us and groomed our lodge to what it has become.  And to give honor to these people, we rightfully opened with a toast...followed by another...until we completed the 7th and the last, the Tyler's Toast.

Tokens were given to the Past Masters, as shown in the pictures below.   Thirty five (35) candles on top of an anniversary cake, as well as individual candles on top of sliced cakes for the Past Masters, were blown.  

As the night moved on, and the programmed activity heightened, scenes were captured by the lens of my olympus e-510 camera to be shared to everyone who wishes to witness and be a part of our 35th anniversary celebrations.

Bro. Boy Bartolome lead the Invocation

1st Toast lead by Worshipful Master Oscar V. Badelles... the National Government and the Republic of the Philippines!

2nd Toast  again lead by  WM Oscar V. Badelles... the Grand Master of Masons, MW Peter Lim Lu Soy!

Bro. Hilario Abel B. Gomez, Junior Warden giving the 3nd Toast...
...for the District Deputy Grand Master VW Lyndon L. Abucay and other Grand Line Officers!

The Message of District Deputy Grand Master, VW Lyndon Abucay, was read
by the District Grand Lecturer, VW Genesis Calit

4th Toast with WB Eduardo B. Cueto...for the brethren of Iligan Lodge No. 207

5th Toast ... for the inspiring, supporting past masters of Iligan Lodge No. 207,
Given by WB Ronald U. Sy

The response of the Charter Worshipful Master of Iligan Lodge No. 207
in behalf of all the other past masters of the lodge present.
Emphasizing on the importance of "What induced you to become...?"

The Distribution of Tokens to the Past Masters of Iligan Lodge 207

Worshipful Master Oscar V. Badelles giving a token of appreciation to the
Charter Worshipful Master Gerardo B. Padilla, 1975.

VW Warlito M. Sanguila, 1982

VW Robert S. Co, 1984

WB Datumanong D. Sarangani, 1985

Sister Rose Balacuit, receiving a token in behalf of her better half,
the late WB Jimmy Y. Balacuit, 1991

WB Edwin S. Co, 1993

WB Victor G. Mariano, 1994

VW G. Audwin T. Garzon, 1997

WB Eduardo B. Cueto, 1998

VW James T. Yu, 2001

VW Dominic W. Siao, 2002

WB Ronald U. Sy, 2008

WB Eduardo D. Ulindang, 2009

The 35th Year Anniversary Cake

All the past masters present gamely blew the candles out.
(noticed the present master practicing for next year's anniversary?)

Since everyone was ashamed to slice the beautiful cake, they all
settled for the next option...the cupcake.  ???  not a cupcake

The Sisters with their special surprise number.

Departed Master, Present Master, Upcoming Master and Past Master
completes the line-up.  (for questions, just send me a message in the comment box below. :-) )

Immediate Past Master WB Eduardo D. Ulindang giving the
6th Toast to the Ladies of Iligan Lodge No. 207!

7th Toast...given by VW Warlito M. Sanguila...
to the brethren at sea, on land or in air...whethersoever dispersed...

Bro. Jaime P. Magnetico, Senior Warden, giving the closing remarks,
thanking everyone who joined in the celebrations.

WB Victor G. Mariano leading the mass singing of "Auld Lang Syne"

The Master of Ceremony,  VW Sotero Trinidad, PDDGM

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"It isn't the incompetent who destroy an organization.  It is those who who have achieved something and want to rest upon their achievements who are forever clogging things up."    -  Charles Sorenson