Monday, September 15, 2014


So far, the 85-strong Matikas Class is the biggest ever of the IMES series.

Of this number, only 5 were not able to complete the course for incurring 1-day absences.

And despite the seemingly unmanageable class size which is more than double the maximum 40/class allowed, Batch 42 was a smashing success as attentive ears were able to endure 6 days of grueling 12-hour/day lectures, and survived.

That's because Matikas Class was fortunate to have a battery of top caliber lecturers whose instructive tongues, consistent and unfaltering from 8 am until 9 pm, inspired the class to go on.

Complementing the Week 1 team of Bros. Samuel Fernandez, Renato Driz, and Manuel Pineda were the legal prowess of Bro. Abelardo Aporteda who anchored "Masonic Jurisprudence, Laws, and Regulations", the unforgettable Bro. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr. who skillfully decoded "Masonic Philosophy and Symbolism", and enlightenment from IMES Executive Director Bro. Armand Cazzalo who explained Canon Law provisions that are related to Freemasonry.

As was explained, all 6 lecturers coming together in a single IMES course is the exception rather than the rule.

Matikas Class is indeed one lucky bastard.

Did the colors of Model Lodge [Amaranth Pink in Day 4, sporty white in Day 5, creamy Barong Tagalog in Day 6] unfurled each day of Week 2 helped the luck?

But that might be credited to Bro. Hossain VC Shamsoddin Vostakalaei who have to endure 6 days of being a photographer and a participant at the same time so those lucky bastards of Matikas Class can have their photos posted in Facebook.

Who would not be lucky with having a past District Deputy Grand Master [Bro. Juan Nepumoceno, Sr.] providing the daily supervision and the District Secretary [Bro. Edison Rivera] elected as class president, both ensuring that things run smoothly, that Matikas Class is happy and well fed?

With two past Grand Masters [Bros. Reynato Puno and Pacifico Aniag] attending the graduation rites too?

Matikas Class is indeed one lucky bastard 5 times over, and the Model Lodge contingent the luckiest bastards many times over as the beam in their faces show when they received their IMES diplomas.

And that's because they have one hell of a District Deputy Grand Master who work hard to make them happy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Garnering a total of 120 votes, Bro. Aurelio Umali --- Past Master of Kapitan Pepe Lodge No. 294 and Past Grand Orator --- was elected by delegates to the Central Luzon Special Multi-District Convention as their nominee for next year's Junior Grand Warden contest.

Brother Aurelio who is the incumbent provincial governor of Nueva Ecija was previously elected unopposed as Masonic District RIII-D's nominee to the Central Luzon nomination process.

Model Lodge's voting delegates turned out in full force to support Brother Aurelio who is one of its founding fathers and a current plural member.

Masonic District RIII-A hosted the event at the Clark Freeport Zone that was convened solely for the purpose of electing Central Luzon's nominee as Junior Grand Warden, which is part of the electoral reforms being initiated by the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.   

Monday, September 8, 2014


With perhaps the biggest enrollment of the year, more than 80 officers from the 17 subordinate Lodges of Masonic District RIII-D attended this year's 42nd batch of the Institute of Masonic Education and Studies (IMES).

Among them are the Master, the Senior and Junior Wardens, the Secretary, and the Assistant Treasurer of Model Lodge who marked each day of the first week with the colors of Lodge: [1] blue for Day 1 when Bro. Samuel Fernandez walked the enrollees through "Masonic History", [2] yellow for Day 2 where Bro. Renato Driz presented the intricacies of "Lodge Management", and [3] gray for Day 3 and Bro. Manuel Pineda's enlightening topic on "Liturgy, Ceremonies, and Rituals".

Blue Day also saw the presentation of a tennis jersey to District Deputy Grand Master Jerome Malaca which officially made him a member of the 373 Tennis Club, while Yellow Day was highlighted by a photo ops with the DDGM and Bro. Edison Rivera who was elected as president of this IMES's Matikas Class.

Gray Day was somber as the Lodge's IMES enrollees paid their respects to the late Bro. Dante Garcia who will always be fondly remembered as one hell of a funny man and a dear friend who will be terribly missed... 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Now it can be told.

That September 2 was an official non-working holiday in Nueva Ecija, that the 373 Bikers were in fact planning another try at Maangol Trail, that the District Deputy Grand Master who is their honorary member indicated he would want to join too, and the intial intel was Tanawan is easier than the Pantabangan-Alfonso Castaneda route.

In Cabanatuan, there was discussion if Tanawan is indeed easier or more difficult than Pantabangan that was eventually resolved by a pit stop at the crossroads of the Sta. Rosa-Fort Magsaysay Road, perhaps fueled by a boost of Gatorade, with the agreement to push only to what is achievable.

In the end, the 373 Bikers arrived at the foothills of Tanawan.

In the end, three of the six bikers present made it to the summit.

This is their story.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bong Soriano

Monday, September 1, 2014



NEW RIDERS: Bros. Nathaniel Elegado, Robert Bulanadi, and Elpidio Dizon.

MILESTONE: The longest road trip ever at 91.1 kms [Sto. Domimgo-Licab-Victoria-Pura-Guimba-Munoz] and holding the first Bike Maintenance Day under the supervision of Bro. Darwin Pastor.