Monday, January 26, 2015

53 & 168 / 55.3 + 48.2

The number 53 of course is synonymous with historic Cabanatuan Lodge where Bro. Arnold Ateneo Lucas was recently installed as Master after which two 373 Bikers, perhaps still groggy from the fellowship that ensued, missed the rendezvous and chased 55.3 kilometers of back roads in their own quest to discover that waterfall so eloquently described by Bro. Jerry Padilla in last week's Villa Isla Trail ride. 


The next day, it was Bro. Hossain VC Shamsoddin Vostakalaei who was installed as Master of Gen. Mariano Llanera Memorial Lodge No. 168, equally replete with history, with the same overflow of corn, wine, and oil which the brethren of Model Lodge partook in moderation in anticipation of a 48.2-kilometer Sunday ride that finally scratched the itch that was the Minalungao National Park.

Monday, January 19, 2015


And so the annual installation rites began as the Lodge's delegation trooped to Talavera Lodge No. 273 to witness the ascension of Bro. Michael Beley to the Oriental Chair. Congratulations to our Mother Lodge and thank you for the beer!

The next day, two of the 373 Bikers and a guest rider sparred with their own in a friendly non-competitive bike ride across the famed Villa Isla Trails. But really, the ride was more for burning last night's beer and roasted meat at Talavera Lodge No. 273's post-installation fellowship.

But one ride is not enough to burn the calories consumed so the next day, the Immediate Past Master (who was celebrating is birthday) and Bro. Darwin Pastor went back to the rugged challenge of the Villa Isla Trails with more of the 373 Bikers in tow. It was their first downhill, as in down a rough single track, experience.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


That is in the Masons Category after 30 kilometers of off-roads, foot trails, and hills that took 300 riders through Tanawan Hills, the Guyabano Trail, and the treacherous slopes of Aulo Dam.

Bro. Darwin Pastor who is Team 373's top rider pushed hard for a podium finish but eventually settled down for 7th place. He was followed by Bros. Shubert Ciencia (11th place), Angelito Dela Cruz (12 place), Reynald Martin, (18th place), and Virgilio Santos (19th place).

A welcome consolation, however, is Brother Darwin winning the the raffle draw grand prize of a bike frame and Brother Virgilio getting a gift certificate for a stay at the Hunter's Valley Plantation and Resort.
Also joining Team 373 are the father-and-son tandem of Bros. Roberto and Roem Bulanadi, Bro. Jojit Floro, Bro. Erwin Macalinao who hosted lunch for the bikers in Fort Magsaysay after the race, and guest riders Juan Gabriel Ciencia and Lordlee Santos.

The 2nd Masonic District RIII-D Fun Ride was organized through the efforts of DDGM Jerome Malaca and Bro. Raymond Flores with the support of the Bistro Stella Bike Shop. 

Monday, January 12, 2015


NOTES ON PHOTO ABOVE: The Temple Builder's Badge was presented to Bros. Prudencio Elegado (PM, PDGL), Eduardo Sayco, and Amidon Nicolas. Plaques of Appreciation were presented to Bros. Nathaniel Elegado (Senior Warden), Jojit Floro (Junior Warden), Lino Carandang Jr. (Treasurer), Virgilio Santos (Secretary), Arnel Landingin (Auditor, PM), and Model Court No. 55 of the Order of the Amaranth. Plaques of Recognition were presented to Bro. Virgilio Santos as Most Outstanding Master Mason and to Bros. Ernesto Jimenez, Reynald Martin, and Carlo Valmonte as Outstanding Master Masons.

NOTE ON PHOTO ABOVE: Also installed as Treasurer is Bro. Rafael Perez.

PHOTOS: Bro. James Mata

Sunday, January 11, 2015


One year ago after our first regular meeting in 2014, we trooped to the site where the Lodge's permanent Masonic Temple was being erected.

There was one big hall then with an unpaved floor, and the Lodge must move in by the beginning of the next year.

So we started paving the floor from the savings generated from our simple installation rites. 

There was excess cement so maybe that will be enough to erect the facade's first floor too, or perhaps a bit more by completing the second floor pavement with the income from the annual fun run and golf tournament, and maybe some more as pledges and contributions from our members made the second floor walls and roof, and the rest rooms and mosaic pavement possible. 

Operation Bintana” was launched where we individually or collectively sponsored the cost of a steel window, followed by “Operation Semento” where members contributed one bag of cement each after every meeting for the plastering of the inner walls. 

Donations from generous friends came and that took care of the water and electric works and the doors.

A year later on almost the same day when we first came to look at the unfinished Temple work, we came back with the Atengs with brooms and hoses to wash the dust away and do some last minute work.

The furnishings from the temporary Masonic Lodge was moved in while we tried to do a semblance of installation rites practice in between.

On January 10 of this year, the Model Lodge Masonic Temple was dedicated in a solemn ceremony presided by Junior Grand Lecturer Rodel Matias who represented Grand Master Alan Purisima. 

District Deputy Grand Master Jerome Malaca stood as the principal witness with his counterpart from Masonic District RIII-F --- District Deputy Grand Master Tristan Escudero --- as Grand Lodge officers performed their duty of consecrating the Temple before it can be used to pursue the labors of the Craft.

All Past Masters of Model Lodge who worked hard in building the Temple were present, and it was a poignant moment as Grand Marshall Manolo Mercado --- Model Lodge’s Master in 2010 when the Temple foundations were laid --- presided over the floor works as Bros. Anacleto Fernandez (PM, 2009), Marionito Guerrero (PM, 2011), Sergio Francisco (PM, 2012), and Aquilino Valino Jr. (PM, 2013) looked on. 

And it is fitting that Bro. Prudencio Elegado (PM, 2007-2008) who was the Lodge’s Charter Master reported to the Grand Master the completion of the Temple with Bro. Eduardo Sayco, the Lodge’s own tireless Hiram Abiff, at his side.

Finally, the corn of nourishment was poured with the wine of refreshment and the oil of joy. The Grand Master concluded the ceremony and the Grand Marshall led back the Purple Aprons into the room where the Grand Lodge was earlier opened in ample form.

There is still much work to be done.

But Model Lodge has come home, and this is our story…