Sunday, October 5, 2014


For the fifth month in a row, the brethren of the Lodge got pricked by the sisters of Model Court No. 55 of the Order of the Amaranth.

Generally, the blood pressure levels were normal but the Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) results were alarmingly high.

That may be because there's more calorie intake...

...than burning calories.

This despite the efforts of Bros. Don King Barcelo and Anthony Reyes who placed 5th and 17th, respectively, in the Executive Category of the PNP's "Padyakan sa Region 3" bike race.  

So the 373 Bikers were back on the road the next day.

September is a dud so more road trips are being planned for October.

Hopefully, the FBS count will go back to normal by November. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The future of the Philippine rice industry waved in welcome as a busload of expectant tour-ists cruise along rows of experimental plots at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHILRICE).

At the Central Luzon State University, goats of various sizes from the breeding pens of the Small Ruminant Center came out to parade themselves while an array of modern farm machinery was showcased at the Philippine-Sino Center for Agriculture Technology (PHILSCAT) before a quick pit stop at grounds of the Philippine Center for Post-harvest Development and Mechanization PHILMECH).

Finally, the tour-ists were introduced to the life cycle of the giant freshwater prawns in the incubating tubs of the National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center (NFFTC) and then the dairy potentials of the Bulgarian bulls and cows herded at the gene pool of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

These and more as some of the country’s premiere agriculture technology centers were presented in a personalized tour organized by the Munoz Bodies for the delegates to the 2014 Multi-Orient Convention which it hosted for the first time last September 26-27 this year.

The tour was attended by the Sovereign Grand Commander Joven Chua and Sovereign Grand Inspector Generals in attendance and served as the footnote that explains the Convention’s theme of “Awareness and Growth, Hand in Hand for Scottish Rite Masonry”.

Strategies on how this can be done were alternately explained by the host’s assigned tour guides --- Bros. Teresito Aguinaldo, Theody Sayco, and Oliver Almeria --- and members of the Craft from the tour stops who also made sure that the tour-ists are accommodated despite the rain and late hour, and the fact that the Munoz Bodies is located within the Science City of Munoz which is the country’s only city to be distinguished as such.

The night after the tour, the red carpet was rolled out by the Munoz Bodies for the Sovereign Grand Commander’s Night for a sampling of the local cuisine and trademark Novo Ecijano hospitality, with Orient Deputy Rodolfo Estrada (Nueva Ecija and Aurora) conveying the host’s warm welcome to the delegates.

The Sovereign Grand Commander spoke briefly, then the band played as the delegates trooped to the buffet table while the roasted buffalo calf cooked, the lechon chopped and served, packs of fried tilapia and duck adobo were distributed, and the wine of joy flowed as the fellowship went through the night with the host’s own Tabo at Timba tandem of Bros. Michael Valenzuela (PVM) and Tristan Escudero (DDGM) emceeing.

The next day, formality permeated the air as the Multi-Orient Convention was convened at Memorial Lodge No. 90 of Masonic District RIII-F by the Presiding Officer, SGIG Danilo Angeles (PGM), and the formal welcome address in behalf of the Munoz Bodies was delivered by Valley Supervisor Alexander Coloma who exerted a huge effort in bringing the Convention to Nueva Ecija.

In a stirring prelude to the highlight of the Convention, SGIG Edilberto Carrabacan (Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao) delivered a compelling lecture on the mysteries of 4th-18th degrees and its relevance to the 1st-2nd degrees of the Blue Lodge, so animatedly and effectively conveyed that it took the delegates’ rapt attention despite the unholy post-lunch hour and left behind great anticipation for the lecture on the 19th-32nd degrees that was promised to be delivered in the next Convention.

Finally, the Sovereign Grand Commander delivered his keynote address where he reported on past and future activities of the Supreme Council, the continuing effort to renovate the Scottish Rites Temple, and his appreciation of the other day’s tour which is unique and very informative.

And as the closing gavel fell, the host’s VM Eduardo Marbida and ILL. Manuel Sta. Maria finally let loose their long held sigh of relief after the tireless days and sleepless nights concluded with a very fruitful outcome.

The Convention was attended by delegates from Bodies of the Orient of Ilocos and Mountain Province led by SGIG-designate Benito Ty, the Orient of Bulacan and Pampanga led by SGIG Pacifico Aniag, The Orient of Pangasinan and Tarlac led by Michael Nava, the Orient of Bataan and Zambales led by Romeo Ramos, and of course the Orient Nueva Ecija and Aurora led by SGIG Danilo Angeles. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


That's Masonic District RIII-D Deputy Grand Master Jerome Malaca who snared 2nd place in friendly bike race organized by Masonic District RIII-F.

It could have been a first place finish as the DDGM with his 29-er mountain bike was way ahead when the race went to a wrong turn and was restarted allowing those with racing wheels to catch up. 

But then again, it's not the winning that matters but the wholesome fun that was enjoyed by the 373 Bikers who were personally invited by MD RIII-F Deputy Grand Master Tristan Escudero.

Bros. Shubert Ciencia, Angelito Dela Cruz, and Virgilio Santos finished within the Top Ten while all the 373 Bikers who started finished the 23.4-kilometer race. 

The race started fast and furious in the well-paved roads of the Science City of Munoz proper before breaking off in the hills and rough roads of Villa Isla.

 In the end, everybody won...

[Photo collage taken by Bro. Elpidio Dizon.]

Sunday, September 21, 2014


...and here are some scenes from Model Lodge's regular stated meeting for September.

The project is being implemented by Model Court No. 55 (Order of the Amaranth) to whom Model Lodge No. 373 is grateful.

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.