Thursday, December 31, 2009


111 years ago today on the 30th of December 1896, Filipino national hero Bro. Jose P. Rizal was executed at what is now the Luneta by a firing squad of native Filipino colonial troops after being tried by a Spanish military court for rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy.

Masonic District RIII-D led by Bro. District Deputy Grandmaster Emmanuel Antonio Umali who is a Model Lodge charter member commemorated this watershed event in simple rites at the grounds of the Cabanatuan City Hall. Bro. District Grand Lecturer Froilan Valino, another Model Lodge charter member, delivered the valedictory address in behalf of Bro. Vice-Mayor Jolly Garcia of Cabanatuan City.

The event was attended by representatives all Masonic lodges under the jurisdiction of Masonic District RIII-D with Model Lodge having the biggest delegation. Representatives from the Order of the Amaranth, Job’s Daughters International, and the Knights of Columbus also attended the commemoration rites.

Milestones in Bro. Jose Rizal’s Masonic Life
1861 (June 19): Bro. Jose was born in Calamba, Laguna.

1872-1882: Bro. Jose’s student days at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila (1872-1877) and the University of Sto. Tomas (1878-1882) where at some time he stayed in the house of his uncle Jose Alberto Alonzo who is a Freemason and who perhaps introduced Bro. Jose to the ideals of Freemasonry.

1882-1884: Bro. Jose visited Naples in Italy while studying medicine at Spain’s Universidad Central de Madrid and was impressed by the public adoration shown at the death of Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi who is a Freemason. It was probably at this period when Bro. Jose encountered the ideals of Bros. Miguel Morayta and Francisco Pi y Margal which led him to petition for membership at their Masonic lodge, the Acacia Lodge No. 9 of the Gran Oriente de Espana in 1884, and adopted Dimasalang as his Masonic name.

1885-1887: Bro. Jose left for France and Germany to pursue further studies at the University of Paris and later at the University of Heidelberg where he became a member of the Berlin Ethnological and Anthropological Societies through the intercessions of Bros. Dr. Rudolf Virchow and Dr. Feodor Jagor. It was also while in Germany that Bro. Jose acquired additional degrees in Freemasonry which might have included The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. It was during this period when Bro. Jose wrote his first novel, the “Noli Me Tangere”.

1887 (August 6): Bro. Jose came home to the Philippines and immediately faced charges from the Spanish friars on the alleged subversion of his novel, the “Noli Me Tangere”. Bro. Governor-General Emilio Terrero y Perinat found nothing wrong in the novel and shielded Bro. Jose as far as he can do so, even assigning him a personal bodyguard. But when he thought he can no longer protect Bro. Jose, he advised him to leave the Philippines once again.

1888-1889: Bro. Jose arrived in Paris after travelling via Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, and England. He then moved in Belgium where he started writing his second novel “El Filibusterismo”.

1890 (November 15): During a visit to Spain, Bro. Jose affiliated with the Solidaridad Lodge No. 53 of the Grand Orient of France, an all Filipino Masonic Lodge, where he was elected as Supervising Architect. It was probably in the same year that Bro. Jose was also designated by the Gran Oriente Espanol as its Grand Representative in France and Germany.

1891-1892: Bro. Jose left Europe for Hong Kong where he stayed for 7 months. While in Hong Kong, Bro. Jose was elected in absentia as the Honorable Venerable Master of what was then the Nilad Lodge No. 144 in Manila. The formation of Nilad Lodge inspired the growth of Freemasonry in the Philippines.

1892-1896: Bro. Jose finally returned to the Philippines in 1892 and was soon exiled in Dapitan until July 31, 1896. As soon as Bro. Jose was sent to Dapitan, the Spanish colonial government also closed Masonic lodges and deported active Masons.

1896: Bro. Jose left for Spain to serve in Cuba as a military doctor in the Spanish Colonial army during the Cuban Revolution. He was however arrested upon reaching Spain and sent back to the Philippines to stand trial for treason. On December 30, Bro. Jose was executed by firing squad at what was then Bagumbayan and ignited the Philippine War for Independence under the leadership of two Freemasons --- Bros. Andres Bonifacio and Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

FOOTNOTES: Top photo shows Bro. District Grand Lecturer Froilan Valino delivering the valedictory address while the bottom photo shows the Model Lodge delegation to the 111th commemoration of Bro. Jose Rizal's death that was held at the grounds of the Cabanatuan City Hall. An article attributed to Bro. Fred Lamar Pearson, Jrs. for the book "Dimasalang: The Masonic Life of Dr. Jose Rizal" is the primary source of this article. This article was also published in the February-March 2010 issue of "The Craftsman".

Monday, December 14, 2009


The impromptu Model Lodge choir belted out a classic Filipino Christmas carol "Ang Aming Bati ay Magandang Pasko" and the popular holiday love song “Pasko na Sinta Ko” during the annual Christmas party of Masonic District RIII-D (South Nueva Ecija-Aurora) in Cabanatuan City. The choir only had 3 practice dates and half of it came on the day it was to perform. But it was enough for a 5th place finish among a field of eight contesting lodges that was topped by the superb Kuyang-and-Ateng choir of Cabanatuan Lodge 53. Talavera 273 Lodge is a close second while Sta. Rosa Lodge 297 bagged third place.

For Model Lodge, the choir contest is not about competing and winning but being part of a wonderful camaraderie. The P2,000.00 consolation prize is more symbolic than a material reward. But of course, the feast and the fun that went with it filled the brethrens’ tired hearts with youthful joy. And even more with a stash of 3 DVD players, a home theater, an iPod, and a television set some of the lucky brethren took home from the raffle draw.

Thank you very much Bro. Emmanuel Anthony Umali (center in white pants below), the incumbent District Deputy Grandmaster and a Model Lodge charter member, for a night of gladness. And incoming brother Elpidio Dizon (front row, second from left below) of the CLSU Choir and Brass Band for conducting the choir so well it almost sounded like a pro.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The Model Lodge delegation stand up (above) as it was acknowledged in the roll call of lodges during the opening of the 19th Central Luzon Masonic Multi-District Convention in Malolos, Bulacan. The convention was attended by all lodges under the jurisdiction of Masonic Districts RIII-A (Pampanga), RIII-B (Bataan), RIII-C (Zambales), RIII-D (South Nueva Ecija-Aurora) where Model Lodge belong, RIII-E (Bulacan), and R-III-F (North Nueva Ecija), and RIII-G (Tarlac).

The night before the convention, Bro. Ramon Sabacan who is the RIII-D champion copped first runner-up honors in the regional elocution contest on the Lambskin Apron that was won by the RIII-F champion --- Bro. Tristan Escudero of San Jose City Lodge 309.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


In recognition and grateful appreciation of his unwavering support that helped establish Model Lodge 373, District Grand Lecturer Bro. Antonino Manabat was unanimously elected as the Lodge’s first and so far only honorary member.

It was Brother Tony who was then the Worshipful Master of Talavera Lodge 273 in 2004 who recommended and endorsed the creation of Model Lodge which was against the odds at that time. It is for this reason that Talavera Lodge 273 is considered, albeit unofficially, as Model Lodge’s “Mother”.

Brother Tony was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in 1994. In 2001, he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Master Mason of Talavera Lodge 273 where he later served as Worshipful Master. He was also adjudged as the Most Outstanding Grand Lodge Inspector of Masonic District No. 29 in 2005. Brother Tony is a graduate of the Institute of Masonic Education and Studies and is currently a District Grand Lecturer for Masonic District RIII-D.

FOOTNOTE: Worshipful Master Anacleto Fernandez (center) congratulate District Grand Lecturer Bro. Antonino Manabat (left) after his being elected as Model Lodge 373's first honorary member. Looking on is District Grand Lodge Inspector Bro. Edynnel Medina (righ).

Monday, December 7, 2009


Incumbent Lodge Secretary Bro. Sergio Francisco was unanimously elected by the brethren of Model Lodge 373 as its Junior Warden for Masonic year 6010 A.L. With Brother Serge’s election, incumbent Junior Warden Bro. Marionito Guererro was automatically elevated as Senior Warden and incumbent Senior Warden Bro. Manolo Mercado as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge.

This year’s Worshipful Master Bro. Anacleto Fernandez upon stepping down from the East will assume the position of the Tyler and will succeed immediate Past Master Bro. Prudencio Elegado who was elected to be next year’s Lodge Auditor. Bro. Shubert Ciencia was elected as the new Lodge Secretary while Bro. Lamberto Miranda was retained as the Lodge Treasurer. Assisting them will be Bros. Virgilio Santos and Jojit Floro who were appointed as the Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer, respectively.

Almost all other appointive positions were designated to the Lodge’s organic members to assist them in furthering their proficiency in Masonic rituals and floor works. Bros. Nathaniel Elegado and Aquilino Valino Jr. were designated as next year’s Senior and Junior Deacons, respectively. Bro. Erwin Macalinao was appointed as Marshall, Bro. Jomari Valino as Chaplain, Bros. Fitzgerald Hierco and Lino Carandang Jr. as Senior and Junior Stewards respectively, Bro. Angelito Dela Cruz as Almoner, Bro. Reynaldo Requito as Lecturer, and Bro. Eduardo Sayco as Organist. Bros. Ronaldo Sadural (Orator) and Monico Delgado (Harmony Officer) were the only charter members to be appointed.

Model Lodge 373’s officers for Masonic year 6010 A.L. will be installed on January 23, 2010 at Cabanatuan Lodge No. 53's Masonic hall in Cabanatuan City.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Bro. Virgilio Santos

Seventh Batch (014-2009): Bro. Virgilio Santos (014-2009) was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on 21 September 2009, passed as a Fellow Craft Mason on 07 November 2009, and raised as a Master Mason on 30 November 2009 at Model Lodge No. 373’s temporary Masonic temple in Baloc, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija.