my2022

This Chapter of our Term Manual shall be the Guide for our Corps of Grand Lodge Lecturers. The specific topic of the Masonic Lecture for each Month is provided together with the probing title and the Senior Grand Lecturer's insight to each topic with emphasis on a specific Pillar: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and / or Fraternal Harmony, from the Grand Master's

Harmony for One and All  - the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity

District Grand Lecturers with the guidance of the Junior Grand Lecturers are to expound on these topics by answering a series of questions related to each topic. Most of the answers to these questions are to be drawn from personal experiences of the Lecturers themselves or from other brethren that they knew. Their individual answers shall be a part of the Masonic Education Lecture, thus making every session unique for each Lecturer. References to reading materials appertaining to specific topics are also provided to help enrich the educational experience of Lecturers and subordinate Lodges alike. This System of Masonic Education aims to empower our Lecturers in imparting both masonic knowledge and wisdom to the brethren.

To help improve their teaching methods, an evaluation form shall be provided monthly to the Worshipful Masters of each Lodge (thru the Junior Grand Lecturers) as a feedback mechanism on the effectiveness of every lecture session. The said forms are to be collected by the JGLS, and a copy of which shall be provided to DGLS concerned to further improve their effectiveness. The same evaluation shall help Senior Grand Lecturer in rating the Outstanding and Most Outstanding JGLS and DGLS at the end of the Masonic Year:

Caution against False News

In imparting Masonic knowledge, lecturers should be cautious in sharing facts and information:

Before citing anecdotes, stories should be verified if true (e.g. Why are there no Mercury Drug Stores at SM?).

Heroes or Persons who have no records of being masons (e.g. Emilio Jacinto, Gregorio del Pilar, et al) should NOT be cited NOR included as one.

The myth that Speculative Masons came from the Knights Templar when the generally accepted fact as taught in our Grand Lodge Literature (Tried & Proven, and A Lodge System of Masonic Education) is that Speculative Masons came from Operative Masons. It is true that Knights of the said Order are included in Appendant Bodies like the York & Scottish Rites, but the Degrees in Masonry should not be confused with the History of Freemasonry - they are not the same.

The twelve topics of the Masonic Education aims not just to educate the brethren but to reinforce the Harmony Theme for the Masonic Year by putting thrust on a particular pillar for each month:

1. The Month of May - being the first month of the Masonic Year shall introduce the Grand Master's Theme, giving equal emphasis on all 3 Pillars - Institutional, National, and Fraternal Harmony.

2. Institutional Harmony are cited five times in the Masonic Education for the Months of September (Appendant Bodies), November (Masonic Educational Institutions), and December (GLP @110) in 2022; as well as for 2023 in the months of January (Masonic Leadership) and March (GLP & the Youth).

3. National Harmony are to be tackled thrice in the Masonic Education in 2022 for the Months of June (Heroism, Patriotism, & Nationalism) and August (Citizenship); and in April 2023 (Masonry & Society).

4. Fraternal Harmony shall be the thrust of the Masonic Education for the Months of July (Fraternal Assistance) and October (Death, Widows, & Orphans) 2022; as well as February 2023 (Charity & Brotherly Love).
 

Monthly Lectures & Topic 

01 – May 2022

Title:               Why is HARMONY the Foundation of Genuine Masonic Fraternity?
Topic:             Masonry and its Concept of Harmony
                        Introducing the Grand Master’s Theme for MY 2022 – 2023
Thrust:             Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, & Fraternal Harmony

02 – June 2022

Title:               What is HEROISM, PATRIOTISM, and NATIONALISM?
Topic:             Masonry and its Concept of NATIONHOOD
Thrust:             National Harmony

03 – July 2022

Title:               How long is the Cable Tow?
Topic:             Masonry and the practice of HELP, AID, RELIEF, & ASSISTANCE
Thrust:             Fraternal Harmony

04 – August 2022

Title:               How can MASONS be good CITIZENS?
Topic:             Masonry and its Concept of CITIZENSHIP
Thrust:             National Harmony

05 – September 2022

Title:               Why do Masons join Appendant Bodies and other Allied Organizations?
Topic:             Masonry and further light
Thrust:             Institutional Harmony

06 – October 2022

Title:               How do Masons remember the departed Brethren and take care of their Widows and Orphans
Topic:             Masonry and its belief in DEATH & the AFTER-LIFE
Thrust:             Fraternal Harmony

07 – November 2022

Title:               What are the Systems of Masonic Education in our jurisdiction?
Topic:             Masonry and its SYSTEM of EDUCATION
Thrust:             Institutional Harmony

08 – December 2022

Title:               Whence and wither are we going?
Topic:             110 years of GLP Masonry
Thrust:             Institutional Harmony

09 – January 2023

Title:               Who are the Master, the District Deputy, and the Grand Master?
Topic:             Masonry and its Concept of LEADERSHIP
Thrust:             Institutional Harmony

10 – February 2023

Title:               What is Brotherly Love & Charity?
Topic:             Masonry and its Concept of Helping
Thrust:             Fraternal Harmony

11 – March 2023

Title:               How do Masons help develop the Youth?
Topic:             Masonry & its Role in molding the YOUTH
Thrust:             Institutional Harmony

12 – April 2023

Title:               How can Masons promote Harmony in the Society?
Topic:             Masonry and SOCIETY
Thrust:             National Harmony

 

may2022

Welcome Brethren to the start of a new Masonic Year!

 To some of our brothers sitting now in open lodge, this may sound like just another Masonic Term with a new Grand Master and a Masonic Theme, a new line-up of Grand Lodge Officers in their proud set of purple Collars & Aprons; and another series of Masonic Education Lectures that most of the Brethren will just drowse through half-way between side-talks (some we can hear right now), SMS messaging, day dreaming, and downright sleeping. 

And you are correct Brethren – we are JUST another set of Grand Lodge Officers. The 105th set to be exact as we approach GLP’s 110th Founding Anniversary this December 19. Some may ask: Why does the year and the set do not match? It is because, the age of the Grand Lodge is a continuing travel upon the Level of Time from 1912 to 2022 – a duration of 110 years and it will continue to age as long as this society of ours continue to exist.

But how assured are we of our continued existence beyond a decade and a century?

The survival of Philippine Masonry BRETHREN, is dependent on how strong and supporting is our foundation as an Institution, and that my brothers as reminded us by our Brother in the West at the opening and closing of each lodge is HARMONY.

The First Lecture for Masonic Year 2022 – 2023 aims to introduce the Theme of our Grand Master Johnny Ty Pimentel:

Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity:

HARMONY -  has three different meanings by the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary:

In the social – racial context, it is  a state of peaceful existence and agreement or concord. If people are living in harmony with each other, they are living together peacefully rather than fighting or arguing.

In music, it is the way in which different notes that are played or sung together combine to make a pleasing sound. Such combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes produce chords and chord progressions with pleasing effect.

Its third definition is that it is a pleasing combination of related things. The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.

In our rituals, this seven-letter word is mentioned no less than six times in each lodge meeting be it for Entered Apprentices, among Fellow Crafts, and those of Master Masons. In all these degrees, it is one of those invoked from the Great Architect of the Universe. The word is uttered more than once from the west as a reminder of its importance in all societies. Before the Brethren separate and return to their respective places of abode, it is invoked once again from the Supreme Grand Master that all be influenced both in heart and mind to practice out of the lodge, those great moral duties – among them this sacred word.

In our fraternity - HARMONY is tempered further with our Obligations, Working Tools and Degree Lectures, and Ancient Masonic Charges. This particular Masonic Education is being delivered as another supplemental teaching on the same.

Given the emphasis Masonry has invested on HARMONY:

Why then does disharmony exist in some of our brethren, lodges, and districts?

How come that some of a Grand Master’s time is spent in settling disputes among those who are supposed to best work and best agree?

As this Masonic Year progress in the next twelve months, we invite all Brethren in our jurisdiction to observe the condition among the Brethren, Lodges, and Districts and help provide the answer to these two sad questions. By November of 2022, your JGLs and DGLs shall be collecting your written answers, and by your assistance, help the Grand Lodge solve these perplexing problems in Philippine Masonry.

In the meantime, the main thrust for this Masonic Year shall focus on three Pillars, namely:

Institutional Harmony

– a collective term for several GLP initiatives that will strengthen the harmony within Masonic Institutions. This thrust shall be tackled five times in our Masonic Education for the Months of September (Appendant Bodies), November (Masonic Educational Institutions), and December (GLP @110) in 2022; as well as for 2023 in the months of January (Masonic Leadership) and March (GLP & the Youth). In our Theme Logo this Masonic Year, this pillar is represented by the first digit with the Jose Abad Santos Temple inside number 1 figure.

National Harmony

– a collective term for several GLP initiatives that will signify Masonry’s contribution to Harmony in the Society. We shall be discussing this thrust, three times in our Masonic Education in 2022 for the for the Months of June (Heroism, Patriotism, & Nationalism) and August (Citizenship); and in April 2023 (Masonry & Society). In the Theme Logo, this pillar is represented by the second digit with the Philippine Flag enshrined inside the middle figure of 1.

Fraternal Harmony

– a collective term for several GLP initiatives that will strengthen the harmony within the Fraternity and among the Brethren. Some of these initiatives shall be the thrust of the Masonic Education for the Months of July (Fraternal Assistance) and October (Death, Widows, & Orphans) 2022; as well as February 2023 (Charity & Brotherly Love). In the same Logo, this pillar is represented by the third digit with the Grand Lodge Seal marking the last figure.

Taken together, they are read as 110 – the age of our Most Worshipful Institution this Masonic Year.

TeamJTP

In the course of 110 years, the Grand Lodge only had 105 sets of officers for even as our Institution age regularly with the passage of time, there are five years in our history when our Grand Line Officers have to extend their tour of duty.

The 29th Set of Grand Line Officers in 1941 have to hold on to their respective positions in the next four years until 1945 during the chaos of the Second World War. Both Grand Master – MW John R. McFie, Jr. and Deputy Grand Master – RW Jose P. Guido almost made it to Liberation but fell victim to the unsparing ravages of barbarous force.

In 2020, MW Agapito S. Suan, Jr. and the 103rd set of Grand Line Officers by force of circumstance were required to serve another year due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. Despite the suspension of Masonic Activities in seven (7) out of the twelve (12) months, their extended term for Masonic Year 2020 - 2021 continued to be equally if not more productive than their initial term in 2019 – 2020.

These two Past Grand Masters - MW John R. McFie, Jr. and MW Agapito S. Suan, Jr. deserve the respect and admiration of all Masons especially in our jurisdiction for leading our fraternity in the maelstrom of uncertainties during their respective terms.

Equally deserving of both respect and admiration of all Masons is MW Rolen C. Paulino, who led the 104th set of Grand Lodge Officers, in the trying year of 2021 – 2022 amidst five months of lockdown.

 

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Cite an example of disharmony you have witnessed among the Brethren, Lodge, District, or in other settings.
  2. How was it resolved? If un-resolve, how could Harmony be restored?
  3. How could such dis-harmony have been prevented?

As we are about to end the first of our Masonic Education, and before we complete the answer as to why does the year and the set do not match, we have to ask:

How are the Brethren present?

Are those making side-talks still talking?

How is the SMS messaging and day dreaming doing?

Are those dozing off still sleeping?

Conclusion

Among the keywords for the fulfillment of our Masonic Theme is found in our Monitor particularly in one of our Masonic Prayers, and that word is HARMONIZE. It is the verb equivalent to HARMONY.

If the latter is a noun that defines a state of peaceful existence, in agreement or concord; or the way musical notes are played or sung pleasantly; or simply a condition wherein related things are combined into a consistent whole; the former is an action word that intends to bring about the ideal state or condition of things be it in agreeing with one another, producing music, or combining several parts to make a complete whole.

Harmony therefore is the result of the concerted actions of several if not all brethren, done to produce an ideal situation, and ideal product, or an ideal activity.

As one of the Corps of Grand Lecturers of MW Johnny Ty Pimentel, allow me to relay his most important quote this Masonic Year:

“Let us aim to dedicate this Masonic Term to being true and capable Brothers among each other, towards our families, and for our Nation.”

Together Brethren, let us HARMONIZE and enrich our hearts with the Great Architect’s own love and goodness – so that our country and the world (not just our Lodge) at this time may humbly reflect that order and beauty which reign forever before His throne. Amen

Brethren to reply:   SO MOTE IT BE              

 

june2022

Our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity is supported by three (3) Pillars, namely: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony.

For the second month of Masonic Year 2022 – 2023, our Masonic Education Lecture is being delivered in celebration of the 124th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence and is venerated in the Pillar of National Harmony:

What is Heroism, Patriotism, & Nationalism?

In order to differentiate these three important words, the Corps of Grand Lecturers consulted both dictionaries of Oxford and Merriam-Webster, and other references:

Heroism is a virtue associated with very great courage; it is the conduct exhibited in fulfilling a high purpose or attaining a noble end. People and even animals exhibiting such qualities can be considered a Hero.

Patriotism is the devotion to and vigorous support for one's country including the willingness to defend it. Persons imbued by such devotion and support can be called Patriots.

Nationalism is the desire by a group of people who share the same race, culture, language, etc. to form an independent country; it can also be a set of beliefs and symbols expressing identification with a given national community. People inspired with such desire, belief, or symbol can be considered Nationalists.

Notice that among the three - Heroism is less encompassing, for it can begin from just one act of bravery resulting into a greater end. Heroic Virtue can be so simple that even animals – like dogs saving the lives of their masters or other humans, can be considered Heroes.

Patriotism is a more noble form of Heroism. It demands not just action in order to be practiced. More than acts of bravery, it requires devotion and is directed to a bigger stage that is one’s country. Most of the veterans of the Philippine Revolution and the 2nd World War belong to this category.

Nationalism is the most complicated of the three. It is the result of conscious efforts and continuing vigilance resulting into the birth and growth of a Nation. It embodies the belief of a group of people, so strong that it can endure long after a country is conquered or a people subdued. It can cling on even if a nation is reduced to an idea, a symbol, a memory or a feeling. Nationalists can make their nations great. Bonifacio, Rizal, and Mabini are Nationalists.

Nationalism however has an unfavorable side - its more potent form can lead to the belief that one’s country is better than any other; extreme nationalists may identify their nation as superior and will support its interests, even to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.

While Nations are born and prosper with the right amount of Nationalists, most wars erupt because of extreme Nationalism, they are fought by Patriots, while lives are saved by Heroic Actions.

Our country, even prior to its inception have its fair share of Heroes, Patriots, and Nationalists.

According to the website of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA), no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero. However, because of their significant roles in the process of nation building and contributions to history, there were laws enacted and proclamations issued honoring these heroes.

Even Jose Rizal, considered as the greatest among the Filipino heroes, was not explicitly proclaimed as a national hero. The position he now holds in Philippine history is a tribute to the continued veneration or acclamation of the people in recognition of his contribution to the significant social transformations that took place in our country.

Aside from Rizal, the only other hero given an implied recognition as a national hero is Andres Bonifacio whose day of birth on November 30 has been made a national holiday.

Despite the lack of any official declaration explicitly proclaiming them as national heroes, they remain admired and revered for their roles in Philippine history. Heroes, according to historians, should not be legislated. Their appreciation should be better left to academics. Acclamation for heroes, they felt, would be recognition enough.

On March 28, 1993 , President Fidel V. Ramos issued Executive Order No.75 “Creating the National Heroes Committee Under the Office of the President”. The principal duty of the said Committee is to study, evaluate and recommend Filipino national personages or heroes in due recognition of their sterling character and remarkable achievements for the country. In that same year, the Technical Committee of the National Heroes Committee adopted the following Criteria for National Heroes:

1. Heroes are those who have a concept of nation and thereafter aspire and struggle for the nation’s freedom. Our own struggle for freedom was begun by Bonifacio and finished by Aguinaldo, the latter formally declaring the revolution’s success. In reality, however, a revolution has no end. Revolutions are only the beginning. One cannot aspire to be free only to sink back into bondage.

2. Heroes are those who define and contribute to a system or life of freedom and order for a nation. Freedom without order will only lead to anarchy. Therefore, heroes are those who make the nation’s constitution and laws, such as Mabini and Recto. To the latter, constitutions are only the beginning, for it is the people living under the constitution that truly constitute a nation.

3. Heroes are those who contribute to the quality of life and destiny of a nation. (As defined by Dr. Onofre D. Corpuz)

Three more criteria were added in 1995:

4. A hero is part of the people’s expression. But the process of a people’s internalization of a hero’s life and works takes time, with the youth forming a part of the internalization.

5. A hero thinks of the future, especially the future generations.

6. The choice of a hero involves not only the recounting of an episode or events in history, but of the entire process that made this particular person a hero. (As defined by Dr. Alfredo Lagmay)

On November 15, 1995 , the Technical Committee after deliberation and careful study based on Dr. Onofre D. Corpuz’ and Dr. Alfredo Lagmay’s criteria selected the following nine Filipino historical figures to be recommended as National Heroes, they are:

                                               Jose Rizal                                                       Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat

                                               Andres Bonifacio                                         Juan Luna

                                                Emilio Aguinaldo                                       Melchora Aquino

                                              Apolinario Mabini                                       Gabriela Silang

                                              Marcelo H. del Pilar

Since the submission of the report / recommendations by the National Heroes Committee to then Secretary Ricardo T. Gloria of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports on November 22,1995 , no action has been taken. Probably because this might trigger a flood of requests for proclamations. Another possibility is that the proclamations can trigger bitter debates involving historical controversies about the heroes.

It is interesting to note that 6 of the 9 recommended are Masons:

  1. Jose Rizal was initiated in Acacia Lodge No.9 under Gran Oriente de España in Madrid. He was raised in Logia Solidaridad No.53 under Gran Oriente Español, also in Madrid, Spain. He was later conferred the title of Honorary Past Master by Logia Nilad No.144 of Gran Oriente Español, now under GLP as Nilad Lodge No.12.
  2. Andres Bonifacio was an Aprendiz Mason (Entered Apprentice) of Logia Taliba No. 165.
  3. Emilio Aguinaldo was a Mason from Logia Pilar No. 203 (1914-1915) who later founded Logia Magdalo No. 371. Both lodges are now under the jurisdiction of the GLP as Pilar Lodge No.15 and Emilio Aguinaldo Lodge No.31, respectively.
  4. Apolinario Mabini was raised to the Sublime Degree at Logia Balagtas No. 149

In 1911, Logia Taliba 165, Logia Balagtas 149, and Logia Lusong 185 – all under the obedience of Gran Oriente Espanol merged into one lodge, Logia Solidaridad No. 323. It was the same name which the members of the Propaganda Movement in Spain gave to the lodge that they founded in Barcelona and re-established in Madrid. The said lodge later joined the GLP in 1917 and became Solidaridad Lodge No. 23

  1. Marcelo H. del Pilar served as Venerable Master of Logia Solidaridad No.53 and is revered as the Father of Philippine Masonry
  2. Juan Luna was made a Mason in Paris, France under the auspices of Logia Solidaridad 53.

Our Masonic Law Book (page 319 of the 2019 Edition) discusses Masonic Commemorations, among them are:

June 12 – Declaration of Philippine Independence

June 19 – Birth Anniversary of Bro. Jose Rizal

Last Monday of August (August 29, 2022) – National Heroes Day

Nov 30             – Birth Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio

Dec 30 – Death of Jose Rizal

In addition to the above, Lodges are also encouraged to observe the birth anniversaries of prominent Masonic personalities born in their respective towns or provinces by holding a memorable public activity or program that will propagate the vision and virtues of our beloved Brethren, namely:

MW Jose Abad Santos       –          born February 19, 1886 in San Fernando, Pampanga

Bro Gregorio Aglipay        –          born March 22, 1869 in Batac, Ilocos Norte

WB Emilio Aguinaldo       –          born February 19, 1886 in Kawit, Cavite

Bro Ladislao Diwa            –          born June 27, 1863 in San Roque, Cavite

Bro Diosnisio Gutierrez     –          born October 9, 1891 in Batangas, Batangas

WB Graciano Lopez-Jaena –          born December 1856 in Jaro, Iloilo

WB Jose P. Laurel            –          born March 9, 1891 in Tanauan, Batangas

Bro Antonio Luna              –          born October 29, 1866 in Binondo, Manila

Bro Apolinario Mabini       –          born July 23, 1864 in Tanauan, Batangas

WB Marcelo H. Del Pilar   –          born August 29, 1850 in Bulacan, Bulacan

MW Manuel L. Quezon     –          born August 19, 1878 in Baler, Aurora

WB Manuel A. Roxas        –          born January 1, 1892  in Capiz, Capiz

Bro Paulino Santos            –          born June 22, 1890 in Camiling, Tarlac

Furthermore, our Masonic Law Book is advising all lodges named after Masonic Personalities to observe the birth anniversaries of their benefactors with an appropriate program even during their Stated Meetings.

It must be remembered however, that NOT all in the Pantheon of Filipino Heroes are Masons: Known Patriots like Emilio Jacinto and Gregorio del Pilar have NO RECORD of being Masons and should not be included as one.

 

But what of the present?

Several Masons have distinguished themselves with their acts of Bravery, devotion to duty, selfless advocacies, and the sincere desire to uplift their Country and Countrymen. Some, having been known for their advocacy, philanthropy, and other outstanding deeds and characteristics have been honored by the Brethren by establishing or renaming lodges after them. Many Brother Patriots, Heroes, and Nationalists exist among our Uniformed Personnel.

For standing up to ideals and principles like Human Rights for example, we have:

Bro. Salvador P. Lopez of Bagumbayan Lodge No.4

Senator Jose Diokno of Nilad Lodge No.12

Bro. Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon of Hiram Lodge No. 88

In contemporary times, especially during this time of the Corona Virus Pandemic, several Filipino Masons have stood up as Frontliners and through various acts of self-sacrifice and can be considered as modern day heroes, among them were:

WB Romeo Gregorio “Greg” N. Macasaet III, M.D., of Keystone 100

For his selfless acts in the line of duty during the early stages of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Brother Doctor became one of the first casualties in the country. His life and death were punctuated by heroic deeds.

Bro. David Jonathan Pagaduan, MD of Dr. Filemon C.  Aguilar (Las Piñas) 332

On April 2020, as the Covid-19 Pandemic raged on and the Nation is in Extended Community Quarantine, our Brother was on his way home after attending to his regular duties at the Perpetual Help Hospital in Las Pinas, when he saw a pregnant woman on the street experiencing severe abdominal pain. Disregarding his own personal safety just to remain true to his sworn obligation as a Medical Practitioner and to help, aid, and assist a person in distress, Bro. David Jonathan Pagaduan, MD, (DFCA No.332) stopped to help the woman in distress. His unwavering compassion and commitment to his profession led to his contracting the highly contagious Corona Virus and resulted to his untimely death.

VW Adriatico “Akok Tan” Tee of Biak-na-Bato 007

The selfless acts and sacrifices of Kuyang Akok have provided blood to those who need them, thus helping to extend their lives . An advocacy he started in their lodge in 2016 in cooperation with VW James Ngan who at present continues the same advocacy for the benefit of the Brethren and the Society.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Who are the known Masonic Personalities (both living and dead) in your Masonic District

or Province that can be considered as Heroes, Patriots, or Nationalists?

  1. How can Lodges in your Masonic District or Province honor them?

conclusion

A non-Mason once asked the Brethren – three loaded questions:

Why is it that many (if not ALL) of our Heroes are Masons?

Were they made Masons because they are heroes?

Or did they become heroes because they were Masons?

Historically, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, the Luna Brothers, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Jose Abad Santos, Manuel L. Quezon, Jose P. Laurel, Manuel A. Roxas, Salvador P. Lopez, Jose Diokno, Chito Gascon, WB Greg Macasaet,  Bro. Pagaduan, Kuyang Akok Tan, and many more were Masons first long before being distinguished for their acts of bravery, devotion to duty, selfless advocacy, and the sincere desire to uplift their Country and Countrymen. The lives that they have lived provide a clear answer to that third question.

Our Fraternity have instilled in each Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason the Cardinal Virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice; added Faith, Hope and Charity; PLUS the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth; and tempered each MASON with our Obligations, Working Tools and Degree Lectures, and Ancient Masonic Charges.

The names mentioned in this lecture are exemplars of what Masons can be if they remain to be good men and true. Brethren there is a Hero, a Patriot, and a Nationalist in each of us

july2022

 

Our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity is supported by three (3) Pillars, namely: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony.

The third in our Masonic Education Series for Masonic Year 2022 – 2023 is about Masonry and the Concept of Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance. It is categorized under the Pillars of Fraternal and Institutional Harmony:

How long is the Cable Tow?

In our masonic degree works, the cable tow is used to “bind” the Candidate or Brother to the Lodge and other brethren and once he is released from it, a stronger tie is established with our obligations. In real life, this beautiful symbolic gesture replicates the umbilical cord that “binds” us to our biological mothers and once this cord is cut, it is replaced by a stronger cord of parental love.

In our Masonic Rituals – four (4) words are associated with the word Cable Tow: Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance (H A R A). HELP is part of our masonic plea when in distress. Both AID and ASSIST are mentioned twice in every lodge meeting in any of the three degrees. RELIEF is among our obligations and to fly to the brother requesting for it is mandatory provided there is the greater probability of saving his life than losing our own.

According to the common dictionary:

HELP                    is used as an appeal for urgent assistance.

AID                        is the act of helping someone do something.

RELIEF                 is the alleviation of pain, discomfort, or distress; a temporary break in a generally tense or
                               tedious situation.

ASSISTANCE -    is the act of helping someone with a job or task through the provision of
                               money, resources, or information to help someone.

In our fraternity, the Cable Tow is extended through these HARA words and are harmonized in two ways - thru a Fraternal Brother and thru Masonic Institutions:

1 –  fraternal Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance

A mason extending his Cable Tow to another brother is part of what defines our Fraternity. A Mason’s help, aid, relief, and assistance has no exact amount, scope, or value. It is defined by what needs to be done against the capacity of what a mason can give to another brother, his family, widow or orphan at the time that it is needed.

Based on the above definitions, it could be a response to an appeal for urgent assistance; a simple act of helping a brother or his family do something; a break from a stressful situation that could somehow alleviate another’s pain, discomfort, or distress; or a small act of helping someone by providing money, information, or resources that is of great help to another.

2 - Institutional Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance

As an Institution, the Grand Lodge of the Philippines extend HARA in three ways, through the Financial Relief Assistance Program, the Grand Guild of Past Masters, and the GLP Committee on Charity.

2.1       Financial Relief Assistance Program (FRAP), is available to all brethren who are in Good Standing, it currently covers Death and Burial Assistance and can be availed by the Family of a deceased brother by having the Lodge Secretary prepare a letter request addressed to MW Juanito G. Espino Jr., PGM, Chairman, Financial Relief Assistance Program c/o Grand Lodge of the Philippines. A photocopy of the Death Certificate should be attached. The amount will be released in the form of a check named after the next of kin as recorded in a brother’s GLP records. In case his record is not updated, additional documents may be required such as Marriage Certificate – if the beneficiary is the Widow or Birth Certificate – if the beneficiary is the Orphan.

2.2       The Grand Guild of Past Masters (GGPM), provide Past Masters in Good Standing the following additional
             benefits since May 1, 2020: 

2.2.1 Reimbursement of Hospital Expenses up to a maximum of Php 25,000.00. can be collected by submitting a request letter addressed to MW John L. Choa, PGM, President, Grand Guild of Past Masters of the Philippines c/o Grand Lodge of the Philippines. A photocopy of hospital official receipt should be attached.

2.2.2 Additional Death benefit can also be availed with the submission of a request letter addressed to MW John L. Choa, PGM, President, Grand Guild of Past Masters of the Philippines c/o Grand Lodge of the Philippines accompanied by a photocopy of the death certificate.

2.3       The GLP Committee on Charity provides additional assistance to Brethren in Good Standing but are not Past
            Masters:

2.3.1 Reimbursement of Hospital Expenses up to the Php 5,000.00. can be collected by submitting a request letter addressed to the Committee on Charity c/o MW Romeo S. Momo, PGM - Chairman , Grand Lodge of the Philippines together with a photocopy of hospital official receipt

2.3.2 Death Benefits amounting to Php 15,000.00 can also be claimed following a request letter addressed to MW Romeo S. Momo, PGM - Chairman , Grand Lodge of the Philippines together accompanied by a photocopy of a deceased brother’s Death Certificate.

It must be considered however that the amount of Hospital and Death Benefits may change depending on the availability of funds.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Cite an experience when you sought help, aid, relief, and/or assistance from the Brethren, your Lodge, District, or the Grand Lodge. Did you receive it and How?
  2. In what way have you extended your cable tow to a Brother or a Masonic Institution (Lodge, District, Appendant Body, or the GLP). Share your story to inspire the Brethren.

CONCLUSION

Extending the Cable Tow can come in many forms – in educating the Brethren, we showed two channels from were Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance might come.

The Institutional form as specified above has defined amounts, standard procedures, and conditional requirements. It operates under an institutional system of objectivity in order to spread whatever amount is made available by our Most Worshipful Institution to as many brethren in our jurisdiction as possible. It also comes in Financial Denomination; which is just one form of resource that can provide Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance. The bulk of such resource comes from what active members have paid in the form of their Annual Dues – a portion of which is remitted to the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge in return allocates specific amounts for such purposes.  

Fraternal Extension of the Cable Tow is more subjective, only a part of it is monetary. It can be other forms of resource - like items in kind, information, time, or just a listening ear. Whatever denomination it may be, it is the duty of every mason to provide Help, Aid, Relief, and Assistance most especially at the time that it is needed as long as it can “relieve the distressed, soothe the unhappy, sympathize with their misfortunes, compassionate their miseries, and thus, somehow restore peace to troubled minds.”

For Masons, their Cable Tow will extend its true length at the right time and proper place that it is needed, and to the receiving brother, his family, widow or orphans, such shall be his wages for being a true and worthy brother.

 

august2022

 

Our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity is supported by three (3) Pillars, namely: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony. Masonic Education Lecture No. 4 for Masonic Year 2022 – 2023 deals with Masonry and its Concept of CITIZENSHIP. It is a continuing thrust in the Pillar of National Harmony:

How can MASONS be good CITIZENS?

The most basic teachings of the Craft are taught in the First Degree of Masonry. Among the primary instructions in that rudimentary step is about being an exemplary citizen. A portion of the charges asked of every Entered Apprentice reads:

“ . . . AS  A  CITIZEN,  you are enjoined to be  exemplary in the discharge of  your civil duties, by never proposing or countenancing  any act  which  may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society,  by paying due obedience to the laws under whose protection  you live and never losing  sight of the allegiance due to your country .  .  .  “

Because in every country and every clime are Masons to be found, the above behavior, like the rest of the charges are asked of all Masons, regardless of what Nation he may have come from. Just for every mason’s clarification, what is taught starting from his Initiation until his raising are cumulative and should not be forgotten or disregarded. This goes the same to all the charges imposed upon every workman from the quarry.

Among the vows professed by every Master Mason is to shun both Murder and Treason. Loyalty to one’s Country and Faithfulness to the Rule of Law takes precedence over any initial promise of secrecy.

A mason’s duty to his country is discussed further, during the Installation of the Master of the Lodge. Six (6) of the fifteen (15) Ancient Charges and Regulations read to him during his installation appertains to being a good citizen:

  1. You agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law.
  2. You agree to be a peaceable citizen, and cheerfully to conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.
  3. You promise not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against government, but patiently to submit to the decision of the Supreme Legislature.
  4. You agree to pay a proper respect to the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men.
  5. You agree to avoid private piques and quarrels, and to guard against intemperance and excess.

The Sixth of these Charges and No.9 in the old list, reads:

9. You agree to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the Art.

Although read to the Worshipful Master, these demands from our old traditions are directed to all Masons as well but with the Brethren looking up to East for an Exemplar. Being a good Mason therefore is being a good citizen.

In our country, two of our Great Statesmen, both of whom are Masons each prescribed guidelines that every Filipino Citizen – mason or not, should follow:

The First is Bro. Apolinario Mabini’s - The True Decalogue

First.                       Love God and your honor over all things; God, as the source of all truth, all justice, and all activity; your honor, the only power that obliges you to be truthful, just and industrious.

Second.      Worship God in the form that your conscience deems most upright and fitting, because it is through your conscience that God speaks to you, reproaching you for your misdeeds and applauding you for your good deeds.

Third.          Develop the special talents that God has given you, working and studying according to your capabilities, never straying from the path of good and justice, in order to achieve your own perfection, and by this means you will contribute to the progress of humanity:” thus you will accomplish the mission that God himself has given you in this life, and achieving this, you will have honor, and having honor, you will be glorifying God.

Fourth.       Love your country after God and your honor, and more than you love yourself, because your country is the only paradise that God has given you in this life;  the only patrimony of your race;  the only inheritance from your ancestors; and the only future of your descendants:  because of your country you have life, love and interests;  happiness, honor and God.

Fifth.           Strive for the happiness of your country before your own, making her the reigning influence for reason, justice and work;  if your country is happy, you and your family will also be happy.

Sixth.           Strive for the independence of your country, because you alone can have a real interest in her aggrandizement and ennoblement, since her independence will mean your own freedom, her aggrandizement your own perfection, and her ennoblement your own glory and immortality.

Seventh.    In your country, do not recognize the authority of any person who has not been elected by you and your compatriots, because all authority comes from God, and as God speaks to the conscience of each individual, the person chosen and proclaimed by the consciences of all the individuals of a whole town is the only one that can exercise real authority.

Eighth.       Strive that your country be constituted as a republic, and never as a monarchy:  a monarchy empowers one or several families and lays the foundation for a dynasty; a republic ennobles and dignifies a country based on reason, it is great because of its freedom, and is made prosperous  and brilliant by dint of work.

Ninth.          Love your neighbor as you love yourself, because God has imposed on him and on you the obligation to help one another, and has dictated that he does not do unto you what he does not want you to do unto him;  but if your neighbor is remiss in this sacred duty and makes an attempt on your life, your freedom and your properties, then you should destroy him and crush him, because the supreme law of self-preservation must prevail.

Tenth.         Always look on your countryman as more than a neighbor:  you will find in him a friend, a brother and at least the companion to whom you are tied by only one destiny, by the same happiness and sorrows, and by the same aspirations and interests.

Because of this, while the borders of the nations established and preserved by the egoism of race and of family remain standing, you must remain united to your country in perfect solidarity of views and interests in order to gain strength, not only to combat the common enemy, but also to achieve all the objectives of human life.

The above is one of the greatest master piece written by Mabini. In his own words, he wrote it for all Filipinos  to “. . . understand the reason and your conscience constitute the only solid and true basis of your moral education, in the same way that honest work is the real basis for your material education.”  Published in June 24, 1898, just twelve days after the declaration of the Philippine Independence, the Decalogue was intended as guide for Filipinos as they experience the fresh winds of freedom in the first Republic.

The Second is Bro. Manuel Quezon’s – Code of Citizenship & Ethics

1. Have faith in Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affections, and the source of your happiness and well-being. Its defense is your primary duty. Be ready at all times to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligations.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligations.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the majority.

6. Love and respect your parents. It is your duty to serve them gratefully and well.

7. Value your honor as you value your life. Poverty with honor is preferable to wealth with dishonor.

8. Be truthful and be honest in thought and in action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified in your dealings with your fellow men.

9. Lead a clean and frugal life. Do not indulge in frivolity or pretense. Be simple in your dress and modest in your behavior.

10. Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Venerate the memory of our heroes. Their lives point the way to duty and honor.

11. Be industrious. Be not afraid or ashamed to do manual labor. Productive toil is conducive to economic security and adds to the wealth of the nation.

12. Rely on your own efforts for your progress and happiness. Be not easily discouraged. Persevere in the pursuit of your legitimate ambitions.

13. Do your work cheerfully, thoroughly, and well. Work badly done is worse than work undone. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

14. Contribute to the welfare of your community and promote social justice. You do not live for yourselves and your families alone. You are a part of society to which you owe definite responsibilities.

15. Cultivate the habit of using goods made in the Philippines. Patronize the products and trades of your countrymen.

16. Use and develop our natural resources and conserve them for posterity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.

These sixteen (16) reminders codify the civic and moral principles that President Quezon wanted to be instilled to all Filipinos as they live their lives in a Commonwealth Government. It was promulgated on August 19, 1939 – his 61st Birthday through Executive Order No.217. The Code of Citizenship and Ethics was prescribed to be taught in all Philippine Schools to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, and to teach the duties of citizenship among the Filipino Youth.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Share three things (big or small) that you have done this month for your Country.

CONCLUSION

The Philippines is not lacking of thinkers who can provide its people the necessary guidelines on how to be good citizens as shared to all in today’s Masonic Education.

Bro. Mabini’s True Decalogue written 124 years ago remains fresh and applicable.

Quezon’s Code of Ethics although 83 years old still stands for all Filipino to follow.

Such is the power of Principles. Unlike edifices and other physical structures that will surrender sooner or later to the lapse of time, the ruthless hands of ignorance, and the devastations of war; Principles remain as long as there are people willing to listen and practice them.

Nakinig po ba kayo mga Kuyang?

We have interlinked our Masonic Duties with the Guidelines prescribed by our Brother Statesmen from the First Philippine Republic and the Philippine Commonwealth. Our Society is now under the Fifth Republic. We may have gone through a lot of government changes since the declaration of our Independence 124 years ago but what remains constant is the need not just of a good government but a good citizenry as well. Like the Worshipful Master who was charged to be a good man and true, let us all be exemplars in obeying the moral law and continue to live as GOOD CITIZENS of our Country.

september2022

Our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity is supported by three (3) Pillars, namely: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony. As we go deeper into our fifth Month of Masonic Year 2022 – 2023, the topic is Masonry and further light. It is a part of the Grand Master’s Pillar on Institutional Harmony:

Why do Masons join Appendant Bodies and Other

Allied Organizations?

Master Masons have the option to join other Masonic organizations outside the Blue Lodge. In the past, these organizations have all been loosely called Appendant Bodies. However, here in the Philippines, their diverse and respective nature and purposes make it necessary to categorize them appropriately as either (1) Appendant Bodies, (2) Allied Masonic Organizations, or (3) Masonic Clubs and Associations.

Appendant Bodies, sometimes called Concordant Bodies in other jurisdictions, refer to what most Masonic literatures call the “Branches of Regular Freemasonry.” These include the York Rite and the Scottish Rite. They are “appendant” because they add to and embellish the lessons and allegories of the Craft degrees of the Blue Lodge. They expound further the tale of the building of King Solomon’s Temple and the rediscovery of the Lost Word – both central themes in the Blue Lodge. They confer additional degrees that offer “further light” or knowledge on Masonic tradition, history, and philosophy. It is for this reason that they are sometimes coined as the “Universities of Freemasonry.” At times, they have been locally called “higher bodies,” but such is an inappropriate term because, in the context of the type of Craft Masonry practiced by the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, “there is no degree higher than the third degree.”

Allied Masonic Organizations, for brevity, include all other bodies of Masons outside the Blue Lodge, including Appendant Bodies. They also comprise those other Masonic Orders that offer degrees not necessarily related to the lessons and allegories of the Craft degrees of the Blue Lodge. These are sometimes referred to as “Ultra-Craft Masonry” and include the various fraternal and invitational Orders like the Red Cross of Constantine, the Royal Order of Scotland, the Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD), the Order of the Secret Monitor, and the Rosicrucian Society (SRICF), whose memberships are open to accomplished Master Masons, sometimes even requiring memberships in the York Rite or Scottish Rite. The purpose of these Allied Masonic Organizations is to foster further Masonic fellowship and harmony among their members, thereby further improving their character and faculties for the benefit of all of Freemasonry, including and most especially the Blue Lodge.

Organizations open to the youth and family members of Masons have sometimes been categorized under Allied Masonic Organizations because they exemplify certain Masonic lessons outside the Craft Degrees, offering them to non-Masons as well. These include the Order of DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, Rainbow for Girls, the Eastern Star, and the Order of Amaranth. Note however, that these are not necessarily Masonic organizations, if by “Masonic” we mean organizations open only to Freemasons, They are Masonic, however, in the sense that they operate in alliance with Freemasonry, and so may arguably be categorized as Allied Masonic Organizations.

Masonic Clubs and Associations, on the other hand, though also considered Allied Masonic Organizations, exist primarily to serve specific purposes, and happen to exclusively comprise of Master Masons as members. Their purposes may include rendering charitable works; aiding and assisting brethren in need; consolidating Masons with common interests and professions; or just plainly to have fun. The Shriners are a perfect example of a Masonic social club centered on fun while doing charity works at the same time. There are Masonic clubs and association for lawyers, doctors, even motorcycle riders – all organized, not for the purpose of exclusivity, but for further fellowship and mutual cooperation based on shared interests and goals.

Note that the above categorization is not necessarily dogmatic. Most often, these organizations are classified interchangeably as Appendant Bodies, Allied Masonic Organizations, or Masonic Clubs and Associations, depending on the jurisdiction or type of Freemasonry practiced. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the term “appendant body” is not generally used, and the terms “Progressive Orders” and “Orders Beyond the Craft” are used instead. In many Continental European jurisdictions, they are not separate Appendant or Allied Bodies at all, but form part and parcel of their Masonic system, therefore are actual continuations of the first three degrees. In such Masonic systems, the third degree is not the highest degree.

Here in the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, which follows the American Masonic system, the third degree of the Blue Lodge is considered the highest Masonic degree. All other additional degrees are optional and are taken only in Appendant Bodies and Allied Masonic Organizations.

Whatever name we choose to call them – whether Appendant Bodies, Allied Masonic Organizations, or Masonic Clubs and Associations – one thing in common among them, they exist to broaden the institutional and fraternal harmony and fellowship of Freemasonry beyond the confines of the Blue Lodge. They do not pose to compete with the fundamentality of Craft Masonry, but rather offer “more light” and “more fellowship” that extends further – to friends, to family, and to society. They are, for all intents and purposes, the very practice of Freemasonry itself. They are the embodiment of the teaching of Craft Masonry, given concrete form in order to complement and supplement the Blue Lodge in all its undertakings, most especially in “making good men better.”

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

1. What is your idea of “Further Light in Masonry?”

2. Do you belong to any Appendant Body or Allied Organization?

3. Do such bodies take away a Mason’s time away from the Blue Lodge?

4. By your experience or impression, how do Appendant Bodies and other Allied

organizations complement the Blue Lodge?

Note: If a Lecturer does not belong to any Appendant Body or Allied Organization, he can interview several brethren who are, and use their experience to answer the above questions

References and Further Reading:

Gabionza, Santiago Jr., “Registration of Clubs, Societies and other similar Associations of Masons and Admission of Members,” Edict No. 259 (Grand Lodge of the Philippines, April 11, 2013).

Gazmin, Voltaire, “Uniform Code of By-laws for Unincorporated Allied Masonic Organizations, Clubs or Associations,” Circular No. 10 (Grand Lodge of the Philippines, August 2, 2016).

Kalaw, Teodoro IV, “Deeper and Richer in Time: How the Ritual Systems of the Appendant Bodies Enhance the Craft,” Third Wednesdays in the West: The GLP Masonic Education Webinar Series for 2019-2021 (Grand Lodge of the Philippines, April 14, 2021).

Rentoy, Tomas III, “Amending Edict 256-A (MW Gabionza), Revising and Re-organizing the composition of the Committee on Masonic Associations and Clubs,” Edict No. 256-A (Grand Lodge of the Philippines, September 23, 2015).

Rentoy, Tomas III, “Amending Edict 259 (MW Gabionza), Defining Allied Organizations; Placing them within the jurisdiction and regulation of the MW Grand Lodge of F&AM of the Philippines; and Providing penalties for the violation thereof,” Edict No. 259-A (Grand Lodge of the Philippines, September 23, 2015).

Rentoy, Tomas III, “Committee on Masonic Associations and Clubs,” Circular No. 3-D (Grand Lodge of the Philippines, September 23, 2015).

Suan, Agapito Jr., et. al., Report of the Committee on Masonic Associations and Clubs (Grand Lodge of the Philippines,  March 13, 2019).

Villegas, Giovanni, “Beginning,” Furthermore: Masonry Beyond the Craft (The Cable Tow, Vol. 98, No. 1, April-December 2021), 78.

 

october2022

Our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity is supported by three (3) Pillars, namely: Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony. The 6th Masonic Education Lecture for Masonic Year 2022 – 2023 deals with 2 topics:

One - MASONRY and its BELIEF in DEATH & the AFTER-LIFE, and

Two - Taking Care of a departed Brother’s Family.

Both of them are among the thrust under the Pillar of Fraternal Harmony:

How do Masons remember the departed Brethren and take care of Widows and Orphans?

Part 1 - On Death and the After-life

Throughout our Masonic teachings, the concept of Death and a future reward in the after-life is ever-present:

Landmark Twentieth points to the belief in a resurrection to a future life, the doctrine for which is “taught by very plain implication, and runs through the whole symbolism of the Craft.”

The third question in the Petition for Degrees in Masonry Form, after asking for the Petitioner’s Name and Birth Details is: Do you believe in God and future existence? – a qualifying to which is in the affirmative. A belief in a Supreme Being and eternal life being basic requirements for admission.

The Entered Apprentice is told after being presented with his Lambskin or white leather Apron:  “And when your trembling soul stand naked an alone before the Great White Throne, there to receive judgment for deeds done while in the body, may it be your portion to hear from Him who sitteth as Judge Supreme, the welcome words, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord’.” Among the teachings in our first step as a Mason is FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY, whereby we are admonished to have faith in GOD, hope in immortality, and charity to all mankind.

In the Second Degree - one of the Working Tools is to remind us that we are travelling upon the Level of Time to that undiscovered country – from whose bourne no traveler returns. Later on, the Fellow Craft is taught that the Boaz & Jachin pillars “when taken together, allude to a promise made by God to David, ‘In strength will I establish this my house and kingdom forever’.”

The Master Mason is encouraged “to imitate the GMHA…,that we may be prepared to welcome death, not as a grim tyrant, but as a kind messenger, sent to translate us from this imperfect, to that all perfect, glorious and celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe forever presides.”

Among the lesser-known symbols of Masonry are the Hour Glass and the Scythe (pronounced as “sight”)

The Hour Glass is an emblem of human life. Behold! how swiftly and rapidly our lives are drawing to a close. We cannot, without astonishment, behold the little particles, which are contained within this machine, how they pass away almost imperceptibly, and yet to our surprise, in the short space of an hour, they are all exhausted. Thus wastes man! Today he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; tomorrow, blossoms and bears his blushing honors thick upon him; the next day comes a frost, which nips the shoot, and when he thinks his greatness is still aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother earth.

The Scythe is an emblem of time, which cuts the brittle thread of life and launches us into eternity. Behold! what havoc the scythe of time makes among the human race; if, by chance, we should escape the numerous evils incident to childhood and youth, and with health and vigor arrive to the years of manhood; yet, withal, we must soon be cut down by the all-devouring scythe of time, and be gathered into the land where our fathers have gone before us.

These two symbols, as delivered in the 3rd degree lecture, appears morbid for they allude to death. But when taken together and considered within the whole concept and philosophy of Masonry become symbols of time profitably spent in a life of quality.

The Hour Glass indicates the brevity of life with Time as the only resource men have in equal abundance. Regardless of our wealth, stature, or title – each is given 24 hours a day. While the Scythe alludes to the end of our earthly time. It is an impressive symbol of the certainty of death, which no man can escape. As none of us know the time of our passing, all must be prepared for our own demise. The resource of time therefore should be spent diligently through our service to God, Country, and fellowman. To manage time, Masons – are taught the use of the 24-Inch Gauge.

The Hour Glass and Scythe are MEMENTO MORI - a symbol of our mortality, and as mortals – we are reminded that the resource of time that is given us shall one day stop flowing. However, it comes with a promise, that of Eternal Life which begins at the end of our earthly existence.

Every time that a brother drops his working tools, those who survive him are encouraged to reflect on the following:

What did the Brother do with the time he was given on earth?

How should his death inspire other Masons to act with the time they have left?

Contemplating on these two questions can prompt people to engage with death in a logical, thoughtful manner.

At his death, a Mason is entitled to a Masonic Funeral Service where the main focus will be his deeds. Edict No. 145 (Mateo) provides for the presentation of the Scroll of Remembrance during this service, as a “lasting and meaningful tribute to the memory of deceased Brother.”

In the GLP Manual for Masonic Funeral and Memorial Services (MMFMS) prepared by the Committee on Custodian of the Work, the following are observed:

  1. The Ritual described for Masonic Funeral Services is intended in honor of a deceased brother whose body or ashes are lying in state or on the day of his funeral or cremation.
  2. The Ritual of the Memorial Services for the Lodge of Sorrow is intended in honor of the memory of the deceased brother or brethren long buried or cremated. Replacing the coffin, urn, or tomb, is a catafalque – a raised bier, box, or similar platform where the names and portraits of the departed are solemnly placed.

Based on Masonic Practices, the rituals and ceremonies of a Lodge of Remembrance are similar to the Lodge of Sorrow except that it is traditionally held in October.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. What story or event have you encountered appertaining to the death of a brother and the efforts of the lodge, the district, or the brethren in assisting his family with the preparations?
  2. How did the lodge, the district, or the brethren remember him afterwards?

Share a summary to the Brethren.

 

Part 2 – On Widows and Orphans

Standard Lodge procedure dictates that the Lodge Secretary notify the Grand Secretary upon the death of a brother. They will have a Grand Chaplain write a personalized letter of condolence to the widow from Grand Lodge. This is a special effort from the Grand Chaplains and is done only for Masonic widows.

In addition, Edict No. 162 (Aportadera) decreed the designation of the last Sunday of October of each year as “Widows and Orphans Day,” recognizing that “one of our most basic and fundamental Masonic duties is to aid and assist a deceased worthy brother’s widow and orphans,” and that there is a need “to reassure the widows and orphans of their continuing link with our fraternal organization despite the passing of their loved ones.”

Lodges should never neglect or forget the family of a departed brother. Widows and Orphans have always been a part of our Masonic Obligations. Masons in all three degrees, are always reminded of these Obligations thru the Senior Warden.

District Officers should ever remind the Officers of subordinate lodges – specifically the three lights to ensure that a member's family's future (as a possible widow and orphans) will not be one of loneliness and neglect. Lodges, Districts, and the Brethren should provide friendship and guidance to the families of departed Brethren, letting the widows and orphans know that they are always remembered and never forgotten. They continue to remain an important part of the Masonic family.

Both Lodges & Districts are enjoined to develop a Widows & Orphans Program. Such a project has unlimited possibilities: It can include invitations to lodge social events, personal visits and attention, notes for holidays or special occasions, transportation or access to social services like doctors, stores, etc. Some Lodges remember their widows with flowers at Christmas and have a widows' night in their honor. All Masons can be qualified to be members of such a committee with every Mason playing an active role.

Masonic IDs for Widows and Orphans are available by request at the GLP Admin Office. Lodges thru their Secretaries should take a more pro-active role to facilitate the processing of these documents for the families of the deceased Brother. Lodges should not wait for the Family to request for the ID, rather the Lodge itself should initiate in its provision. Among the requirements are 2x2 photos of each family member. ID Cards currently costs 100 pesos each. Like the Family IDs, Identification Cards for Widow and Orphans are non-expiring. It is recommended that the same should be updated every few years to ensure that the photos of the card carriers are updated. Among its uses, Widows and Orphans can present their ID cards when introducing themselves to brethren or seeking assistance to Masons.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: The DGL’s answers to these questions shall be their contribution to the Lecture:

  1. What story or event have you encountered on how a Lodge, District, or Brother assisted the family of a Departed Brother during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Share a summary to the Brethren.

Conclusion

Death and the After-Life are pervasive themes in the ritual and teachings of the Craft. These themes highlight our belief that life is a journey, and whatever we do in our mortal form is rewarded (or punished) at the end of that journey as we transcend to the after-life and affiliate with the Celestial Lodge on high. Thus, it is important that we go through life guided by the moral virtues we learn in Masonry.

It is equally important that we never be remiss in our duty to aid and assist the Widows and Orphans of our departed Brethren. Lodge relationship with the Family of departed Brethren should not be limited to the Month of October. It should be a year-round practice as this duty is a fundamental part of our obligation; and as taught to all of us when we were Entered Apprentices – CHARITY extends beyond the Grave, through the boundless realms of eternity.

References:

The Monitor; Masonic Funeral Rites; Edict No. 145 (Mateo); Edict No. 162 (Aportadera);

Landmark Twentieth

 

November 2022

As we move into the second half of the Masonic Year 2022 - 2023, the Corps of Grand Lecturers is optimistic that our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity, supported by three (3) Pillars of Institutional, National, and Fraternal Harmonies have grown into the hearts and minds of all Masons in our jurisdiction.

This November 2022, our Masonic Education tackles on Masonry and its SYSTEM of EDUCATION, a thrust under Institutional Harmony:

What are the Systems of Masonic Education in our jurisdiction?

Masonic education is not and should not be limited to the rituals and teachings that we learn as we progress though the various Degrees of the Craft. We can compare the degrees we receive as keys to unlocking a life-long, continuous course of Masonic education. This does not suggest that ritual work is not important, because it is. However, rituals do not make Masons – it merely makes us members of the Craft. A man is never truly a Freemason until he truthfully and steadfastly lives up to his obligations. He cannot do so, until he truly understands them, and the only way to do this is by learning the real meaning of Masonry by following a Masonic Education Program.

In our Jurisdiction, Systems of Masonic Education have developed through the passage of years that ensures that Masons are not necessarily buried in ritual work, but instead allow opportunities for Brethren to really develop a deeper and more personal appreciation of Masonry and the values it teaches us. The current programs can be classified into three (3) Levels - that of the Lodge, those from the Grand Lodge, and by self-study:

1.0       Lodge Level of Masonic Education

Refers to that System Masonic Education initiated by Lodges and is delivered from the ground-up. In our jurisdiction, there are at least three of them: Orientation Meetings, Lodge or Inter-lodge Mentoring, and the Lodge-sponsored Masonic Education Lectures.

    1. Orientation Meetings                - for candidates progressing through the degrees, we have the “Programs for Four Meetings” wherein specific topics are laid out spread over four meetings - once before receiving the First Degree, and once after every Degree, including the Third and Last. The purpose of these meetings is to guarantee that every candidate is properly instructed in the fundamentals of the Craft as he progress through the degrees and after he is raised to the Sublime Degree. The allegories and symbols in our ritual may be too much for a candidate to appreciate fully in so short a period of time, and these meetings are designed to augment the monitorial lectures.
    2. Mentoring - In the Lodge, the ultimate mentor is the Worshipful Master, whose duty it is “to open and govern the Lodge and in due time to set the craft at work and give them the necessary instructions whereby they may pursue their labors.” Also, the newly-obligated brother is placed at the North-east corner of the Lodge that he may benefit from the wisdom of the WM. In addition, all charges to the newly-obligated brother is, by default, given by the WM. Aside from the WM, other brethren may also assume the role of mentor to younger brethren.
    3. Lodge-sponsored Masonic Education Lectures - Masonic Education is an integral part of the Regular Order of Business at every stated meeting. They are given by the District Grand Lecturer assigned to the Lodge, and / or by the Worshipful Master or any member he may appoint. The most practical topic of a Lodge – sponsored Masonic Education are lectures or anecdotes appertaining to a Lodge’s History. They are most applicable especially during their milestone Anniversary Years e.g. 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, or 100th Anniversaries.
  1.       Masonic Education in the grand lodge level
    1. Grand Lodge-sponsored Masonic Education Lectures this is the Masonic Education emanating from the Grand Lodge through the Senior Grand Lecturer which is cascaded into his Corp of Grand Lecturers – the Junior Grand and District Grand Lecturers and is an integral part of the Regular Order of Business at every stated meeting. This lecture is an example and is the 7th of a series of twelve (12) lectures.
    2. The Institute of Masonic Education and Studies (IMES) is a body within our jurisdiction with a college or university-like setting created for the following purposes: (1) to serve as a permanent body that shall take care of and be responsible for Continuing Masonic Education; (2) to formulate or establish a syllabus or outline of courses common to all regions and districts, and to review, revise and amend the same from time to time; (3) to obtain, prepare and reproduce such instructional and teaching materials and manuals: and (4) to train teaching staff. The IMES Diploma Course, offering topics on the subjects of Masonic History, Jurisprudence and Governance, Philosophy, Symbolism and Liturgy, and Floorworks, is a qualification for elective office at the Lodge Level and a pre-requisite for appointment for Junior Grand Lecturers, District Grand Lecturers, and District Deputy Grand Masters. In recent years, the IMES course has also been popular to newly-raised Brethren who would like to augment their learnings from Lodge level lectures and mentorship. It is also way to ensure the regularity of masonic education throughout the jurisdiction.

Founded by virtue of Edict No. 185 of MW Franklin J. Demonteverde issued in June 23, 1999 – the Institute turned 23 years old this year.

    1. Educational Support Services & Institutions

This refers to the various Educational Resources that have been developed by the Grand Lodge and can be of significant assistance to Lodges, Districts, and Brethren in their pursuit of Masonic Knowledge and Wisdom: Currently there are five (5): The Cable Tow Magazine, GLP Library, GLP Museum, GLP Archives, and the Grand Lodge Website.

2.3.1 The Cable Tow Magazine the official publication of the Grand Lodge is a source of Masonic Information from Masonic Writers, selected contributors, and experience columnists. The magazine is headed by the Grand Scribe, who is also the Editor-in-Chief and is assisted by a team of competent writers. They are a part of the Grand Master’s Team for each Masonic Year. Established in June 1, 1923, the Cable Tow Magazine is 99 years old and is set to celebrate its Centennial Publication next year.

2.3.2 The GLP Library – is the premier repository of Masonic Books and other Literature in our jurisdiction. The GLP Library is opened from Mondays to Fridays, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

2.3.3 The GLP Museum – created in 2012 during the centennial year of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, has on display objects, documents, publications and pictures of historical value and relevance, showing the immense contributions of masons and freemasonry to the independence of the Philippines from colonial powers and to the emancipation of the Filipino people. The GLP Museum was designed, constructed and donated by VW Armando Cazzola of San Pedro Lodge No. 292 and is affiliated with the National Historical Institute of the Philippines.

2.3.4 The GLP Archives – the records section houses all the Lodge and District Reports submitted to the Grand Lodge in the last 60 years. Lodge Records from 1960’s onwards can be accessed by the incumbent Worshipful Masters and Lodge Secretaries upon proper request to the Office of the Grand Secretary.

2.3.5 The Grand Lodge Website – the current web page provides online resources to the Brethren such as the Proceedings of Annual Communications from 1912 to the present, 800 issues of the Cable Tow Magazine in the last 99 years (1923 – 2022). More than 400 Edicts, GM Circulars in the last 10 years (2012 – 2022), GL Circular 12’s in the last 16 years (2007 – 2022), and other pertinent information which can be accessed at the comfort of your home.

  1.       Masonic Education THROUGH SELF-STUDY

With the above resources at the disposal of interested Brethren, Masonic Education by individual masons can be enhanced through self-study. It is highly recommended however, that a brother return first his Proficiency in the 3rd Degree and thus  be eligible for his Master Mason Diploma, and attend IMES Classes before proceeding further this road. A brother doing self-study should be circumspect as to weigh the materials that he reads especially those found online or outside the confines of the resources offered by the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.

CONCLUSION

The giving and receiving of systematic masonic instruction has always been an integral part of Masonry in general as demonstrated by the instructive tongue, the attentive ear, and the faithful breast. Masonic Education is an enshrined part of the Regular Order of Business at every stated meeting. Aside from our opening and closing rituals and protocols, Masonic Education is the only thing that distinguishes a Masonic meeting from any business meeting of any professional or civic organization or club. It should thus be given the importance and attention it rightfully deserves by the Brethren.

Craft Learning extends beyond our monitorial lectures and rituals. While Masons are required to be proficient with our monitor, as it provides the basic foundation, what makes for a deeper understanding of the teachings of the craft is to transcend to an esoteric appreciation of it. This allows the individual Mason to reflect on the Masonic teachings based on his own experiences as well as the experience of other Brethren.

Fortunately, there are institutions already in place to facilitate this. Through the Programs of Four Meetings, Regular Monthly Masonic Education, Mentoring , the IMES, and other programs and GLP resources that may be developed in the future, we are assured that the present and future generations of Masons in our jurisdiction will have a robust system of Masonic Education always available to them.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Cite one or more learnings taught to you during your Orientation Meeting as a Candidate that has made a deep impact on your journey as a Mason.
  2. Cite one or more unforgettable teaching or teachings during your IMES Class.
  3. Cite one or more article or news that you have read in the Cable Tow Magazine that has made an impression on you as a Mason.
  4. Share them with the Brethren.

References    

Masonic Law Book (Uniform By-Laws of Subordinate Lodges, IMES);
Tried and Proven (Programs of Four Meetings)
The GLP Website

 

Dec2022

 

Deferred Lecture on the Masonic Education

for DECEMBER 2022

 

December is the Anniversary Month of our Most Worshipful Institution and on the 19th day of this month in the Year of Light 6022 – the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the Philippines will turn 110 years old. In commemoration of this auspicious event, our Masonic Education thus is about the Pillar of Institutional Harmony.

 

As we anticipate how the Plans and Programs of our Grand Master will unfold in the first half of this Masonic Year (May – October 2022), the format of the lecture appertaining to the 110th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines shall be released by November of this year. Under the title -

Whence and Wither are We Going?

 

Jan2023

We welcome the New Year empowered still, with the Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All: the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity - supported by the Pillars of Institutional Harmony, National Harmony, and Fraternal Harmony. As January marks the start of the Installation Season – the topic of our Masonic Education is about Masonry and its Concept of LEADERSHIP – a thrust belonging to the Pillar of Institutional Harmony.

Who are the Worshipful Master, the District Deputy,

and the Grand Master?

The role of leaders in any volunteer organization is a unique challenge, as it requires a thoughtful understanding of a good cross-section of its membership. This is particularly true in Masonry, where members come from diverse backgrounds. There are those who possess and have proven qualities in leadership, and there are others with little or no training or experience in any leadership role. More importantly, the concept of leadership in Masonry is uniquely its own, and it is therefore important for every Mason to recognize this, to ensure that his journey, be it as a leader or a follower, enhances his understanding of the teachings of the Craft.

The Worshipful Master

When it comes to leadership in the Lodge, it is important to note the authority and command responsibility of the Worshipful Master (WM).             Part II (2), Article XI (11) of the MLB enumerates the many powers and duties of the WM, sometimes described as a Benevolent Dictator.  Landmark Tenth pertains to the government of a Lodge by a WM and his two Wardens, the absence of which may result in the Lodge not being recognized as such. The power of the WM in his Lodge is absolute. While the WM is elected by the Brethren of his Lodge, once installed, he is no longer accountable to them, but only by the superior authority of the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge.

The jewel of the Worshipful Master is a Square, angle opening down. Like all officers of subordinate lodges, it shall be silver or white metal worn suspended from the collars. Similar to all Officers of Subordinate Lodges, his collar is of white cotton or silk material 3” wide at its narrowest point around the neck and 4” wide at the breast with a ¼” blue border. The Master’s collar shall have seven stars embroidered upon it.

In our jurisdiction, the Worshipful Master together with other elected officers are chosen by the lodge electorate by ballot every December of each year and should be Installed into office, not later than the last day of March.

As Masonic lodges have existed long before 1717 as evidenced among the oldest lodges in Scotland and published in the first issue of the Cable Tow Magazine, the office of the Worshipful Master is therefore the oldest of the three Masonic Leaderships, much older than that of the Grand Oriental Chair.

The District Deputy Grand Master

The District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) is the deputy, or alter-ego of the GM in the District where he is deputized, and his powers and duties are enumerated in             Part I Article XXXII (37) of the MLB. As the appointed representative of the GM, he has oversight authority over the lodges in his District, and can visit and review them, with the assistance of the Grand Lodge Inspectors (GLIs), to ensure that the ritual work is done properly and that Lodges are being properly run according to the rules that govern this Jurisdiction.

The jewel of the District Deputy is an Equilateral Triangle with an All-Seeing Eye in the center, and the inscriptions “DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTER” on the two sides and ‘GRAND LODGE OF THE PHILIPPINES’ on the bottom horizontal side. Like other Appointive Officers, excepting Grand Lodge Inspectors, the DDGM’s Collar is made of purple velvet material, 3” wide at its narrowest part around the neck and 4” wide at the breast, with ¼ plated yellow on the right and left sides.

Historically, the Office of the DDGM is the youngest of the three Masonic Leaderships, having been established in our jurisdiction only in Masonic Year 1958 - 1959 upon the recommendation of MW Howard R. Hick which he patterned after an American jurisdiction. “ In the Grand Lodge of New York they have 64 districts, each having a district deputy. They are the eyes, ears, mouths, and hands of the Grand Master for the effectuation of the Grand Master’s policies. I look forward with much pleasure in having my work lightened by the faithful performance of the duties of district deputies.” Said the newly installed Grand Master during his inaugural speech 64 years ago.

In the first 45 years of the GLP (1912 – 1957), Masonic Leadership and authority exists only in the Grand Master and the Masters of the Lodge, with the Grand Lodge Inspectors as the sole agent for check and balance among the subordinate lodges.

The Grand Master

The Grand Master (GM), between Annual Communications of the Grand Lodge, has absolute executive (except granting of Charters), judicial and legislative (provided it is harmonious to the Constitution) powers. His actions between AnComs are effective immediately, and his powers and duties are spelled out in    Part I Article IX of the Masonic Law Book (MLB). In Landmark Fourth, the office of the Grand Master as a presiding officer of the Craft is described as one that predates Grand Lodges, and a necessity, even if Grand Lodges, as a present system of legislative government, were to be abolished. Landmark Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eight describes the prerogative of the Grand Master to preside over every assembly, to grant dispensations for conferring degrees at irregular times, to give dispensation for opening and holding Lodges, and to make Masons at sight, respectively.

In our jurisdiction, the Grand Master together with other elected Grand Lodge Officers are elected every Annual Communication. His term starting with his Installation to the Grand Oriental Chair and culminating 365 days later with the Grand Master’s Night.

The Jewel of the Grand Master is a Square and Compasses, an arc of 90”, the points of the Compasses resting on the Arc, and in the sun. Like all Grand Line Officers, it is gold plated and mounted on a gold-plated wreath of laurel leaves, 3/8” by 3” outside diameter. Like the five other Elective Officers, the GM’s Collar is of the chain type, consisting of eighteen (18) oblong kinks, 1-1/4” wide by 1-7/8” long, and one round link, 1-5/8” outside diameter, connected by small rings, all heavenly gold plated. Eight links have the initials GLP in script out inside each; eight (8) have the emblem of interlaced threads; and the other two (2) have the Square and Compasses with the Letter G inside them. The round link has a 5-point star emblem and is the bottom link from which the jewel is suspended. The collar is mounted on a purple velvet material 1-1/2” wide.

The First Grand Master - Anthony Sayer, was elected to office following the organization of the Premier Grand Lodge of England (PGLE) in June 24, 1717 in London, three years and three centuries ago (303 years). In the Grand Lodge of the Philippines – the distinction belong to MW Eugene Stafford, a surgeon and Charter Master of Manila Lodge No.1

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Is it proper for the Officers of Blue Lodges to wear the collars and jewels that are not prescribed in the Masonic Law Book, like some Blue Lodge officers wearing the collars and jewels of the Grand Lodge especially during the Installation? In case of such violations, should the Installing Team – composed of the Officer, Master of Ceremonies, and Assistant Master of Ceremonies be held liable since it is they who bestowed the wrong set of collars and jewels to the officers.
  2. Cite an example of note-worthy Masonic Leadership within your Lodge, District, Jurisdiction during the Covid-19 Pandemic (2020 – 2021 – 2022).
  3. Should all Masons aspire to ascend to become Worshipful Master?
  4. What are the characteristics of a good leader in the Masonic context?

Conclusion

The Square; the All-Seeing Eye inside a triangle; and the Square & Compasses set on an Arc, and sun are the symbols of Masonic Leaderships in the three levels of Craft Management. The governance model that we use for Masonry is uniquely our own with the lower and highest of offices elected and middle-management held by appointment. In both Lodge & Grand Lodge levels, the elected officers get their mandate from the Brethren, once elected and installed, they are given much power and responsibility that some describe as Benevolent Dictatorships with the District Leadership bridging the two. Like their jewels, each of these offices represent power and responsibility that increases exponentially from the Master of the Lodge, to the District Deputy, unto the Grand Master himself. We rely heavily on the Wisdom of our Masonic Leaders, like the trust placed on King Solomon himself, by God and His people. It can also be argued that a masonic leader’s primary objective is to maintain Harmony – it “being the strength and support of all societies, especially of ours.” It is therefore imperative that each Mason understand this model of leadership, for him to be able to navigate himself properly through his masonic journey, be it as a leader, or as a follower.

At the lodge installation, the Installing Officer emphasizes the following to the Worshipful Master:

“ The duties incumbent upon you in your exalted station are fraught with grave responsibilities. Remember that the honor, reputation, and usefulness of your Lodge will materially depend upon the skill and assiduity with which you manage its concerns, and that the happiness of its members will be generally promoted in proportion to the watchful care with which you cherish the genuine principles of our Institution. For a pattern of imitation, consider the great luminary of nature, which, rising in the East, regularly diffuses light and lustre to all within its circle. In like manner, it is your province to spread and communicate light and instruction to the Brethren of your Lodge. Forcibly impress upon them the dignity and high importance of Masonry; and seriously admonish them never to disgrace it. Charge them to practice out the Lodge those great moral duties which they have been taught in it; and by amiable, discreet and virtuous conduct, to convince mankind of the goodness of this institution; so that when a person is said to be a member of it, the world may know that he is one to whom the burdened heart may pour out its sorrows; one to whom distress may prefer its suits; one whose hand is guided by justice and whose heart is expanded by benevolence. In short, by a diligent observance of the By-Laws of your Lodge, the Constitution of Masonry, and, above all, the Holy Scriptures, which are given as the rule and guide of your faith, you will be enabled to acquit yourself with the highest honors here and layup a crown of rejoicing which shall continue when time shall be no more.

Just as Masonry is not for all people in the society, not all Masons can be Masonic Leaders. For leadership in general requires a certain set of skills that will either make or break a Lodge, a District, or even an entire jurisdiction. Unfortunately, in some quarters of the jurisdiction Masonic Leadership is being “offered” or “dangled” to some brethren as a “reward” for favors or services without serious regard to a brother’s qualifications and that my brothers is where problems can erupt.

Similarly, while, not all Brethren can be Worshipful Masters, not all Past Masters can become District Deputies, just as not all Past Masters or District Officers can occupy the Grand Oriental Chair as the Grand Master.

In considering a Brother for any of these exalted positions of leadership, the Brethren must acknowledge the reality that the Masonic Offices of the Worshipful Master, the District Deputy, and that of the Grand Master are far greater than those who will occupy them. We should ask ourselves therefore - does the brothers being considered have enough leadership in them to rise up to the demands of the said offices?

References:         
Landmark Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eight and Tenth; Masonic Law Book (2019); The Cable Tow Vol.1, No.1 (1923); Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Communications (1958)

 

Feb2023

Ten (10) months into our Masonic Theme: Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity, we shift the topic of our Masonic Education to Masonry and its Concept of Affection. A thrust belonging to the Pillar of Fraternal Harmony:

What is Brotherly Love and Charity?

During this love month, let us look at the timely topic and their relationship with HARMONY. In masonry, Brotherly Love and Charity are “packaged” into two (2) separate sets of ideas. The former as part of the Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth and the latter as a part of the denomination of Faith, Hope, and Charity with much importance stressed on Charity.

In the First-Degree Lecture, Entered Apprentices Masons are introduced to ten (10) special concepts namely:  Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, Faith, Hope, Charity, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. Though intangible, these words carry with them deep meanings which every mason are supposed to practice as they go through their travels into the rough and rugged pathways of Human Life.  In our lectures, these ten words were grouped into three.

First of these lessons as taught all newly-obligated EA’s are the principal tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. A “tenet” - according to the Oxford Learners Dictionary, being one of the principles or beliefs that a theory or larger set of beliefs is based on. By the same definition, these three (3) are among the foundations of our Fraternity. Take out just one and this Society of ours will surely weaken and collapse.

In our Masonic Education for July entitled How Long is the Cable Tow – the Corps of Grand Lecturers discussed RELIEF. This February, we give emphasis to BROTHERLY LOVE

“By the exercise of which we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, - the high and the low, the rich and the poor, --- who, as created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each other.”

Faith, Hope, and Charity – are historically, Theological Virtues named by Saint Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 13, a passage familiar to Fellow Crafts. As a clarification to some who may have forgotten, CHARITY in the biblical context does not refer to alms-giving as stated on the 3rd verse:

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give

my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

A common practice today among Lodges are community projects done in the name of “charity”. While there is nothing wrong in that, such activities should not be the primary objective of our Lodges nor should it make the Brethren lose sight of their mandates as written in their Lodge Charter – which is to make masons. Of what good are lodge projects worth thousands or hundreds of thousands or even millions of pesos if such a lodge have not been producing masons for years on end?

Going back to the 2nd degree perambulation, CHARITY is used in the broadest sense of LOVE to ONE and ALL. 

“ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;

charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,

is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

At its core - Charity goes beyond finance (otherwise, only the wealthy shall have the monopoly of what is right). It is the recognition that a person needs help for something that they cannot do for themselves, thus acknowledging human helplessness as a part of the Human Condition. It is in Human Relationships – that Charity is more needed by both parties. More than material assistance, what everyone really needs is the Charity of Interpretation. UNDERSTANDING the limitations, weaknesses, eccentricities, anxieties, follies, or failings of one another. What a truly charitable brother can give towards another is his sympathy (pakikidalamhati), compassion (pakikiramay), tolerance (pagpaparaya), mercy (awa), and understanding (pag-unawa) – for somewhere upon the level of time, he too shall be needing to be understood and tolerated in the moments of his inadequacies and failures.

The King James Version of the Holy Bible translates the Greek Word agape as “charity” 27 times and as “love” 82 times, both mostly in the writings of Paul.  The difference must be determined by the context.

That same Greek love concept is an exhibition of benevolence (Kabutihang-loob) or the quality of being well-meaning (kagandahang-loob); a certain level of kindness (kabaitan), or brotherly love (pagmamahal kapatid) that a man should rightfully feel or give toward others. Let us repeat this line for more emphasis: An exhibition of --- brotherly love, that a man should rightfully feel or give toward others.

 In a higher form, it is man’s devotion or adoration of God. And its most exalted manifestation is God’s benevolence and mercy toward man.

The Greeks have several concepts of LOVE. Among them are these nine (9):

Eros                 - the romantic or passionate kind of love      

Ludus              -  the flirtatious or playful love

Mania              -  the obsessive love (marked by jealousy)               

Philia               -  the affectionate love among friends

Phileo              -  materialistic love that makes one attached to material things

Storge              -  sincere affection or familial love that exists within a family            

Pragma            - the enduring kind of love

Philautia          - self-love or the love that is reserved for one’s self

Agape              - that Selfless & Universal Love

CHARITY shows that a man’s love to man should be based on God’s love to man.  The word comes from the Latin Word caritas, which influenced John Wycliff - the English scholastic Bible translator, philosopher, theologian, and Catholic priest. English biblical scholar and linguist William Tyndale and most modern Bible translators prefer to translate agape as “love” which avoids the narrower modern implication of generosity to needy people or worthy causes, and conveys the idea of man’s loving attitude and action to his fellowman as a result of divine grace.

Aside from the nine love concept from the Greeks, here is a tenth word for us Masons. And the word is PHILADELPHIA – which means Brotherly Love!

Going back to the ten (10) special words introduced to us when we were Entered Apprentices, the third concept package are those of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. These were defined as Cardinal Virtues by the Theologians Ambrose of Milan and Augustine of Hippo, and were subsequently adopted by the Catholic Church. Together with the three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity – they become the seven (7) heavenly virtues of the Christian Tradition.

For the last 110 years of our Most Worshipful Institution – the Three Theological Virtues of Faith (Pananampalataya), Hope (Pag-Asa), and Charity (Agape); together with the Four Cardinal Virtues of Temperance (Pagtitimpi), Fortitude (Katatagan ng Loob), Prudence (Pag-iingat), and Justice (Katarungan); and the Three Tenets of Brotherly Love (Pagmamahal Kapatid), Relief (Pagsaklolo), and Truth (Katotohanan) were taught to our Brothers and Fellows who have come their way before us; they are still being taught to all our members today; and shall always be taught to future Entered Apprentices, Fellowcrafts, and Master Masons…

If ONLY masons will always remember and practice these ten concepts, perhaps those numerous cases of grievances filed at the GLP by masons against their brothers shall be dissolved and Harmony can truly be achieved for ONE and ALL.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Have you been wronged by another brother mason? What was your response?
  2. Have you witnessed a situation of one brother (or brothers) acting or planning against another brother? What did you do?

March2023

As March is Youth Month in our jurisdiction, Lecture No. 11 for Masonic Year 2022 – 2023 deals with Masonry & its Role in molding the YOUTH. It is another focus on the Pillar of Institutional Harmony, one the three pillars in our Grand Master’s theme Harmony for One and All – the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity:

How do Masons help develop the Youth?

In supporting the Youth, Philippine Masonry have developed three (3) systems:

In the First System, Masons, through the Masonic Youth Organizations (MYOs), provide our youth with the mentorship they need to develop good values and practical life skills to properly function and succeed in the world. The general assumption is that we Masons are the best role models for our youth, and that imparting the lessons we learn from the teachings of our Fraternity to our children will be of great benefit to society, albeit indirectly. Our Masonic youth organizations - the Order of DeMolay, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and Job’s Daughters International - are established ways to directly accomplish this goal of molding our youth.

However, without institutional Masonic support, both financially and morally, these MYOs will struggle. In the GLP Annual Dues assessed of each active master mason member, we allocate Php 120 for the Youth Fund – distributed as follows: Php 50 for DeMolay, and Php 35 each for the Rainbow Girls and Job’s Daughters.

In addition to the said amount, the Grand Lodge ear-marks Php 25  more from the same annual due remittance and recorded as GLP Youth Project in support of the various activities of the three Masonic Youth Organizations. This extra budget can be considered as a means to promote these MYOs.

To have an idea of the amount involve, multiply these figures against the current number of active masons in our jurisdiction who are paying their annual dues.

Edict No. 154 (Mateo) instituted that representatives from these three organizations be included as permanent members of the Committee on Youth of the Grand Lodge, to ensure that there is always decisive, definitive and relevant direction in the GLP’s youth development programs.

More importantly, there are dedicated Brethren who do a significant amount of work for these young men and women, and an even larger number of devoted advisors from our appendant bodies. Many Blue Lodges, Scottish and York Rite Bodies, Eastern Star Chapters and Amaranth Courts throughout our jurisdiction give valuable financial and moral support to the DeMolay Chapters, Rainbow Assemblies and Job’s Daughters Bethels they have respectively sponsored.

As supplementary information, here is a brief description of the three (3) Masonic Youth Organizations (MYOs):

The Order of DeMolay (DeMolays) is an organization for young men aged 12 to 21. Young men do not need to have a Masonic relative to join the organization. DeMolay was founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1919, and is now international in scope. Like the other Masonic Youth Orders, DeMolay Chapters usually meet in a room at a local Masonic Lodge. Adult leadership is provided by Masons and Senior DeMolays known as Chapter Dads or advisors. The Order takes its name from Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Templars, who was martyred in the Middle Ages for refusing to compromise his honor. The Order teaches the virtues of reverence, love of parents, comradeship, patriotism, courtesy, cleanness, and fidelity. The Order provides many social events and activities, which help to teach social skills and leadership. The Order of DeMolay is currently 103 years old.

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG, or Rainbow, or Rainbow Girls) is an organization for young women aged 11 to 20. It was founded in McAlester, Oklahoma, in 1922. No relationship to a member of the Masonic Order is required for membership. Local groups called Assemblies are generally sponsored by either a Masonic Lodge or a Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. Women known as Mother Advisors give adult supervision and guidance. Each of the colors of the rainbow is associated with a particular virtue or source of inspiration. Like the other Youth Orders, Rainbow is deeply involved with local charity and support of education. It teaches character development, planning, leadership, and social skills through training programs and social events. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is now on its 102nd year.

Job’s Daughters International (JDI, or Job’s Daughters, or Jobies) is an organization of young women with members in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and Brazil. Founded in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1920 by Mrs. Ethel T. Wead Mick, Job’s Daughters perform service projects to help their community and the less fortunate. Membership requires the young woman be related to a Mason. The local organization is called a Bethel. The teachings of the Order are Biblically based, and similar virtues are stressed as in the other Masonic Youth Orders. Job's Daughters place special emphasis on community service. Many Bethels work with drug education programs and with the Hearing-Impaired Kids Endowment (HIKE) Program. Membership is for young women age 10 to 20. This 2023, the Job’s Daughters International is celebrating their Centennial Anniversary.

The Second System, involves the support of the Grand Lodge to the Masonic Charities for Crippled Children, Inc (MCCCI). As stated in our GLP Website:

“To alleviate the sufferings of differently abled children and assist them to be independent and productive member of our society.”

The MCCCI’s mission is to provide medical, surgical and rehabilitation intervention to differently abled children.

In 1908, Sis. Mary Johnston, wife of Bro. Daniel S.B. Johnston (who was a Freemason) established the Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo, Manila. It is capable of housing 55 patients that accepts maternity and orthopedic cases. They started assisting Polio Victims during its outbreak in 1920's. Freemason were inspired to organize the Masonic Hospital for Crippled Children, now Masonic Charities for Crippled Children, Inc. (MCCCI) on July 24, 1924.

Among the "Founding Fathers" of this corporation were Frederick H. Stevens and wife, Wenceslao Trinidad, William W. Larkin, Joseph M. Schmidt., Teodoro M. Kalaw, Sr., Manuel Camus, Vicente Carmona, and Gonzalo C. Go Quiolay. To this pioneering "Founding Fathers' we owe the present institution. Majority of our Founding Fathers eventually became Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.

The Masonic Ward for Crippled Children housed at the Mary Johnston Hospital opened its doors to five children on September 23, 1925.

The Masonic Charities for Crippled Children, Inc., is a non-stock and non-profit corporation. It is mainly supported by its investment income and the annual contribution of all Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines (75 php per member). In addition, it receives donations and legacies.

The Masonic Ward is operated and maintained by Orthopedic Surgeons and other medical specialist with extensive training and experience here and abroad.

In partnership with Smile Train, Inc.-New York in 2006, MCCCI started to treat patients afflicted with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate.

On May 23, 2014, a Twenty (20) Beds capacity Masonic Children's Orthopedic Ward was inaugurated at the UP-Philippine General Hospital to house its beneficiaries and other Orthopedic Pediatric Patients.

The organization has Regional Units, in Baguio (administered by Fernando M. Lacsamana in cooperation with Medical Specialist Dr. James C. Paggao and VW Dr. Antonio T. Tactay), in Naga- Bicol (Unit Representative David Severo in cooperation with Benjamin Villanueva, Treasurer and Crisostomo D. Lacuesta, Medical Director) and in Legazpi-Bicol (Jerome C. Lee is the Unit Representative; Medical Director Dr. Karlo Jacob and Mr. Ryan Lim). MCCCI is the oldest institution dedicated to alleviate the plight of crippled children in the Philippines.

MCCCI has been providing Medical, Surgical and Rehabilitation assistance to indigent patients afflicted with Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, Juvenile Cataract, Club Foot, Blount’s Disease, Congenital Rickets, Scoliosis, Genu Varum, Genu Valgum, Chronic Osteomyelitis and other orthopedic cases since 1924.

It will continue to partner with Philippine General Hospital, Bicol Medical Center, Bicol Regional Training & Teaching Hospital and Smile Train until MCCCI thru the support of the Most Worshipful Grand lodge of the Philippines and other supporting clubs and affiliates will have its own Hospital.

The Third System, is about the Shriners and their advocacies in supporting the rehabilitation of the burned and crippled children.

Lecturer Insights

Guide Question for Lecturers

Note: DGL’s answers to these questions shall be among their contributions to the Lecture:

  1. Do you have children belonging to Masonic Youth Organizations? Or are your children expressing a particular desire to join a local DeMolay Chapter, Rainbow Assembly or Job’s Daughters Bethel?
  2. What efforts  have you made to be active in any of the Masonic youth groups sponsored by your Lodge or any other Lodge in your Masonic District?
  3. Are the Masonic Youth Groups that you are familiar with, have shown their worth in the Society? Do their Members make model citizens?
  4. Does active involvement in a Masonic youth organization, especially if you have a son or daughter joining as a member, provide a better understanding of Masonry for all involved, and a better understanding of the Masonic Family as a whole?
  5. Have you shared the teachings of Freemasonry with your son and/or daughter as you deem appropriate? Does making yourself available as mentor / advisor in our MYOs made you a better man and mason?

Conclusion

To some Brethren, the word Youth, when associated with Masons are automatically connected with the DeMolays, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow Girls. Others are still not aware that our support for the Youth extends not just with the sons and daughters of Masons but also to youth in our society especially the physically handicapped. In listening to this lecture, some of you are learning only now that all of us here have been supporting the youth through our lodge dues – a portion of which is remitted annually to the Grand Lodge, who in turn provides the allotted funds to where they have been intended to be. This Brethren, is a classic example of Institutionalized Charity running in Harmony between our Fraternity and the Society.

Master Masons should manifest the virtues we learn in the Craft in our daily lives, and impart these same virtues to our youth. And the best and most direct way of doing so is by involving our immediate family in our Masonic journey and by setting a good example for our children to emulate. We can also provide mentorship to our youth by being active in the Masonic Youth Organizations and more effectively by encouraging our own children to join them. By such actions, we are able to view the craft not only as a personal journey but a travel that we share with our Brethren, our sons and daughters, our families and our society.

References

Edict No. 134 (Mateo); Orientation Materials from DeMolay, IORG and JDI.
The GLP Website.

April2023

Deferred Lecture on the Masonic Education

for APRIL 2023

The lecture format for the 12th and last of our Masonic Education Series under the Grand Master’s theme

Harmony for One and All

– the Foundation of a Genuine Masonic Fraternity

shall be issued to the Corp of Grand Lecturers by February 2023.

 

VW Dennis L. Cunanan, SGL
Senior Grand Lecturer