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Kuyang Pepe and Me

May 17th, 2009 6 comments

kuyapepe1
Protrait of the Most Famous and Illustrious Filipino Freemason. Just take your pick…hehehe!

(Photo taken by my darling wife Vikki during our Mother’s Day Photo Walk at Fort Santiago)

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A Mason’s Mark

January 27th, 2009 2 comments

Last Sunday, Bambit, our little girl Maia and Ate Bibing went for a morning walk at Nayong Pilipino or whatever is left of it.

It was a stroll cum photo-shoot sortie. While Bambit was looking for picture-perfect-subjects, Maia called her up and said, “look mommy, look, it’s a MASON.” Maia found a word “MASON” chiseled on the road cement (inset photo).

Maia pronounces the word Mason as MAAH-SOON, the first time she read the print “MY DAD IS A MASON” at the back of one of her t-shirts. And yes, she recognizes Masonic symbols like the ubiquitous Square and Compasses, and gave all of them, including Masonic events, with a generic nomenclature as “MAAH-SOON”. Like, she would ask me while I am preparing to go to our Lodge meeting, “are you going to MAAH-SOON, Ama?”

Back to Maia’s find. I’m sure this mark carries with it many stories. But I’d like to fancy it as a mark left by one of the Masons who made the road. I guess it was not even his name. I think he just etched the word that instantly came to his mind that can collectively identify all of them – mga MAAH-SOON. This drift is consistent with an ancient practice among operative Masons.

According to WIKIPEDIA: A mason’s mark is a symbol often found on dressed stone in buildings and other public structures. Scottish rules issued in 1598 stated that on admission to the guild, every mason had to enter his name and his mark in a register.

Another: THE subject of Marks forms an interesting episode in the history of Masonry, both Operative and Speculative. A Mason’s Mark is a monogram, a symbol, or some other arbitrary figure chiselled by a mason on the surface of a stone for the purpose of identifying his own work and distinguishing it from that of other workmen.

I find the mark that Maia found fascinating and noble all together. The marker could have written, “Junrhey loves Jonahlyn” or “Carding was her,” for crying out loud, but instead he chose to put a mark that gives due recognition and distinction to their craft – that of him or them being Masons. Proud of their work, proud of of their craft.

More often, the nobility and virtues of Masonry can still be found marked in the hearts of those who truly build roads, buildings and other stately edifices, than those who just proclaim themselves Masons by flashing their fancy decals and titles, but doesn’t know how to build an edifice of virtue in their hearts nor spread the cement of brotherly love.

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Testing SCRIBD

January 15th, 2009 Comments off

I’m testing the SCRIBD, with this program of our 17th Public Installation of Officers for Masonic Year 2009.

jdml305_17thInstallation

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My Masonic Lodge’s 2008 Year Ender

December 26th, 2008 1 comment

A Jacques DeMolay Memorial Lodge No.305, F.&A.M. year end presentation. Moments of JDML305 events and activities in 2008, captured on stills and our collective memory.

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Pomp and Circumstance

November 11th, 2008 Comments off

One thing that distinguish Masonic functions apart from other organizations is that it is always accompanied by the usual pomp and circumstance. This goes true even to all the concordant and appendant organizations of Freemasonry. This ritualistic tradition are benchmark characteristics of Freemasonry being an Ancient and Honorable institution. Freemasonry claims ascendancy as being more ancient than the Golden Fleece or the Roman Eagle and more honorable than the Order of the Star of France or the Order of the Garter of England.

The Order of DeMolay, being a youth organization founded by Masons upon strong Masonic principles and traditions, follows suit. The Order of DeMolay is also beset with rites, degrees, decorations, honors and awards patterned after medieval Chivalric traditions of Knighthood, particularly from the Knights Templar of which the Order had taken inspiration.

Last February 8, 2008, during the 9th Biennial Session of the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay of the Republic of the Philippines, after so many years I once again enjoyed our Order’s usual pomp and circumstance. I was inducted, together with many others, as an Active Member of the Supreme Council, in a simple yet symbolic Rite called the Ceremony of Collaring. It is in this ceremony where one’s status as Active Member is confirmed by being presented with a certificate and adorned with the collar and jewel of the Supreme Council.

This year marks my 27th year of being a member of the Order of DeMolay, and it is fittingly punctuated by my being collared an Active Member of the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay of the Republic of the Philippines. The honor of becoming member of the DeMolay Supreme Council is a privilege enjoyed only by regular Master Masons in good standing, or that of a Senior DeMolay who is a Legionnaire of the Legion of Honor of the Order of DeMolay. This is an act ensuring the perpetual stewardship of Freemasonry over the DeMolay movement all over the world.

I’m proud to be a DeMolay especially that both the incumbent Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, Most Worshipful Pacifico B. Aniag, and the sitting Grand Master of the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay of the Republic of the Philippines, Hon. VW Evaristo A. Leviste, are my brother DeMolays.

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Memento Mori 2008

October 28th, 2008 3 comments

I couldn’t go to San Juan La Union this “Undas” (All-Souls/Saints day) to visit the grave of my Dad. Instead, my wife Vikki and I went to the Masonic Cemetery at Manila North Cemetery to join the Masonic District NCR-A’s Outdoor Lodge of Remembrance last Saturday, October 25, 2008.

A Masonic Lodge of Remembrance is an annual ceremony conducted by Freemasons to pay tribute to its departed Brethren. This rite’s other name is the Lodge of Sorrow and is usually conducted indoor and tyled, meaning only Master Masons can participate and witness. But in this Grand Jurisdiction, the Lodge of Remembrance has become one of the Masonic ceremonies being opened to the public.

Officers, members and some family members from Lodges belonging to MD NCR-A came. A delegation from my Lodge, Jacques DeMolay Memorial Lodge No. 305, also came and attended the ceremony. It was a grand and solemn ceremony performed with excellent execution by the Manila Mt.-Lebanon Lodge No.1, who hosted the affair being owner of the Masonic Cemetery where the Lodge of Remembrance was held.

The Roll of the Temple Builders, Brethren of the Craft who have dropped their working tools and are now gathered in the Celestial Lodge above, were called one by one. Among those called included Brother Crisostomo P. Gaerlan, my Dad who passed away April 17 of last year.

What fitting tribute can I give my Dad this All Souls day, than that of having his name called and remembered among his mortal Brethren. His name cast into the four winds of heaven that he may be remembered among Men and Masons forever.

Until then Dad, I rejoice in the thought of knowing that we shall meet again and our spirits shall live forever when time shall be no more. Until then my Brother, until then.

(Photo Credits: Bro. Manny Gudito and VW Joji Bulawin)

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My Brother Mason

September 20th, 2008 Comments off

My elder brother Ferdie (left, on the photo) was just raised to the Sublime Degree of Masonry last September 12, 2008. Now he is a Master Mason and the third Gaerlan member of our lodge, Jacques DeMolay Memorial Lodge No. 305 Free and Accepted Masons. The first one is our cousin Samuel H. Gaerlan, who like us is also a DeMolay, is charter member of our lodge. I followed next, and now Ferdie.

I’m sure our Dad, who is now in the Celestial Lodge above, is very happy. He now had two of his sons as his Brother Masons. After his raising, my Brother Ferdie gave a speech before the Lodge thanking the Brethren for accepting him as member of the Lodge, and also, he dedicated that momentous event of his life to our late Dad.

There are still three of our younger siblings, who hopefully will follow suit and knock at the doors of Freemasonry in due time.

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