Tuesday, April 28, 2009

KUYA (Men in Aprons)

The square and compass emblem prominently displayed in Uncle Doming’s office in the big house in Bambang might be because he is a geodetic engineer. Or that was what Abet thought. Some time later during Uncle Doming’s funeral after succumbing to an unexpected coronary thrombosis, Abet would understand that the square and compass are associated with the men in barong tagalog who lined up to pay an unusual homage to his late Uncle Doming by leaving pieces of acacia leaves in his casket. Abet also found it strange that the men were wearing aprons.

Freemasonry broadly defines itself as “a brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God”. It traces its origins back between 7100 BC and 2500 from the Megalithic Tribes of what is now England. Its ancient history was steeped in legends: from the masons of Tyre in Phoenicia who built King Solomon’s Temple at around 945 BC; to the Enochian-Zadokite priests who were said to have hidden their scrolls and treasures under the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple after being expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD; and Hugues de Payens who established a military order of fighting monks in 1118 AD that became known as the Knights Templars who were said to have returned to Jerusalem in 1140 AD and retrieved the hidden scrolls and treasures. Sir William St. Clair, who in 1446 started building the Rosslyn Chapel where Sophie finally met her lost family in the Dan Brown novel and Tom Hanks movie “The Da Vinci Code”, is said to be a direct descendant of Hugue de Payens.

Beyond the legends, the history of Freemasonry as backed by solid empirical evidence has been traced back to 1390 when the Regius Manuscripts, the oldest authenticated Masonic documents, was written. In 1717, four Masonic London lodges formed the Premier Grand Lodge of England and in 1731, the first American Grand Lodge was established in Pennsylvania.

Freemasonry came to the Philippines through the “Spaniards only” Primera Luz Filipina Lodge that was established in 1856. Thirty years later, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena, the Luna brothers, Galicano Apacible, Domingo Panganiban, Jose Alejandrino, Tomas Arejola, Ariston Bautista, Julio Llorente, and Jose Rizal became the first Filipinos to be admitted in a Masonic lodge while they were studying in Spain. In 1912, a single and unified Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands was established but remained polarized into two main factions due to the issue of race: the Americans’ Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands and the Filipinos’ Regional Grand Lodge. These two factions were finally united in 1917 through an agreement of electing an alternating American and Filipino Grand Masters. The first Grand Master of the united lodge was MW William H. Taylor who is an American, and was succeeded by MW Manuel L. Quezon who was the first Filipino Grand Master. After 1946 when the Philippines formally gained independence from the United States, all Grand Masters were Filipinos.

Almost 30 years after Uncle Doming's death in Bambang, his nephew Abet paid homage to him by being admitted to the Model Lodge No. 373 of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines…

PHOTO EXPLAINED: Members of the Model Lodge No. 373 of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines in Baloc, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija during the second public installation of its officers for 2009.


ZeroGravity said...

Hmmmm, na-curious ako dun a. Lalo nung ipakit amo sa akin yung mga gasgas. Hmmmm.

Member din ba si Einstein?

Anonymous said...

congrats shubs!

ian said...

sir anu po yung sinasabi ni sir zerogravity na gasgas na pinakita ninyo sa kanya? anu po ba yung men in aprons?