Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Bangkok no longer excites.

The AETAS Lumpini Hotel is A1 but too far from the UNESCAP.

The taxi drivers are pimps no more.

Thai habalhabal is the best option amidst rush hour traffic jams.

The base fare for a tuktok is always B300, to be negotiated down. 

I still don't know the name for that Thai green garnish which Egay described as "lasang putang-ina".
And yes, my first Thai lunch is a huge bowl of noodles and a plate of spicy pork salad that tasted like dinakdakan.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


It was supposed to be a happy fellowship in celebration of the conclusion of our acceptance into the Munoz Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rites.

Our batch was named "The Knights of the Scarborough Shoals" as I proposed.

Then Gen. Tom Rentoy, our batch president (I am the vice-president), received a phone call and broke the news that the plane carrying DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo crash landed.

Three days later, the secretary's body was found and the country mourned the demise of an exemplary public servant.

I took the photo below of then Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo with then PRRM president Conrado S. Navarro (RIP) in 2006 during PRRM's 55th anniversary celebration in Club Filipino. As the memories of that night rushed in, so are remembrances of the photos I took of labor leader Angelito Mendoza, activist Maita Gomez, and artist Susan Fernandez-Magno who were earlier called to the Celestial Lodge above.

I suddenly felt weird.

Do the people I shoot die eventually? 

Friday, August 10, 2012


In 2009, then MD RIII-D District Deputy Grand Master Emmanuel Antonio M. Umali hosted a tribute for Past District Deputy Grand Masters and Senior Masons where VW Antonio P. Pascual was supposed to deliver the response in behalf of the honorees. He prepared his speech, by his own hand, which unfortunately was not delivered that night. That speech was finally delivered during the Last Rites tendered for him by Munoz Royal Court No. 17 of the Order of the Amaranth. In his memory and to honor him, that speech is being published now; perhaps the parting words of wisdom from an exemplary Mason on his final journey to the Celestial Lodge, to his fellow Travelers who are tasked to continue the work of the Craft in this earth...

"Right Worshipful Sir, Very Worshipful Sirs, Worshipful Sirs, Friends, Ladies, and All.

After wandering my eyes inside this hall and see the faces of everyone, I am finally convinced that I am the most senior Mason among us here present today. The truth to say is I am now 86 years of age with 15 grandchildren, two of which are the daughter and son of Bro. and Mrs. Lino Carandang. For all you know, Bro. Lino Carandang is a Fellow Craft Mason of Model Lodge No. 373 at Baloc, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija. He is expected to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on October 3, 2009 while my daughter, Pacita P. Caarandang, is a manager of Metrobank in Cabanatuan City.

At my age of 86, I feel still young in heart, strong, healthy, willing, and able but no longer usable. But in spite of a damaged spinal cord, I managed to stand upright to avoid being humpbacked.

How and why I’ve maintained a normal bodily heath is due to my belief and learning in Masonry: “When human strength and wisdom fails, divine assistance vouchsafes us thru the medium of prayer”.

I always pray to the one and only living God whose power and wisdom are explicitly beyond the challenges of the most powerful men on earth.

Going back to my younger age, I wish to share with you my experience and accomplishment as a Mason. I served my Lodge, Memorial Lodge No. 90, as Worshipful Master for 4 years. It was also during those trying years that I organized Munoz Royal Court No. 17 of the Order of the Amaranth where I served as Royal Patron for 8 years. Today, the Court has more than 100 active members.

How I managed to perform those accomplishments is perhaps due to my robust enthusiasm, my deep commitment, my loyalty, and dedication to the principles of Freemasonry.

Today, Masonic District RIII-D, in line with the plans and programs of MW Grand Master Peter Lim Lo Sur, is giving a tribute to senior Masons and PDDGMs which I believe is a good precedent for other Lodges to follow which will serve as an ardent gift of gratitude and affection to all senior Masons.

Thanks to the keen foresight of the District officers headed by VW Emmanuel Antonio M. Umali for sponsoring this kind of program.

Thanks also for giving me a chance to give a short response in behalf of my co-senior Masons.

Again, thank you, good night, and God Bless."


Thursday, August 09, 2012


A 4-time Master of Memorial Lodge No. 90 --- in 1970, 1978-1979, and 1982; a 2-time District Deputy Grand Master in 1982 and 1983 of Nueva Ecija; a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rites from 1982 until 1995; and the acknowledged “Founding Father” of Munoz Royal Court No. 17 of the Order of the Amaranth. 

Kuya Tony served the Craft well...   


Friday, August 03, 2012


Para ulit akong bumalik sa Grade 1.

Malaki ang pagkakaiba sa settings ng bago kong kamera sa nakasanayan kong Nikon D40. 

At may touch screen pa.

Kaya habang humahagupit ang buntot ni Gener ay sige ang kalikot ko kay Olympus OMD EM5.

Pagdating ng Balanga ay tumugtog ang Bamboo Band ng PUP-Mariveles ('di ba tigaroon si Judith na nag-good bye kiss sa akin noon matapos ang CEGP Luzon-wide Congress?).

Sila ang una kong pinagpraktisan...