Saipan Tribune - Saipan, Phillipines
RP Cabinet member keynotes installation of Masons' officers
By Ferdie Dela Torre
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
A Philippine Cabinet member served as the keynote speaker during the installation of officers for this year's Saipan Masons on Saturday night at the World Resort Hotel's Royal Taga.
Philippine Department of Public Works Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr. delivered the Masons' grand master's address.
"Our freedom is our Masonic contribution to our country," said Ebdane, a retired police general who is the grand master of Masons in Philippine jurisdiction. "Freemasonry, in its struggle to enthrone the will of our people, was bathed in the blood of Mason heroes. Fortunate are the brethren who survived the nightmare of political and religious machination. No one can say that Freemasonry did not contribute to our libertarian struggle," said Ebdane.
The DPW secretary also narrated the long history of Freemasonry in the Philippines.
Masons are also known as Freemasons. They belong to the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. The fraternity uses the tools of ancient architectural craftsmen symbolically in a system of instruction designed to build character and moral values in its members.
During Saturday's ceremony, Daniel E. Banez was installed as worshipful master for the Emon Lodge No. 179 of Masonic District No. 54 under the Jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines. Banez served last year as Masons' senior warden.
Also elected and appointed officers were Gener C. Garcia, senior warden; Roque O. Pagalanan, junior warden; Ernest J. Strange, treasurer; Romulo A. Cayetano, secretary; Jorge M. Manalili, auditor; Joselito R. Arce Jr., chaplain; and Wilfredo G. Ching, marshall.
The other officers were Levy N. Abul II, senior deacon; Pepe R. Crisostomo, junior deacon; Victor G. Brana, orator; Eli C. Buenaventura, lecturer; Amando G. Neglerio, almoner; Jaime I. Villamor, senior steward; Gani E. Benoza, junior steward; and Celso S. Gianchand, organist.
Ernest Strange served as the installing officer, while Leonilo Alger was the master of ceremonies.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez have expressed their gratitude for the Masons' contributions "to the betterment of our Commonwealth and we share in your quest to strengthen brotherhood among all people."
"Your continued support of Shriners Children's Burn Centers is equally commendable," said Fitial and Villagomez in their message.
The Shriners centers in Hawaii and California treat crippled and burned children worldwide. Some of the Masons' charitable contributions go to the facility.