As confirmed by WB Chico Alvares of San Diego, CA, there will be a Third Degree conferral at Past Masters Night at Cornerstone Lodge No. 659 at LA (1701 W La Habra Blvd, La Habra) on Wednesday, the 15th of this month/Nov. Since I have little bit info in this coming event, allow me to share.
The occasion will be unique since the candidate, Macario, Jr., will be raised by his own blood brothers due to the courtesy of the Master of Cornerstone Lodge. Pepito, the oldest, flying-in from Washington State is a PM of Silverdale Lodge No. 311, while Ben is the current Master of Gateway Lodge No. 339 in Brea, CA and Aurelio, the youngest brother, flying in from Phoenix, Arizona was installed as the Master of Peoria Lodge No. 31 on 11 Nov. Dan is a member of Black Mountain Lodge No. 845 of San Diego, CA and Angel who since passed away was a member of Lincoln Lodge No. 34 in the Philippines. The candidate was named after the father Macario, Sr., who at the time of his passing was a city councilor and also a proud member of Lincoln Lodge No. 34 in Olongapo City.
As a young urchin back then, remember Grandpa/Lolo Kayong as a giant of a man not only in stature in his community but also physically and probably the reason why the boy was scared of talking to him. However, the boy was more docile around Grandma Oring and to the only girl of the family---Gloria. Aside from playing in their huge living room, the boy’s most fond memory while his family stayed at 14th Street renamed-Macaraeg St, West Tapinac, was the mean flock of geese which ruled the owner’s backyard. Mean as they were, noisier than barking dogs, these geese somehow represented the inverse qualities of Grandpa Kayong and his family. The Macaraeg’s welcomed a young father during the post WWII era in his search for work to support his own family. Later on, their kindness was extended to Islaw ’s brother who, like his elder, owed a great deal of benevolence to Lolo Kayong and his family.
As the Macaraeg brothers were older than the boy except Aurelio, the boy barely saw them especially when they immigrated to the U.S. and joined the Services. Seeing a photo of Kuya Pepito in his crackerjack made an enduring impression to the boy that maybe someday he too can join the US Navy. As the leaves turned from green to yellow and back to green again, the boy lost contact until WB Tony Abad’s invitation to Black Mountain Lodge Fellow Craft Degree, where the writer unexpectedly met Dan who was the Senior Steward of the Lodge.
The raising is more than a degree work, it is a symbolic of completion the work started by Bro Macario Sr, who by example and providence demonstrated that no words are needed to encourage all of his six boys to become Freemasons. Macario, Jr’s rising to the degree of Master Mason is a testimony that good man will knock on the door of Freemasonry “on his own freewill and accord.” It is not hard to imagine the smile of the father when all six of his boys to call him a Brother and in return call three of them (so far) Worshipful Brothers.
In behalf of the family of the young father who is now in his 80’s living in Guam, in behalf of the Olano’s family—there are no words to express our gratitude but allow me to simply say with all sincerity—Thank you.
Before leaving to Phoenix to attend Peoria Lodge No 31 installation of officers, WB Chico Alvarez sent me an autographed copy of WB John Heisner’s Meditations on Masonic Symbolism. I asked the WB Chico to sign it for me which he kindly wrote, “we make a living by what we make, we make a life by what we give...” The Macaraeg family will be remembered by this legacy.