Saturday, November 24, 2007

Not A Dream


"What shall we do now?" two fellows asked the ring leader,
"How we are going to do this?" a Brother of mine inquired.

Though this humble Brother might have some thoughts in response to a similar inquiry, I ask your indulgence for sidestepping for I would not hazard the notion as I am not certain if it will satisfy the end result of your question. Being away for more than half of my life and cannot even vote, I am but a lost voice of a former son who yearned for the welfare of the people and land I used to call home. So in way of replying and acknowledging your positive reflection that you might harbor to your Brother of the Craft, allow me to quote the last three paragraphs of The Legacy of Freemasons in Philippine History by Rodel J. Ramos.

"At the EDSA revolution, Worshipful Master Col. Tirzo Gador who was the provincial commander of Cagayan at that time led one hundred Cagayanos in defense of the rebellion. The so-called "Cavaliers" composed of Masons surrounded Gen. Rene Cruz, Senior Warden of Araw Lodge No. 18 in Camp Crame. Past Grand Master Rosendo Herrera - together with his family - defied tanks in that glorious EDSA experience. Past Grand Master Reynato S. Puno, Deputy Minister of Justice, met with Senator Jovito Salonga when Justice Estelito Mendoza was nowhere to be found.

MW Teodoro M. Kalaw, past Grand Master of the Philippines observed: "In these days of peace and goodwill, under a government that neither condemns nor persecutes, but rather encourages and helps those who work for the benefit and progress of humanity, Masonry which is a universal institution to which many honest men belong, irrespective of religion, race or nationality, will be able to teach the Filipinos that the ideal life is that in which nobody interferes with the beliefs of others; in which everybody may profess the ideas that each considers best, if within the law; in which everyone is free to adore his God in his own way; in which all may practice as they deem advisable the commandment of "Love they neighbor as thyself; charity towards the needy, tolerance and humility towards the poor, justice and truth towards all; in which there is no hatred, but love, no division of classes, but fraternal cooperation, no monopolies for the few, but opportunities for everybody; and in which all will understand that morality is not expressed in words, or even in thoughts, but in daily deeds, in every industrial, commercial, agricultural activity, in every phase, in short, in human existence."

Even today, Masons are working for the preservation of our freedom, equality, unity and peace. Truly, the words "Masonry is in the heart of great men among nations" was upheld. Perhaps if more Masons were involved in our Government and Filipino Communities abroad, our dream of unity will be hastened. But many seem to be content with following the blind rather than leading them."

Rodel J. Ramos research documented the influence of the Craft to the shakers and movers of the Philippine history but concluded and left a stinging note --- an indictment of today's Filipino Freemasons. Blinds leading the blinds. May we find who we are, what we used to be and what our Craft can do for the sake of the Nation we pledge our allegiance to. May the Filipino Freemasons regardless of affiliations or jurisdictions bury the hatchet; end the in-fighting and joined hands to guide the Nation in seeking its own destiny.The Nation needs leaders and model citizens--- the Filipino Freemasons was once used to be and again, can be. Taking lesson from the familiar ritual we often heard inside the Lodge, we can stop searching for that which was lost and to simply open-up our eyes for us to see further light. And my Brethen, this ideal is not a dream.


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