Last 15 minutes

It has been said that the best part of a movie is the last 15 minutes where all the characters move together to complete the story. The suspense that made your heart thump and hold your breath finally comes to a beautiful end allowing you to exhale at last. And so it is with our journey in the East. The best part that completes our story is being able to hear the new Master say,” The Lodge is now 
open and in order for business…” 

Ladies Night A Smashing Success!

R.W. Quijano delivering speech.

As the moon added a romantic sheen to the balmy breeze that wafted through the partially open vents of Colonial Inn, a booming voice breaks in, “ Honored and Distinguished Guests, Brothers, Sisters, Ladies and Gentlemen! We are gathered tonight to celebrate, honor and give tribute to our beloved Ladies! They make our lives complete and worth living. And behind every man’s success, stands a woman telling him what to do!” Declared the emcee of the evening, VW Mon Cruz. As everyone stood at attention, Bro. Nelson Reyes led the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner and Bayang Magiliw, followed by an invocation given by RW Joel V. Pal, Grand Chaplain. The welcome remarks was delivered by WB Levy Lavarino, chair of the Ladies Night Committee, and gave special compliments to the Ladies and their beaus, the dignitaries and brothers and sisters from other Lodges.

As token of their love and devotion, the brethren offered long-stemmed red roses to their ladies, led by WM Jun Almiron, as they waltzed to “Ikaw” a Filipino love song sang by Bro. Nelson Reyes. Reciprocating the collective show of affection, Sis. Thelma Talusan, wife of RW Dick Talusan, PDDGM, representing the Ladies echoed the same affection and called on the sisters to continue their support for the Lodge.

After a well-received introduction by RW Carlito Gallardo, Grand Director of Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York the guest speaker and past DDGM of the 4th Manhattan District, RW Ver Quijano, delivered a heart-warming inspirational speech that had virtually everyone’s eyes welling with tears, as he gave tribute to “the one lady” who exemplified what true love really is. She was his mother, whose pains, struggles and sacrificial love nurtured him and made him the man he is today. He went on to remind the Brethren, “ never ever forget to give thanks to the Ladies upon whom we depend so much for our lives, successes and happiness.”

As part of the celebration, former First Ladies pinned specially designed lapel pins to their husband’s dedication and leadership Calling on the former first Ladies was Sis. Jean Almiron assisted by SW Bro. Ignacio Abe.

In his closing remarks, WM Jun Almiron expressed his gratitude for the love and tremendous support everyone gave, including the Brethren and Worshipful Masters from other Lodges and the generosity of donors who, despite their inability to attend contributed to the success of the affair.

The Ladies Night Committee consisted of WB Levy Lavarino, VW Mon Cruz, and Bro. Henry Garcia, Bro. Ige Abe, Bro. Albert Inguito, Bro. Pepe Aquino, RW Carlito Gallardo and their beloved Ladies. Gratitude and appreciation were also extended to the DJGing & hubby and the staff of the Colonial Inn of Norwood, New Jersey.

“Dream Team” Prepares for May Conferral

Proficiency Exams on April 13; Conferral on May 19

The 3rd Degree Conferring Team dubbed as the “Dream Team” have started their preparations for what will be a rare and historic degree work because it will be composed of Past Masters that will also feature a spectacular dramatization of the Hiramic Legend. WB Levy Lavarino as the Conferring Master, will release the complete list of the participants shortly. The Hiramic Legend is the acting out of the central core of Masonic teachings for men to have faith, to keep to the ideals of morality and virtue and to stand by their promises.

Degree work will start at 1:00 PM and will conclude with the dramatization of the Hiramic Legend. Collation will then follow. WB Temy Colarte, who gave the name “Dream Team”, wrote to urge the team to “go easy on the brothers.” What he meant by that is anyone’s guess. WB Temy is with Aramco in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who keeps in touch with us in spite of the distance. See you soon, WBro. Temy!

When the Ladies Came to Jose Rizal Lodge…

There was joy and rejoicing that we have not seen, heard or felt for a long, long time. Old friendships were renewed and new friendships created. There was a fusion of the old and the new producing a sprit de corps that was palpable and exciting. It took a life of its own that inspired everyone to give something to make it a memorable evening. Be it in the form of a song, a joke, a toast and even a quick ensemble of John Denver songs. The food was supracalifragilistic and expialidociously prepared by Sis. Pinky to celebrate WB Levy Lavarino’s –“coming out ” birthday party. Something in the air, food or drink must have been present that brought couples to the dance floor while WBro.Boy Iriberri and Bro. Nelson Reyes belted romantic songs. The evening ended when, like the Cinderella story, curfew struck. Everyone scurried to their own “tartanillas” with their princes and went home. No one left a shoe behind. Too bad Mr. Prince.

PETE DECENA: We can do it!

Bro. Pete Decena, a long time band leader and vocalist and currently the Lodge’s organist, declared with enthusiasm and determination, “We can do it!” when tasked with organizing a ensemble or a band where the brethren can give vent to their musical talents or to unmask latent and hidden gifts. Bro. Rodene Cortes, another musically gifted brother, offered to assist while Bro. Eduard Kho, a piano teacher, agreed to come on board all the way. At the same time, old- timer Bro. Ron Magno , an instrumentalist, has been waiting for something like this to happen. Who knows? We may yet hear a sampling of their initial piece of work on our next collation! What sayest thou, my brothers?

IGE ABE: Out of Love, a Guitar

Determined to add to the musical development of our Lodge’s life, Bro. Ige Abe and his wife, Sis. Mely, gave the Lodge a brand new Yamaha electric guitar and an amplifier with it. These were promptly commissioned when the Ladies Came to JRL and that contributed immensely to the musical ambiance of the evening. Their donation will play a major part in the creation of an ensemble that is energetically being pursued by several brothers. When organized, we can be our own entertainers during Masonic events and celebrations. It will also provide a creative alternative to activities we do outside and beyond the four walls of the Lodge. “We did this, out of love”- Bro. Ige Abe said.