Filipinos
and
Freemasonry
WB Norberto C. Bautista
Peninsular Lodge No. 95
March 16, 2005
Updated March 16, 2005
The Philippines
Named after King Phillip II of Spain.
A Republic and its form of government is patterned after that of
the US.
June 12, 1898 - Declaration of Independence from Imperial Spain.
7 major languages and 84 ethnolinguistic groupings, each with
their own dialects
92% of the Filipinos are Christians and 8% practice a faith
representing eastern philosophies
Updated March 16, 2005
Historical Eras or Periods
The four distinct eras or periods of time are:
• Pre-Spanish (pre-colonization era);
• Spanish Colonization (1521-1898);
• American Colonization (1898-1946). Includes
the Japanese Occupation from 1942-1945; and
• the post-Colonization Era (1946-present).
Updated March 16, 2005
Masonry in the Philippines
and the
Birth of the Craft
Updated March 16, 2005
first known Masonic labor
• The British occupied the nation from 1762 to 1764
(after a struggle with Spain)
• Sept. 22, 1762 – an English fleet anchored in Manila Bay
carrying on board the English Masons who did the first
Masonic work on Philippine soil, labor was conducted
inside the Manila Cathedral (a Catholic Church).
Thereafter . . .
Updated March 16, 2005
the green Light from Spain
• 1855* - the PM of Spain, Ill. Bro. Sagasta, sent three 33rd
degree Masons to the Philippines. He was at that time the
Sovereign Grand Commander (Scottish Rite) and the GM of
the Gran Oriente de Espana.
• GM Sagasta appointed three 33rd degree Illustrious Brothers
into positions of responsibility in the colonial government:
 the Governor General of the Philippine Islands (Perinatt),
 the Civil Governor of Manila (Centeno), and
 the Director General for Civil Affairs (Ballesteros)
*Nine years before the 1861 US Civil War.
Updated March 16, 2005
first Blue Lodge in the Islands
• 1856 Lodge Primera Luz Filipino was the first Masonic lodges
established in the Philippines. A young Spanish Navy ensign, Bro.
Jose Malcampo, is credited for this. No pure blooded Filipino was
accepted for membership.
• Masonic researchers have found evidences that when Bro.
Malcampo came back to the Philippines in 1874 (after 18 years),
unfortunately he was behind the persecution of the Filipino members
of Masonry.
• Subsequently, three other lodges were established, but limited their
membership to the Europeans:
 first by the Germans,
 second by the British Consul and
 third by the Spaniards.
Updated March 16, 2005
first Filipino Masons
were in Europe
• 1880’s - the improved economic conditions in the
Philippines enabled Filipinos to sail for Europe
• they belonged to the illustrado (wealthy) class; A mestizo
who can speak Spanish.
• Lodges in Spain were open to all nationalities regardless
of race or color, the Filipinos soon as possible became
initiates of the Masonic lodges.
Updated March 16, 2005
first all-Filipino lodge
was also in Europe
• 1886 - Some of these Filipinos participated in the
organization of Lodge Solidaridad No. 53 in Barcelona,
Spain. A few years later, they established Lodge
Revolucion also in Barcelona;
• In 1890, they started another Lodge in Madrid also
named Solidaridad which composed exclusively of
Filipinos.
• Accepted into the Spanish society because these
brothers peacefully advocated for the nation to be a
province of Spain, not independence from it.
Updated March 16, 2005
Welcome Home, Brothers!
• 1887 - Bro. Dr. Jose Rizal (Acacia Lodge No. 9
of the Grand Oriente de Espana) came back to
Manila from his self-exile.
• 1890 - Bro. Rizal and Bro. Marcelo Del Pilar
initiated a project to organize Filipino Lodges in
Manila and provinces exclusively for Filipinos.
A Seattle Bridge is named after him Bro. Rizal.
Updated March 16, 2005
Finally, the first Filipino lodge
in the Philippines
• 1891 - Bro. Serrano Laktaw was commissioned to
establish Filipino Lodges assisted by Bros. Anacleto
Ramos (initiated in England), Timoteo Paez and Moises
Salvador.
• 1892 January 6. Nilad Lodge No. 144 was the first allFilipino lodge chartered and constituted by the Gran
Oriente de Espana (Grand Orient of Spain).
Updated March 16, 2005
Spanish Connection
• 1892 to 1906 – All Filipino lodges established
between these dates were under the
administration of the Grand Council of the Order
(of Scottish Rite) and
• Passed the hands of the Regional Grand Lodge
No. 2 of the jurisdiction of the Gran Oriente de
Espana.
Updated March 16, 2005
Changing of the Guards
• 1886 – Philippine Revolution against Spain
started.
• 1896 - Spaniards publicly executed Bro. Jose
Rizal for writing two novels exposing the
atrocities of the Spanish colonizers.
• short Spanish-American War (April 25, 1898 to
Dec. 10, 1898), extended to the Asian Pacific
shores
Updated March 16, 2005
• mid 1898 – The victory of the Filipinos against Spain was
eminent. A mock naval battle between the United States
and Imperial Spain was staged.
• Goal was for the Spaniards to surrender to US (an
emerging super power) rather than to the Filipinos whom
the Spaniards treated for three centuries as an inferior
people.
• 1898 (June) Admiral Dewey’s naval fleet
“defeats” the Commodore Montoya’s Spanish
Armada off Manila Bay.
 1898 (June 12) Bro. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
declares Philippine Independence from Imperial
Spain.
Updated March 16, 2005
Masonry during the
American Occupation
Updated March 16, 2005
Masonic mix and confusion
Spaniards out . . . Americans in . .
• GM Ambrosio Flores attempted to establish the
Filipino Grand Orient (Gran Consejo Regional)
• This was followed by the Gran Oriente Espanol
through the reactivation of Modestia Lodge 199.
• the Grand Orient of France was introduced by
the prominent Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera
Updated March 16, 2005
piece of the pie
• the Grand Lodge of Scotland established Lodge Perla
del Oriente No. 1034 in Manila and Cebu Lodge No.
1106* (the only two lodges under a foreign jurisdiction
recognized by the current Grand Lodge of the
Philippines).
• FLASH UPDATE (see 2003 Roster of Lodges)
MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of F & AM Washington and
Jurisdiction has a blue lodge in the Philippines:
Mabuhay Military No. 59.
Updated March 16, 2005
. . . and more confusion
• Gran Oriente de Espana also came into existence.
This is NOT the same as the Gran Oriente Espanol.
• Gran Oriente Luisitiano Unido was also organized
• The Chinese Masons also came into the picture
• The Americans brought forth the Scottish Rite, the York
Rite, the Mystic Shrine and the order of the Eastern
Star.
Updated March 16, 2005
to recap
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Grand Consejo Regional
Gran Oriente Espana
Grand Orient of France
Grand Lodge of Scotland
Gran Oriente de Espana
Gran Oriente Lusitano
Grand Lodge of Masons (Chinese)
Updated March 16, 2005
American Masonry
in the islands
• 1900 - Early to make known its Masonic presence were:
 the American Military Lodge led by the volunteers
from North Dakota,
 the Knights Templar, and
 the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri.
Updated March 16, 2005
birth of American Masonry
in the Philippines
• 1912 - The Sojourners Club helped the Americans
established three lodges (Manila 342, Cavite 350 and
Corregidor 386). These three lodges formed the
Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands*
chartered by the Grand Lodge of California.
*now renamed and currently the
MW Grand Lodge of F & AM of the Philippines.
Updated March 16, 2005
. . . polarization of craftsmen
• 1917 - On about this year, several lodges of the Regional
Grand Lodge No. 2 (Gran Oriente de Espana),
transferred allegiance to the
Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands
(American Masonry)
• 1918 - started the practice that the station of Grand
Master alternated between American and Filipino
brothers every year until 1974; by this year 38 blue
lodges were established
Updated March 16, 2005
. . . claimant to the Ancient Craft
• 1918 On or about this year, all lodges that remained
loyal to the Regional Grand Lodge No. 2 (Spanish)
reorganized under the name:
Gran Oriente de Archipelago Filipino
(Grand Lodge of the Philippine Archipelago)
(Spanish Masonry)
• 1923 (June 14) This Grand Lodge presented a petition
for its charter from the Gran Oriente de Espana (Spain).
Updated March 16, 2005
the renamed Spanish Masonry
• 1925 December 31 the Gran Oriente de Espana granted
this petition with the title:
“Gran Soberana del Archipelago Filipino”
(Sovereign Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Archipelago)
Recognized by the International Masonic Asso. of Lucerne, Switzerland
and the Universal League of Freemason
Updated March 16, 2005
Filipino Masonry
in the US West Coast
• 1951 August 20 - The Gran Soberana del Archipelago Filipino
(Manila) granted a charter to:
•
“The Regional Grand Lodge in America No. 1”
(renamed “Deputy Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Philippine
Archipelago in California”).
• 1973 August 24 - The Gran Soberana del Archipelago Filipino
(Manila) granted a charter to:
“The Regional Grand Lodge in America No. 2”
(renamed “Deputy Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Philippine
Archipelago in America, Seattle, WA”).
Updated March 16, 2005
a sad note on the local front
• Both Deputy Sovereign Grand Lodges in California and Seattle are
not recognized by any US grand lodge.
• There exists another group of Filipino Masons in Seattle whose
lineage are claimed to be from the Grand Lodge of Spain. Their
members make themselves known as belonging to the Gran
Oriente Filipino.
• A few of their members of both have signified their intention to
join our jurisdiction. A number of them have received the degrees
in our jurisdiction.
Updated March 16, 2005
a happy note in Washington
• 1995 - FILMAGS or the Filipino Masonic Asso. of Greater Seattle. A
square and compasses club. Permission was granted by the then GM,
the MWB Bill Wood in 1996, for the use of S & C in its logo.
• Has facilitated the petitioning of unrecognized Filipino-American
Masons into our jurisdiction.
• Has acted as the “clearing house” and have hosted Filipino brothers
visiting or who have newly relocated to our State.
Updated March 16, 2005
Similar association exists in the Pacific NW and Canada:
•
The Travelers of Washington - in Bremerton
•
Dimasalang Brotherhood (2003) - in BC, Canada
•
Brotherhood of Filipino Masons of BC - also in BC,
Canada:
•
Filipino Cabletow Society of Calgary (2003)
•
Filipino Cabletow Society in Manitoba
Updated March 16, 2005
Why are Filipinos,
Filipino-Americans,
Filipino-Canadians
attracted to Masonry?
the start of the journey
• Mysticism: What is in it? everyone
started in the dark
• Curiosity: What can Masonry do for me?
• Maturity: What can I do for Masonry?
exclusivity is an attraction
• Historically, early Masonry in the nation did not accept
Filipinos, now open to any person, but . . .
• Historically and currently, the society is very stratified –
members are those in the middle to upper end of the
social and economic ladder of Philippine society
• The cost of petition and membership dues are not
affordable to the average wage earner
• Labors are in English (old English), only the schooled
can understand the philosophy of Masonry
sociological reasons
• Archipelagic geography forces one to be in harmony with
others for survival and development
• Extension of the “Filipino hospitality” – a brother will not
go hungry if stranded in the Philippines
• The Craft is an extension of the family; a usual social
custom to refer to a brother’s wife as “Sister” as an
extension of the fraternal bond/love. Our kids call us
“Tito” or “Tita” (uncle/aunt even if there is no blood
relations). The 3rd degree obligation are taken very
seriously.
psychosocial reasons
• Self-esteem: feeling of accomplishment and recognition
(e.g. assuming stations until one reaches the east). This
is an opportunity afforded to the Filipino-American in the
US.
• Sense of attachment to history and famous historical
figures (locally in the Philippines or US and worldwide)
• The ethnic experience: Sense of belongingness and
acceptance. Freemasonry is only social organization in
the US where a brother is on the level with another
regardless of ethnicity, financial or social status.
. . . few cents worh
►
It is difficult to discuss the History of Filipino Freemasonry without discussing
a portion of Philippine History. As was the experience in the United States,
the ideals of liberty and democracy were the driving factors behind the
Filipino Freemasons’ involvement in the building of this nation.
►
More than this, the opposition to political and religious tyranny has guided
the Filipino brothers of the Spanish tradition, through their Scottish Rite
affiliation.
►
A number of Filipino Masons two or three generations ago, were introduced
to Masonic Craft in the Spanish tradition. A number of us, Filipino-Americans
and Filipinos present today are of the American school of thought.
►
Unfortunately, with the colonization of the Philippines by the United States,
the harmony of the Masonic Order was disrupted.
Updated March 16, 2005
►
As a result, this created a dichotomy between adherents to either
Spanish and American Masonic schools of thought, and thereby
dividing the Filipino brothers.
►
There has been constant communications between the two Grand
Lodges hoping Philippine Masons will once again labor together in
harmony for the good of humanity.
►
The dichotomy, however, has extended beyond the Philippines
shores. There exist in our State and in California, a number of
Filipino-American Masons whose Grand Lodges were chartered by
the Spanish-influenced Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Philippine
Archipelago.
►
They claim to have the rightful ownership of Philippine Freemasonry
as they existed even before the US colonization.
Updated March 16, 2005
►
Based on our WMC, they remain unrecognized and irregular.
Needless to say, it is not within the purview of Filipino-American
Masons in the United States to address the issue. It may not be in
my lifetime that I will seat in lodge with the other Filipino-American
Masons in the State.
►
We, Filipino-American Masons, who belong to the Washington
Jurisdiction have the luxury of experiencing the universality of the
craft because our Grand Lodge is in amity with most Grand Lodges in
the world. This is a privilege, not existing with the other FilipinoAmerican Masons of the European tradition.
Updated March 16, 2005
►
It is sad to note that most Filipino and Filipino-American Masons
identify ourselves with famous Masons in Philippine history.
However, if the latter were alive today, we cannot Masonically
communicate with them.
►
Ironically, quite a number of publications have printed articles about
famous Filipino Masons in history, notably, Bro. Gen Emilio Aguinlado
and Bro. Jose Rizal.
►
Ironically, the Philippine Grand Lodge Building is named “Plaridel
Masonic Temple” (the nom-de-guerre) in honor of Bro. Marcelo Del
Pilar. However, if these Masons were alive today, he cannot even sit
in lodge with us or the brothers who use the lodge room therein.
Updated March 16, 2005
Thank you for listening
and we greet one all
MABUHAY!
(mah boo high)
Updated March 16, 2005
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Philippine Freemasonry - Important Notice for …