Square & Compasses

Notes from the Philipines

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 1995 23:20:00 +0800
From: Benny Ty 
Thanks! Worthy Wor. Bro Gary,

"By the exercise of b l........, masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion; and causes true friendship to exist among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance."

By your efforts, you have no doubt make the above words LIVE and REAL!

First, let me share w/ you the ff:

I have to thank Bro. Gurnee Bridgman for his excellent article "Cyberspace" that came out in the November issue of the Scottish Rite Journal. After reading his piece, I could not sleep soundly anymore and started my travel and search until I was able to open an account here in this cyber wilderness that is the Philippines!

Once I got connected, I could only got a limited access to Masonic info through Gopher, would you believe, it took me more than two months of surfing until I stumbled into the dr foo.....


The Grand Lodge F.&A.M. of the Philippines has about 250 lodges scattered all over the more than 7,000 islands, with about 12,000 members.

Philippine jurisdiction also extends up to Guam, Tokyo Japan (where there is still one lodge functioning under our jurisdiction), Okinawa, and two lodges in Korea.

The Grand Lodge is 83 years old, having started in 1912, originally organized by three lodges belonging to the Grand Lodge of California, Manila Lodge No. 342, now Manila Mt. Lebanon Lodge No. 1.

During the first five years of the Grand Lodge of the Philipines, only American Masonic lodges took active part in the GL, while the local Masons or native brethren were then all under the Grand Oriente Espanol (Spanish goverment legacy), and refused to affiliate with the GLP, which had already gained recognition from the big three Grand Lodges. But Freemasonry worked its mysterious ways, in 1917, there was a union of Masonic lodges, or rather an affiliation of almost all lodges under the GOE to the GLP, very similar to the UGLE in 1814.

Would you believe that there was a gentlemen's agreement at the time that the Grand Master would be alternated between an American and a Filipino? That agreement was upheld continuously without violation or interruption, except for the War years, until 1974, when there were too few Americans qualified or willing to assume the position.

Almost all the Masonic appendant bodies are represented here: the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, the Order of the Eastern Star, Demolay, Job's Daughters, Rainbow girls, the Shrine, and the Royal Order of Scotland. (Re: your great-aunt's Corona Chapter OES, I don't think it is still operating anymore.)

There is also one lodge stilll operating under the Scottish constitution, the Lodge Perla De Oriente.

Our Annual Communication is held on the 4th Thursday of every April when the brethren elect a new Grand Master.

BTW, our incumbent GM, MW Pablo C Ko Jr. and the Deputy GM, RW Danilo Angeles are on their way to attend the Conference of GM of North America in Fargo City, ND as guest.

I just visited the GL of California last month and was quite thrilled to be able to set foot on our mother GL.

Please keep up the GOOD WORKS and provide us (all brethren) or rather continue to provide us continuous benefits and enlightenment! ! !

fraternal regards,

Bro. Benny

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