Friday, January 20, 2012

100 Years of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines

The Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) released on January 19, 2012 a se-tenant pair commemorating 100 years of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.

Stamp #1 on 7p highlights the Grand Lodge of the Philippines Building and President Manuel L. Quezon. Stamp #2 also on 7p, shows the Plaridel Masonic Temple with Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcel H. del Pilar and Mariano Ponce.

Photo above shows the 7p se-tenant pair and the official First Day Cover.

In one of my exhibits featuring the Philippine Heroes for Cebu Stamp Club, I included a complete collection of stamps featuring the personalities involved in Philippine Freemasonry.
Philippine Masonry's beginnings is similar to the history of the first Grand Lodge. It was in 1717 during the Feast of St. John the Baptist that four masonic lodges in Great Britain formed the first Grand Lodge of the world.

The idea of organizing Freemasonry in the country was conceived by Marcelo H. del Pilar and Dr. Jose P. Rizal. In 1891, with the consent of the Grand Oriente EspaƱol, Nilad Lodge No. 144 was established. With this accomplishment, M.H. del Pilar otherwise known as "Plaridel" in the Philippine Revolutionary movement gained the honor of being called the Father of Philippine Masonry. 

Prominent Filipinos who were against the Spanish colonial rule were masons. These include Marcelo H. del Pilar (Bulacan), Jose Rizal (Laguna), Mariano Ponce (Bulacan), Graciano Lopez Jaena (Iloilo), Juan Luna (Ilocos), Antonio Luna (Ilocos), Galicano Apacible (Batangas), Domingo Panganiban (Camarines Norte), Jose Alejandrino (Pampanga), Tomas Arejola (Camarines Sur), Ariston Bautista (Manila), Julio Llorente (Cebu), Andres Bonifacio (Tondo) and Emilio Aguinaldo (Cavite).

On December 19, 1912, three lodges that were chartered under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of California were successful in establishing the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands (now known as the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines). 

President Manuel L. Quezon who was initiated at Sinukuan Lodge No. 16, Free and Accepted Masons, Manila was a driving force in unifying the Filipino and American Lodges on February 13, 1917. He came to be known as the first Filipino Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Mason of the Philippines.

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