(Note: The following article is herein presented to give readers a birds-eye-view of how Masonry and the lodge system have influenced the life of this writer As he is scheduled to board the plane bound for Manila today, November 25 for his scheduled medical check-up and to visit their children and grandchildren for the Christmas holidays, this column will temporarily cease printing but hopefully will be back after the advent of the New Year)
Short to delivered to the brethren of Dagohoy Lodge No. 84 on August 11,2007
First, allow me to express my appreciation for the concern of the lodge members on the tragedy that befell me very recently as shown in the minutes of our July’s stated meeting.
Second, it pleases me to meet and fraternize with VW Urso Penalosa of the Grand Lodge of Arizona who is with us tonight. Although this is the first time that I have rubbed elbows with him, I feel I have met him already so many times in the past. We, after all, have communicated with each other on matters Masonic over the Internet.
And now for the task at hand.
Fifteen years ago this month, the aging lion, still robust then, first attended the stated meeting of this lodge inside what was then the old Masonic Temple at the heart of the city as a sojourning brother on a visit to his wife’s hometown in Guindulman. The Worshipful Master then was VW Francisco “Noning” Pamaran, Jr.
` Almost ten years later or in April 2002, he again attended its stated meeting at the same Masonic Temple but this time as a new resident of Guindulman town; and its master then was WB David B. Tirol ..
That second meeting was later followed by successive fraternal visits that would be interrupted only whenever he and the lion tamer would return home to the metropolis to visit their children and grandchildren for the holidays. Until finally in January 2004 when he was elected dual member of this lodge as he and the lion tamer have already permanently established residence to the scenic and peaceful town which is some eighty five kilometers away from this Masonic lodge.
In April of this year however, he and the lion tamer boarded the plane for the metropolis wondering if they would be able to return to their adopted place again. And for good reason, when he boarded the plane he was already gasping for precious breath !!
Soon after their arrival in the big city, he was subjected to rigid medical tests and was found to be seriously afflicted with a weak heart, kidneys that were already in the verge of qualifying for dialysis treatment, his lungs full of water he could no longer sleep unless in a sitting position and worse, his right foot was afflicted with poisonous gangrene an immediate amputation had to be scheduled. Dr. Billy del Rosario, a fraternal brother from Laong Laan Lodge No. 185, a noted surgeon at St. Luke’s advised that immediate amputation of his right leg is necessary otherwise the aging cat may exit to the Great Beyond sooner than later, which most likely would also automatically earn for him the Masonic Last Rites..
There is no need retelling what happened next, some of you may already heard of it through juicy gossip and brethren with access to the Internet can easily browse upon his most recent articles and read whatever the heck happened, and so let him continue narrating his story on what was not told yet.
It took him and the lion tamer four whole months to recuperate and rehabilitate himself in the big city. It was on April 11 when they boarded the plane at Tagbilaran airport and it’s now August 11 as this tale is being narrated..
In that span of time, many things transpired. Among those are:
** His right leg was amputated by Dr. Billy del Rosario at St. Luke;s gratis et amore,
** His bills at the hospital and the medicines for maintenance were all paid for courtesy of the so many kind hearted relatives, brethren and friends,
** He learned that WB’s Niceto “Boy” Doron and Andrew Namucatcat had already gone to the Great Beyond never to return,
** He was visited by WB Jack Galbreath while still in the metropolis and solicitously gave US$100 to help finance his maintenance medicines,
**VW John Teng of Laong Laan Lodge No. 185 would not allow the aging lion to return home unless he has an artificial right leg to stand on,
** His eldest son also joined the Craft and vowed to idiomatically follow his Masonic footsteps but with both feet still intact, of course..
Against the solicitous advise of many concerned brethren and most especially his three children, he decided to return home to his adopted place and there spend his remaining days. They calculated and argued that the limping cat have better chances of extending his remaining life in the big city because medical and professional care are readily available should the need for these arise. Stubbornly however, he countered that the additional days, months or even years, cannot compensate for the joys of watching the sun rise and set at the horizon daily and enjoy the rustic and bucolic atmosphere of his adopted hometown. He no longer added that his passion for writing is being curtailed by the unruly noise and bustle of the big city also the various small charities that he and the lion tamer perform for the indigent members of society in that part of the globe. Ever heard of “operation tule” which is nothing but circumcision performed of these young kids living near the beach?!
The simplest question that many of us may ask therefore is:
“How many more signatures can the aging lion affix at the logbook of this lodge that he now calls his own? In a span of five full years since 2002 when he set forth his footprints in Guindulman as a resident, he estimates he must have affixed no less than fifty signatures. Can he therefore manage to sign at least a dozen more considering that his movements are now restricted because of the right leg that he has lost?!
Ah, but only Father Time can tell!