By Bro. Kristoffer “Bang” Llacuna
In the early evening of March 17, 2011, the brethren of Frank Reed Horton Memorial Lodge No. 379 led by WB Roberto “Mr. Charity” Sing left the GLP grounds to begin a 14-hour land trip to their destination in the Bicol peninsula. The purpose of this much anticipated travel was to attend the 21st Public Installation of the Officers of the Catanduanes Island Lodge No. 291, the only masonic lodge in the hometown province of the incumbent senior warden of FRHML No. 379 and RW Santiago T. Gabionza, Jr., Senior Grand Warden of Masons in the Philippines.
Tagged along in the trip were VW Allan Bontuyan, PDDGM of NCR-E and WB Roberto “Bong” Fajardo, PM of Laong-Laan Lodge No. 185, the latter waiting and fetched at Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City in the wee hours of March 18. The brethren were treated to a sumptuous meal and a dessert of Sili Ice Cream by the brother Colonel.
Amidst bad weather and angry waves, the brethren braved and crossed the sea from Tabaco to San Andres, Catanduanes, then proceeded to the capital town of the province in Virac and had coffee and maruya at the residence of the senior warden. At night time, a fellowship was held at the Kemji Resort hosted by the brethren of CIL No. 291 led by the outgoing Worshipful Master, WB Fred Tubale. The ever-generous incoming Worshipful Master Ignacio Odiaman footed the bill.
We prefer to be raised again than endure another round of Catanduanes Seasickness.
Fellowship at Kenji Resort hosted by the brethren of CIL No. 291.
In the morning of March 19, the brethren of FRHML No. 379 joined the brethren of CIL No. 291 in a Tree Planting Activity in Brgy. Calabnigan, where the CIL Masonic Temple is located. After a few kodak moments with the brethren there present, the brethren of FRHML No. 379 had a few minute tour at the Marivina Falls and Twin Rock Beach Resort after which they had lunch provided by the incoming Worshipful Master. They then proceeded to the hotel where they were billeted and had a short dip in the pool.
Catanduanes Island Lodge 291’s Sagip Kalikasan Program. Pili Trees along the highway.
The brethren posing beside our security escort’s Army Truck.
The combined brethren of Frank Reed Horton Memorial Lodge No. 379 and Catanduanes Island Lodge No. 291.
Posing for posterity inside the newly constructed Catanduanes Island Lodge No. 291 Temple.
An hour early before the installation ceremonies, the brethren of FRHML No. 379 arrived at the Provincial Capitol Dome – the venue of the affair, and turned over to the outgoing Worshipful Master some books and school supplies for the needy students in the province, as part of WB Roberto “Mr. Charity” Sing’s pledge to support the project of CIL No. 291 in helping the poor students in the province.
The installation ceremonies ensued with a superb delivery of lines by the Installing Officer, WB Greg Macero and the Master of Ceremonies, WB Luis Vargas who was assisted by VW Carlos Briones, PGO. The ceremony was made more solemn by the musical arrangements prepared by VW Allan Bontuyan, who was tasked by RW Boy Gabionza to be the organist that afternoon.
Gracing the affair as Guest of Honor & Speaker was Catanduanes Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento. He is a nephew of RW Boy Gabionza who was also present, the latter jokingly narrating how he was obliged by his father-in-law, VW Ariston Sarmiento to attend the installation ceremonies. Also seated on the chairs prepared in the East were WB Joseph Cua, Governor of the Province of Catanduanes and VW Roberto “Abing” Rodulfo, Municipal Councilor of Bato, Catanduanes, both Past Masters of CIL No. 291.
The ceremony was well-attended not only by the brethren representing the various lodges from mainland Bicol but by brethren coming from far up north to deep down south. The District Deputy Grand Master of District R5-A, VW Leo Intia was represented by District Grand Lecturer, VW John Buendia. Emotions run high when two of the considered “fathers of freemasonry in Catanduanes”, VW Jessie Amihan of Isarog Lodge No. 33 and WB Amador Sabado of Malindang Lodge No. 130, were called to the stage and given citation. They narrated the hardships they encountered in putting up the lodge.
After the installation ceremonies were concluded, fellowship followed with lots of foods and drinks, and the brethren enjoyed a long evening of dancing and fine music.
Frankies before Marivina Falls.
In the morning of March 20, the brethren of FRHML No. 379 embarked on a ferry in San Andres, Catanduanes to return to whence they came. Along with them are memories of their brief stay in the Island Province of Catanduanes and the fun they shared during this trip. Bro. JW Belli Tamayo commented “I’ll be back with my wife” to which Bro. Sec. Gene Illenberger replied “Me too. But next time, on a plane.” The brethren all laughed knowing what he meant.
Kudos to WB Fred Tubale (IPM) for a very productive term and Congratulations and Good Luck to WB Ignacio Odiaman on his installation as the Worshipful Master of Catanduanes Island Lodge No. 291. Oragon ang mga Mason!