Free and Accepted Masons in the Philippines
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2019 - 12:00am

As a young girl, I often heard stories about how once upon a time,  my grandfathers Tomas Morato and Alejandro Roces were part of what many like to call as a secret society of free masons.

As an adult, I have come to realize that much of how I approach the responsibilities of work, more so the visions I have applied in life, have unconsciously been influenced by my grandfathers.

Many of us know that back in the day, none other than the President of the Commonwealth himself, Manuel L. Quezon, was then the grand mason who will always be remembered for the final unification of the Spanish lodges with the grand lodge of the Philippines. Our national heroes were also a part of this esteemed society and their works have catapulted many others into different professions inspired by their valiant example.

I always felt however that there was more to freemasonry than just a secret society.

Being a lover of photography and perpetually curating old photos like puzzles through history, the one thing that always moved me about this society was its deep brotherhood and the ideals set to leave a good legacy for the next generation.

Like my grandfathers, the love for politics runs through my veins. but more than politics, it is my love for people that inspires me. Civic duty is what captures my soul and this is what freemasonry is all about – igniting civic duty through one’s love for God, country and family.

But then again , because I know very little, I thought it best to speak with the current Grand Master himself in the hopes that I may impart, to the best of my ability, an education required in fully understanding what freemasonry is all about.

It was a real privilege and honor to meet Grand Master MW Romeo Salazar Momo who was everything I hoped him to be – kind, knowledgeable and incredibly wise. His gentle stance made me feel more than welcome and our genuine meeting of the minds exceeded my expectations. Just like my grandfathers, his humble beginnings were enough to launch him to where he is today, both as a reputable public servant, while putting into high esteem the need to take one’s civic duty very seriously. We need to realize that our government cannot do this alone – we all have our parts to play and it is crucial to nation building.

Freemasons to date are actively involved in programs dedicated to serving and uplifting the nation. It is a brotherhood that passionately bridges men toward a better society. Perhaps the times we are in are meant to motivate young men to activate the social force within them and further pave the way for progress. Perhaps, because nation building is in everyone’s mind, and rightfully so, more men would consider belonging to this brotherhood of men for the sake of their fellow men. Por la Patría.

ALEJANDRO ROCES TOMAS MORATO
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