On the 1st day of the NCR Convention, I woke-up early, having known and anticipated the Friday heavy traffic situations at Skyway Buendia Exit and the construction of the extension all the way to Quirino Avenue , I reached the GLP parking area before 7:00AM and had a nice parking space.
I was surprised to meet WM Noel of Pagkakaisa Lodge at that early time ; maybe he also anticipated the limited parking space that can be accommodated inside the GLP compound.
I called-up VW Tiu to hurry-up as the parking space began to become full. Because of his several minutes late, he was able to have a space a street away from the GLP ..he he he kinakabahan baka magasgasan ang fortuner nya.
The registration was opened at 8:00AM. However, we three took our time at the nearby carinderia while waiting for the registration to set up. I asked WM Noel where are the others as they should be 3 lights to represent the lodge.
He said.” I don’t know”. Huh. “What? What’s happening”. It seems commitment is not on the list of the Wardens although they knew that this is part of their mandatory duty.
After breakfast, I paid myself the required registration fee then proceeded to the Ritual Olympics Lodge Hall at the 4th Floor as the contest will start at 10:00AM.
I was wondering where are the other District Officers? We are supposed to be 8 members, DDGM included. VW Tiu said that maybe they will be late. Then came DDGM Bernie when the first team performer was about to start.
I watched the performances of the different districts including our NCRG representative team, King Solomon Lodge No. 150 team. They were all very good performers knowing theirs lines by heart with snappy military like drill. I knew one performer from the other district, the junior deacon was a very proficient principal sojourner of Capitol York Rite , one of the most sought assignments in the York rite degree – as the role of the principal sojourner requires memorizing many pages to complete, with floor works and powerpoint presentation. VW Danny Datu tops the list..kukunti lang po ang nakakagawa noon sa York Rite Masons in Manila
Team King Solomon made the difference. While other teams performed their opening parts as if really on ritual competition ( other districts performed the method in ritual opening using optional purging as if not satisfied with other masons present, an optional version), King Solomon Team conducted their opening as if opening an stated meeting with no grand standing from moving members, the questions and answers are on normal voice and time frame, all natural- as if WM Christian was instructing his wardens and officers during the regular meeting. With the performance, I knew that NCRG will win.
When King Solomon WM Christian volunteered as NCRG representative for “opening of the lodge” ritual few months ago, I knew that his team has the x-factor because of the teamwork and the commitment with each other to support the Lodge objective not just to participate but to win.. At yon nga ang nangyari ..maganda.. Champion Trophy! They really deserve this award.
Opening of the Lodge – Champion Trophy King Solomon Lodge No. 150
Multi-District Convention was opened at 1pm by Masonic District NCR-E.
“Ohh”..I told myself. “I re-receive kami. Nasaan na ang mga kasama ko. Mukhang 3 pa lang kami, si DDGM Bernie, VW Tiu saka ako. Nasaan ang lima pa”.
“Ahh baka makakahabol , NCR-A pa lang naman saka binabasa bawat pangalan so tagal noon bago makaabot ng NCRG.”
“Pero naku nakasunod sa likod si Grand Master kasama ang kanyang team baka magtanong kung nasaan ang iba.”
“Mabuti na lang dumating si VW Vir , naging apat na”.
During the DDGM’s Report portion, I told myself that the advantage of being in NCR-G is that reporting by District is always last to approach the stage and make the powerpoint presentation., always six reports to wait.
Three days before, we were at the “ Library in the Box Project “ meeting with Victoria Homes Elem School Principal when VW Bernie Bondoc instructed me to make the powerpoint presentation of NCRG DDGMs Report for presentation during the NCR Convention.
“Naku po, kaya ko kaya gawin ng 1 day ang report gayong ang sakit sakit ng ulo ko at tiyan dahil sa flu. . one week din na umiikot ang paningin ko saka ulo kaya hindi ako naka attend ng District Meeting nong Monday”.
Sabi ko” Sge gagawin ko bahala na kung saan umabot ang mabuo ko although may mga ready frames na ako madali ko na maa upload sa mga accoplishments and activities.” I was able to send the powerpoint presentation however, the following day afternoon complete with 150 slide frames.
I was excited during the NCR DDGs Presentation, makikita ko at last ang different ideas and formats made by other district powerpoint presentations.
Woow, magaganda at mahuhusay din ang pagkakagawa ng iba. Pero hindi pahuhuli ang NCRG, sa dami ba naman ng number of slides na inilagay ko, with edition made by DDGM Bernie na binawasan pa, the slides speak for itself. So we had a perfect presentations.
Grand Master’s Night Nov 6
After the 1st Day of the Convention, two bands and menu of Lechon Baka created fullness at the Grand Master’s Night.
“However, where are the others?”. VW James joined the dinner, maybe others just ‘eat and run’ because of some friday night schedules. By looking at the tables, I estimated the reservation was for more than 300 people, but I observed just a third full.
Nov 7, Saturday, Election Proper
On Saturday Nov 7, again, to anticipate the limited parking space at the GLP, I set the clock alarm at 5:00AM wake up snooze , and was able to reach the GLP ground before 7:00AM. My two Pagkakaisa mates followed the same – perhaps already familiar with the parking trend at GLP. While waiting, we took again our coffee at the nearby carinderia.
The convention was called to order at 9:00AM.
The Masonic Education conducted by VW J. R. Miguel on edicts was very interesting. I like his style of public speaking, walang basa ng notes, dire-diretso walang putol at tamang tama ang lakas ng boses. Matagal ko na rin pinangarap na maging speaker pero lagi ang lakas ng kaba ko kaya madalas nawawala ako at humihinto ng matagal at nagkakaputol putol na ang mga sentences. Nalilimutan ko na ang ibang sasabihin kaya para sigurado sinusulat ko na lang ang aking mga idea..my own style.
Only Six (6) Qualified Nominees were present at the Convention, VW Roncesvalles, VW Rudy Ong, VW Reynato Puno, Jr. ,VW Ace Tan Espejo, VW Willy Reyes and NCRG VW Ric Marquez. Nomination by Lot was omitted because there are only six -less than the 7 seven requirement rule. Each one of them was given seven minute speech.
“Nasaan na ang ibang kasama ko” bulong ko sa sarili. Tatlo lang kami kasama na si DDGM Bernie. Nawawala ang lima. Kumpleto kaya ang mga Lights ng 12 Lodges ng MD NCRG. To sum up, the total qualified votes for NCRG should be: 12 x 3 lights=36 + 8 District Officers = 44
Madali lang ang election process, pag hndi pa nakakaboto nasa south gallery, pag tapos na lipat na sa North side. Others Masons who were present are on the West Wing on top.
When NCRG turn, naku mukhang kakaunti ang umatend ng convention from NCRG. Hindi kailangan ang arithmetic algorithyms or numerical exponential para makita ang diperensya na sobra sa kalahati ang nawawala sa 44. Kitang kita sa Gallery ang mga presents, with full regalia ba naman di sandali lang bilangin.
However, the NCR Election has completed. VW Rudy Ong 51, VW Ric Marquez 47, VW Roncesvalles 20. After which, they were asked to approach the Altar and confirmed their election.
Next Election shall be held at Ancom Level in Tagaytay City. I hope this time the commitment to masonic duty is in everyone’s heart.
The Lesson from the Past Masters Degree.
Finally, I would like to share the lesson in Past Masters Degree of the York Rite, York Rite Masons like myself are familiar with this ritual wherein more emphasis are taught to the value of Commitment to Masonic Duty as Master of the Lodge. May isang scene dito na pinagkakatuwaan ang Master na kahit ano ang gawin nya ay walang sumusunod at nagkakagulo na sa tawanan at sigawan hanggang sa maibalik ang right order.
Moral of the story
Don’t accept any position if you think you can’t make your 100% Commitment.