New UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, who was the guest of honor and speaker at the 13TH Installation of Officers of the Norberto S. Amoranto Memorial Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, stressed in his speech that while he himself was not a Mason, he shared the ideals, principles and aspirations of Masonry, particularly as they relate to the upliftment of people to their finest possibilities.
“Your brotherhood is bound by a code consisting of the highest ethical and moral standards, and an emphasis on personal study and self-improvement, and on contributing to the good of society though individual action and philanthropy,” Concepcion said.
He went on to note the influence of Masonry upon liberation movements around the world, and cited the Filipino Masons who helped shape the country’s history: Dr. Jose Rizal and his fellow reformists; the founders of the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK), including Andres Bonifacio; the leaders of the first Philippine Republic such as Emilio Aguinaldo and Apolinario Mabini; and, distinguished names during the American War, the Commonwealth period, the Second World War, and modern Philippine history, such as President Manuel L. Quezon, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, General Vicente Lucban, Senator Camilo Osias, Senator Quintin Paredes, President Manuel A. Roxas, President Jose P. Laurel, and the first Filipino Muslim Mason, Hadji Butu Rasul, prime minister of the sultan of Sulu. According to Concepcion, UP as well had been shaped by Masonic brothers, such as Filipino composer Nicanor Abelardo, UP President Rafael Palma, and UP College of Education Dean Jose Conrado Benitez.
“In the University of the Philippines, which I have been privileged to lead, I have chosen to be inspired rather than daunted by the challenges that face us—chiefly, the challenge not only to become a world-class institution of higher learning, but also, and above all, a servant of the Filipino people. I can draw comfort in the knowledge that compatriots like you abound who can help us achieve this task,” President Concepcion concluded.
The new officers for 2017-2018 of the NS Amoranto Lodge are headed by its Worshipful Master, Mario R. Sibucao. Sibucao is Vice President of the Social Security System, and a BS Agricultural Engineering and Master of Technology Management graduate from UP. The event was held on February 17 at the Capitol Masonic Temple in Matalino Street, Diliman, Quezon City. (Celeste Llaneta, UP MPRO)