“Excellence is your nature, honors in all your studies and distinctions for many achievements,” the Captain of Compagnie des Mousquetaires d’Armagnac addressed UP President Danilo Concepcion as he was inducted to the international association of Musketeers in a historic ceremony on May 3, 2019 in the grand ballroom of Grand Hyatt Hotel, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Concepcion thus became one of the first thirteen members of the newly established Philippine squadron of the Company of Armagnac Musketeers, along with UP alumni including Leo Ballesfin, Andrew Nocon, Aniceto Saludo, Egmidio Jose, and JJ Samuel Soriano.
They are led by UP Regent Francis Laurel, the squadron’s founding leader. “From a family of great servants of the state”, Laurel was inducted as captain lieutenant of the new Manila squadron, “ambassador of the Musketeers’ values, and of French-Philippine friendship”.
Founded in 1951, the Company now gathers more than 4,000 people of different nationalities to share the same values, “panache, courage, camaraderie, and duty of service”, as those of the Gascon Musketeer, Charles de Batz de Castelmore, otherwise known as d’Artagnan.
As stated in the Company brief, although they no longer fight with swords, “[the Musketeers] contribute through their personal success to the evolution of society.”
The Philippine squadron is the newest of 18 squadrons and three detachments of the Company. The Company is based in Gascony, France, known for its eau-de-vie, Armagnac, which, according to “The Musketeer’s Oath”, is the “source of all masculine virtues and all feminine enthusiasms”.
The launch of the Philippine squadron and the induction of the 13 new members were led by Musketeer Captain, Aymeri de Montesquiou d’Artagnan, and Captain Lieutenant-Secretary General-Keeper of the Seals, Francois Riviere.
“As the leader of this new group, I am proud to bring together mousquetaires who will uphold the traditional values of honor and chivalry,” Laurel said in his speech. “We dedicate ourselves to make a difference in our society. . . . All we need are a few good men,” he added.
“All for one, one for all,” Laurel, echoing the Musketeer’s Oath, concluded.