Our 91st Grand Master
LEADERS ARE BORN, and those destined to be kings, emperors or potentates are divined to be such, their future long ago written in the stars, their travels on earth already designed in heaven. Pacifico “Boy” B. Aniag is such a man. Born at Brgy. Atlag in Malolos, Bulacan on October 6, 1952 (the Year of the Dragon), he was long ago destined to someday occupy the coveted Grand Oriental Chair in a manner fit for royalty. He is one of a rare breed of men who are privileged to be called “Most Worshipful.”
Parents & Brothers
VW Francisco Aniag, Sr., a Past Master of Malolos Lodge No. 46, who was later on appointed by MW Raymundo E. Wilmarth as his Deputy for Masonic District No. 7, and Catalina, a religious woman who belonged to the United Methodist Church, instilled love of virtue in their three sons — Orlando, Francisco, Jr., and Pacifico — so that although the family had the good fortune of owning a printing press and a company engaged in fish farming called Enrian Development Corporation, the parents did not spoil their sons; instead, they inspired the latter to be humble and condescending to others, particularly the less fortunate in life.
The eldest son, Orlando, did not join the fraternal organization of his father; yet he grew up to be a good man and true. He is now a retired bank manager.
Francisco, Jr. was admitted into the fellowship of the Craft in T.M. Kalaw Lodge No. 136. He later became a dual member of his father’s Lodge, Malolos No. 46. He once served as a Representative of the 1st Congressional District of Bulacan.
Pacifico’s Masonic Career
Pacifico (also called “Boy” by those close to him) filed his petition for Masonic membership with Malolos Lodge No. 46 on January 25, 1978. He was made an Entered Apprentice, a Fellowcraft, and a Master Mason in that Lodge on March 11, April 08, and June 10 of the same year.
From that time on he showed his zeal and enthusiasm for the welfare of his Mother Lodge, so that, in 1982, he was elected Junior Warden by the brethren; in 1983, Senior Warden; and in 1984, Worshipful Master. Because he was knowledgeable and proficient in the Masonic science and art, he was re-elected Worshipful Master in 1985.
In 1986, WB “Boy” Aniag was appointed by MW Reynold S. Fajardo as his Deputy for Masonic District No. 7. This appointment enabled him to retrace his father’s Masonic travels and to make an imprint on those with whom he shared his fellowship.
In 1995, he was chosen by MW Danilo D. Angeles as Junior Grand Lecturer (JGL) for Luzon. Because he diligently worked “on the mountains and in the quarries,” so to speak, he earned the brethren’s respect and recognition.
Confessed VW “Boy” Aniag: “It was during that year that I set my moist eyes on the Grand Oriental Chair.”
But he did not mention this ambition of his to any of the brethren; he simply kept it in the repository of his unassuming breast.
It was only in Masonic year 2004-2005 that the Past Grand Masters (PGMs) included him in the list of nominees for the position of Junior Grand Warden (JGW).
In the 2005 Ancom held at the breezy heights of Tagaytay City, he found out that his closest rival for the said position was VW Peter Lim Lo Suy of Cagayan de Oro City. The first counting of ballots cast revealed that they were, indeed, neck to neck. But after the second counting, VW Peter conceded; hence, VW “Boy” was proclaimed the newly-elected JGW. The two fraternally embraced each other. That impressive show of Masonic brotherhood and humility caused the delegates to give the two a standing ovation. In that Ancom, a precedent was set: a candidate for the position of JGW could emerge the winner without resorting to electioneering. Hopefully, it would characterize all Masonic elections in the years to come.
RW “Boy” Aniag entered into his role as Grand Master-in-waiting with the sense of mission of a man of vision. Having seen the current status of the Craft on a broader perspective, he began to realize the difficulty of bringing together people of diverse academic orientations, cultural backgrounds, religious affiliations, political persuasions, idiosyncrasies and temperaments. Can the Grand Lodge leadership fashion unity out of such diversity? How can it persuade the brethren to concentrate on those things that unite them and to avoid those that divide them? How can it minimize, if not eliminate, the causes of conflicts in the Craft?
RW “Boy” Aniag decided that “Harmony, the Strength and Beauty of Masonry” would be the thematic focus of all Masonic undertakings during his year in the Grand East. A choir director or conductor in his own right, he knew very well that different voices could be blended together to produce a beautiful melody. Hence, he would constantly urge the brethren to strive to become “a sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree.” He would, by precept and example, induce the brethren to convince the world, by their actions, that Masonry is, as the Rev. Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, 33°, has phrased it, “the activity of closely united men who, employing symbolical forms borrowed principally from the mason’s trade and from architecture, work for the welfare of mankind, striving morally to ennoble themselves and others and thereby to bring about a universal league of mankind, which they aspire to exhibit even now on a small scale.” He would challenge the brethren to put the message of Psalm 133 into consistent application in daily life.
Engagements in the Order of DeMolay, Appendant Bodies
The youthful Pacifico B. Aniag joined the Loyalty Chapter of the Order of DeMolay and later became its Master Councilor. Then he was invested with the degree of Chevalier, in recognition of his distinguished service to the Order.
A Charter Member of the Supreme Council Order of DeMolay Philippines, he became its Deputy Grand Master from 1990 to 1994. He was, later on, invested with the rank and dignity of recipient of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor the Order of DeMolay can extend to one who has rendered exemplary service to humanity.
A life member of Luzon Bodies and a charter member of Bulacan Bodies, he was crowned by the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Republic of the Philippines Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) for the Orient of Bulacan and Pampanga in March 2008.
MW and III. “Boy”, moreover, holds membership in the Manila Bodies of the York Rite of Freemasonry, as well as in the Royal Order of Scotland.
Academic Degree & Special Course
After attending elementary and secondary classrooms in his native town, he enrolled at De La Salle College (now University), graduating therefrom with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Much later, he participated in a Special Course on Financial Institutions for Private Enterprise Development at the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Boston, Mass.
Achievements in Commerce and Industry
His record in business and industry is quite impressive. A member of the Bulacan Federation of Aquaculturists and a Director of the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he founded the Bulacan United Methodist Multi-Purpose Cooperative, of which he has been President. No wonder, he is intent on persuading Lodges and Districts to establish their own cooperatives.
He is, furthermore, a business partner behind the success of C & K Handicrafts, which manufactures quality paper mache packaging products.
Respected Lay Leader of the United Methodist Church
MW “Boy” Aniag is a member of the Philippine Central Committee of the United Methodist Church, as well as of the United Methodist Church’s General Council on Finance and Administration, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is, in fact, the only non-American member of the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Church Foundation, also based in Nashville.
He is, in addition, a member of the governing Boards of several Methodist Church institutions like the Wesleyan University in Cabanatuan City and the Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo, Manila. He is, likewise, the Administrator of the Bulacan Ecumenical School.
Engagements in Community Service
Through his membership and officership in prestigious civic organizations like the Jaycees and Rotary International, MW “Boy” Aniag has been actively engaged in community service, which he views as brotherly love expressed in acts of giving relief to the needy.
In the year 2000, in recognition of his genuine concern for the community, his townmates honored him with the “Katangi-tanging Malolefio” Award for Public Service.
He is also the President of the Bulakenos Golf Club. Apparently, playing golf is his way of keeping himself fit for his altruistic works.
His Political Career
MW “Boy” Aniag started his political career in 1982, when the residents of Atlag elected him as their Brgy. Captain. In 1987, his fellow Malolefios voted him Municipal Councilor. Then his provincemates chose him member of the Bulacan Provincial Board, which he served as Majority Floor Leader for three consecutive terms. He chaired the Board’s Committees on Rules, Trade & Industry, Cooperatives, and Information & Communication Technology. He was also a member of the same Board’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Systems & Procedures.
MW “Boy” Aniag is a devoted husband to the lovely Alice Umlas and a loving father to three children. The eldest of these is VW Carlo Pacifico, a Past Master of Malolos Lodge No. 46, our current Senior Grand Deacon, and the Business Manager of THE CABLETOW, who is married to Elleonor Pablo. Katrina is a System Audit Analyst of the Provincial Government of Bulacan. And Benjamin Antonio is in high school.
Blending their differences together, the Aniags produce the sweet music of harmonious family interrelationship.
Pacifico Is Like the Pacific
MW Pacifico B. Aniag is likened to the Pacific Ocean by WB Nats Duefias, a Past Master of Araw Lodge No. 18, in the following manner:
:Like the vast expanse and the legendary waters of the Pacific (Ocean), magnificent in its breadth, so bountifill and mysterious in its depth, posing a great challenge to man’s daring and ingenuity, so full of history and romance, Pacifico (Aniag), too, has, in more ways than one, flirted and lived with paradoxes and the truths of that great ocean. In politics, in business, and in his quest for personal fulfillment, he has kept, within the circumscribed limits of his Masonic and religious orientation, his lambskin apron pure and spotless.”
MW “Boy” Aniag has brought with him into the Grand Master’s office a vast wealth of know-how and experience. We are confident that he will successfully lead us into another enlightened phase of Philippine Masonry, whose old glory as a deciding influence in the affairs of our local and national communities we are all desirous of recapturing. He has called upon us, his brethren, to work together solidarily and harmoniously to achieve that purpose. He has urged us to faithfully carry out the rally thrusts of his administrative program. We should heed his call and urging, by immersing ourselves in an honest-to-goodness study of the different aspects of Masonry, by living its teachings consistently in daily life, and by spreading the beneficent light of those teachings as widely as we can among our countrymen.
Let us hearken to his admonition that we honor the golden traditions of the past, or that we return to the basics of Masonry, even as we endeavor to help improve the lot of our economically disadvantaged countrymen, particularly in these difficult times of spiraling costs of basic commodities. Let us listen well to this precept of MW “Boy” Aniag: “The ancient teachings of Freemasonry must be preserved at all costs if we intend to remain as a potent moral force in our society. This is what Freemasonry is all about, and its very reason for being.”
Together, we can sow the seeds for making tomorrow better and brighter for ourselves and others. Together, we can attain our goal to make Philippine Masonry soar once more to greater heights. Harmony is, certainly, the strength and beauty of our noble brotherhood; it is the key to making this Masonic year the most productive ever. Together is better!