Sunday, 07 July 2019
New York, USA

The Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the Philippines, MW Agapito S. Suan, Jr. recently visited New York, USA to grace the Public Installation of 2019-2020 Officers of Jose Rizal Lodge No. 1172, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York.

MW Suan and party was warmly greeted and received by the brethren from the different lodges of the F&AM State of New York. Below is MW Suan's speech rendered in said Installation:

Thank you very much, RW Adison M. Cruz, for the kind and humbling introduction.

CHARITY and HUMILITY: Foundations of a True Mason. This is my masonic theme this year in the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, and will always be my opening statement whenever I get invited to speak at any gathering, whether of a masonic lodge or any appendant body.

Because as Grand Master, I should be an ambassador of kindness and generosity. May you, my beloved brothers also constantly carry these virtues of Charity and Humility with you and endeavor to spread it to your family, friends, and in the community you live in.

Worshipful Master John Paul Abrio, WM of Jose Rizal Lodge No. 1172,
MW William M. Sardone, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, 
MW Juanito Espino Jr., Past Grand Master, and incumbent Grand Treasurer of the GLP, 
MW Roger B. Quintana, Immediate Past Grand Master of Masons
in the state of New Jersey,
Dignitaries in the East and on the floor
Demolay boys, Rainbow girls,
members of the Amarant, members of the Eastern Star, fellow Shriners,
our lovely and beautiful sisters, brethren,
Good evening!

On behalf of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines together with my adventurous and dedicated Filipino brother masons, I bring you warm fraternal greetings from our brethren in the Philippines. It is great to be here again in New York, the city that never sleeps. Yes, the non-stop hospitality of the brethren made us almost sleepless, and I'm forever grateful for the fabulous welcome you have accorded us here in this beautiful city. It was a reception fit for royalty.

Certainly, you have endowed me great honor and privilege for the invitation to witness your public installation of officers of Jose Rizal Lodge No. 1172 and share with you some of my thoughts on this momentous occasion.

Foremost, I would like to sincerely thank our MW GM William M. Sardone for the hearty welcome he extended me during my courtesy call earlier in his office. I've visited him last year when I was still the Deputy Grand Master together with my family and I'm so grateful for his hospitality. MW Sir, thank you very much. May I then take this opportunity to extend my invitation to you to visit us in the Philippines. I can assure that your visit will be a fruitful and very memorable one. These guys here will make sure of that.

Wow, am I really in New York? Or in the Philippines. This seems like a dream. It is so heartwarming to see so many of you my fellow Kababayans gathered here together in peace and harmony. Now I can truly believe that in every clime and mountain in this world are masons to be found, specifically Filipino masons. Wherever you go, there is a large number of Filipino Masons in any locality just like in the state of California, in Canada, in Ireland, in Australia, in Florida and they're actively involved in their masonic undertakings. I am very proud of you my brethren and may you continue to become the perfect reflection of our Masonic order in the eyes of our people and in your respective communities, withersoever dispersed.

Before I proceed, I want you to know how impressed I am by the outstanding performance of the installing team led by RW Val Chua, RW Adison Cruz, Rodene Cortes and WB Kristian  Francisco. They made this event more solemn and meaningful. Let us give them a big round of applause. Ang galing talaga ng mga Filipino!

In our fraternity, we all know that the election and subsequent installation of officers is a time for both recognition and hope. The members then are enjoined to strongly support the new officers who will take the big responsibility of managing the affairs of your lodge, and to the hardworking and dedicated immediate past officers, to invest them with our deepest appreciation and respect for their outstanding performance during the year.

To WM JP, I wish to congratulate you for your well-deserved installation. This is indeed a star-studded event attended by no less than four grand masters, two from the Philippines and two from the USA. How lucky you are to be thus honored by the marvelous presence of these most respected dignitaries. I didn't expect you to become a Freemason much more a WM in a foreign land, particularly in the grand jurisdiction of New York.

That's why I didn't hesitate to accept your invitation to be your guest speaker on this occasion firstly, because of my genuine affection for you and your family, and secondly, it's a rare opportunity to speak in one of the magnificent Grand Lodges of the world. More so when I learned that the hall where

I will be delivering my speech is called the Titanic Hall. I wondered why it is called titanic and learned that this hall is where one of the scenes of the movie Titanic was filmed. So I said to myself, oh this is great, I can act like I'm Leonardo De Caprio. But it seems that WM JP looks more like De Caprio than me. Siempre Bata pa. In fact, according to my eldest son, Lordan, who is a schoolmate of JP in the college days, he is very popular with the girls. Kilabot ng mga kababaihan, Tulad ni RW Mon Cruz, RW Paul Guererro, mga kilabot rin, eh ngayon,kilabot pa rin,,,,,ng mga Matrona (joke).

WM JP, your parents are my contemporaries in the banking industry in the Philippines, more particularly, Cagayan de Oro City. That was in the 1980s. That means that in this generation you're the millennial, and we are the milleniors, being senior citizens. Your dad was with PCIB, your mom was with the Central Bank, and me at the PBCOM. We are really close friends, in fact when we were young, I can still remember you were wearing short pants like basketball star Kevin Durant.

And now here you are, a WM of a lodge named after our beloved national hero, Jose Rizal, and here I am, as your guest speaker.

I know Worshipful JP that you prepared long and hard enough for this challenge as a leader of your lodge, and I'm sure you've unloaded some of your bank deposits just to make this event a
success.

Please be aware that as installed officers, the eyes of the fraternity are now upon you. Keep the Masonic passion burning in your hearts, as hot as the first time you knelt in that altar during your initiation.

Let everyone be a witness that by becoming a Mason, much more a WM, you have become a better person. I am about to say a loving husband, but since you're still a bachelor, and I think you prefer to stay single at the moment,so instead of a loving husband, maybe the appropriate word would be an adorable playboy (joke) and a good son to your parents.

Beware of following the footsteps of King Solomon who had 1000 wives. In his old age, King Solomon exclaimed: all is vanity and vexation of the spirit. A chasing after the wind.

To the immediate past officers of this lodge led by WB Eduard Kho, please accept my warmest compliments for an extraordinary masonic year 2018. You have indeed lived up to the expectations of your brethren and you richly deserve the finest admiration and congratulations. I trust that you will be remembered well by this grateful lodge. Brethren, let us give the immediate past officers of this lodge a big round of applause.

As I mentioned in my opening statement, charity and humility are the foundations of a true mason. In the fullness of its time, the sweet fruit of charity is happiness. Whenever I'm invited to speak before my brother masons, this has always been one of my favorite subjects: happiness, charity, and humility.

Today, I'm inspired to share with you some profound thoughts about happiness in relation to charity and humility. All of us were born with the desire to be happy, although sometimes we have different ways of achieving it.

But this brethren is my simple idea of happiness. If you want to be happy for a day, go shopping, or play a round of golf. If you want to be happy for a week, buy a new gadget, iPhone ten, or buy an airplane if you want to be happy for a month, go on a vacation, travel, spend your happy moments together with someone you love. Of course si sister yan! If you want to be happy for a year, (no, brethren, for us the milleniors, it's not viagra) just learn a new hobby, start a new business or join a new club, seniors club,or a baby-sitters club.

But this brethren, if you want to be happy for a lifetime. please take note—lifetime—go help those in distress and extend your assistance to the less fortunate members of our society. That is the perfect way to find happiness and the best way to exemplify and live the tenets of Freemasonry.

To please God is to practice charity–the centerpiece of Freemasonry, the brightest gem in the crown that adorns our Masonic profession.

Our brotherhood taught us that of the three principal moral virtues of Masonry, Charity is the greatest; for our faith may be lost in sight, hope ends in fulfillment, but charity extends beyond the grave, through the boundless heavens of eternity.

It is only through the spirit of giving that we are able to accomplish the objectives of our Order, that of exercising Brotherly Love, to relieve the suffering of the downtrodden.

We are not put on this earth just to be happy and comfortable. We are here to be useful. To make a difference in the lives of the weak and the needy. To bring hope to the hopeless, and love to the lonely. Saint Mother Teresa once said, “it is not how much we give that is important, but how much love we put into giving.”

And so my brethren, aspire to be a giver and a doer, for a man's true wealth is determined not by the material possessions he has accumulated, but by the good things that he has done in this world.

As what one of our illustrious brothers in masonry Albert Pike said, that “what we do for ourselves dies with us, but the merciful, and charitable acts we do for others, remain lasting and lives forever.”

Let us therefore, remain true to the teachings of this great fraternity. Let us be Masons in creed and in deed. Let harmony be the strength and support of this institution. And please avoid confusion in the temple by being more tolerant, understanding, and forgiving with each other.

Finally, let every Mason lead the way in our challenging pursuit of a country where Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth shall always prevail. Let us impress the outside world by our truly Masonic demeanor, which is kind-hearted, praiseworthy, and conduct worthy of emulation because those who behold us, beholds a mason.

Good afternoon and congratulations!