Masonic Year

He was the Centennial Grand Master Enrique L. Locsin, the 82nd Grand Master, resolved to make the Craft known as“Cradle of Heroes, Builder of Nations,” since his year in the Grand East coincided with the centennial of the declaration of Philippine independence. Born in Manila on January 28, 1946, Enrique (Henry to his friends), is the eldest of the three sons of the late Teodoro M. Locsin, Sr. and Rosario Lopez. His younger brother, Teodoro, Jr. (Teddy Boy), is also a member of the fraternity and the publisher of the newspaper daily Today. The youngest Ramon took up residence in the United States. The three brothers have been strongly influenced by their parents. Under the guidance of their strong-willed mother, they learned the value of self-discipline, piety to God, and their virtues. They also imbibed the highly cultured and intellectual qualities of their father. Teodoro M. Locsin, Sr. was among the country’s respected liberal thinkers. A staunch proponent of free thought he was a well-known crusading journalist, a dedicated literary artist, a committed educator, and a steadfast publisher of the Philippines Free Press, which has contributed significantly to the reform of Philippine politics and the development of the Philippine literature. He fought successfully for the introduction of agrarian reform in the country, but unsuccessfully for birth control. Remarked the 82nd Grand Master: “Since 1946, our father has exposed the corruption of Philippine politics through every administration. Having defied the moves of Marcos to impose martial law, he was, upon the declaration of martial law in 1972, arrested and detained. The Philippines Free Press was shut down, and its assets were sold to a Marcos crony. In 1985, however, our father resumed the publication of the Philippines Free Press to support the candidacy of Corazon Cojuangco Aquino – even in the teeth of military censorship. The young Enrique, as well as his brothers, studied in Catholic schools. He attended elementary classroom at De La Salle College. Then he transferred to Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City, where he finished his secondary education. He then pursued his baccalaureate degree in Colegio de San Juan de Letran and then in De La Salle College. After his college education, he enrolled at the Asian Institute of Management, graduating therefrom in 1980. He subsequently participated in the Executive Skills Program of the Alexander Hamilton Institute in the US. Locsin is at present President of El Crown Merchant Inc., President & General Manager of the Philippines Free Press and President & General Manager of LR Publications, Inc., publisher of the Philippine Free Press Magazine. He is also the President of the Independent Daily News, publisher of Today newspaper. Henry is, to a great extent, an efficient user of the 24-inch gauge; for despite his busy schedule as a business executive, he is a devoted husband to the former Susan Romualdez, who is herself a product of Catholic education. He is a loving father to Juan Miguel, Angelica Josefina and Monica Isabelle, all of whom have studied in high-standard schools here and abroad. In 1982, convinced that, as Marcelo H. Del Pilar put it, “The Roman Catholic would find nothing incompatible with Masonry, which only asks for liberty, equality and fraternity for every individual mankind,” Henry, then 36, filed his petition for Masonic degrees in Jacobo Zobel Memorial Lodge No. 202 in Makati City. He got so actively involved in the affairs of his Mother Lodge that in 1986 he was elevated from the floor to the Oriental Chair. His trek to the Grand East started with his appointment as Grand Bible Bearer in 1990 followed with another appointment as Grand Standard Bearer in 1991 and as Grand Bible Bearer again in 1992. He also served as Chair or as member of several committees of the Grand Lodge particularly the Committee on Media Relations. In 1993, during the term of Rizal D. Aportadera, he served as Managing Editor of the Cabletow. He upgraded existing equipment and purchased new equipment like a copier and laser printer for desktop publishing. Henry could have been tapped to run for a senatorial seat in May 1995 national elections – an opportunity for him to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Senator Jose P. Locsin. But he decided, instead, to accept the position of Junior Grand Warden and was eventually elevated to the Grand Oriental as the 82nd Grand Master. As Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master in 1996 and 1997, respectively, besides serving in many Grand lodge committees, he ably filled in for the Grand Master on many a Masonic ceremonial function. Locsin has been active not only in Blue Lodge Masonry, but also in its other appendant and allied branches as well. In York Rite Freemasonry, he was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason at Pilipinas Chapter No. 25, greeted as Royal & Selected Master at the Pilipinas Council No. 16 and dubbed as Knights Templar at Pilipinas Commandery No. 11 - all in March 1984. He was elected Illustrious High priest of Makati Chapter No. 26 in 1991. He also served as Grand Representative of both the Grand Chapter, RAM, of Argentina and the Grand Commandery, KT, of New York. In the Scottish Rite, he was conferred the 32nd degree in Luzon Bodies, Valley of Malate, Orient of Manila on February 18, 1995. Following are the highlights of his involvement in the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.): - Trekked the hot sands of Afifi Temple of Tacoma, Washington in 1984. He belongs to the Harry S. Truman Centennial Class. - Elected High Sheriff of the Maginoo Shrine Oasis in 1985. - Elected Honorary Member of the Temple in 1985. For his Masonic labors, several Lodges, awarded him with plaques of recognition. Henry was chosen Outstanding Mason of District No. 9-B in April 1996; and was included in the INTERNATIONAL WHO’S WHO OF PROFESSIONALS IN 1997. During his tenure as the “Centennial Grand Master” many project were realized thereby, making him one of the Grand Masters in Philippine history with outstanding accomplishments. Through the help of the brethren, their ladies, and friends the following are a few of the projects finished during his term commemorate the observance of the Philippine Republic’s Centennial: 1. The Satellite powered Centennial Clock at the Luneta park across Roxas Boulevard directly fronting the Rizal Monument, 2. A stone marker in honor of the Trece Martires de Bagumbayan installed in the Japanese Garden in the Luneta. 3. A stone marker in honor of Andres Bonifacio erected at the Andres Bonifacio National Shrine and Park in Maragondon, Cavite. 4. The Centennial Gate at the Plaridel Masonic Temple in the Grand Lodge. Other recorded undertaking which may also be considered landmarks are: 1. The active participation of the Grand Lodge during the June 12, 1998 Centennial Parade where the Grand Lodge presented one of the 36 motor floats depicting the various stages of Philippine History. 2. The publication of the books entitled “THE BRETHREN I” and “THE BRETHREN II” authored by Reynold S. Fajardo, PGM. Book I, is an account of the lives of our national heroes who are Masons and their role in the struggle for independence against Spain, while Book II, sub-titled “In the Days of Empire” encompasses the 1st half of the 20th Century. The revolution against Spain over, the struggle for Philippine independence entered a new phase – this time, through non violent and political means, as the Masons sought to lead the nation from the shadow of the U.S. 3. The passing of a city ordinance of Iligan City declaring the 1st week of October as Masonic Week 4. The passing of a resolution by the Province of Cavite declaring the 2nd week of May as Masonic Week Not to be overshadowed was the internal dressing of the Grand Lodge like: 1. The effective collection of receivables which had remained outstanding for many years 2. The beautification of the Grand Lodge and its grounds. 3. Upgrading the quality of the Cabletow. 4. Upgrading of all office equipment and facilities 5. Installation of a chandelier at the lobby. 6. Renovation of the dormitory and upgrading of its facilities. 7. Creation of the T.V. Kalaw, Jr. fellow as a source of funds for whatever project future Grand Lodge officers may undertake.