Masonic Year

The Man: His simple beginning

Our Grand Master was born on 11 June 1952 and the 4th in the brood of seven (7) children from the marriage of Juanito Sr. and Encarnacion, both from Iloilo province. His father worked as the Chief of Staff of the late Senator Jose C. Zulueta while his mother was busy rearing the children as a simple and lovely housewife. His father’s fame and achievement did not have any reflection on our soon to be Grand Master. His simple beginning was characterized as a probinsiyano whose colorful memories and happy thoughts were spent selling newspaper, needles, and buttons in the busy streets of the City. He spent his childhood with his playmates in the riverbanks of Iloilo City’s waterways.

Juaning, as he is fondly called by friends and peers, has been perceived early on to have a colorful and bright future. As his friends would quip, he is a man of few words but a man of action who is known for being light-hearted and compassionate to everyone. While he keeps his busy and overloaded daily schedule on mark, his intense dedication to work and his passion for quality results never diminish. He has this trait of ensuring that everything is done at the end of the day before he retires to bed.

As a craftsman, he never lets a single Ashlar in his trestleboard untouched by his hand and never leaves any of its edge rough and unpolished. He likes to take immediate solutions to problems rather than giving much attention to discussion and argumentation. He extends assistance and medical support to anyone who needs it dearly even if it would mean stretching further his cabletow of support. And true to form, he had proven to be the man who stood when standing seems unbearable for others to be an option.

He is happily married to the former Susana S. Saldaña from Iloilo City and their marriage is blessed with two (2) lovely daughters, Ma. Paula, a medical doctor and a Ph. D. degree holder in Genetics, and Monique, Bachelor of Architecture in Environmental Design graduate, both studied in the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The Man: Education and Career

Our Grand Master is a product of public school education whose intellectual competence had consistently made him a graduate with honors from elementary to high school. He was Iloilo City’s government scholar and graduated at the top ten percent of the class in 1972 at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Accounting. He became the pride of his family and alma mater when he passed the Licensure Examination for Certified Public Accountants. He also completed his Master in Business Administration at the University of Sto. Tomas and as taken Law Studies at the Aquinas University in Legaspi City, Albay.

This probinsiyano CPA started to build a name in the private and public sectors. While still a student, he set track to a colorful career in the private sector at I. Diaz & Associates as a part-time auditor; Accounting Instructor at the University of San Agustin; and eventually, Senior Auditor at Sycip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. from 1970-1978.

He finally joined the Commission on Audit in 1978 as Chief of the Auditing Systems Division. He worked his way through and put premiums on competence and hardwork as he rose from the ranks to become Director of major sectors both in central and regional offices. He then assumed the position of Assistant Commissioner, the highest career position in the Commission. He was then the youngest Regional Director of COA Regional Office No. 2 to be appointed at the age of 28. In 2006, he was appointed as the youngest Commission on the Commission on Audit at age 54.

His career flourished in the international arena with his stint as Senior External Auditor of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA. He served as the Senior External Auditor of the United Nations in New York, USA and Nairobi, Kenya. For two tears, he served as Auditing Systems Consultant of a World Bank project for the Government of Republic of Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Further to his credit, he chaired the committee on technical matters of the United Nations Audit Committee and took over as the Over-all Chairman; he also chaired the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), The Public Sector Auditing Standards Board (PSASB), Audit Committee, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Risk-based Financial Audit Manual (RBFAM) Steering Committee and the Steering Committee, Harmonization and Managing for Results Project funded by Asian Development Bank.

His commitment to further enhance the development of accountancy and accountability in government was also complimented by his involvement in private organizations. He served as Vice President for External Affairs of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), and National President of the Government Association of Certified Public Accountants (GACPA) for CY 2004-2005. He received various awards, scholarships and grants including the Special Achievement Award in International Professional Development from PICPA; a study visit to Australia sponsored by the Philippines-Australia Partnership for Economic Governance and Reforms (PEGR) and AusAID, November – December 2009; a Fellowship on Infrastructure Audit, US Department of Agriculture Graduate School, Washington D.C., USA, March – April 1982 sponsored by the UNDP; and the 2004 Pasidungog Awards for being the Outstanding Sta. Barbaranon in Government Service, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo Province in November 2004.

In April 2010, he was bestowed the Doctor of Humanities degree, honoris causa, by the Lyceum Northwestern University, Dagupan City, Pangasinan, in recognition of his numerous accomplishments and notable humanitarian endeavor in the field of business and finance.

His legacy of dedication and hardwork in the Commission on Audit had been the cornerstone of his 35 years as public servant.

The Man: The Mason

Our Grand Master was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason November 08, 1991 in Mayon Lodge No. 61, Legaspi City when he was then the Regional Director of COA Region V. His climb of Masonic ladder was regarded as promising and fortuitous that he would one day lead the Lodge as its Worshipful Master.

He affiliated himself at Kagitingan Lodge No. 286 in 2007: he initiated the institution and constitution of the Auditor General Most Worshipful Pedro M. Gimenez Memorial Lodge No. 370, in honor of Auditor General and Past Grand Master in 1963 MW Pedro M. Gimenez. During his tenure as Charter Master and first Worshipful Master, he led the lodge to be eventually known as the Traveling Lodge in our jurisdiction. He now holds dual, honorary, and charter memberships in Camiguin Lodge No. 296, Bernardo Carpio Lodge No. 359, Gov. Luis O. Ferrer Sr. Memorial Lodge No. 366, Batasan Lodge No. 381, Grand Secretary Reynold S. Fajardo Memorial Lodge No. 383, San Leonardo Lodge No. 386, Masonic District Region II-E. He affiliated with the Fil-Can Cabletow Lodge No. 189 in Winnipeg, Canada under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. He also holds membership in Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Quezon City Bodies, York Rite Manila Bodies, Order of the Secret Monitor, and Past High Shereef of Maharlika Shriners Club.

In 2009, the Grand Lodge of the Philippines awarded him the medallion for the Outstanding Mason in Government Service while Masonic District NCR E, Quezon City, recognized him as the Most Outstanding Worshipful Master of the District. In 2008, he was awarded the Most Outstanding Master Mason in the field of Public Accountancy by the Grand Lodge of the Philippines during the 92nd Annual Communication in April 2008, Bacolod City.

Through the years, he served as Grand Auditor, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Technical Adviser to various committees such as the Committees on Accounts, Resource Generation and Development, Government Assistance, Masonic Cemetery, Formation of New Lodges, and Oplan: Sagip Kalikasan Committee.

In 2010, the 93rd Annual Communications at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City has successfully brought him to the podium of Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines with a landslide victory over the other candidates.

The Clarion Call to Carry On

As we all travel in the path of time, let us never lose sight of our important duty to continue upholding the tenets of our Craft for its enhancement and development. The 7-Point Agenda in the 5-Year Development Plan of the Grand Lodge show that unity and harmony shall always be the cornerstone of our thrust as a brotherhood in bridging the path of the new millennium towards the betterment of our Craft in Making Good Men Better . Let the clarion call continues to toil and let the brethren take the action in embracing the hallmark of our tenets.