Masonic Year

The pulmonary specialist. Leon Angel P. Bañez, Jr. was born in Manila on October 1, 1920 to the WB and Colonel Leon Crisologo Bañez Sr. and Mercedes Purugganan. His father was a medical officer of the old Philippine Constabulary, while his mother was the niece of Grand Master Quintin Paredes. Leon first studied in the public schools in Bangued, Abra, then pursued his medical course in the University of the Philippines. His medical schooling, however, was interrupted when the Pacific War broke out. He saw action as a medical non-commissioned officer of the Artillery Unit of the USAFIP Northern Luzon. Aside from fighting the enemy, he cared for the wounded and the sick in the various areas of operation in Northern Luzon from 1942 to 1945. After the end of the War, Leon was mustered out of the service and he returned to the UP to finish his schooling in Medicine. While he was on assignment at Camp Spencer in Luna, La Union, near the scenic Darigayos, he met, Ludivina Singson of Luna, La Union. Later he married her, and their marriage was blest with nine children, some of whom are also members of the Craft. Bañez obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from UP in 1948 and passed the Board in the same year, landing in 14th place. His medical specialization is Chest and Pulmonary Diseases. He served as the Medical Director of the Cagayan TB Pavilion, a branch of Quezon Institute, from 1953 up to his retirement from the government service in 1986. Bañez is member Emeritus and Fellow of the International Academy of Chest Physicians and Surgeons as well as of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians. Today he is a gentleman farmer, medical consultant, and Innkeeper on the side. The Masonic record of Bañez, is indelibly marked by unselfish dedication to the cause of Freemasonry in the Philippine grand jurisdiction and by sincere con­cern for the growth and development of the Fraternity. He always works hard to fulfill his Masonic duties and responsibilities, defying the odds and personal risks and sacrifices. His adult life has been mainly devoted to the service of the Craft in various positions. That service and vision was shared by his late wife Ludivina and his son and brother Mason, Lenny, both of whom he lost in an accident on the North Express Way en route to fulfilling a Masonic engagement in 1993. That tragic loss did not deter him from pursuing his vision of greater service to Masonry. In this respect, then, Bañez is indeed a profile of courage and determina­tion, which are worthy of emulation by the Masons of today. In this sense he may be regarded as a man and Mason with a leonine heart. Those who know him well also vouch for him as a man and Mason with a generous heart as well. Bañez has had commitments other than Masonic, but his greatest love is the Craft. He had stints with the YMCA, Lions Club, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, and the Cagayan Medical Society, which once voted him the Most Outstanding Physician of the Year (1970). Born into a Masonic family, he must have imbibed Mason­ic principles and values at an early age specially from his father Leon Sr., who was a Charter member and Past Master of Abra Lodge No. 86 and a GLI (1936) for Mabini Lodge No. 39 in Aparri, Cagayan. But his rebirth into the Ancient Order occurred when he joined the Gonzaga Lodge No. 66 in Tuguega­rao, Cagayan, where he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on October 23, 1959. He became Worshipful Master of that Lodge twice – in 1964 and 1973. He was appointed several times as Dis­trict Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District No. 2 (now MD No. 49). During the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in 1994, which was held in Cebu, the Masons elected him Junior Grand Warden. In 1995 they promoted him to Senior Grand Warden, in 1996 to Deputy Grand Master and, finally, in 1997 to Grand Master. Bañez is a dedicated Scottish Rite Freemason. For many years he was an Active Member of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree of the Republic of the Philippines. He was until his retirement as an Active Member the SGIG for the Orient of North Cagayan, which has two Bodies; the Tuguegarao and the Delta Bodies for Tuguegarao and Aparri, Cagayan, respectively. Bañez is also involved in the Order of DeMolay, and played an important role in the establishment of the Colonel Tirso H. Gador Chapter in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. At present, he is a Grand Senior Counselor of the Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay in the Philippines. Bañez is also member of several appendant bodies like the Order of the Eastern Star, the Royal Order of Scotland, and the Order of the Amaranth. He has given his utmost cooperation and support to all the Grand Masters with whom he has had the pleasure of working – for God, country, and mankind.