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Happy Birthday, Kuyang Pepe!

June 19th, 2008

Jose Rizal, FreemasonI must admit that I am not much of a Jose Rizal fan. Ka Andres Bonifacio gets more points from me, just a bit higher than Rizal. But like any Filipino, I admire Rizal for his dedication to our country’s cause. The life he lived as hero and martyr should be a source of inspiration, if not an emulation for the youth which he proclaimed as the hope of the mother/fatherland. Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are both heroes and examplars of Filipino Patriotism and they’re both my brother Masons.

According to the Grand Lodge of the Philippines website:

Rizal was made a Master Mason on November 15, 1890 at Logia Solidaridad 53 in Madrid, Spain. He affiliated with a lodge under the jurisdiction of Grand Orient of France on October 14, 1891, and was made honorary Worshipful Master of Nilad Lodge No. 144 in 1892. There he delivered a lecture entitled “La Masoneria”.

and by Dean Jorge Bocobo:

Influenced by Miguel Morayta, a history professor at the Universidad de Madrid, Rizal joined Masonry, under the Gran Oriente de Español, adopting the Masonic name, Dimasalang. He was automatically excommunicated, expelled from the Catholic Church, a fate decreed for all Catholics becoming Masons since 1738 and reaffirmed by the CBCP in 1990. Rizal had plenty of illustrious company including Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Ladislao Diwa, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Juan Luna, Deodato Arellano, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, H. Pardo de Tavera, and so many others in the Propaganda Movement and La Liga Filipina.

It was a Masonic trader, Jose Ramos, who first smuggled copies of the ”Noli Me Tangere” into Manila.

In 1912, Rizal’s family rejected a petition from the Jesuits to rebury their famous pupil. Instead, that honor was accorded to the Masons, led by Timoteo Paez, who, in full regalia, carried Rizal’s remains in a long procession to the Masonic Temple in Tondo for funeral rites, before final interment at the Luneta in December 1912.

The true meaning of his life has been obscured by his enemies, who have claimed that in the end, he abjured Masonry and returned to the Faith. If he did, why was he martyred? Luckily, most of his written work (50 volumes!) has been available, since his birth centenary in 1961, despite strident opposition from the Catholic Church. In this way, Rizal may still get the final word. The tragedy is, most Filipinos have not read Rizal at all, being mainly exposed to seriously flawed films about him. (These much-awarded movies portray him at his execution, clutching rosary beads around his neck, a sop thrown in to mollify Church hierarchy.)

…Even if he had, hypothetically, signed some made-up retraction document, to save his family from persecution and to marry Josephine Bracken, the letters prove he could not have done so sincerely. Freed from Catholic indoctrination by wide exposure to many cultures and religions, the heart and mind that one encounters in the epistolary just could not have made a genuine retraction, for he was, irreversibly, a global citizen, an ecumenical man.

Rizal believed that you can be a good and moral person without believing in a specific supernatural deity or purported representatives on earth. Of course, faith can also lead to a strong moral conscience, but religion is not the only route to virtue. Participation in an organized religion may be a sufficient impetus to a virtuous life, as is fear of eternal damnation, but it is not a necessary condition.

Rizal upheld democratic tolerance and ecumenism. He rejected dogmatism and the towering vanity of a “one true faith.” In so doing he found true freedom and understood the deepest meaning of democracy before it was born in his country.

That is why he chose to die an apostate, excommunicated from the Catholic Church, rather than be a traitor to himself and the future of humanity.

Today is Bro.Jose Rizal’s 147th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Kuyang Pepe!

  1. Kurt Chua
    March 21st, 2009 at 22:32 | #1

    I always see this particular picture even in books. But in my own but strong opinion. That is not Rizal. More like a member of the free mason and taken sometime 1920’s or 1930’s. Rizal did not sport that that kind of hairstyle in his younger years like during his Ateneo or UST days. That suit is more likely from the American era. Even his features defer very much from what we usually see in in his more famous photographs. Rizal had wider forehead, his nostrils did not project forward like in this picture and certainly his lips did not look like this. Oh, he was a freemason no doubt, but but the authenticity of this photo is highly questionable. If you don’t believe then try to investigate. Godbless.

  2. Peter Dima-ala
    May 19th, 2009 at 16:07 | #2

    ya.. i strongly agree. even considering this pic as rizal’s bro il stil doubt. features so different, no resemlance, no way d face of d guy n d photo above cud turn up eventualy in2 how we c rizals facial symetry. may d cockroach of d neigbor of d one hu guesd ds pic as rizals pic be killed! slowly but surely.. viva filipina!

  3. Peter Diama-ala
    May 19th, 2009 at 16:38 | #3

    another thing.. dont tel me he used tweezers to pluck his eyebrows.. look at d brows nd d eyes..

  4. katabay
    May 20th, 2009 at 21:09 | #4

    kuyang pepe? or Hermano pepe? remember that hermano dimasalang is not York rite mason like GLP, he saw the light of masonry in AASR/REAA..do you think kuyang pepe is clandestine mason?

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