Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What is the Oldest Fraternity in the Philippines?

The Odd Fellows and Freemasonry are considered the oldest fraternities in the Philippines and even in the world.

The first masonic lodge in the Philippines,"Primera Luz Filipina", was established sometime in 1856 but membership was only open to Spaniards. No native became members except those who went to study in Europe such as Jose Rizal.

The first fraternity to reach the Philippines during the Spanish-American war was the Odd Fellows sometime in 1872. They became largely responsible for the petty insurrection the following year (Source: Major O.W. Coursey, U.S. Volunteer, author of the History and Geography of the Philippine Islands). Members were mostly military servicemen during that time. They held their meetings in Military and Naval base camps. The first officially chartered I.O.O.F lodge (chapter) in the Philippines was Manila Lodge no.1 which was instituted around 1898. The lodge ceased to operate during the Japanese-American War.

The Freemasonry in the Philippines that we know today reached the Philippines in the year 1877 and considered as the second fraternity to reach the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American war. At first, they did not accept Filipinos and membership was only limited to a particular Nationality. The first recorded lodge that accepted Filipinos was Nilad lodge no.1 which was instituted sometime in 1891. They later formed a Grand Lodge in 1912.

Founded in 1918 the official registered college fraternity in the Philippines is the Upsilon Sigma Phi considered also as the oldest in Asia.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Great Reasons Why We Should Be Proud of Our Fraternity

Independent Order of Odd Fellows:

1. We are one of the Oldest Altruistic and Benevolent Fraternity in the world having been founded in the year 1700's in England and year 1819 in the United States.

2. We are a Worldwide Fraternity having more than 10,000 lodges (Chapters) in approximately 29 countries and still expanding.

3. We are one of the largest fraternity in the world from 1860's to 1920's and remain as One of the Largest Fraternity today having Millions of Members since 1819.

4. We are the First Fraternity to Accept both Men and Women when we adopted the Rebekah degree in 1851.

5. Famous people who became members of our fraternity include King George IV of United Kingdom, Sir John A. Macdonald, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, Wyatt Earp, etc.

6. For more than 100 years, we are Involved in Philanthropic and Charitable Activities locally, nationally and internationally.

7. We are Non-political, Non-sectarian, Non-sexist and Non-racist fraternity accepting members from different social classes, sex, gender, race, ethnicity and religious denomination.

8. We teach wise and serious truths, difference between right and wrong and that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

9. Our Meetings are Based on Parliamentary Procedures giving our members good training in public speaking and presiding formal meetings.

10. No hazing, no discrimination, no subordination, no sacrifice of your opinions and beliefs, no change of relations to the Country, no loosening of the obligations which, as a good citizen, you owe to the laws and institutions under which you live, is required.