Honoring Hermano Dimasalang: Celebrating Dr. José Rizal’s 163rd Birth Anniversary

June 19, 2024

Calamba, Laguna, Philippines


As the Philippines commemorated the 163rd birth anniversary of Dr. José Rizal on June 19, 2024, the Freemasons of Gran Logia Soberana del Archipielago Filipino, led by Makiling Lodge No. 18, gathered in Calamba City to pay tribute to this illustrious Mason and national hero. Known affectionately among his brethren as Hermano Dimasalang, Dr. Rizal’s legacy as a scholar, reformist, and patriot continues to inspire Masons and Filipinos alike.

Morning Ceremony: A Flower Offering at the Rizal Monument

The day’s commemorations began with a solemn flower offering at the Rizal Monument in the Rizal Coliseum, Calamba City. This monument, dedicated to Calamba’s most revered son, stands as a testament to his enduring influence on the nation’s history and Masonic values.

Brethren from Makiling Lodge No. 18 and other lodges gathered in full regalia, forming a dignified procession towards the monument. As the morning sun cast a golden hue over the coliseum, the air was filled with a sense of reverence and reflection. Each Mason placed a flower at the foot of the monument, symbolizing their respect and gratitude for Rizal’s contributions to the nation and to Masonry.

The ceremony was marked by the laying of a commemorative wreath, with ribbons bearing the inscription: “To Hermano Dimasalang – A Beacon of Liberty and Wisdom.” This act of homage underscored Rizal’s enduring legacy as a beacon of enlightenment and a champion of liberty, whose life and works continue to resonate with the Masonic principles of truth and fraternity.

Afternoon Festivities: Joining the Citywide Parade

In the afternoon, the Freemasons joined the vibrant citywide parade, celebrating Rizal’s life and legacy with a float designed to reflect his time in Paris. The float, a collaborative effort by the members of Makiling Lodge No. 18, was a tribute to Rizal’s period of residence in the French capital, where he furthered his studies and engaged with fellow reformists.

A Float Inspired by Rizal’s Life in Paris

The Masonic float was a striking spectacle, intricately designed to capture the essence of Rizal’s Parisian years. It featured symbolic elements representing his intellectual pursuits and the cultural milieu of late 19th-century Paris. The float included:

  • Books and Quills: Signifying Rizal’s dedication to learning and writing, with replicas of his notable works such as “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo.”
  • Parisian Landmarks: Miniature representations of iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Sorbonne, where Rizal engaged in scholarly activities and connected with other expatriates.
  • Freemasonic Symbols: Emblems of Freemasonry, such as the square and compasses, integrated into the design, reflecting Rizal’s active participation in Masonic lodges in Europe.

Masons in traditional and period attire accompanied the float, engaging with spectators and sharing insights into Rizal’s life and the values he embodied. The float and its entourage highlighted the intellectual vibrancy and cosmopolitan spirit that characterized Rizal’s time in Paris, celebrating his role as a global thinker and reformist.

Reflecting on Rizal’s Masonic Legacy

Dr. José Rizal, known as Hermano Dimasalang within the Masonic fraternity, remains a figure of profound significance for Masons. His commitment to education, reform, and the upliftment of his countrymen aligns closely with Masonic ideals. Rizal’s Masonic journey, marked by his initiation into La Solidaridad Lodge in Madrid and subsequent affiliations with lodges in Paris and Germany, mirrors his pursuit of enlightenment and advocacy for social justice.

As Freemasons, we honor Rizal not only as a national hero but also as a brother whose life exemplifies the Masonic principles of truth, justice, and fraternity. His writings and actions continue to inspire our work within the fraternity and our broader contributions to society.

Moving Forward: Embracing Rizal’s Vision

As we look to the future, the Masons of Gran Logia Soberana del Archipielago Filipino remain committed to advancing the values that Rizal championed. Our engagement in community initiatives, educational endeavors, and advocacy for social justice reflects our ongoing dedication to his vision of a progressive and enlightened society.

The 163rd birth anniversary of Dr. José Rizal serves as a reminder of the enduring power of his legacy. By celebrating his life and contributions, we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity that Rizal so passionately embodied.

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