In June 2022, the DeMolay International held its 56th International DeMolay Congress Session in Orlando, Florida, USA. For the first time, the Philippines was represented by Bro. Frederick Emmanuel T. Atanacio and Bro. Theodore Aldrich T. Atanacio, who were designated as the official delegates to represent DeMolay Philippines in the Congress. The event was a three-day event where brothers from all over the world had the chance to meet and exchange ideas with youth leaders of DeMolay jurisdictions worldwide.
During the first day of the session, Bro. Frederick Atanacio felt nervous and worried about what he should do, but he found a table where he was welcomed with open arms by brothers from New York, who introduced themselves to him. In that moment, he felt proud to be a DeMolay, and much prouder to be a Filipino, experiencing the universal brotherhood that DeMolay represents.
Bro. Frederick Atanacio was able to meet the DeMolay leaders of the four out of five independent Supreme Councils: DeMolay International, DeMolay Canada, DeMolay Brazil, and DeMolay Philippines, as well as that of DeMolay Italy, who belongs to Region 10 of DeMolay International. He attended all the events and activities of the active members of the DeMolay International Session and was excited to talk to the other state and national officers about their own jurisdictions, listening to their personal stories, exchanging ideas, and sharing his own experiences about DeMolay Philippines.
The annual congress session conducted by DeMolay International amazed Bro. Frederick Atanacio. It made him feel like he was in an actual legislative congress where all the officers from various jurisdictions had the opportunity to address their concerns of their jurisdiction in particular or the whole organization in general. One of the things that he witnessed was a discussion of the International Congress on whether they would change the name of “International Master Councilor” to “International President”. They allowed the delegates to pick a side and defend it like an actual debate, and ultimately the vote was made to keep the current title as it was a trademark of the Order of DeMolay.
Bro. Frederick Atanacio was also able to talk to the candidates for the positions of International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary. He had the opportunity to ask questions and talk to them on what their plans were, as well as to learn and gain ideas from them. It was hard to decide who to vote for because each candidate had their own strengths and goals for the organization.
Overall, the event made Bro. Frederick Atanacio appreciate the brotherhood and camaraderie that DeMolay represents, transcending borders and nationalities. He felt privileged to be part of such an international event that highlights the importance of leadership and brotherhood in shaping young men into responsible adults.
Credits to Bro. Frederick Emmanual T. Atanacio
Edited by Leg. John Louie Marfil, Chev, LOH, PP FDSAC #46