A Tale of Two Lodges: Nilad & Labong - WB Ali C. Espina

On the occassion of its 125th year, I was given the honor to write a short article by WM Rodrigo Fernandez in 'The Mystic Tie', the newsletter of Nilad Lodge No. 12.

 
Below is the said article mga kuya.

Happy Anniversary Nilad!!!

Nilad 144, the grandmother lodge as it is known today, was the first all-Filipino Lodge in the Philippines.

 

It was founded on 6 January 1891. It was given the choice by the Gran Oriente Español to either form a Masonic Triangle or a Masonic Lodge. A Triangle was composed of 3 members while a Lodge was composed of 7 members. It opted to form the latter & its first set of officers were:

 

1. Jose A. Ramos (Socorro) – Venerable Master
2. Moises Salvador (Araw) – First Vigilant
3. Lorenzo Tuazon (Kamuning) – Second Vigilant
4. Tomas Tuazon (Gunting) – Orator
5. Pedro Laktaw Serrano (Panday Pira) – Secretary, Keeper of the Seal & Treasurer
6. Timoteo Paez (Raxa Matanda) – Master of Ceremonies & Expert
7. Romulado Cacnio (Tumawa) – Inner Temple Guard

 

Lorenzo Tuazon, not from Manila but a Mason from Malabon, was 1 of the 7 original members of Nilad. Within months of Nilad’s founding, Tuazon set up 1 of the first Masonic Triangles & named it Labong.

On 2 May 1892, Labong received its number & became Labong 153. Among the many Masonic Triangles formed by Nilad, it was one of the first to receive its number. The other triangles that received their numbers were:

 

- Masala 154 (San Fernando, Pampanga)
- Majestad 155 (Bacolor, Pampanga)
- Dampulan 156 (Jaen, Nueva Ecija)
- Bathala 157 (Ermita, Manila)
- Walana 158 (Binondo, Manila)

 

Later on, when Nilad 144’s authority was being questioned, Labong 153 became its only ally.

 

Nilad & Labong has a very long history. Probably one of the longest two lodges have, if not the longest. So you see Brethren of Nilad, our lodges are not just “neighbors.” We do not only meet on the same day, the same temple, the same floor. We are bonded by much more than a schedule. What Nilad & Labong has is a rich & colorful history.

The many blessings of serving Labong in the East this year is to have the aid & assist of the other Worshipful Masters of NCR-B. Unknown to everyone, this years’ WMs of NCR-B are in regular communication through Facebook Messenger & texts. We share information, advices & experiences. One of the active members of the group is your Worshipful Master Rod Fernandez. I venture to say that he is the one of the seven Masters closest to me. You are blessed to have him serve you this year.

 

On behalf of the officers & brethren of Labong Lodge No. 59, we maintain our fraternal grip to the officers & brethren of Nilad Lodge No. 12. 125 years & counting; since 1891.

 

Fraternally,
Bro Ali Espina
Labong Lodge No. 59

 

(Source: The Brethren. Masons in The Struggle For Philippine Independence)

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