Cagayan Valley Lodge No. 133
This lodge is named after the Cagayan Valley, a North-South trending depression in Luzon about 240 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide. The Cagayan River drains this fertile valley, one of the rice granaries of the Philippines.
It is said that the name of the valley was derived from the Ilocano word for river, Carayan. In another version it is said that Tagay trees (tall hardwood) grew abundantly along the banks of the river, so the region was called "Catagayan" which was later shortened to "Cagayan."
These, of course, are merely the popular etymology of "Cagayan" in Luzon which need not be trusted, for the name-place exists as well in Mindanao and Sulu. In Mindanao the name "Cagayan" is connected with the legendary story of Bagani.
The legend took place when Cagayan was still called Kalambagohan, meaning the place where lambago trees were in abundance. The Maguindanaos raided the place, forcing the inhabitants to retreat to the hills of Bukidnon. Bagani, which means a warrior who has killed many men for his community's ritual integrity, tried to regain Kalambagohan but was beguiled by the charms of the Sultan's daughter and married her, thus becoming a vassal of the Maguindanaos. The former Kalambagohan then became Kagayhaan, a place of shame from the Bukidnon Kagayhan, "shame.")
The organization of Cagayan Valley Lodge No. 133 was originally conceived by six (6) Master Masons residing in Santiago, Isabela. On April 15,1951, these Masons - Rufino S. Roque, Sr., Ricardo S. Nab, Isaac L. Parado, Lino C. Barrera, Antero H. Dirige, and Pacifico R. de Jesus - held an organizational meeting at the Santiago Chinese School and prepared a petition for dispensation. Jose M. Torres, Fernando F. Bernardo, Jose Catindig, Primo Paggao, Agapito Salvador, Rodrigo Vallejo, and Alfonso Baquiran subsequently joined them.
The petition was forthwith sent to the Grand Lodge. On May 2, 1951, Grand Master Sidney M. Austin issued the requested dispensation and named the following as the officers of the new lodge: Worshipful Master, Ricardo S. Nilo; Senior Warden, Jose Catindig; Junior Warden, Agapito Salvador; Treasurer, Rufino S. Roque, Sr., and Secretary, Antero H. Dirige.
The new lodge immediately buckled down to work and acted upon petitions for degrees. During the time the lodge was working under dispensation, three (3) applicants were raised to the 3rd degree and four (4) were initiated.
On March 28, 1952, the lodge was granted a charter by the Grand Lodge and on the second Saturday of April 1952, Cagayan Valley Lodge No. 133 was duly constituted and its officers installed. The first set of officers of the lodge under charter were: Worshipful Master, Lino C. Barrera; Senior Warden, Agapito Salvador; Junior Warden, Jose Catindig; Treasurer, Rufino S. Roque, Sr.; and, Secretary, Antero H. Dirige.
For the first eight years of its existence, the lodge met at the Santiago Chinese School, gratis et amore, courtesy of the Chinese Master Masons. When the school needed the lodge room, the meeting place of the lodge was transferred to the Santiago Methodist Church and later to the Northeastern College. By then, the members of the lodge had formed the Santiago Travelers Association, Incorporated. In 1955, the Association started the construction of a wooden building designed by Bro. Remigio Roque, a civil engineer. The structure was erected on a 400 square meter lot at Apolinario Mabini St., Dubinan East, which was acquired through an exchange with a lot donated to the lodge by Bro. Rufino S. Roque, Sr. that was located at Barangay. Villasis, Santiago, Isabela.
Many years later, the lodge constructed another Temple made of concrete on a 400 sq. m. lot at Panganiban St., corner A. Mabini St., right at the heart of the commercial District of Santiago City. Bro. Dante S. Dirige designed this 3-storey concrete building, named the Santiago Masonic Center. It took years and great sacrifice on the part of the brethren to finish.
The ground floor of the Center is being leased out for a modest rent; the 2nd floor is used as a social hall, and the 3rd floor serves as the lodge room. The Masonic Center also houses appendant bodies like the Scottish Rite Bodies; Santiago Court No. 12 of the Order of the Amaranth; a Chapter of the Order of DeMolay and a Bethel of the Job's Daughters.
The roster of members of Cagayan Valley Lodge No. 133 shows that in fifty years, - 1951 to 2001- it has raised over two hundred sixty (260) brother Masons. In the next fifty years, it expects to raise a bigger number.
Location: Santiago, Isabela