Kanla-on Lodge No. 64
Kanlaon is an active volcano 2465 meters high on Negros Island, 24 kilometers from Bacolod City, the seat of this lodge.
It is said that in the days of long ago, a dreadful multi-headed dragon dwelt in the highest mountain of Negros Island and to mollify it the people in the lowlands, each year, had to offer in sacrifice a beautiful maiden. This went on for years until there was no maiden left except the king's lovely daughter. At this point Lord Laon or Khan Laon came to the rescue and slew the dragon. Henceforth, the people called the mountain "Khan Laon" in his honor.
This lodge was started in September 1920 by Eriberto Gonzalez, Manuel Fernandez Yanson and Manuel Garcia, all members of Iloilo Lodge No. 11. On September 25, they were joined by other Masons in a meeting held in the office of Yanson at Calle Washington in Bacolod during which they agreed to found a lodge to be named Kanla-on. A petition was sent to the Grand Lodge and on October 22, 1920, Grand Master Rafael Palma issued a dispensation to them naming Gonzalez as the Dispensation Master, Yamson as the Senior Warden, and Albino Jison as the Junior Warden. Forthwith the lodge started to function and acted upon applications for degrees. On October 11, 1920 the lodge conferred the 1st degree of Masonry upon four candidates.
On January 20, 1921, during the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, the lodge was granted a charter. Two months later, on March 19, 1921, Grand Master Edwin E. Elser and a team of Masonic dignitaries constituted Kanla-on Lodge and installed its officers. The ceremonies were public attended by prominent Masons from Manila, Visayan and Mindanao.
Two days after it was constituted, the lodge conferred the second degree of Masonry for the first time. Then on March 26 it raised Ildefonso Coscolluela. Before the year ended the lodge raised 22 more brothers to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
In November 1922, the lodge acquired a lot in Bacolod City.
On January 10, 1925 Ildefonso Coscolluela, the first man to be raised in the lodge, was installed as its Master. The ceremonies were doubly significant for the affair was also graced by the presence of Manuel L. Quezon and Manuel A. Roxas, two Masons who in later years would both become President of the Philippines.
On January 1, 1934 the lodge, for the first time, held a "sunrise raising." Two brothers were conferred the Sublime degree of Masonry in the dead of night. At exactly two o'clock in the morning the lodge was opened and work commenced on Bros. Bonifacio Montilla and Julian Vinco. Montilla was raised "from a dead level to a living perpendicular" when the sun was beginning to rise, while Vinco was raised at 6:30 in the morning.
On August 8, 1936 the lodge consolidated with Elisha Wilbur Lodge No. 101. The ceremonies took place in the lodge. Ricardo Nolan of Kanla-on and Felix 0. Guantero of Elisha Wilbur delivered speeches after which Bro. Ernest I. Simke proclaimed the consolidation of the two lodges.
When the Great Pacific War broke out the lodge was forced to close, but after peace was restored, specifically on June 9, 1945, the brethren reactivated the lodge thanks to the help of Masons in the 40th Division. They first met in the house of WB Manuel Garcia at Calle Lacson in Bacolod, but subsequent meetings took place in the residence of Bro. Domingo G. Vallesteros.
On April 14, 1955 a big fire in Bacolod razed the Temple of the lodge to the ground. But the members were undaunted. Construction began immediately. On March 10, 1956, they held their first meeting in their new Temple that they christened Freemasons Hall. This Temple would be home to the lodge until 1980.
In 1976, the Master of the lodge, David J. Lozada, suggested that the shares of the lodge in Freemason's Hall, Inc. be sold and a new building to house the lodge be constructed. His proposal was implemented in 1978. On March 10, the cornerstone for the new building was laid and the following year the lodge moved into its new temple. The efforts of the members in constructing their Temple drew special mention from Grand Master Manuel D. Mandac in his report to the brethren during the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in 1981. “This lodge is located in Bacolod City. The new 3 Story concrete Temple was started in 1979. It stands on a lot 1054 sq. meters bought at a nominal price from Bro. Casiano Ibrado, Jr. The Temple and lot costs about P 500,000.00. VW Manuel Abello, Jr., DDGM, VW Cayetano Palmares, Casiano Ibrado, Jr. and David Lozada are the recognized leaders who inspired the Brethren of Kanla-on Lodge No. 64 to build the new Temple."
Through the years Kanla-on Lodge has endeavored to spread the light of Masonry in the Visayan Islands and has helped in the establishment of several lodges in the area. The lodge has sponsored Elisha Ward Wilbur Lodge, MW Joseph E. Schon Lodge, and Manuel Abello Memorial Lodge, to name only a few. Many prominent Masons have also graced the rolls of the lodge, among whom are: MW Franklin J. Demonteverde, Catalino Aurelio, Manuel Valencia Ko, Remigio Abello, Ernesto Salas and Carlos Dreyfus.
Location: Bacolod City