Labong Lodge No. 59
Labong Lodge No. 59 was named after an extinct lodge, Labong No. 153, that was chartered by the Gran Oriente Espanol on May 2, 1892. Labong is a Tagalog word meaning a bamboo shoot. The name of the town where this lodge was originally located, Malabon, is derived from "Malabong" meaning a place where there are many shoots of young bamboo.
Labong Lodge was founded in Malabon, Rizal by 14 Master Masons in a meeting held on May 29, 1920. After securing the favorable recommendation of Dalisay Lodge, they addressed a petition for a dispensation to the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands and on June 12, 1920, Grand Master Rafael Palma issued the requested dispensation, naming Jose M. Raymundo as the Dispensation Master, Pedro Siochi as the Senior Warden and Angel Lazaro the Junior Warden. At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge held in January 1921, Labong Lodge was granted a charter upon the favorable recommendation of the Committee on Charters. The following month, February 26, 1912, Grand Master Edwin Elser , with the assistance of MW Rafael Palma, Rt. Wor. Frederic H. Stevens and other Masonic Digtaries, constituted Labong Lodge No.59 and installed its officers in the Public School Building of Malabon, Rizal.The ceremonies were public and about 400 attended.
Before the Second World War, Labong Lodge had a steady although not spectacular existence. Meetings were held in the residences of various members like those of Bros Pedro Siochi and Andres Pascual in San Bartolome, Malabon and that of Angel C. Lazard in Concepcion of the same town. Nonetheless, the lodge attracted to its fold a number of distinguished citizens of Navotas and Malabon and other places, among whom may be counted Senator Melecio Arranz, Rufino Hernandez, Bishop Irineo de Vega, Bishop Pablo Tablonte, Mayor Sinforoso Pascual, Mayor Ematerio de Jesus, Judge Genaro Tan Torres, Judge Guillermo Romero, Ramon Jabaluyas, Amado Jacinto, Clemente Banzon, Bernardo Ignacio, Emigdio Buenaventura, Ismael Lapuz, Businessman Rufino Policarpio, Vicente Quijano, Judge Angel Lazard, Generoso Jiongco, Filemon Santiago, Julian Sogueco, Provincial Board Member Candido Perez, Macario Sevalla, and Elpidio Laiz. The growth of the lodge, initially, was encouraging. Starting with only 14 organizers, the roster ballooned to 46 in 1920 and went up to 53 in 1923. However, when the Great Economic Depression in the United an economic downturn in the Philippines, membership figures of the lodge drastically declined. In 1932 the lodge had only 18 members.The following year it went down to 17 where the figure remained steady up to the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1937 due to unavoidable circumstances, the lodge transferred its meetings to the Salomon Temple in Bilbao Street in Tondo, Manila. It met in that Temple up to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1941.
After being in darkness for over three years because of the War, Labong Lodge was reorganized on May 5, 1945 in a meeting held at the temporary hail of the Grand Lodge in Gunao Street, Quiapo, Manila. In the election that ensued all the members who were elected as officers in 1941 were reelected to their positions. The officers were installed into office by Grand Secretary Antonio Gonzalez on December 1,1945. They were: Elpidio Laiz, Worshipful Master; Ciro de Jesus, Senior Warden; Teodoro de Jesus, Junior Warden; Candido Perez, Treasurer; and Vicente Quijano, Secretary. In the following month the lodge found reason to celebrate. One of its members, Amado Jacinto, was appointed Director of the Bureau of Printing.
Labong Lodge valiantly tried to maintain itself in Malabon, but the need to survive forced it to transfer its meeting place to the Plaridel Masonic Temple. In January 1974, in response to the appeal of Grand Master Ruperto S. Demonteverde that some lodges transfer their meetings to the suburbs, Labong Lodges moved its meetings to the old Victory Motors Building in Rizal Avenue Extension, Caloocan City, which was made available to the lodge for free by WB Salvador C. Diaz. In October 1976, however, the place was sold so the lodge had to return the Plaridel Masonic Temple where it meets up to the present.
Among the leaders of the lodge these days are Rudy Ong, Benito Tan, Jorge Disuanco, Illenberger Ignacio, Dr. Antonio Joson, Jr., Marcelo T. Reyes, Nelson Yau, Winston Chingkiat, George See and Diosdado Melegrito.
Location : Plaridel Masonic Temple