Pinatubo Lodge No. 52
Pinatubo is a Tagalog word for "young shoot," or "sapling." It is also the name of a high mountain peak (1745 meters) in the Zambales range, not far from the lodge.
The name Pinatubo is connected with an old Sambal legend. It is said that a long time ago, the aging King of Zambales craved for the return of the days when he hunted deer in the far off mountains, but which he could no longer do because of his enfeebled condition. In his longing he exclaimed that he would give anything to be able once more to set foot in a mountain. Hearing this a magician brought the King to the plains adjacent to the capital city of Masinloc. There he picked up a bluish hard stone (batong buhay) and planted it as if it were a seed. The stone grew and soon became a mountain. Claiming his reward, the magician asked for the hand of the King's lovely daughter, Princess Alindaya. Reluctantly the King gave his consent, but Alindaya begrudged her fate and refused to eat. Because of her weakened condition the wedding was postponed. This angered the magician and as a result he neglected to check the growth of the planted (pinatubo) mountain. It grew to such proportions that it destroyed the surrounding regions. This angered the King and he ordered the magician executed.
At this time Malakas, a prince of Pangasinan, came to the assistance of the Sambals. He uprooted the mountain and carried it to where it now stands. A gaping excavation was left where Pinatubo once stood and it soon was transformed into a beautiful lake that the people named Lake Alindaya after the princess. Needless to say, Malakas and Alindaya married and lived happily every after.
In 1918, WB Benedicto T. Esguerra , the Governor of Zambales, initiated the establishment of this lodge. The first organizational meetings were held in his house in Iba, Zambales. Subsequent meetings were held in San Antonio and San Narciso. When all documents were prepared, fifteen brethren signed and filed a petition addressed to the Grand Lodge requesting for a dispensation to form a lodge in San Antonio, Zambales. On January 30, 1919 Grand Master Milton Earle Springer issued the requested dispensation. Named officers of the lodge were Benedicto T. Esguerra, Master; Vicente Orosa, Senior Warden; Manuel Opus, Junior Warden; Silvino Velasco, Treasurer; and Marcelo Acayan, Secretary.
On January 28, 1920, the Grand Lodge, on recommendation of the Committee on Charters, granted a charter to Pinatubo Lodge No. 52. The Committee based its recommendation on its finding that the lodge had "worked in a very satisfactory manner all year having conferred 14 degrees, and closed the year with 18 Master Masons and 3 entered apprentices and 1 Fellowcraft with more material in view."
Grand Master Rafael Palma constituted Pinatubo Lodge on May 15, 1920, with the assistance of Conrado Benitez, Guillermo Pablo and others. The Grand Master's party traveled by sea which was attended by great hardships, as the sea was rough and the steamer carrying them had a breakdown en route and was 15 hours making the run from Manila to the port of Subic. After the ceremonies, the Grand Master and the newly installed Master, Benedicto T. Esguerra, delivered speeches.
Pinatubo registered moderate progress in its early years. Its membership increased gradually from 25 in 1920 to 27 in 1922 to 40 in 1926. In the early nineteen-thirties, however, it was beset with difficulties because most of its members were residents of San Narciso. The growth of the lodge was stunted, so a painful decision to transfer meetings to San Narciso was made. Happily the transfer stirred the lodge to life. Membership increased and the lodge became more active.
When the Second World War broke out, the Japanese garrisoned in San Narciso closed the doors of the Temple, however, thirteen days after the landing of the liberation forces on the beach of San Narciso the lodge was reestablished. Pinatubo Lodge again opened its doors to draw designs on the trestle board for the craft to work on.
Location: San Narciso, Zambales