Rafael Palma Lodge No. 147
This lodge was organized by members of the faculty and officials of the University of the Philippines and is named in honor of Rafael Palma, the President of U.P. from 1923-1933. Palma was Grand Master in 1920 and was a famous journalist, educator, legislator and author.
The idea of organizing a University Lodge was conceived in the early twenties by several faculty members of U.P., who were active members of the Craft. The first attempt did not materialize because a majority of the proponents were busy helping the newly-organized Grand Lodge of the Philippines to establish a firm root for the Order in the provinces.
After the war, when the U.P. moved to its present site in Diliman, Quezon City, the concept was revived, but this time with more determination. After a few meetings, with the late Ill. Bro. Aurelio L. Corcuera and WB Sinforoso Padilla leading the group, a petition for dispensation was filed with the Grand Lodge. Grand Master Clinton F. Carlson, issued the dispensation on July 25, 1956. Forty-six Master Masons signed the petition which was accompanied by favorable recommendations from Quezon City Lodge No. 122 and Marikina Lodge No. 119. The name Rafael Palma was suggested by Ill. Corcuera in honor of the man who was President of U.P. for a decade and under whose leadership the University became the cradle of "academic freedom" and "liberal thinking."
The officers of the lodge under dispensation were: Worshipful Master, Sinforoso G. Padilla; Senior Warden, Roman B. Ramos; and Junior Warden, Gerardo Florendo. All of them were connected with U.P. The first meeting place was at the T.M. Kalaw Memorial Temple in San Juan, Rizal.
With the able stewardship of the officers, Rafael Palma Lodge, UD, sailed smoothly in its maiden voyage in the high seas of Freemasonry and raised five new members, the very first being Carlos I. Antonio, Sr.
Shortly before the annual communication held in April of the following year, thirty-six Master Masons, 26 of whom were original signers, 5 new Master Masons, and 5 new signers, including Damaso Tria, who later became Grand Master, filed a petition for a charter. It was approved during the communication. Grand Master Vicente Y. Orosa constituted the new lodge on May 18, 1957 at the Abad Santos Hall, Plaridel Masonic Temple. Immediately thereafter RW Macario M. Ofilada, SGW, installed Aurelio L. Corcuera as Worshipful Master; Alfonso Lecaros as Senior Warden; and Gerardo Florendo, as Junior Warden.
Finding it difficult for members to meet in San Juan, the venue of their meetings was moved to Quezon Memorial Colleges located at Sampaloc Avenue, Kamuning. In the middle the sixties, the venue was again transferred to the Theosophical Society Temple near Mayon Street. In the latter part of 1969, it was moved back to T.M. Kalaw Memorial Temple. Then in the early part of 1971, it was moved again to the first concrete building erected by the Capitol Masonic Corp. along Matalino Street and then late in 1971, the venue was moved to its present site, a renovated and enlarged building of the Capitol Masonic Corp.
Several members of the lodge have made their mark either in Freemasonry or in their profession. Among them are:
Aurelio Corcuera, a 33°, AASR, "Father of Rafael Palma Lodge No. 147," considered one of the foremost Filipino Masonic scholars who held several high positions in the Grand Lodge for over 40 years.
Damaso C. Tria, Grand Master in 1971, and Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council of the 33rd and Last Degree, AASR of the Philippines.
Manuel Carranza, Jr., Major General and President, Philippine Shrine Association.
Mario Racela , District Grand Lecturer and District Deputy Grand Master, noted lawyer. Eusebio L. Abella, Jr., three-time Worshipful Master and District Deputy Grand Master, and a highly esteemed
Architect. Froilan T. Madrinan, Jr., DDGM, UP Professor in Sculpture, who renovated the Maria Makiling statue in U.P. Los Barios; was commissioned to erect the Jose Rizal statue used during the Annual Communication at U.P. Los Banos; re-designed the seal of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines per instruction of MW Juan C. Nabong; commissioned to make the bust of Rafael Palma in 1973 for his centennial.
Ruperto C. Evangelista, several times National Coach for the National Tract and Field Team in the sixties and seventies.
Pedro G. Subido, several times a member of the national team under Bro. Evangelista, and several times national coach of the National Tract & Field team.
David B. Perez, II, national coach for women's basketball in 1983-1984.
Guillermo R. Lazaro, Sr., Dean of U.P. at Clark Field, 1986-1988 Virgilio C. Esguerra, Dean of the U.P. College of Vet. Medicine.
Benjamin J. Torres, Assistant Grand Secretary, writer and UP Professor.
Rendering assistance or special services to sister lodges in several Districts is a trademark of the brethren of Rafael Palma Lodge. They assist in conferrals, teach the new Master Masons, and assist in related activities. To help strengthen other weak lodges, some have joined as dual members, while others were awarded honorary membership. Two red-letter days marked by the lodge are May 18 and the month of October, the former its charter day and the latter the birth month of Don Rafael Palma. Special programs are arranged with guest speakers invited.
Location: Quezon City