Bagong Buhay No. 17
Bagong Buhay is Tagalog for “New Life”(Bago, new; buhay,life).
In the dieing days of the Spanish regime, the Gran Oriente Nacional de Esparia established a foothold in Cavite City. Its Deputy in the Philippines, Jose Martin y Martin, founded Patria Lodge and Espafia en Filipinas Lodge in Cavite with the help of Faustino Villaruel. When the revolution broke out in 1896, the members of these lodges were arrested and some were executed. Ten of those who are now remembered as the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite came from Espana en Filipinas Lodge. Likewise, during the Revolution, many residents of Cavite fled to Hong Kong to escape the persecutions. In Hong Kong they joined Valiguardia Lodge, which was established by members of Walana Lodge, under the auspices of the Oran Oriente Espariol.
After the overthrow of the Spanish government, the surviving members of Esparia en Filipinas Lodge and Vanguardia Lodge attempted to reestablish Masonry in Cavite, but their plans did not materialize until 1906, when several of them held organizational meetings, first in the house of Bro. Jose Salamanca and later in that of Bro. Hugo Adorable. On September 4, 1906, they finalized a petition addressed to the Gran Oriente Espanol requesting for authority to establish a lodge in Cavite. The signers of the petition were: Hugo Adorable, Juan N. Santos, Basilio San Jose, Eulogio Santiago, Antonio Rivero, Catalino Nicolas, Jose A. Reyes, Andres Perez, and Ladislao Diwa. The founders named their lodge Bagong Buhay, or New Life, to signify that they acquired a new lease on life when they survived the days of persecution.
On September 10, 1906, at the invitation of the brethren from Cavite, a commission composed of members of Nilad Lodge No. 144, Sinukuan Lodge No. 272, and Lusong Lodge No. 185, headed by WBs Ramon Diokno, Timoteo Paez and Inocencio Concepcion, went to Cavite and opened an assembly of Masons for the purpose of electing the officers of Bagong Buhay. Elected as principal officers were: Jose A. Reyes, Venerable Master; Ladislao Diwa, First Vigilant; Juan N. Santos, Second Vigilant, Basilio. San Jose, Treasurer, Hugo Adorable, Secretary and Catalino Nicolas, Orator. On September 21, 1906, the officers were duly installed by Timoteo Paez, in a house located at Calle No. 8, Cavite District Proper.
The petition of Bagong Buhay Lodge was approved by the Grande Oriente Espatiol in Madrid, Spain which sent the charter of the lodge to its Master, Jose A. Reyes. On August 11, 1907, Bagong Buhay Lodge No. 291 was officially constituted and its dignitaries and officers were installed by Illustrious Brother Abelardo Cuesta, 33°. Representatives from Lodges Nilad, Balagtas, Walana, Taliba, Lusong and others graced the affair. It was a big celebration. A sumptuous banquet was tendered to the visiting brethren after the installation ceremonies.
When Bagong Buhay Lodge was officially constituted there were already thirty (30) members on its rolls.
The first candidate to be initiated in Bagong Buhay Lodge No. 291, was Bro. Roberto Cabezas on September 7, 1907. He was a brother of the late Bro. Eugenio Cabezas, one the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite, who were executed by the Spaniards on September 12, 1896. The second candidate initiated was Bro. Rafael Palma, a prominent scholar who in 1920, was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, and who was the first elected Representative of the Province of Cavite to the First Philippine Assembly.
In 1917, all the 29 Symbolic Lodges of the Grande Oriente Espanol, 2 under the Grande Oriente de Esparia, 1 under the Grande Oriente Lusitano and 11 under the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Island, were finally united under one roof. Bagong Buhay Lodge was re-chartered and renumbered as Bagong Buhay Lodge No. 17. Since that time Bagong Buhay Lodge has been working under the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.
Bagong buhay Lodge proudly proclaims that it has been true to its chosen name (New Life). It members, so the lodge asserts, “have lived a life of enlightenment and usefulness to the communities and places wherever its members have migrated, and stayed for business, for work or for permanent residence”
Location: Cavite City