Bessang Pass Lodge No. 314
Tadian, Mountain Province is a town located in the heartland of the Cordillera Mountains. Very few people are familiar with his town whose claim to fame is a mountain pass, named Bessang Pass, within its boundaries. This pass is considered by some as historic as it was the site of one of the bloodiest
battles of World War II when the Japanese Imperial Forces made their last stand against the American Armed Forces and Filipino guerrillas.
The name Bessang Pass itself was not exactly a household name even years after the battle was fought. It only became famous after the loyal followers of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos started labeling him as the hero of Bessang Pass.
Congressman Bonifacio Gillego, then an exile in the United States, however, published a series of stories in the "We Forum" disputing the role of President Marcos in the bloody battle of Bessang Pass. In retaliation, President Marcos padlocked the "We Forum, the only opposition paper at that time. Today, several unsung Filipino heroes who fought together with the American Forces still reside in the Mountain Province. Thus, when a group of brethren, led by WB James Copanut, decided to organize a lodge in Tadian, they named it Bessang Pass.
At the stated meeting of Bontoc Lodg No. 140 on December 11, 1993, it adopted a resolution endorsing a petition for the issuance of a dispensation to form and open a new lodge at Tadian, Mountain Province. The petition was dated November 13, 1993 and signed by 42 active Master Masons who wanted to organize a lodge in Tadian, Mountain province that would cater to Masons and prospective Masons from Besao, Bauko, and Tadian in Mountain Province and Buguias, Mankayan, Benguet as well as Cervantes, Ilocos Sur. Eighty three percent (83%) of the petitioners came from Bontoc Lodge No. 140 and the remaining seventeen percent (17 %) came from Rio Chico Lodge No. 182 and Baguio Lodge No. 67.
Only 24 of the petitioners were able to complete their papers. On September 8, 1994, they were given a dispensation by Grand Master Pablo C. Ko, Jr. to organize Bessang Pass Lodge. MW. Ko appointed Bro. James B. Copanut to be the first Master, Bro. Mathias B. Golocan, to be the first Senior Warden, and Abraham B. Akilit to be the first Junior Warden, of the new lodge. On the same day, the lodge was instituted at the Hall of Baguio Lodge No. 65 in Baguio City. Present at the institution were: MW ko, VW Ernesto Malapaya who acted as the Master of Ceremonies; and RW Danilo D. Angeles, DGM, who read the names of brethren composing Bessang Pass Lodge UD.
On June 24, 1995, on the feast of St. John the Baptist, Bessang Pass Lodge was formally constituted by the new Grand Master, Danilo D. Angeles, who was also the Guest of Honor and Speaker of the occasion. MW Angeles was accompanied by brethren from Nueva Ecija led by VW Jimmy Austria, Asst! Grand Treasurer: VW Santiago Centeno, DDGM of District 6-A; and Vw Edgardo Cayanga, DGL, who also acted as Master of Ceremonies during the installation of the officers of the lodge.
Location: Tadian, Mt. Province