Cagayan De Oro Lodge No. 298
How Cagayan de Oro got its name is an interesting story. It is said that when the Recollect friars arrived in 1622, the area around Himologan was already known as Cagayan. In fact, early Spanish documents in the 1500s already referred to the place as "Cagayan". The area of Northern Mindanao was granted as an enconmienda to a certain Juan Griego on January 25, 1571. How then did this name originate when it is also known that there is another Cagayan in Luzon? Language researchers trace the etymology of the name "Cagayan" as coming from the Proto-Philippine language. In this language, which was Malayo- Polynesian, the word for water was "ag". "Agus" was flow of water, hence "agusan" was the place where water flows. In that same language, "kagay" meant river, which means the place of the river. It is in this context that the name Cagayan was derived from the great river that runs through the city.
On June 1, 1991, seven brothers from Masonic District No. 17, namely Ildefonso G. Agbuya, Stephen Lim, Francisco Lim, Gregorio Malicay, Ceres Chua, Kian Kok Chan and Ernest Bernaldez, all members of Macajalar Lodge and Carmen Valley Lodge, went to Surigao City to interact with members of Mt. Diwata Lodge No. 236 and to participate in the raising of Bro. Arturo Ocampo to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.
While in Surigao, during refreshments, they discussed the state of Freemasonry in District No. 17, particularly in the four lodges in Cagayan de Oro City. They noted that growth of the Fraternity was stunted because those who transferred to other places, or who become inactive because of old age or other reasons were not being replaced by new adepts. The four lodges were not accepting new petitioners for undisclosed reasons. Yet, they were aware that there were many who were interested and well qualified to join the Fraternity. Based on these observations the seven brothers decided to form a new lodge, one that will to accept men of good character, who are morally upright and assets to the community.
At the June 8, 1991 stated meeting of Carmen Valley Lodge No. 250, presided over by Worshipful Master Ceres C. Chua, a resolution was unanimously passed endorsing the formation of a new lodge in Cagayan de Oro City.
On June 20, 1992, the formal organizational meeting of Cagayan de Oro Lodge was held at the High12 Restaurant. On the same day a petition to form Cagayan de Oro Lodge was prepared and signed by thirty-two Master Masons. Grand Master Jose Reyes Guerrero gave them a dispensation on July 4, 1991 and named WB Ildefonso G. Agbuya as the Master of the new lodge, Taurino C. Ong as the Senior Warden and Danny C. Ramos as the Junior Warden.
On July 12, 1991 the lodge was formally instituted by Grand Master Jose R. Guerrero assisted by VW Manuel R. Samson, DDGM and VW Gregorio Malicay, DGL, both of District No. 17. On August 29, 1991, Cagayan de Oro Lodge U.D. initiated its first candidate into the Mysteries of Freemasonry. Conferred the first degree of Masonry was Florido J. Akut, who, later on, also became the first to be raised to the Sublime Degree of Masonry in the lodge.
At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge held in April 1992, Cagayan de Oro Lodge was granted a charter and assigned number 298. The Committee on Charters noted that the lodge submitted the most voluminous documents among the lodges under dispensation. The committee was also very pleased to report that the lodge had already raised 15 new Master Masons and moreover it already had its own Seal.
On May 30, 1992, Grand Master Agustin V. Mateo enplaned for Cagayan de Oro City and formally constituted Cagayan De Oro Lodge No. 298.
Location: Cagayan De Oro City.