Dapitan Lodge No.21
Dapitan is a city in Northern Mindanao where the Filipino patriot Dr. Jose Rizal lived in exile from 1892 to 1896. Dapitan comes from "dapit," a Visayan word meaning to invite," some say it also means "chalky land." This lodge was named Dimas Alang when it was just a Masonic Triangle. It assumed its present name upon its conversion into a lodge.
Dapitan Lodge No. 21 is an outgrowth of Triangulo Dimas Alang No 62 that was organized in Malabon, Rizal on April 25, 1905 under the jurisdiction of the Gran Oriente Espanol. In 1909, the members asked the Gran Oriente Espanol to upgrade their Triangulo into a lodge under the name Dapitan Lodge. Their petition was granted and a charter was issued to Dapitan Lodge No. 313 on November 20, 1909.
Upon receipt of the charter from Madrid, the Gran Logia Regional de Filipinas formed a committee composed of members of lodges in Manila and Rizal for the purpose of constituting the lodge. Unfortunately, on the day the constitution was scheduled to take place, an officer was reported to have died and the other members were absent. The ceremonies had to be suspended generating bad blood between the members and the Grand Lodge Officers.
For five and a half years no move was taken to reschedule the constitution of Dapitan Lodge No. 313, until Ramon Mendoza of Araw Lodge spearheaded a move to resuscitate it. On July 20,1915, he asked his friend Ill. Valentin Polintan, the Grand Delegate of the Gran Oriente Espanol, for permission to reorganize the lodge. Polintan consented so on September 1, 1915, Mendoza invited brethren who were members of Araw Lodge No. 304, Silanganan Lodge No. 305, Martires del 96 No. 372, and Bagongbuhay Lodge to a meeting to take concrete steps to revive Dapitan Lodge. They elected as officers, Mariano Santos, Venerable Master; Miguel Gozon, First Vigilant; Marcelino de Vera, Second Vigilant; Ramon Mendoza, Orator; Vicente Tagudin, Secretary and Luciano Bernabe, Treasurer.
On the September 6, Dapitan Lodge No. 313 was officially reorganized at the Temple of Sinukuan Lodge in Tondo by a Committee on Constitution headed by Valentin Polintan himself with Pascual Casimiro, Daniel Morelos and Santiago Gatchalian, as members.
In February 1917, the lodges of the Gran Oriente Espanol affiliated en mass with the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. Dapitan Lodge was given a new charter on February 13 as a subordinate lodge of the Grand Lodge of PI and was constituted as Dapitan Lodge No. 21 on February 14.
For a while Dapitan Lodge had a fairly large membership. In 1928 and 1929 it had 80 members on its roster, however, when the Great Economic Depression in the United States brought down the Philippine economy, membership plummeted. In 1932 and 1933 its roster went down to 50. In 1938 it dipped further to 32 and in 1940 the lodge had only 29 members.
The members of Dapitan Lodge were a mixture of government officials and business executives. They were not as affluent or influencial as the members of some other lodges, but they were respected in the community. Some of the pre-war members of Dapitan Lodge were Rogaciano A. Cosio, Vanancio Dungka of the Bureau of Printing, Tomas Valdes, Francisco Gaddi, Miguel Gozon, Secretary of the Municipal Board of Manila, Troadio San Miguel, Enrique Hernandez of Manila Trading and Supply Co., Macario Peralta of China Banking Corp., Inocentes Villegas of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, Jose Serrano of Bachrach Motors Co., Gonzalo G. Pagdaganan of Manila Motors, and Ciriaco Acuria of the Arellano High School.
Like all the other lodges in the Philippines, Dapitan Lodge had to close during the Japanese occupation, but when peace was restored it was one of the first to be established. In 1946 it had Teofilo Abejo as Master, Vicente Albo as Senior Warden, and Benjamin T. Araniego as Junior Warden.
Since its reestablishment, Dapitan Lodge has had a healthy, though not very prosperous, existence. Nonetheless it can rely on several avid Masons such as Benjamin Araniego, jr. Restituto Maravilla, Jr., Arnold Gunnacao, Melito J. Villar, Rustico C. Miranda, Jaime Y. Gonzales, Edgardo A. Martinez, and Edgar D. Lim.
Location: Plaridel Masonic Temple, Manila