Gen. Manuel L. Tinio Lodge No. 167
This lodge was named in honor of Manuel Tinio, Commanding General of the Philippine Revolutionary forces in Northern Luzon. Tinio was a Mason and the father of Mariano Q. Tinio, Grand Master in 1967. He was born at Aliaga, Nueva Ecija on June 17, 1877. During the revolution against Spain he raised a troop of rebels in his native town and joined Gen. Mariano Llanera. He was appointed Colonel in June 1897 and after the treaty of Biak-na-Bato, he retired to Hong Kong along with other military chiefs. He later returned with Aguinaldo to resume hostilities and became a general officer at the age of 23 years.
Sometime in the early part of 1951, a Masonic lodge moved and established itself in the heart of Guimba, Nueva Ecija. Founded in Quezon, Nueva Ecija in the early twenties, Nueva Ecija Lodge No. 73, transferred to Guimba, in the hope that it would thereby increase its membership and improve attendance in its meetings. Quezon is a very small town. And Masonry there did not flourish and develop, as it should. Furthermore, it was only meeting in a residential home of a member. In Guimba, it was offered a more commodious home at the top floor of the Corregidor College by Bro. Eulogio R. Dizon, the founder and President of the college, and an active member of the lodge. Throughout the decade of the fifties, Nueva Ecija Lodge sojourned in Guimba and during that period its membership grew by “ leaps and sounds.”
Foreseeing the eventual return of Nueva Ecija Lodge No. 73 back to Quezon, some fifty (50) of its members, along with some members of Cabanatuan Lodge No. 53 and Taga-Ilog Lodge No. 79, who were residents of Guimba, met on July 14, 1962 and decided to form a new lodge. A petition for a dispensation empowering them to organize General Manuel Tinio Lodge was drafted. In the same petition the designation of the following officers was recommended: Worshipful Master, Mariano G. Tinio; Senior Warden, Felix C. Mateo; Junior Warden, Feliciano Gatmaytan; Treasurer, Bonifacio U. Natividad; and, Secretary, Apolinario A. Tabing.
There was complete unanimity in the choice of the name of the new lodge. For in the days of the Philippine Revolution, General Manuel Tinio, father of WB Mariano Q. Tinio, stood bravely by the side of another Mason, General Emilio Aguinaldo, fighting and struggling for freedom and independence from the colonial stranglehold of Spain.
At about the same time, Nueva Ecija Lodge requested the Grand Lodge to authorize it to return to Quezon and so, on July 28, 1962, the inevitable happened. The wish of the brethren of Nueva Ecija Lodge was granted. July 28, therefore, was marked with dual significance. It was the last stated meeting of Nueva Ecija Lodge in Guimba. It was also in this stated meeting that Nueva Ecija Lodge favorably recommended the petition for the organization of Gen. Manuel Tinio Lodge.
WB Mariano Tinio wasted no time. He hand carried the petition to Grand Master William H. Quasha, who issued the dispensation on August 2,1962, barely five days after it was submitted. Twenty-three days thereafter General Manuel Tinio Lodge, held its first stated meeting. Thirty-eight (38) of the fifty (50) who signed up as charter members were present.
WB Tinio advanced the amount needed for the dispensation fee, collars, jewels, and the wages of carpenters who will fabricate the officer's tables and other furniture. Bro. Ong Sy Phay provided all materials needed, while Bro. Benedicto Menguito, guaranteed the production of at least a hundred white aprons. VW Doroteo M. Joson of Cabanatuan Lodge No. 53 donated the working tools.
The lodge grew slowly but steadily. Barely a year after the date of the dispensation, it gave due course to fourteen petitions for degrees, rejected three, initiated three, passed two, and raised one to the Sublime degree. To Pablo Lucas goes the distinction of having been the first to be raised to the Sublime degree of Master Mason in General Manuel Tinio Lodge No. 187.
June 17, 1963 is the birthday anniversary of General Manuel Tinio. For very obvious reasons the brethren wanted the constitution of the Lodge to take place on that date. However, the Grand Lodge Officers, having been engaged abroad, previously, requested that it be postponed to June 22, 1963.
It was a big day for Guimba. For the first time, the town was witness to a huge congregation of men, distinguished and honored in the land, who came to constitute a Masonic lodge and install its officers. The Tyler's book recorded no less than 250 guests and visitors headed by Grand Master Pedro Gimenez who was, at the time, the Auditor General of the Republic. Twenty-eight lodges were represented. The ceremony of Constitution proceeded with utmost solemnity with Right Worshipful Hermogenes Oliveros acting as Grand Marshall. Thereafter, MW Cenon Cervantes installed the following as officers: WB Mariano Q. Tinio, Worshipful Master; WB Felix C. Mateo, Senior Warden; WB Felicisimo Gatmaytan, Junior Warden; Bro. Bonifacio U. Natividad, Treasurer; Bro. Apolinario A. Tabing, Secretary; and Bro. Eulogio R. Dizon, Chaplain.
In a span of over a quarter of a century, General Manuel Tinio Lodge has raised an average of seven Master Masons per year. The members of the lodge were also responsible for the organization of Apolinario Mabini Lodge No. 235 and Mt. Amurong Lodge No. 264 in Cuyapo and Talugtog, Nueva Ecija. But the Masonic labors of the lodge did not end there. Its concern for the youth led into the organization of a DeMolay Chapter and a Bethel for Jobs Daughters. And the Masons' ladies formally organized the Masonic Ladies Circle. Their choreographic rendition of songs resonated throughout the district so much that lodges vied with one another for the honor of having them as guest performers.
It would be a very unfortunate omission if no mention is made here about the Temple and the lot on which it stands. When Nueva Ecija Lodge No. 73 left Guimba in July 1963, it bequeathed its beautiful Temple erected on a spacious lot to General Manuel Tinio Lodge without cost, and asked for only a minimal amount to cover the expenses for the transfer of the title over the lot to General Manuel Tinio Lodge.
Location: Guimba, Nueva Ecija