1st Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Charter Date
Plaridel Masonic Temple

Jose Rizal Lodge No. 22

The Name

 See Rizal Lodge No. 20 for the etymology of the name Jose Rizal.

The Lodge

Dr. Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera founded this lodge on June 18, 1901. He was a member of a lodge in Paris named Temple de L'Honneur et de L'Union which was under the Grand Orient of France. This was the very same lodge which Jose Rizal joined by affiliation on October 14, 1891. Pardo de Tavera named his lodge Rizal Lodge (without the Jose) in honor of his friend and placed it under the Grand Orient of France. Its first officers were: Pardo de Tavera, Master; Miguel Heras, Senior Warden; Francisco Castarieda, Junior Warden; Julio Nakpil, Secretary; Justo Guido, Treasurer; Pedro Casimiro, Almoner.

 Pardo de Tavera's choice of the Grand Orient of France turned out to be a monumental blunder. It was discovered that this Grand Orient was under interdiction by the Grand Lodge of England and almost all American Grand Lodges, because in 1877, on motion of a Christian Minister, it removed the Bible from its altar and erased from its ritual all reference to Deity. The American and other regular Masons refused to have any Masonic intercourse with it and its members.

Pardo de Tavera sailed for Hong Kong to transfer the lodge to the jurisdiction of the legitimate Grand Lodge of France. He succeeded, but the damage had been done. The members could not live down the humiliation of having been connected with a pariah Grand Orient. Then, on March 30, 1909, after the political party of Pardo de Tavera suffered a convincing defeat in the elections, Rizal Lodge was dissolved.

In 1912,   thanks to the initiative of its last Secretary, Felipe Tempongco, the members revived the lodge as Rizal Lodge No. 315 under the Gran Oriente Espatiol. It functioned for a short period, but for reasons that are not clear, the Deputy for the Philippines of the Gran Oriente Espanol, Valentin Polintan, confiscated its charter. The members, however, were undaunted. On June 21, 1915 Manuel Xerez Burgos, Jr., Francisco Zamora, Ramon Ortiz, Crispulo Layoc, Ramon Sarmiento, Ambrocio de Guzman and Martin A. Galian resurrected the lodge once more.

 In February 1917, a fusion of Masonic forces in the Philippines took place. All the lodges of the Gran Oriente Español, including Rizal Lodge, transferred allegiance to the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. Thus, on February 14, 1917, the lodge officially became Rizal Lodge No. 22 under the Grand Lodge of P.I.

Even after its transfer to the Grand Lodge of PI, Rizal Lodge continued to work in the Spanish language. In 1924, it finally organized an English degree team. On September 24, this team initiated Dionicio de Leon, then a-CFI Judge, who would later become a Justice of the Supreme Court. The special team was made up of Jose J. Guingona, Mariano Albert, Manuel Arguelles, Vicente Manalo, Jose Ojeda, Jose Mariano, Jose Unson and Miguel Unson. There after Rizal Lo.dge gradually shifted to the use of Englisli in its' ritualistic and degree work.

In 1928, it was expected that the lodge would have a Grand Master because the Deputy Grand Master, Miguel Unson, was a Past Master of the lodge. In accordance with Masonic tradition he was the natural choice. Lady Luck, however frowned on the lodge. A few months before the Annual Communications, Unson resigned his position, citing health reasons. The Grand Lodge therefore elected Teodoro M. Kalaw from the floor as Grand Master. Incidentally, the Senior Warden at the time-could not be elected Grand Master because he was an American. There was a standing agreement then that Filipinos and Caucasians would alternate every year as Grand Master. The election of an American brother would have been in violation of that agreement, for the Grand Master in 1927 was an African. The Junior Grand Warden, likewise, could not be elevated to the Grand Oriental Chair because he would be bypassing his superior, the Senior Grand Warden. Thus, the members had no choice but to elect a brother from the floor.

In 1930, Lady Luck smiled on the lodge. Deputy Grand Mastei Antonio Gonzalez rejected his election as Grand Master. He was only 35 years old and felt he was too young to become the Grand Master. Once again the Grand Lodge had to elect a brother from the floor. The choice fell on Vicente Carmona a Past Master of Rizal Lodge.

July 1, 1936 was a red-letter day for the lodge. It honored four of its members who were appointed to important positions in the Commonwealth of the Philippines, namely: Dr. Angel Arguelles, as Director of the Bureau of Science; Mariano A. Albert, as Judge of the Appeals Court; Vicente Carmona, as President of the Philippine National Bank; and Antonio de las Alas, as Secretary of Finance. Incidentally, Rizal Lodge has every reason to be proud of the quality of its members. Among those who also graced its rolls are Senator Teopisto Guingona, Sr., Mayor Tomas Morato of Quezon City, Philippine National Railroad head Jose Paez, National Library Director Luis Montilla, U.P. Dean Domiciano Sandoval; leading Manila dentist Crispulo Layoc; co-founder of the Boys Scouts of the Philippines, Arsenio Luz; Director of Public Works Marcial Kasilag; and Palawan Governor Rufo San Juan.

 In December 1941, Rizal Lodge was forced to shut down because of the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial forces, but it was immediately reestablished upon the restoration of peace. Tiburcio Tumaneng served as its Master from 1946 to 1948, and Angel Arguelles, in 1949 and 1950. Then trouble reared its ugly head in the lodge. Internal problems brought the lodge to its knees. Attendance dwindled until finally the lodge, for the fourth time in its existence, plunged into darkness. Chances of reviving the lodge became extremely bleak when two of its pillars passed to the next life in 1952 - Carmona on February 12 at the age of 73, and Arguelles on July 10 at the age of 64.

The lodge, however, would not remain moribund for long. Ardent Masons who were members of different lodges in Manila and Quezon City took up the cudgels for Rizal Lodge. They resolutely pursued their resolve to resurrect the lodge, in spite of the refusal of its members to cooperate. In 1955, Jose M. E. de Leon, Jr., Teofilo Abejo, Agapito de Guzman, Jose E. Racela, Philip Bradfield and others petitioned the Grand Master for authority to reopen the lodge. In December 1955, Grand Master Carrillo Osias rewarded them with the approval of their petition. New officers were elected and installed into office and once again, Rizal Lodge was on its feet.

In the stated meeting held in January 1956, the members passed a resolution to change the name of the lodge to Jose Rizal Lodge No. 22. It turned out to be a wise decision. Since then the lodge has had a quiet and peaceful existence, free from serious problems. These days the lodge is propped up by such avid Masons as Jorge T. Ang Dy Pay, Rodrigo Y. Arandia, Nelson Cabarlo, Pablo Elauria, Gordon S. Uy, Wilfred Sing, Juan Bautista , George L. So and others.

Location: Plaridel Masonic Temple, Manila