Juan S. Alano Lodge No. 137
This lodge was first named "Basilan" alter the island province of Basilan where it is situated. Upon the death of Past Grand Master Juan S. Alano in July 1960, the lodge was re-named in his honor. Alano was one of the organizers of the lodge and its first Master.
Basilan Lodge No. 137, was established after the liberation of the Philippines and soon after the inauguration of Basilan as a city on July 1, 1948. The idea of establishing a lodge was conceived by Juan S. Alano, Emilio Sanson and Nicasio Valderosa, with the cooperation of the members of Mt. Apo Lodge No. 45 of Zamboanga City and one brother from Kutang Bato Lodge No. 110, Bernardo Bagamaspad, who later occupied the oriental chair on 1957.
In 1952, Grand Master Sidney M. Austin issued a dispensation authorizing several Masons to organize a lodge in Isabela, Basilan to be named Basilan Lodge. Grand Master Austin then requested WB Jose L. Araneta, the Master of Mount Apo Lodge No. 45, to institute the lodge. Araneta performed the ceremony on December 11, 1952 and installed the following as officers: Juan S. Alano, Worshipful Master; Emilio Sanson, Senior Warden; Nicasio Valderosa, Junior Warden; Arsenio Sebastian, Treasurer; and Leon A. Barinaga, Secretary. On April 28, 1953, during the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, Basilan Lodge was granted a charter.
In the beginning, the charter members who were from Mt. Apo Lodge No. 45 of Zamboanga City, had to sacrifice and travel to Basilan to attend its meetings and participate in the degree work and other Masonic functions. However, when the membership of Basilan Lodge increased, they were able to demit and leave the work to the resident members. From 1953 to 1962, the lodge gained forty (40) members.
On May 14, 1955, the lodge passed a resolution requesting President Ramon Magsaysay to send a Philippine Constabulary company to suppress lawlessness and protect the residents of Basilan. Alano personally handed the resolution to the President. Immediately thereafter, a force of thirty (30) PC Soldiers was stationed in Basilan.
The history of Basilan Lodge will not be complete without making special mention of MW Juan S. Alano (Grand Master - 1961), its first Master, who built the lodge hall from his personal funds and made it available to the lodge rent-free. Similarly, he established the Basilan Hospital (now Juan S. Alano Hospital) and constructed a ward therein which he reserved for the treatment of crippled children, all expenses for which were charged to his personal account. In 1962, Alano was conferred an award as the "Father Mason of the Year" by the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.
Alano died on July 23, 1966 and immediately thereafter, Basilan Lodge No. 137passed a resolution, dated August 13, 1966, renaming the lodge to Juan S. Alano Lodge No. 137. The Grand master approved the resolution on September 10, 1966.
Location: Isabela, Basilan Province