Mt. Kaladias Masonic Lodge No. 91
'Mount Kaladias' is a given name steeped in local history and folklore rather than geographic reality. Indeed, there is no physical mountain by that name anywhere in the Philippines or beyond. The unique term 'Kaladias' finds its origins and resonance only within the eastern realms of the Negros island, a region otherwise known as Negros Oriental. The etymology of 'Kaladias' harks back to the late 19th century, when the flames of the Filipino Revolution were burning bright. Amidst this political tumult, three brave patriots united in their local efforts to overthrow Spanish rule. To the local population of the neighboring municipalities of Bacong, Dauin, and Zamboangita, these heroes were known only by their first names: KAnoy, eLADio, elIAS.
Interestingly, many of the Lodge founders were not originally from Dumaguete and were searching for a suitable name for their lodge. They came across the name 'Kaladias,' a famous name associated with a village in the municipality of Zamboangita, part of Barangay Naandig. Believing it to be the name of the highest mountain in Negros Oriental, the Freemasons adopted 'Kaladias' without further verification. In actuality, the highest peak in the region is called Mount Talinis, also known as Cuernos de Negros, due to its two towering, horn-like peaks. Nevertheless, to the Freemasons, their lodge had found its name - Mount Kaladias, a testament to local folklore, historical courage, and their founding in the region.
The establishment of the Mount Kaladias Lodge was authorized to be "Under Dispensation" (UD) on November 6, 1923, when then MW Frederic H. Stevens permitted a distinguished ensemble of Master Masons from various lodges to inaugurate a new lodge in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
Founding Members and Inaugural Officers
The founding members of this lodge were a distinguished blend of personalities from distinct lodges. Their names and affiliations were:
- Clyde V. Powers of St. John's Lodge No. 9
- Espiridion Villegas, Severo Eugenio Lo, Jose Pineda, and Ricardo Luna of Iloilo Lodge No. 11
- Herminigildo Villanueva of Nilad Lodge No. 12
- Vicente Q. Colina, Ramon Catalla, Pedro Malajacan, Daniel Sindiong and Marcos M. Morelos of Maktan Lodge No. 30
- Gregorio B. Almazan of Isarog Lodge No. 33
- Santiago Ramos of Makabugwas Lodge No. 47
- Mariano Caraza of Acacia Lodge No. 78
From this distinguished assembly were chosen the first officers of the lodge: Worshipful Master G. B. Almazan, Senior Warden C. V. Powers, Junior Warden Espiridion Villegas, Treasurer Herminigildo Villanueva, and Secretary Vicente Q. Colina.
Charter and Constitution
On February 23, 1924, Mount Kaladias Masonic Lodge No. 91 was granted a charter by the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. A few months later, MW Frederic H. Stevens, who was visiting Cebu, promised to constitute the lodge personally in April. However, securing transportation posed a challenge. In a fortuitous turn of events, Brother Severo Lo from Iloilo Lodge No. 11 arrived in Cebu on his ship, Hoiching, and generously placed his vessel at the disposal of MW Stevens and his entourage. Brother Severo Lo's noble gesture ensured MW Stevens could journey to Dumaguete. Upon arrival, MW Stevens and his party were greeted by Brothers Gregorio Almazan, Clyde Powers, and a committee of Masons from the province.
Mount Kaladias Masonic Lodge No. 91's constitution occurred in the Provincial Building's garden on April 11, 1924. The constitution was officiated by a distinguished panel consisting of Grand Master Stevens, Deputy Grand Master Valeriano Segura, Senior Warden Eulalio Tanedo, and Junior Grand Warden Ricardo Ponce. The lodge officers installed on this memorable day included Worshipful Master G. B. Almazan, Senior Warden C. V. Powers, Junior Warden Daniel Sindiong, Treasurer Pedro Cecilia, and Secretary Candelario A. Gonzales.
ANCOM 2023 and Lodge Legacy
Mount Kaladias Masonic Lodge No. 91 made history in April 2023 when it hosted for the first time in Metro Dumaguete the Annual Communication (ANCOM), the first complete face- to-face post-COVID-19 era gathering. This grand gathering broke previous records with over 12,000 attendees at the Grand Master's night and approximately 5,000 officially registered delegates, foreign and domestic. This phenomenal turnout was a testament to the unity and strength of the brethren.
It has also seen numerous prominent citizens grace its ranks over the years, a testament to its far-reaching influence. Among these was Brother Emilio Javier, who ran for Vice-President of the Philippines in the 1941 elections. Mount Kaladias Masonic Lodge No. 91 is proud to have produced three Grand Masters - MW Joseph E. Schon – 51st (1968), MW Franklin J. Demonteverde – 82nd (1999), and MW Don Terng Ramas-Uypitching – 105th (2023). This unique distinction sets the lodge apart in the Masonic fraternity.
Mount Kaladias Masonic Lodge No. 91 is located in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. It holds the unique distinction of being the only Masonic Lodge in the province of Negros Oriental under Masonic District R-18 (R-XVIII), Negros Island Region, thereby standing as a beacon of unity and brotherhood in the region.