Pinagsabitan Lodge No. 26
This lodge is named after a place called Pinagsabitan, which was the scent of a memorable encounter between Filipino patriots and Spanish troops, near Sta. Cruz, Laguna where this Lodge is located. "Pinagsabitan" is a Tagalog word meaning "place of the hanging." Tradition says that long ago, the dismembered body of a notorious brigand who had been terrorizing the country was hung to a tree at that spot, as a warning and example to evildoers.
The original name of this lodge was Makiling, but at a meeting in October 1912 the members changed it to Pinagsabitan.
March 15, 1912 marks the birth of Masonry in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Three brother Masons - Amado Saul, Hermenegildo Aquino, and Santos Carmelo met at the house of brother Aquino and agreed to establish a lodge in that town. At their next meeting they invited Jose de Leon, Ramon Mendoza, Crispulo Layoc, Felipe Ongkiko and Roman Kamatoy, all of Silanganan Lodge, and Vicente Reyes of Modestia Lodge. They all signified their conformity to the plan. Later they invited other Masons from nearby municipalities. Not long afterward, a petition was sent to the Gran Oriente Espanol for a dispensation to open a lodge in Sta.Cruz. In due time, they received a provisional authority to organize Makiling Lodge.
On September 12, 1912, the members elected their first set of officers. Roberto Moreno became the Master, Hermenegildo Aquino, Senior Warden; Santos Carmelo, Junior Warden, Vicente Reyes, Treasurer and Nicasio Jose, Secretary. They were installed at the next meeting held on October 17, 1912. At this meeting the name of the lodge was changed to Pinagsabitan.
In 1913, the lodge received its charter as Pinagsabitan Lodge No. 344 from the Grand Oriente Espariol. Accordingly, on June 14, 1913, the officers were formally installed into office.
The first candidate to knock at the doors of Pinagsabitan Lodge was Justo Ongkiko, who later became the mayor of Sta. Cruz.
In February 1917, when a unification of Philippine Masonry took place, Pinagsabitan Lodge transferred its allegiance to the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. It was issued a new charter on February 13,1917 as Pinagsabitan Lodge No. 26. The following day, it was constituted together with thirty other lodges.
During its early years, Pinagsabitan Lodge had to change meeting places several times until it settled permanently in its present building on Taleon Street, which they named the Pedro Guevarra Masonic Temple, in honor of the late Senator.
To WB Gabriel D. Corvissano goes the honor of being responsible for the acquisition by Pinagsabitan Lodge of her own lot and of the construction of a Temple thereon. And to Pedro Flores, Juan Ng Cha and Geminiano Ong Acero goes the honor of having rebuilt the Temple after it was destroyed during World War II.
Location: Sta. Cruz, Laguna