Plaridel Lodge No. 74
Plaridel was the pseudonym of the Father of Philippine Masonry, writer and patriot, Marcelo H. del Pilar.
On June 14, 1921, Grand Master Edwin E. Elser granted a dispensation to 19 brethren to form a new lodge to be holden at Calauag, Tayabas to be known as Plaridel Lodge. Named as its first officers under dispensation were: Pedro Pica, Master; Maximino Zepada, Senior Warden; and, Alejo Entienza, Junior Warden. The following year, on January 25, 1922, the Grand Lodge approved the recommendation of the Committee on Charters for the issuance of a charter to the lodge as Plaridel Lodge No. 74. On March 25, Grand Master Quintin Paredes, accompanied by Manuel X. Burgos, Pedro Rodriguez, Francisco Gaudier, Juan R. Tafrada and several other brethren from Manila and members of nearby lodges, motored to Calauag, Tayabas and proceeded to the Public School Building where they constituted the lodge and installed its officers. The ceremonies were public and attendance was about 600.
During its early years, the lodge conducted its meetings and degree work in both Spanish and English.Thus, when it raised Agapito Tag-arao, Norberto Santos and Agapito Baluyot in November 1924, the first section was in English and the second section in Spanish.
Plaridel Lodge No. 74 had an auspicious start. From an original membership of only 19, its rolls swelled to 44 in 1923, 54 in 1924 and 57 in 1926. Many prominent citizens in the community joined the lodge such as Espiridion Arguelles, Gregorio Orlanda, Mamerto Epino, Victorio Jorvina, Estanislao Magsino, Juan Lerum, Venancio Nueza, Donato Cabangon, Arcadio Veracruz, Sisenando Villarubia and Fernando Quillon. The members even entertained dreams of erecting a Temple. On December 27, 1923, the day of St. John the Evangelist, the outgoing Master, Maximo Zepeda, laid the cornerstone of the Lodge Hall to be erected in Calauag, Tayabas.
Unfortunately, after 1926, the lodge suffered a downhill slide. In 1927, its roster fell to 43 and some years later to only 34. The situation was aggravated when the Great Depression in the United States dragged down the Philippine economy. Many members lost their jobs, some their fortunes. They could hardly pay their dues. The lodge became bankrupt and could not meet its obligations to the Grand Lodge. In 1934, Grand Master Manuel Camus was forced to arrest the charter of the lodge.
Plaridel Lodge was moribund for 35 years. It was not until 1969 when the brethren in Quezon province were able to secure a dispensation from Grand Master Joseph Schon authorizing them to revive the lodge. On March 15, 1969, Deputy Grand Master Manuel Crudo, on instructions of the Grand Master, formally reactivated the lodge.
Location: Calauag, Quezon