Sarangani Lodge No. 50
Sarangani is the name of a bay, a strait and of an island at the entrance of the Gulf of Davao in Mindanao. The name comes from the "salangane," a swift which produces the edible bird's nests.
One time evening in 1918, a group of Freemasons met to discuss the feasibility of forming a Masonic lodge in Davao. Those present were Miguel Simon, Feliciano Inigo, Antonio Feliciano, Bruno Gempesaw, Ruperto del Castillo, Celestino Chaves, Teodoro Palma Gil, Jose Madrazo, Juan Sarenas, Manuel Jabson, Gregorio Gatchalian, Jose Puya, Capt. Federico Cava, Engr. Figueroa, Juan Posadas, Jr., and Rev. Julius Augur.
The group prepared a petition for the issuance of a dispensation authorizing them to form a Masonic lodge in Davao. It was sent to the Grand Lodge and on November 22, 1918 the Grand Master issued the requested dispensation. Thu!. Saranggani Lodge was born. Its first officers were: Worshipful Master, Cele,tino Chaves; Senior Warden, Ruperto del Castillo; Junior Warden, Jose Pascual; Treasurer, Bruno Gempesaw; Secretary, Feliciano Inigo; Senior Deacon, Manuel Jabson; Junior Deacon, Antonio Feliciano; Tyler, Jose Madrazo.
At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge, specifically on January 28, 1919, the Grand Lodge granted the charter to the lodge under the name Sarangani Lodge No. 50. On April 10, 1919, Grand Master Milton E. Springer, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Teofisto Guingona, Manuel X. Burgos, Jr, Jose M. Unson and brother assembled at the School House in Davao where the lodge was duly constituted and its officer installed before a curious crown of about 500 Masons and non-Masons.
The members of the lodge maintained high moral standards, practiced charity and brotherhood and so impressed the citizens of Davao that many who held high positions in government and the business sector petitioned for membership. The membership of the lodge steadily increased. In 1924 it had 39 members. The number went up to 55 in 1932 and 70 in 1940. In time the city felt the influence of Masonry. In fact it can be said that builders and architects of the city were people who were deeply imbued with the teachings of Masonry.
During the Second World War, the lodge records, paraphernalia; and equipment were saved by Wor. Bro. Celestino Chaves. Also, the members of the lodge led by WB C. Chaves, Juan Sarenas, Rafael Castillo, and Leon Garcia were able to save the lives of numerous residents. Though Masonic meetings were suspended during the war, the brethren kept the spirit of Freemasonry alive.
Today, several years after the Second World War, Freemasonry in Davao City has not only grown in membership, stature, and maturity, but it has also become a way of life in the City.
The lodge has produced two (2) Grand Masters, namely MW Rupert() S. Demonteverde, Sr. (1973) and MW Desiderio Dalisay, Sr, (1978). It has been awarded the Grand Master's Cup twice, as the Most Outstanding Lodge in the Philippines for 1982 and 1983. It also spearheaded the construction of the Davao Masonic Center, which has become a Masonic landmark not only in Davao City but also throughout Mindanao.
Location: Davao City