Shariff Kabunsuan Lodge No. 266
Credit for the introduction of Islam into Mindanao is usually given to Shariff Muhammad Kabunsuwan, after whom this lodge is named. The old tarsilas of Maguindanao indicate that Shariff Kabunsuan was the son of an Arab father and a Malay mother. His father, being a Shariff, is supposed to be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. Maguindanao tradition also declares that Shariff Kabunsuwan came to Mindanao in the first quarter of the sixteenth century.
After securing an alliance with the Maguindao datus, he went about conquering and converting the surrounding tribes and chiefs. Maguindanao's conversion, however, was not without blood being spilled. According to historians, natives who did not accept and follow Kabunsuwan's rule were simply driven out of the place at the point of the sword.
Shariff Kabunsuan Lodge No. 266 is a creation of Kutang Bato Lodge No. 110 that is domiciled in Cotabato City. During the July 7, 1983 meeting of Kutang Bato Lodge, a plan was laid by the Master to form a new lodge in the same locality. It, however, faced rough sailing for out of seventeen members,
only ten were in favor of its creation while seven were against. The breakthrough came on August 27, 1983 when thirty brethren belonging to Kutang Bato Lodge No. 110 and Bantugan Lodge No. 223 signified their desire to become charter members and selected the following as officers: Master, Abelardo Q. Balanag; Senior Warden, Arsenio H. Lim; and Junior Warden, Beethoven C. Alimario
Several names were suggested for the lodge. Cotabato City Masonic Lodge and Jose Lim Sr. Lodge were considered, however, by near unanimous vote, Shariff Kabunsuan Lodge was the one adopted.
On September 20, 1983, Grand Master Rosendo C. Herrera issued a dispensation authorizing the thirty organizers to form Shariff Kabunsuan Lodge in Cotabato. During the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in April 1984, the Committee on Charters, after finding that the lodge had held fourteen meetings and had already raised five brothers to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, recommended that the lodge be granted a charter. Accordingly, the Grand Lodge granted the charter and assigned number 266 to the lodge. On June 16, 1984, Grand Master Reynato S. Puno constituted Shariff Kabunsuan as a regular lodge. On the same day VW Hector P. Narajos, DDGM, installed the following charter officers: Master, Abelardo Q. Balanag; Senior Warden, Arsenio H. Lim; and Junior Warden, Beethoven C. Alimario
The members today are a mixture of old and new blood, yet they prudently protect the interests of the lodge and are careful in the screening of new applicants
Location: Cotabato City