Siete Martires Masonic Lodge No. 177
This lodge was named in honor of the seven martyrs who, in their fight against the tyrannical abuses of the "Guardia Civil" and "Cura Parrocos" during the Spanish regime, were discovered, arrested and executed at the Balaoan, La Union Cemetery. These martyrs are: Luciano Resurreccion, Proceso Ostrea, Antonio Ostrea, Rufino Zambrano, Franco Ostrea, Patricio Lopez and Mariano PeraIta.
In October 1964, Bros. Federico P. Concepcion, Eleno 0. Orallo,Castor Z. Concepcion and Juan O. Concepcion conceived the idea of establishing a lodge in Balaoan, La Union. On November 24, 1964, WB Castor Z. Concepcion invited all the brethren in Balaoan to an organizational meeting in his residence. They chose WB Federico P. Concepcion to be the first Master of the proposed lodge, WB Eleno O. Orallo to be the first Senior Warden and WB Jesus L Ostrea to be the first Junior Warden. With the support and endorsement of Union Lodge No. 70, the organizers obtained a dispensation to establish Siete Martires Lodge UD from Grand Master Charles Mosebrook on December 10, 1964.
The lodge immediately started to function and at the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in April 1965, the Committee on Charters recommended that it be granted a permanent charter and assigned number 177.
On July 10, 1965, the new Grand Master, Serafin L. Teves, assisted by Marcelino Viduya, Miguel Rilloraza, Doroteo A. Parong, Jack Gesner and other Masonic dignitaries, opened a special communication of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines in ample form at Balaoan, La Union, for the purpose of constituting Siete Martires Lodge No. 177.
After the constitution of the lodge a program ensued. The Mayor of Balaoan delivered a welcome address and offered the facilities of his town to the distinguished visitors from Manila. RW Mariano Q. Tinio then installed the officers of the lodge in public form. WB Federico P. Concepcion, the newly Installed Master, delivered an address expressing his gratitude to the Grand Master and his party for their sacrifices in coming to Balaoan, La Union to constitute the lodge and install its officers.
Like all new lodges Siete Martires Lodge No. 177 had an itinerant existence. It first met at the residence of Bro. Esteban Viloria, Sr., then it moved to the residence of WB Leonides Basconsillo, Sr., and still later to the house of Senator and Brother Gaudencio Antonino. There was a time too that the lodge met in a small unventilated building made available through the benevolence of WB Ruperto Ledda.
In October 1989 a group of brothers led by their Worshipful Master, Arturo G. Llavore, organized the Siete Martires Square and Compass Society whose prime objective was to raise funds for the construction of an impressive Masonic edifice in Balaoan. In that same year, after a long drought, the members initiated, passed and raised five new members.
The lodge was doing well up to 1994 when something went amiss that caused indifference among the members. Every succeeding District Deputy Grand Master tried to infuse new life into the lodge but all to no avail. At the start of the year 2002, however, under the firm and tenacious leadership of DDGM Ralph A. Asuncion and the selfless cooperation of members of Union Lodge No. 70, Mayon Lodge No. 61, Batong Buhay Lodge No. 27, Angalo Lodge No. 63 and Jose Rizal Lodge No. 22, the lodge began to stir. With a veteran lodge manager and a Past Master of Mayon Lodge, WB Cesar Lopes, as its new Master, the members are confident that their lodge is on its way to reclaim its former splendor and glory.
Location: Balaoan, La Union