Tagaytay Lodge No. 165
Named after the City of Tagaytay, which is situated a top a ridge 2,000 feet above sea level overlooking the picturesque Lake Taal. It got its name from "Tagaytay," a Tagalog word meaning "a mountain ridge with a bare top." Incidentally, the word for Tagaytay in Bikol is alituktok, in Kapampangan it is tungatung, in Hiligaynon, alipukpukan, in Ilokano, pantok, in Pangasinan, pantuk, in Sibuhanon, Kinatayuktukan, and in Samar-Leyte it is pungkay.
The founding of a new Masonic lodge in Tagaytay City was first proposed by Fortunato M. Ejercito, a Past Master of Pilar Lodge No. 15 on August 23-31, 1959 when he was with the Grand Master's party that visited the Philippine lodges in Tokyo, Japan. His proposal was endorsed by no less than Grand Master Macario M. Ofilada.
Back in the Philippines, Ejercito convinced 63 brethren to sign a petition for dispensation which was eventually submitted to Grand Master Juan S. Alano on June 29, 1961. Three months thereafter the dispensation was granted. Fortunato M. Ejercito was designated as the Dispensation Master, Conrado Yuviengco, a Past Master of Mount Mainam Lodge No. 49, as the Senior Warden, and Dominador M. Kiamzon, Sr. of Nilad Lodge No. 12, as the Junior Warden.
The charter members held their first meeting in the Temple of Pilar Lodge No. 15 on December 16, 1961. In that meeting they gave Ejercito full authority to select a temporary home for the lodge and unanimously agreed not to elect a new Master until a Temple for the lodge shall have been erected.
On January 7, 1962, Ejercito rented the ground floor of the residence of ex-Congressman Jose Topacio Nueno in Tagaytay City and on January 20, 1962, the members started holding their meetings in that place. In April 1962, the Grand Lodge granted the lodge a charter and it became Tagaytay Lodge No. 165. On August 4, 1962 Grand Master William H. Quasha constituted it at the Tagaytay City Auditorium. It was a festive occasion. Many visitors came and there was a band to enliven the occasion.
The first candidate to be initiated by the lodge was Severino Tinitigan. Because the room in the Nueno residence that served as the meeting place of the lodge, was not suitable for degree work, the ceremony was held in the Temple of Bagong Ilaw Lodge No. 97. The passing and raising of Bro. Tinitigan were conducted in the halls of other lodges.
In 1963, the lodge transferred to the Chapel of the United Church of Christ not far from the highway, near Km. 54. The members were able to save on rent, but the Chapel was also unsuitable for degree work. In June 1968, Bro. Maximino Toledo offered the use of his warehouse without cost to the lodge. It was found to be much safer from the prying eyes of cowans and eavesdroppers, so the lodge moved there until its Temple was constructed.
Toward the end of 1967, Bro. Ejercito felt that his assigned task was almost finished. A suitable lot had been acquired, the plans and designs for the Temple had been drawn, and funds for its construction had been set aside. He asked to be replaced as Master. Although the members had vowed to keep him on until the Temple shall have been completed, they bowed to his expressed wish and elected Bro. Kiamzon to succeed him.
On December 14, 1968, Grand Master Joseph Schon laid the cornerstone for the Temple in appropriate ceremonies. When it was completed, Grand Master Edgar L. Shepley, accompanied by Masonic dignitaries, motored to Tagaytay to dedicate and consecrate the Temple.
Location: Tagaytay City