“Walana” is a Tagalog for that which was lost.
When Nilad Lodge No. 144, the first lodge in the Philippines composed exclusively of Filipinos, was founded in Manila on January 6, 1892, the Filipinos flocked to it seeking initiation into the mysteries of Masonry. The Filipinos fervently embraced Masonry perceiving it to be the organization that could liberate their country from the shackles of the Spanish Friars.
Barely a month after the establishment of Nilad Lodge, the Filipinos who were initiated in the lodge, ventured to found new Masonic centers in Manila. Among the first to be established was Walana Lodge which was founded in February 1892, by several brother Masons, among whom were Faustino Villaruel, the organizer, Marciano Reyes, Tranquilino Torres and Cipriano Castillo. They held their organizational meeting in a house located at the corner of No. 8 Calle Asuncion and Calle San Fernando just in front of the Tribunal delMestizos in Binondo, Manila.
The organizers sent their petition for a dispensation along with the-by-laws of the lodge to the Gran Oriente Espanol in Madrid. While awaiting recognition, the members began their Masonic work. Since the Spanish authorities considered Masonry as anti-government, anti-friar and therefore anti-Spanish, the brethren held their meetings in different places to avoid detection. Sometimes they met on Calle Azcarraga, and at other times on Calle Asuncion.
On May 2, 1892, the Gran Oriente Espanol simultaneously issued charters for six lodges in Manila, Malabon, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, one of which was for Walana Lodge No. 158. The charter of Walana Lodge was received in Manila on July 7, 1892, and soon thereafter the lodge was constituted.Villaruel and the members of Logia Walana Lodge No. 158 worked hard to spread Masonic doctrines and were involved in the campaign for much-needed reforms, for which they became the objects of a cruel persecution. The risks notwithstanding, they continued their Masonic labors.
They were instrumental in the founding of "Triangulo Vanguardia" in Hong Kong. With the help of Rosario Villaruel, Faustino Villaruel's daughter, they also organized an auxiliary lodge for women, which they named Semilla Logia de Adopcion. Among the ladies who joined this Lodge of Adoption, were Rosario Villaruel who chose Minerva as her symbolic or Masonic name, the sisters of Jose Rizal, Josefa (Masonic name Sumikat) and Trinidad (Sumibol), his nieces Angelica Lopez y Rizal and Delfina Herbosa y Rizal, Romualdo. Lanuza (Aurora), Purification Leyva (Ley), Valeriana Legaspi (Diana), and Sixta Fajardo (Ester).
In April, Villaruel, initiated an assembly of Masons at his house in Binondo which was attended by members of Walana Lodge, Balagtas Lodge, Bathala Lodge, Taliba Lodge, Dalisay Lodge and Lusong Lodge. They organized the Gran Consejo Regional and Villaruel was elected as its Second Vice-President. Incidentally, the role of Walana Lodge in this undertaking was summed up by Bro. Apolinario Mabini in this manner. "... She deserves all the respect and even more, for all the movements leading to unity will be of exceptional transcendence for Philippine Masonry and a glorious deed for its initiative... Since Walana Lodge has shown the courage and vision to accept the glorious role refused by the Mother Lodge (Nilad Lodge), let us then acknowledge her virtue, her mission and rally to her side with faith and enthusiasm.
Grand Secretary Joaquin Ruiz posed objections to the formation of the Grand Regional Council, but Marcelo H. del Pilar was able to convince Grand Master Miguel Morayta to approve it. Consequently, on December 10, 1893, the Council got its Charter from the Gran Oriente Espanol. From that time on the Gran Consejo Regional took charge of the management of Masonic affairs in the Philippines.
The Officers and members of Walana Lodge No.158 continued their work of building the grandiose edifice of Masonry. Villaruel, for instance, was instrumental in the revival of Masala Lodge in San Francisco, Pampanga and Magestad Lodge in Guagua,Pampanga . He also played a role in organizing Lodge Parwaw in Tarlac and in the founding of Minerva Lodge No.217 in Aparri, Cagayan. The organizers, Bro. Gracio Gonzaga and Bro. Pastor Makanaya, named their lodge Minerva in honor of Villaruel's daughter whose symbolic name, as mentioned earlier, was Minerva. Also, in Tarlac, after Triangulo Ayuso received its charter as a lodge, the members re-named it as Lodge Villaruel No. 223 in honor of Villaruel.
The following years witnessed the rapid expansion of Masonry throughout the land in spite of the Spanish reign of terror, which included throwing Filipino patriot into the dungeon, torturing suspected revolutionaries, deporting them or executing them by firing squad.
When the revolution broke out in 1896, all the lodges closed down; documents and other materials were burned. Many Masons were shot to death; others were exiled.
Many members of Walana Lodge joined Bro. Andres Bonifacio in Balara tinder the leadership of Bro. Elias Asuncion, who became General Secretary of Zone No. 2. They embraced the towns of the so-called "Baybayin" area.
Shortly after the start of the Revolution, 13 Filipino patriots were arrested, tortured and tried by Spanish Court Martial on charges of treason and sedition. After a farcical trial they were convicted and sentenced to death . They were executed in Bagumbayan (now Luneta) on January 11, 1897. Among them were Faustino Villaruel, Bro. Numeriano Adriano, Bro. Moises Salvador and Bro. Luis Enciso Villa-Real.
After the revolution, members of Walana Lodge became active again. When Trinquilino Reyes, the Secretary of Modestia Lodge, was reorganizing his lodge, he sought the assistance of some members of Walana Lodge (Francisco de Leon, Tomas Alfonso, Valentin Gallego and Tranquelino Torres)
In 1906, the members of Sinukuan Lodge No. 272 agreed on a plan to organize a regional grand lodge. The Statutes and General Regulations of the Gran Oriente Espanol, however, required the concurrence of at least seven lodges tor the establishment of such body. At that time there were only four lodges in the Philippines, so steps were taken to revive the lodges that closed down during the Revolution. For this purpose, the members of Sinukuan Lodge were divided into several groups. One group composed of Timoteo Paez, Pablo Herrera, Lucio Buzon, Jacinto Ocampo, Isidoro Ablaza, Elias Asuncion, Salustiano Cruz, Manuel Tolentino, Fausto del Prado, Anastacio Asuncion, Maths Ubaldo, Placido Limanoc, Nicasio Navarro and Julian Navarro reorganized Walana Lodge on August 26, 1906.
The following were provisionally elected as officers of the reorganized Walana Lodge: Jacinto Ocampo, Worshipful Master; Isidoro Ablaza, Senior Warden; Elias Asuncion, Junior Warden; Salustiano Cruz, Orator; Anastacio Asuncion, Secretary; Manuel Tolentino, Treasurer; Fausto del Prado, Expert; and Placido Lumanoc, Temple Guard.
The lodge received its Charter from the Gran Oriente Espanol on January 20, 1907. The brethren immediately proceeded with the installation ceremonies of Walana Lodge No. 158. The Installing Commission was composed on the following illustrious brethren: Valentin Polintan, Timoteo Paez and Tomas Alfonso.
When Sinukuan Lodge had reorganized enough lodges (seven) they founded the Regional Grand Lodge of the Philippines in 1907 with Walana Lodge as one of the founding lodges. Felipe Buencamino of Sinukuan Lodge was elected as the First Grand Master. Ten years thereafter, February 1917, all the lodges under the Regional Grand Lodge fused with the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. Walana Lodge was issued a new charter and became Walana Lodge No. 13 under the jurisdiction of the Grand lodge of PI.
Walana Lodge enjoyed a steady existence after it transferred to the Grand Lodge of PI, although, like all the other lodges its membership dwindled when the Philippine economy suffered a downturn after the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s were felt in the country. Thus, in 1928 it had a membership of 75, but this went down to 59 in 1933, 54 i in 1937, and only 47 in 1939.
The pre-war roster of Walana Lodge was made up of respectable members of the community. Among them may be counted Governor Leon Cabarruguis, Honorio Lopez, Orestes Hermosura, Antonio A. Francisco, Jose Amon, Norberto Asinas, Pio D. Vera Cruz and Casiano C. Lim After the dark days of the Japanese occupation, Walana Lodge No. 13 was among the first to be revived, despite the destruction of its Charter and other important documents when the Japanese forces burned down the Plaridel Masonic Temple. In 1946, they elected Luis San Juan as Master; Alipio de h Cruz, Senior Warden; Hermenegildo Estrella, Junior Warden; Antonio Francisco, Treasurer and Eulogio Manlapit, Secretary. Others who were also active included Orestes Hermosura, Esteban Diokno, and Pedro Marquinez. Together with Ramon Samaniego, they struggled against difficult odds to make the lodge alive once more. They succeeded in doing so with the help of some dual members.
The lodge is now blazing new trails in the Masonic community, earning laurels in a drive to uphold and enhance the tradition set by its founders more than 100 years ago. Its reputation has remained unsullied through the years, and its members have carried its name with undiminished pride.
Among the recent successes of the lodge are its being voted as the "Most of Masonic District Outstanding Lodge" of Masonic District No. 1-A for two consecutive years; its having two of its Masters - Genesis V. Aquino and Hermeno A. Palamine - chosen as the "Most Outstanding Worshipful Master" of the district and its Secretary Rodolfo H. Cardona, as the "Most Outstanding Master Mason" of the district. Capping its accomplishments for 1993, is the selection of the lodge as the "Most Outstanding Lodge" and its Worshipful Master, Hermeno A. Palamine , the “The Most Outstanding Worshipful Master “ for the whole jurisdiction. The lodge can also boast of having other active and distinguished Masons on its rolls such as Marcelino Bernales, Sigredo Ibay, Gen. Danilo Mangila, Joel Palacious, Rommel Roxas, Com. J. Waldemor Valmores, MW Napoleon Soriano, Oscar T. Garcia, Alberto Morales, Rufino S. Lanaca and Orlando C. Mangapit.
Location: Plaridel Masonic Temple