Brief History of Gran Logia Soberana del Archipielago Filipino

Brief History of Gran Logia Soberana del Archipielago Filipino

On January 12, 1889 The Hispanico-Filipino Association was inaugurated in Madrid. Composed of Spanish and Filipino Masons, it was headed by Grand Master Miguel Morayta. The avowed aim of the association was to fight for reforms in the Philippines.

On pages 215-216 of the Master Mason’s ritual, 1906 Edition, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Ohras Masonicas Oficiales, Volume III, the following facts appear:

The Gran Oriente de España and later the Grande Oriente Nacional tried several times to implant Freemasonry in Manila. Their work resulted in the constitution of two Lodge in 1872, which increased to six by 1885.”

“Four years afterward, or in 1889, the Grande Oriente Español founded various Lodges in the Philippines, those which were obliged to offset their labors with utmost secrecy because of the domination of the friars who by superstition always pretended to maintain a fictitious preponderance in the territory of the Philippines, out of which Spain never obtained any positive utility. In 1892, taking advantage of the opportunity that the authorities of the Archipelago, showed some tolerance toward Freemasonry, the said Grande Oriente Español issued on March 10 of the same year a Charter to the Nilad Lodge that was established in the capital. Very shortly after that, the workshops in the country multiplied, the said Masonic Power attaining to count in different parts of the Islands before the end of 1895 with a contingent of twenty-four Lodges, a Triangle, and a Chamber of Knights of Kadosh.”

“The Revolution that started in 1896 and ended with the domination of the Islands by the United States, and a series of cruel persecutions and terrible sufferings just for the only crime of being Masons, to which our Filipino brethren were subjected due to the influence of the friars over the authorities of the Archipelago, many of them being and continuing to be attached to Spain, obliged them to abandon their labors, and thus nearly all the Lodges were dissolved. Nevertheless, some meritorious Masons, desirous of preserving the Spanish Masonry in those Valleys, grouped themselves in the Modestia Lodge and succeeded in having the institution survive the shipwreck in that epoch. Three Lodges, One Triangle, and a Rose Croix Chapter are working in the Philippines under the auspices of the Grande Oriente Español.”

“The Grand Orient of France possesses a Lodge in Manila, and the Grand Lodge of California another, but the work of propagation realized by the Lodges of the Grande Oriente Español will attain perhaps very soon, the development of the Masonic doctrines in the entire country.”



On page 58 of the Spanish text and page 60 of the English version of the Constitution of the Gran Logia Soberana del Archipelago Filipino, we find the following:

“The life of our Grand Jurisdiction dates back to June 1887, or the date of the first Regional Grand Lodge was organized in the Philippines, Ill.:. and Pot.:. Bro.:. Miguel Morayta, 33°, being the Assistant Grand Master and Acting Grand Master of the Spanish Symbolic Masonry of the Sovereign Grand Symbolic Lodges, under the auspices of the Gran Oriente de España, which afterward, in January 9, 1889, took the title of Grande Oriente Español.”

May 2, 1892
Moises Salvador wrote to Marcelo H. del Pilar informing him that in a short period of time they had succeeded in establishing two lodges and 4 triangles in Manila, plus several triangles in the provinces. He added they already had about 110 members.

Unknown to Salvador when he wrote his letter, the Gran Oriente Español granted on the same day charters to Labong Lodge No. 153 in Malabon; Masala Lodge No. 154 in San Fernando, Pampanga; Majested Lodge No. 155 in Bacolor, Pampanga; Dampulan Lodge No. 156 in Jaen, Nueva Ecija; Bathala Lodge No. 157 in Ermita, Manila and Walana Lodge No. 158 in Binondo, Manila.

May 20, 1892
The Gran Oriente Español issued a charter to Balagtas Lodge No. 149 in Sampaloc, Manila. This is the lodge where Apolinario Mabini was initiated in September 1892.

April 16, 1893
A General Assembly of Lodges was held at Calle Assuncion, Binondo during which a Regional Grand Council was organized. Elected as its officers were Ambrocio Flores, Grand Master; Numeriano Adriano, 1st Vice President; Faustino Villaruel, 2nd Vice President; Paulino Zamora, 3rd Vice President; Jose Dizon, 4th Vice President, and Apolinario Mabini, Grand Orator.

April 20, 1893
The Regional Grand Council under Grand Master A. Flores sent a letter to Madrid requesting the Grand Council of the Order for recognition and the issuance of its constitutive charter.

April 12, 1894
Grand Master Ambrocio Flores of the Gran Consejo Regional wrote Marcelo H. del Pilar that he decided to limit the membership of lodges to only 30 for security reasons. He explained that “with smaller groups, it is easier to keep out persons likely to bring us into danger. This measure has become necessary as it is well-known among us that the officer of the Secretary of the Governor-General has a long list of Masons who are suspected of being engaged in revolutionary activities.

January 10, 1897
Faustino Villaruel, Francisco L. Roxas, Moises Salvador, Antonio Salazar, Roman Padilla, Luis Villareal, and Jose Dizon executed statements under torture retracting their Masonic beliefs. The following day they were all executed at the field of Bagumbayan. Salvador had to be dragged to te execution area because both his legs were crushed during his interrogation.

April 13, 1902
Felipe Buencamino was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Sinukuan Lodge. He was raised in the same Lodge on November 30, 1903. In 1907 Buencamino was elected as the first Grand Master of Regional Grand Lodge No. 2 of the Gran Oriente Español.

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