Labong Lodge No. 59 celebrates centennial year

Labong Lodge No. 59 is a Masonic Lodge here in the Philippines. It is a lodge originally founded in 1892 during the Spanish regime by Don Pedro Camus of Malabon. During the American occupation, it was reorganized by Surgeon Jose M. Raymundo (also from Malabon) together with other prominent personalities of Malabon and Navotas. In 25 January 1921, it was given its charter and joined the federation of lodges of the newly formed Grand Lodge of The Philippine Islands established by 3 American Lodges: Manila Lodge No. 342, Cavite Lodge No. 350 and Corregidor Lodge No. 386.

Labong is a Tagalog word meaning “bamboo shoot”. The name of the town where the lodge was originally located, Malabon in then Rizal province, is derived from “malabong” meaning a place where shoots of young bamboo abound. The Lodge currently is located in Plaridel Masonic Temple at 1440 San Marcelino Street, in Ermita, Manila.

When Jose Rizal, a mason himself, was exiled in Dapitan, one of the entities who sent help was Labong. The lodge, according to its records, sent 80 pesos to Rizal in December 1892.

Among the notable members of the LodgewereGen. ArtemioRicarte; Engr. Pedro Siochi; Senator MelecioArranz; BishopsIrineo de Vega and Pablo Tablante; MayorsRufino Hernandez, SinforosoPascual,Eleuterio de Jesus and Francisco Barican; Judges Genaro Tan Torres, Guillermo Romero and Angel Lazaro.

Among its current members of businessmen, lawyers, marketing professionals, athletes, military and police officers, Police Deputy Director General and Chief of Joint Task Force COVID-Shield, Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar is the most frequently seen in public.

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Labong Lodge No. 59 is currently headed by WM Stevenson Ang, a businessman from Binondo. During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with members of the Lodge, he headed Labong in its distribution of face shields, face masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), gallons of alcohol, water, and food to frontliners in more than 10 hospitals around Metro Manila.

For the sole and obvious reason of the virus, it will be a safe, simple and socially distanced celebration come 25 January among the brethren of Labong Lodge No. 59.

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