The Birth of a Masonic Lodge in Urdaneta

Time was when Urdaneta, the premier town of Pangasinan and of the Ilocos Region, was not only literally but also Masonically a gateway to the North.

It was rather ironic that such a leading light would at the same time a place of darkness.

It is the good fortune of Urdaneta, however, to be at the crossroads where travellers of a different kind pass and repass and see more than meets the eye the need to have a Masonic Lodge to diffuse knowledge and truth and to exert a formative influence hereabouts.

It was a dream that refused to die for these fellow travellers as they tread the primrose path of this bustling town.

In 1990, when the number of Freemasons in Urdaneta and its immediate environs swelled to a score, Bros. Manuel A. Ridao, Nelson R. Mapili, and Ramil San Juan, who hail from the town, and Bros. Carlos Trece R. Mapili of Tayug and Roberto C. Rebodos of Manaoag, among others, seized the initiative to gather the brethren in order to discuss with them the prospects of new lodge. The response was overwhelming.

In 1991, when the group was duly and truly prepared to petition for a new lodge, it informed VWB Amado V. Araos and VWB Dalmacio S. Miranda, Sr., Worshipful Master and Secretary of the Agno Lodge No. 75, respectively, and VWB Federico R. Vinluan, District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District No. 24, of its desire and sought their sponsorship of the same.

The three immediately made representations on behalf of the group and saw to it that the matter was put on the trestle board of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.

On May 28, 1992, Most Worshipful Agustin V. Mateo, Grand Master of Masons of the Philippines, issued a Dispensation for the organization of Urdaneta Lodge, U.D.

Bro. Manuel Ridao was named Master of the Lodge with Bro. Nelson R. Mapili and Bro. Rufino Ramil San Juan V, as Senior and Junior Wardens, respectively.

Last July 3, 1993, MW Rizal D. Aportadera, newly installed Grand Master, presided over the Constitution and Installation of Officers of Urdaneta Lodge No. 302 at the Urdaneta Central School Quadrangle.

In fine, what started as a spark ignited into a prairie fire and thus has Freemasonry lighted up the life of this historic and forward looking town and given Urdaneta a new-found blaze of glory.###

Did you know that...

URDANETA, place of our Lodge, was founded by a friar who would become a Freemason. He was Fr. Manrique Alonso Lallave, a Spanish Dominican friar. Fr. Lallave organized this place into a "pueblo" in 1858 and named it Urdaneta in honor of Andres de Urdaneta, a friar and spiritual adviser of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, an expeditionist who arrived in Cebu in 1565.

Aside from founding Urdaneta, Fr. Lallave also translated the Gospel of St. Luke into Pangasinan dialect. After his deportation to Spain in 1872 for alleged "grave misconduct", Fr. Lallave joined Freemasonry (Numantina Lodge under the Gran Oriente Lusitano Unido) as well as the Propaganda Movement of Bro. Marcelo H. del Pilar in Spain. In 1889, Bro. Lallave returned to Manila to establish Protestant Church, but two weeks after his arrival, he died under mysterious circumstances.

Urdaneta became a City in 1997 by virtue of Republic Act 8480.