Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What is the Oldest Fraternity in the Philippines?

The Odd Fellows and Freemasonry are considered the oldest fraternities in the Philippines and even in the world.

The first masonic lodge in the Philippines,"Primera Luz Filipina", was established sometime in 1856 but membership was only open to Spaniards. No native became members except those who went to study in Europe such as Jose Rizal.

The first fraternity to reach the Philippines during the Spanish-American war was the Odd Fellows sometime in 1872. They became largely responsible for the petty insurrection the following year (Source: Major O.W. Coursey, U.S. Volunteer, author of the History and Geography of the Philippine Islands). Members were mostly military servicemen during that time. They held their meetings in Military and Naval base camps. The first officially chartered I.O.O.F lodge (chapter) in the Philippines was Manila Lodge no.1 which was instituted around 1898. The lodge ceased to operate during the Japanese-American War.

The Freemasonry in the Philippines that we know today reached the Philippines in the year 1877 and considered as the second fraternity to reach the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American war. At first, they did not accept Filipinos and membership was only limited to a particular Nationality. The first recorded lodge that accepted Filipinos was Nilad lodge no.1 which was instituted sometime in 1891. They later formed a Grand Lodge in 1912.

Founded in 1918 the official registered college fraternity in the Philippines is the Upsilon Sigma Phi considered also as the oldest in Asia.

1 comment:

tumas said...

so the first fraternity reached the philippines is not odd fellows but freemasonry?