November 22, 2009

Philippines – It was approximately 138 years ago when the Odd Fellows first reached the Philippines and about 83 years ago when the Odd Fellows Association of the Philippines ceased to operate when U.S. military men, who were members of the fraternity, returned back to the United States after the war. Since that time, the name Odd Fellows was never heard again in the country.

However, around August of 2009, members of a different fraternal group located in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines, known as Watchdog, petitioned to merge with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. This idea was approved by the Sovereign Grand Lodge located in the United States.

On November 20, 2009, officers Paul Cuminale (Sovereign Grand Master), Richard Proulx (Past Sovereign Grand Master) and Terry Barret (Sovereign Grand Secretary) visited the City of Dumaguete. They met with the 21 applicants, discussed and answered questions raised about Odd Fellowship.

The following day, November 21, a new Lodge was instituted and Odd Fellowship was revived in the country. The charter members were Maria Katrina Mercado (Noble Grand), Kahlil Reu Reyes (Vice Grand), Louie Sarmiento (Past Grand), Tiffany Jaramilla (Treasurer), Karmen Amparo Arenas (Recording Secretary), Alexis Jaramilla (Financial Secretary), Rex Boyson Olpoc (Right Supporter to the Noble Grand), Anatoly Karpov Buss (Left Supporter to the Noble Grand), Claribert Lagman (Right Supporter of the Vice Grand), Armel Cabale (Left Supporter of the Vice Grand), Teodorico Parcon III (Right Scene Supporter), Patrocinio Apura III (Left Scene Supporter), Jerzon Caňolas (Warden), Sidrake Arnold Mendez (Chaplain/Honorary Past Grand), Joseph Ian Parreňo (Conductor/Honorary Past Grand), Bernard Oscar Porras (Color Bearer), Shiny Beth Fortugaleza (Inside Guardian), Stanley Brian Fortugaleza (Outside Guardian), Nessan Brylle Carin, Cyril Jaymes Plantilla, Karlenne Enriquez, Jesma Alingal, Joyce Marapao, Pocholo Randy Estimo, Pell Miland Namocatcat and Ryan Vermon Yap.

The occasion was concluded on November 22, 
charter members and officers of the Sovereign Grand Lodge went to Forest Camp, Valencia, Negros Oriental, Philippines, to celebrate and enjoy the fellowship.

The I.O.O.F Philippines aims to form a genuine brotherhood and sisterhood that focuses on helping those in need. They are widely involved in charity and volunteer works such as mass feeding, donations of clothing, free blood pressure taking and health teaching, clean-up drives, etc. They are also optimistic to spread Odd Fellowship throughout the country.

"The Odd Fellows fraternity started in England sometime in the year 1700's. It was composed of people from various or "odd" trades. Together, they would organize benevolent works to those in need which was an "Odd" thing to do back in the days. The I.O.O.F is a worldwide fraternal organization established on April 26, 1819 by Thomas Wildey and four other associates who were members of the Odd Fellows in England. As of today, the I.O.O.F exists in about 26 countries with about 10,000 lodges (chapters) worldwide. It welcomes men and women not because they are rich or poor; not because they are educated or uneducated, but because they are men and women. Manly, upright, honest, industrious, temperate, thoughtful, considerate people. People who do not wish to waste their time in the worship of wealth, but who will give their hearts, minds and life to the great work of character building — of making men and women better. Men and women who will let the sunlight of their love dispel the darkness of sorrow and doubt; who are ever ready and willing to do an act of kindness; to act more forgivingly toward their fellowman than they would expect to receive themselves."

 To join or if you have questions about I.O.O.F contact any of the members you know who are members or email: