Masonic Year

The med-tech turned salesman. Oscar V. Bunyi was born on December 17, 1947 in Candelaria, Quezon to Felix Bunyi and Consortia Velasco, both natives of San Pablo City. His father was a laborer in the Peter Paul Corporation whose president then was Howard Hick, the Grand Master in 1958. His mother was a balut and vegetable vendor in Candelaria. Oca finished his elementary and secondary education in Candelaria and later enrolled in medical technology at the Centro Escolar University. His parents, poor as they were, encountered difficulties in sending their children through school, so Oca mustered the courage to request the president of Peter Paul Corporation for financial assistance. He was so convincing, the president helped him through college on a study-now-pay-later plan. To pay off his debt he worked as a casual laborer at Peter Paul during school vacations. This was how Oca completed his medical technology course in 1967. The young med-tech graduate had a hard time finding a job in line with his specialization. Hence, he first worked as an insurance agent and when his father retired, he worked at Peter Paul as a sanitary inspector. Next he taught at the Pagbilao Academy. In 1969, he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Army and was stationed at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal. After a year, however, he left the Army to work as a salesman with Ciba-Geigy. He proved to be an outstanding salesman and was given by the company the “Millionaire’s Award.” It was during this period that Oca met Ester Oblea, his future wife, then a nurse at the Quezon Memorial Hospital. The two have eight children, Oliver, Ella Cecilia, Evita, Enrico, Kristian, Oscar Jr., Monina and Eugene. Being Roman Catholics they sent all their children to Catholic Schools. In 1978, Oca and several friends established a pharmaceutical company, which distributed locally manufactured pharmaceutical products. The following year, he and a partner put up their own pharmaceutical company, but after ten years the partnership was dissolved. This paved the way to his founding of his own company. At present Oca is the president of Ronyt Pharma, an importer, indenter, distributor of pharmaceutical, veterinary, cosmetics and fine chemicals. He is also the president of Supervet International, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of veterinary products, and of Cosmeque-Pharma Laboratories, Inc., a manufacturer of cosmetic products. He is furthermore, chairman of the Board of Pharmaceutico Pilipino, Inc., a drug trader and distributor. Patience, hard work and determination—these are, according to Oca, the keys to his success as an entrepreneur. “And,” he added, “salesmanship, of course!” Oca wanted to be a Mason as early as 1975, but it was only in the early 1980s that he knocked at the door of Saigon Lodge No. 188, in which he was initiated on March 17, passed on May 19, and raised to the sublime degree on June 16, 1982. He was conferred the 3rd degree by members of Malinaw Lodge No. 25. Oca relates that a day before his raising, he attended a party at the residence of then Deputy Grand Master Rosendo C. Herrera. The brethren teased him, insinuating in no uncertain terms that he would undergo a rigorous third degree. They almost got his goat. Sensing that Oca was about to lose his temper, Herrera whispered to him: “You know, Brod, one of the most important characteristics of a Mason is patience, and tomorrow, in your raising, you will know what that means.” In a moment of bravado Oca rose and addressed Herrera:: “Right Worshipful Sir, please attend tomorrow, and be a witness to the raising of a future Grand Master.” Herrera obliged. When Oca was elected Junior Grand Warden in Tacloban City, Herrera, reminded him of their conservation 15 years before. “Your words were, indeed, prophetic,” he told the newly elected JGW. Oca became the Worshipful Master of his dual Lodge, Tayabas Lodge No. 43, in 1985. Ten years later (1995) he became Master of his Mother Lodge, Saigon Lodge No. 188. In 1987, he was appointed Junior Grand Steward and in 1994 Junior Grand Lecturer for Southern Luzon and a member of the Committee on Awards. In 1995, he served as District Deputy Grand Master. The following year he was appointed Grand Chaplain. In addition to his awards in salesmanship, Oca was chosen Most Outstanding Graduate of Tayabas Western Academy in 1973, and 20 years later, as the Most Outstanding Citizen of Tayabas, Quezon. Recently, he was awarded the Centro Escolar University Most Outstanding Medical Technology graduate of 1967. Oca is a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International; Member, Ambassador Club International; and Member, Knights of Columbus, Tayabas Council No. 5973. He is a past president of the Filipino Drug Association, Inc. During his installation Oca told his Brother Masons: “The Grand Lodge Officers, Masonic leaders at all levels, and all the brethren must wholeheartedly support the Grand Master, for we have only one Grand Master a year,” and added, “I will continue the unfinished and continuing programs of my worthy predecessors.” As Grand Master, one of Oca’s goals is to foster Masonic growth and knowledge as we enter the third millennium as exemplified by his motto: “Brighter Masonic Light in the Third Millennium.”