The new Prior Provincial of the Philippine Province of the Order of Preachers is Brother Filemon I. dela Cruz, Jr., O.P.
Brother Filemon was born on January 19, 1964, in Manila. He is the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. Filemon and Cezarina dela Cruz. He entered the Dominican Pre-Novitiate in June 1980 and was vested with the habit of the Order on May 11, 1983. He made his simple profession on May 11, 1984, and his solemn profession on May 11, 1987. He was ordained to the Priesthood on April 30, 1992, by Most Rev. Camilo D. Gregorio, DD, then Bishop of Bacolod.
He studied in Espiritu Santo Parochial School in Santa Cruz, Manila. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the Philippine Dominican Center of Institutional Studies (PDCIS) in 1986. At the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, he completed his canonical degree of Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology in 1991, and his Master’s degree in Theology in 2006.
In terms of ministries, Br. Deng, as he is fondly called, was Master of Students in 1992-1996; Master of Novices in 1996-2000; Promoter of the Dominican Priestly Fraternities in 2012-2014; Provincial Councilor in 2012-2016; Socius of the Prior Provincial in 2014-2016; administrator in the University of Santo Tomas in 2001-2017; and Superior of the Dominican community of the Rumah Santo Tomas in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 2017-2020. Prior to his election, he was newly assigned to the House of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs in Navotas, Manila.
Brother Filemon was canonically elected by the brothers gathered in the 12th Provincial Chapter hosted by the Convent of St. Albert the Great in Caleruega, Philippines, on January 17, 2021. The election was confirmed by the Master of the Order on January 18, 2021. With his acceptance, Br. Filemon will serve as the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines for the next four years.