Central Philippine University

By Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy (left) signs the contract that makes him the 18th CPU President while Atty. Peter Irving C. Corvera (right) also signs the contract in behalf of CPU.

Central Philippine University (CPU) marked a significant milestone on October 26, 2023, with the formal signing ceremony of the contract for its 18th President, Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy. The event took place at 4:00 PM in Function Room 1, Second Floor of the Iloilo Convention Center, located within the bustling Megaworld Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The prestigious ceremony was attended by esteemed guests, including members of the CPU Board of Trustees, CPU Administration officials, family members of Dr. Dagohoy, and close friends. The proceedings began with an opening prayer by Dr. Esther Rose A. Romarate, the Vice President for Student Affairs, followed by a warm welcome from Atty. Von Lovel D. Bedona, Vice Chairman of the CPU Board of Trustees. In his welcome address, Atty. Bedona acknowledged everyone who was present and thanked everyone for coming.

A notable moment in the event was the acknowledgment of the outgoing President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, by Atty. Peter Irving C. Corvera, Chairman of the CPU Board of Trustees. Atty. Corvera expressed gratitude for the leadership of Dr. Robles and emphasized that his appointment during that time was a testament to divine timing. He called it as “hand of providence, undoubtedly sent by God in an era marked by challenges.” He praised the outgoing President for his exemplary hands-on leadership, rooted in knowledge, integrity, and faith, and wished him a fulfilling retirement.

Outgoing CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles passes the mantle of leadership to the incoming CPU President, Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy.

Acknowledging the transition, Atty. Corvera, spoke about the collective hopes and prayers for Dr. Dagohoy’s successful leadership. He mentioned that each leader brings a unique perspective, fresh ideas, and a distinct style, and he encouraged Dr. Dagohoy to lead with wisdom, fortitude, and the values that CPU holds dear.

Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, in his message to the attendees, expressed his happiness in finding a new President for CPU, praising the Board’s choice based on qualification and integrity. He assured everyone that he would always be available to help Dr. Dagohoy and the university whenever needed, emphasizing the importance of working together for the institution’s continued success and development, with the support of CPU’s alumni. He will end his term on October 31, 2023.

The contract signing itself was a momentous occasion, as Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy signed the contract with Atty. Peter Irving C. Corvera. The witnesses for this momentous occasion were Dr. Jose Denzil Daquiado, the incoming president’s best friend, and Atty. Von Lovel D. Bedona, Vice Chairman of the CPU Board of Trustees. The members of the CPU Board of Trustees looked on as the 18th CPU President signed the contract to serve CPU in the next 5 years starting on November 1, 2023.

The members of the CPU Board of Trustees, friends, and family posed after the contract signing.

Following the signing, Dr. Robles symbolically handed over the responsibilities to Dr. Dagohoy, presenting him with a CPU plaque as a symbol of the turnover, marking the official commencement of Dr. Dagohoy’s presidency.

In his first address as the newly appointed President, Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy expressed his humility and gratitude for being a part of this significant event. He commended Dr. Robles for stewarding the university for 15 years, especially during the challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Dagohoy acknowledged the tremendous task ahead of him and called for unity, emphasizing the core values of CPU in an ever-changing world. He encouraged all to join him in praying for the university’s well-being and success during these tumultuous times. He also pledged to uphold the heritage of the American Baptists who started the school 118 years ago.Dr. Dagohoy concluded his speech with a poignant reference to Jeremiah 29:11 to 13, instilling hope and faith in the journey ahead.

The ceremony ended with a prayer of blessing by Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto, a Member of the CPU Board of Trustees. The master of ceremonies for the event was Prof. Kary Arden Q. Gallo, the Director of the Local and International Linkages and Affiliation Center.

The signing ceremony marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Central Philippine University under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy, with high hopes for continued growth, development, and academic excellence.