November 3, 2021
Holy Angel University will confer the degree Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, on the Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., S.Th.D., Bishop of Kalookan, “for his inspirational leadership in Church and community and for his tireless work of evangelization as writer, homilist, cultural heritage worker and advocate for the environment,” as well as “for his courage to care for the poorest of the poor, defend the defenseless and empower the marginalized.”
The conferment ceremonies will be held during a special academic convocation to be livestreamed from the University on December 1, 2021. HAU Board of Trustees Chairperson S. Josefina G. Nepomuceno, OSB and the University’s OIC President Leopoldo Jaime N. Valdes will confer the honorary doctorate on Bishop David.
Bishop David will be the University’s ninth honorary doctor, after business leaders Manuel V. Pangilinan, Washington Z. SyCip and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, educators Christopher and Victoria Bernido, former Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, former Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. and former Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.
Bishop David is widely known as an astute administrator who has served the Church in various capacities, as an academic dean and spiritual director of a seminary, assistant parish priest and parish priest, auxiliary bishop and bishop, and two-term vice president and now president-elect of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
His regular homilies and reflections have a large and loyal following on Facebook and other social media platforms, and his trilogy of books, The Gospel of Love (Hope and Mercy) According to Juan/a, which he co-authored with Nina Tomen, are bestsellers . His TV talk show in Pampanga, Men of Light, which is now in its 61st season and aired in over 40 satellite cable channels in the Philippines and abroad, has inspired Catholic clergy and laity to explore various tools of mass media to enrich and expand their work of evangelization.
As an advocate for heritage conservation, Bishop David has headed both his home province’s Archdiocesan Commission on Church Heritage and the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church. He has helped secure centuries-old church artifacts, restore Catholic sites and structures, and digitize parish records. He is credited for facilitating the acquisition of the popular Apu Shrine in Angeles City from its private owners and for supporting the city’s efforts to save its historic creek Sapang Balen, which he did by personally descending into the creek and wading through its polluted waters.
As the most outspoken critic of the brutal war on drugs, Bishop David has loudly denounced extrajudicial killings, challenging the government to go after drug lords and syndicates instead of small-time drug peddlers, and calling for the rehabilitation of drug users and the due process of the law for arrested pushers. He has also expanded his diocese’s mental health ministry to assist the victims’ widows and orphans.