ANGELES City, Nov. 2, 2015 – While sad that their beloved prelate has to leave them soon, the faithful of Pampanga wish Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David all the best as he prepares to take on his new role as bishop of Kalookan.
“Good luck, Bishop Ambo, on your new assignment as Bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan, and thank you for your pastoral love and care for Angeles and Pampanga!” said Robby Tantingco, vice president for external affairs of Holy Angel University (HAU) in Angeles City, of the prelate Catholic Kabalens affectionately call “Bishop Ambo.”
Pope Francis appointed the 56-year old David on Oct. 14 as the new bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan, ending almost a two-year “Sede Vacante” prompted by the resignation of Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez due to health reasons.
“I’m sad for Angeles, but happy for Kalookan! It will be a great loss for us. Thank you, Bishop Ambo for your wisdom, vision, and concern for Angeles! God be with you!” said Salie Naguiat, also of Angeles City.
According to Tantingco, he will miss David’s homilies, his leadership in the Archdiocesan Commission on Church Heritage, his TV show “Men of Light,” his pastoral care for the Holy Rosary Parish, what he did for the Apu Shrine, and his brilliance.
He added he will never forget the day the prelate rolled up his sleeves and climbed down a polluted creek in Angeles City to lead a clean-up drive, as well as “that magical, miraculous moment” with Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle and the strike leaders on the street, and the times he praised him for his work.
Tantingco went on to share a moment over 40 years ago when as a high school freshman in the seminary he saw his future bishop and the latter’s classmate.
“I chanced upon him and his classmate, future Fr. Wilfredo Manrique, on the staircase noisily debating the dogma of the Immaculate Conception … in Spanish! They were only in third-year high school!” he said.
Meanwhile, Michael Engle from Navotas City expressed joy that his diocese now has a new pastor in the person of David.
“I am happy and excited that we have a new Bishop of Kalookan,” he exclaimed.
‘Welcome, Bishop Ambo!’
On her recent CBCP News column “Duc In Altum,” lawyer Aurora A. Santiago, has words of welcome for David.
She writes: “To the second Bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan, our Shepherd, we welcome you Bishop Ambo to your new home. We assure you of our full cooperation, support, and love that you will never have the time to miss the flock that you will leave behind.”
A known Bible scholar, David was born on March 2, 1959 in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga, and was ordained a priest on March 12, 1983. Pope Benedict XVI made him Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando on May 27, 2006.
David finished his college seminary formation at the San Jose Seminary, Ateneo de Manila University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Divinity degree. Thereafter, he took his Master of Arts degree in Theology at the Loyola School of Theology (LST), also at the Ateneo, and went on to earn his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium in 1988. In 1989, he took up his Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the same university.
From 2007 to 2013, David was a member of the Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). He also chaired CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) from 2009 to 2015. To date, David serves as vice chairman of the Permanent Committee on Cultural Heritage (PCCH). (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)