With a deep sense of honor and gratitude for the legacy passed on to her, Dr. Patricia Bustos-Lagunda takes on the new role entrusted to her. As the institution’s glorious past lies behind, Pat, as she is known by many, is inspired to work towards creating an even more radiant future for Baliuag University—and in the process, make her predecessors proud.
Growing up in Manila, the second child of Dr. Alicia Santiago-Bustos, Baliuag University’s immediate past president, and the late Dr. Jesus G. Bustos would look forward to family trips to her mother’s hometown in Baliwag, Bulacan. Dr. Alice is a well-known educator, and a pioneer behind major professional, educational organizations, while Dr. Jess was a medical doctor, specializing in internal medicine.
Despite having been exposed to the field of education at an early age, Pat had not initially envisioned herself to be in the academe. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, she pursued her master’s degree in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City.
It was upon graduating from AIM that she began to carve out a name for herself in the corporate world. She spent almost ten years in leading global beauty company, Avon, as a marketing and senior brand manager before moving on to becoming a marketing consultant for the likes of Jardine Direct Company, Starworks Corporation and MB Lifetime Philippines. Later, she would be a founding partner in Taft Consulting Group, a training and management consultancy firm that caters to both financial and educational institutions.
Pat joined Baliuag University in 1995 as Vice President for Administration and External Relations. She also taught at the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education concomitant to her administrative work. Later, she was promoted to Executive Vice President, lending more focus to managing the school. It was during this time that she pursued further studies at the De La Salle University in Manila to obtain her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Management degree.
In time, she would assume positions of responsibility in civic and professional organizations, such as serving as president of the Zonta Club of Baliuag, part of a larger, Zonta International organization of professionals empowering women worldwide. This was followed by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU), for which she assumed its presidency in 2012 to 2014. In the same period, she served as vice chair and eventually chairman of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA).Presently, she is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Retirement Annuity Association (PERAA).
Pat’s experience in two fields, which, to some extent, are far apart from each other, provided her with what would eventually characterize her kind of leadership—the sophistication of business and the discipline of the academe.
In pursuit of innovation and progress, Pat has initiated projects and reforms in response to national and global developments affecting the field of education. In fact, even before her investiture takes place, she has already implemented changes in Baliuag University. From institutional planning, enhancing student life to personnel streamlining, and to forging partnerships with leading academic institutions in the region, Pat has laid the groundwork for a more responsive organization in light of educational reforms brought about by the ASEAN integration and globalization.
As she is installed as Baliuag University’s president, Pat is prepared to take on the challenges that come with such a multifaceted role. She is grateful not only for the guidance of the Almighty, but more so for the love and support of her family—husband, Engr. Allyson P. Lagunda, and three children, Janina, Nicco and Janelle; her mother and late father, as well as her siblings, Dr. Norman Bustos, Atty. Susan Jacinto, Mrs. Monina Santos, Dr. Ma. Alicia Bustos-Orosa, and Chef Jesse Bustos.
As she looks back to the university’s glorious past, the old Filipino adage, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.” comes to mind. As she works towards steering the institution to recognition in the country and globally, she draws inspiration from the wisdom and hard work of her predecessors- particularly Mr. Domingo B. Santiago, Sr., Atty. Domingo A. Santiago, Jr., and Dr. Alicia Santiago-Bustos – that made the university what it is today.
Bringing the university to even greater heights is indeed a daunting task; but one that holds much promise. Together with the rest of the Baliuag University family, and through bold vision and her unique brand of leadership, Pat is committed to fulfilling her role in the history of Baliuag University being written, and to making it a world-class educational institution—one that will endure into the next 90 years.