Barayuga, Petronilo J. (1946–2013)

By Abraham M. del Rosario


Abraham M. del Rosario is a D.Min. student at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Silang Cavite, Philippines. He is presently Associate Publishing Director and Director of Literature Ministry in the North Philippine Union Conference. He is married to Lovelyn Acebedo and blessed with three sons and one daughter: Chester, Rylland, Lhowelle, and Kathleen.

First Published: January 29, 2020

Petronilo J. Barayuga was a visionary leader and educator in the Philippines.

Early Life

Domingo A. Barayuga and Eusebia Jacosalem Barayuga gave birth to a son Petronilo J. Barayuga on May 31, 1946, in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. He was the first born among three children. Petronilo’s father, a law enforcement officer for the town of Aliaga, was shot by criminals. For the family to survive, his mother decided to find work as a saleslady in Cabanatuan City. Her three children were taken care of by relatives in Agbannawag, Nueva Ecija. Accordingly, Petronilo learned fortitude through privation and destitution.1

In 1958, Petronilo finished elementary school at the Agbannawag Elementary School. He then studied and graduated from high school at Central Luzon School of Arts and Trades in Cabanatuan City in 1962. Economic destitution would not hinder his utmost desire to become a prosecutor. Persistently he worked at whatever job he could find in order to support his dream. He worked as a carpenter in Bacnotan, La Union; a farm boy in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija; and a farm hand in his home barrio of Agbannawag.2

Education and Marriage

The painstaking promulgation of the gospel message in Agbannawag touched and convicted his heart, and he surrendered his life and was baptized by Pastor Ernesto Gutierez. Pastor Gutierez motivated him to study at Philippine Union College (PUC) in June 1963. He worked hard by crafting portable chairs at College Wood Products. He enrolled in courses in history, philosophy, and religion with the burning desire to continue his dream to attend law school. However, given his previous vocational school training, he felt out of place in the PUC and decided to leave after two semesters. Providentially, he was encouraged by Luz Lapeña, an English major, to remain and finish his ministerial course.3

Petronilo’s desire to finish at PUC was not to be fulfilled. As a corrective measure for some delinquency, in 1968 he was instructed to study at Mountain View College. At Mountain View College, he was equipped and motivated and became an effective student leader both on campus and in the community. In 1969 he earned diplomas in both AB and BSE courses and returned to Luzon furnished with a letter of endorsement from his college president, Dr. A. C. Segovia.4

In Northeastern College in Santiago, Isabela, he graduated with an M.A. in Educational Administration while was serving as principal of Northeast Luzon Academy. In 1997 he earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration while he was president of Northern Luzon College.

In 1969 he married Luz Lapeña. They have been blessed with three children and nine grandchildren.5

Career and Ministry

Petronilo began his denominational employment at Northern Luzon Academy (1969-1971), Artacho, Sision, Pangasinan, where he served as a teacher for two years as well as part-time dean of boys. His principal, Pastor Victor Cabansag, saw the young teacher’s leadership potential and mentored and equipped him for leadership.

At the age of 25 he was assigned as principal of Triad View Academy (1971-1976), Tumbaga, Quirino, Ilocos Sur, and he was ordained as a minister of the gospel in 1974. After five years at Triad View Academy, with the middle year spent upgrading his education at PUC, he became principal of Northeast Luzon Academy (1976-1984).6 From Northeast Luzon Academy he was chosen to be president of Mountain Provinces Mission (1984-1986) for two years and then field secretary of Northern Luzon Mission (1986-1988) for another two years.

Petronilo J. Barayuga was a visionary leader and he was chosen to be a delegate to the 56th General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Utrecht, the Netherlands.7 It was through his initiative that the Northern Luzon Academy became a college in the 1992-93 school year.8 His visionary mind and dedication contributed to the academy becoming a college.9 Here is a list of his achievements during his presidency:

“In 1989, Level I Accreditation Status of the Academy was granted. In 1991, college courses were offered following the change of status from academy to college in 1992, and also, NLAC was adjudged No. 2 Excellent Private School and was granted the award of the “Cleanest and Greenest Private School in Region I.” In 1995, NLAC was granted 4-year Accreditation Status by the Far Eastern Division (FED). The following year, 1996, NLAC was granted Level I Accreditation Status by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) through the Association of Christian Schools and Colleges-Accrediting Agency, Inc.”10

Throughout his leadership, he developed and constructed the “new college library, six college classrooms, teacher’s duplex, boardrooms, administrative offices, nursing building, department offices, new ladies’ dormitory, and the maintenance of the school’s green and beautification.”11

Leaders noticed his dedication in improving and developing our institution and elected him as the president of the Adventist University of the Philippines in 2000.12 He remained strong and faithful as a member of the executive committee of North Philippine Union Conference until his retirement in 2004.13 His noticeable contribution was the establishment of the college of Dentistry in 2004. During his leadership Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) reached its pinnacle by receiving full autonomous status by the Commission of Higher Education (CHED).14

Later Life

He was a diligent worker, serving, visiting, and inspiring churches near AUP. He was known for extending help towards needy students, and his affection was extended to his grandchildren. On his last mission, he was called to help a foreign student who had a traffic violation in Biñan, Laguna. After his settlement with the policeman, he headed home to AUP. On his way home he was stricken with sudden chronic heart failure on August 1, 2013 in Santa Rosa, Laguna. He was able to pull his car to the side of the road where the policeman found his body. He was taken to Sinai Hospital where he was officially declared deceased.15

Contribution and Legacy

Barayuga was a visionary leader. He was a man of mission and a modern good Samaritan. While doing the Lord’s work he breathed his last in serving his people. Truly, he was dedicated and ready to respond when duty called. He never hesitated to serve without partiality. The man of God found his peace by giving his life in serving humanity.


“Barayuga Remembered,” The AUPIAN in Cyberlink, August 11, 2013. Accessed April 16, 2018.

“Delegates.” ARH, June 29, 1996.

“North Philippine Union Conference,” 2003 Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. Accessed April 17, 2018.

“PJB Has Gone Last Mission Trip.” The Reflector: The Official Publication of the Northern Luzon Adventist College, January-August 2013.

“The Man Behind Building Up NLAC.” The Reflector: The Official Publication of the Northern Luzon Adventist College, January-August 2013.


  1. Dr. Luz Barayuga, wife of the late Dr. Petronilo Barayuga, interview by author, Artacho, Sison, Pangasinan, Philippines, September 18, 2018.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. “PJB Has Gone Last Mission Trip,” The Reflector: The Official Publication of the Northern Luzon Adventist College, (January-August 2013), 13.

  7. “Delegates,” ARH, June 29, 1996, 23.

  8. “The Man Behind Building Up NLAC,” The Reflector: The Official Publication of the Northern Luzon Adventist College (January-August 2013), 20-21.

  9. “Barayuga Remembered,” The AUPIAN in Cyberlink, August 11, 2013, accessed April 16, 2018,

  10. Ibid.

  11. Ibid.

  12. Ibid.

  13. “North Philippine Union Conference,” 2003 Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, accessed April 17, 2018,

  14. “Barayuga Remembered,” The AUPIAN in Cyberlink, August 11, 2013, accessed April 16, 2018,

  15. “PJB Has Gone Last Mission Trip,” 13.


Rosario, Abraham M. del. "Barayuga, Petronilo J. (1946–2013)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed May 23, 2024.

Rosario, Abraham M. del. "Barayuga, Petronilo J. (1946–2013)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access May 23, 2024,

Rosario, Abraham M. del (2020, January 29). Barayuga, Petronilo J. (1946–2013). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 23, 2024,