Guillermo J. Dagohoy was born on October 23, 1919 in Sogod, Southern Leyte. His parents were Agustin Dagohoy and Macaria Jacobe. He had one brother, Hospicio, and three sisters, Celestina, Rufina, and Dulcesima.
Guillermo grew up in Sogod where he finished his elementary grades at Sogod Elementary School. In 1938, the family settled in Davao, and Guillermo continued his high school studies at Davao City High School. He attended college at the Visayas Institute, now the University of the Visayas where he finished with an Associate in Arts. He eventually became a high school teacher in the Assumption Academy of Peñaplata in Samal Island.
On June 13, 1952 he married Cresencia Gonzales whom he met in Sogod, Leyte. She was an elementary school teacher. Their union produced six children: Dante, Marilyn, Julius, Dennis, Jennifer, and Criselda. He had a previous common-law relationship with with whom he had four children.
Guillermo’s affair with the arts started with Cebuano poetry, the balak. The oldest extant piece of work he wrote is a poem entitled “Pahulay sa Kalinaw,” which was published in Bisaya Magazine in 1946. He also wrote short stories, but he was most prolific in writing plays, eighteen of which have been preserved by the family.
Apparently his father Agustin exerted a strong influence on Guillermo. Agustin was a bandleader who composed songs, some of which are still extant. Guillermo’s brother Hospicio was likewise a composer. Guillermo’s wife Cresencia is also a composer with whom he collaborated in writing songs.
Guillermo wrote pageant scripts, comical skits, morality plays, and linambay (or moro-moro) that served as highlights in fiesta celebrations and other special occasions in Samal. He himself directed his plays. His performers were all amateurs–fellow teachers and close friends who performed without pay, and who made their own costumes.
Guillermo died on March 11, 2003, leaving behind a body of works that spanned six decades. He was a true artist who carried the torch for the great vernacular theater tradition in Davao.