Swarms of locusts devastated rice crops from 1901 to 1903. Famine became widespread.
Agriculture and Forestry
During Colonial Times
Filipinas During the Spanish Regime
A s a rising colonial power, Spain initially came to Filipinas But successes were generally limited and in small scale. The
in search of spices and later decided to spread Christianity and planting of millions of abaca seedlings in Pangasinan was a complete
exploit the wealth of the islands. But the “Indios” in the sixteenth and failure. Moreover, coffee plantations in Batangas and Cavite were
seventeenth centuries had nothing except fishing, hunting and primitive ravaged by a serious disease.6
In the eighteenth century, the friars had successfully built At that time, logging was not yet a lucrative
several churches using local labor and materials. But driven by the business. Meanwhile, “kaingin” farming continued unabated, causing
need for a reliable and regular source of revenues, they created the more destruction of forests resulting in soil erosion and floods.
“Friar Haciendas” based upon fraudulent land surveys and through
purchases of large tracts of land with total disregard of ancestral
properties, thereby reducing the local farmers to the lowly status of
tenants who had no recourse but to share half of their harvests with
the friars as well as with the “inquilinos” who rented and leased
extensive tracts of land from the friars.3
The islands had vast reserves of forest lands, but everyone
was free to cut trees for whatever purpose. Hence, there was
wanton destruction of forests. Moreover, many “Indios” were
engaged in “kaingin” or shifting cultivation which denuded hills and
mountainsides. These denuded plots were later invaded by cogon
and wild tall grass (talahib), thus rendering these lands unproductive.8
In June 1863, the Spanish government in the Philippines
organized the Forest Service or the “Inspeccion General de
Montes” under the “Direccion General de Administracion Civil”
headed by Chief Forest Engineer Juan Gonzales Valdez with four
assistant foresters. The main objective of the Forest Service was
forest conservation and wise use. At least five royal decrees were
issued from 1866 to 1884 spelling out rules and regulations in
forestry, including the prohibition of “kaingin” farming practices and
cutting of timber in Cebu and Bohol. Unfortunately, Spain had a
reputation for issuing comprehensive legislations and regulations
without proper execution.10
Governor-General Basco y Vargas (1778-1787) hoped to
improve agriculture in Filipinas to generate more wealth and
revenues for the colonial government. Through a decree, he
announced cash awards to those who would open up and run
plantations of cotton, mulberry, and spices such as cinnamon,
pepper and nutmeg, as well as cash awards for those who would
establish factories for processing / manufacturing of silk, cotton, sugar,
and pepper.2 Kaingin practices of upland farmers caused destruction
of forest, soil erosion and floods in the lowlands.
Lack of irrigation facilities
and drought during summer limited
rice production to one crop per year.
Forest and Farm Magazine
A young farmer from Tarlac whose ancestral Tobacco, however, was altogether a different story. The
land was sequestered by the friars decided Spaniards introduced the tobacco plant from South America. The
to migrate with his family to the Cagayan Valley.
“Indios” quickly learned how to grow tobacco and how to cure
tobacco leaves. But the government assigned production quotas to
each farmer, and all harvests had to be sold only to the Spanish
government at a very low price. The manufacture of tobacco was
virtually a monopoly of the colonial government. None could be
bought except from government stores. Violators were severely
punished which included being thrown in jail.1
In the Bicol region, upland farmers planted tobacco for their
own consumption. But government agents eventually destroyed their
crops as well as burned their houses, cut down their trees, and
devastated to their fields. This led to an uprising known as the “
tobacco war,” which the natives eventually lost.2
The Philippine Islands
The government tobacco monopoly turned out to be highly
lucrative. In 1879, the regime’s profit from the monopoly was about
half of the P15 million annual colonial budget.2 But this substantial
gain was at the expense of the Filipino tobacco farmers suffering
In 1842, Spanish Governor-General Salvador Hurta de Corcuera from slavery.
unwittingly initiated the development of the coconut industry in Filipinas.
He issued a decree requiring each Indio, under severe penalties, to
plant 200 coconut trees to provide food for the natives and the soldiers.5
Farmers proud of their healthy young coconut plant Coconut plantation The Philippine Islands
Ilocana smoking a cigar
Tobacco as a government
monopoly was the
most lucrative source of
revenues in Filipinas.
Only the well-to-do
could afford to buy
and smoke cigars.7
Aftermath of the Filipino-American War
T he Filipino-American War (1899-1902) was more
violent and lasted longer than the Filipino revolution against Spain
To complicate matters, the greatly reduced rice crops were
threatened by swarms of locust that ravaged the Visayas provinces
(1896-1898), with more loss of human life and destruction in 1901, and swept the Luzon provinces the following year. In 1903,
of agriculture. The number of casualties probably exceeded 400,000. the locust plague devastated crops in 23 of 30 provinces. Famine
A comparison of census data in 1887 and in 1903 showed large was widespread. The United States war secretary had to recommend
decreases of populations in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, to the U. S. Congress that $5,000,000 in emergency relief funds be
Laguna, Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga appropriated to ease the distress in the Philippine Islands. The
and Iloilo.2 Greatly decimated were the male populations, most of Congress voted for approval of the relief fund. As it turned out, the
whom were farmers. cost of rice importation was $8,250,000, representing 26.4 percent
of all imports in 1903.2
After the war, the cultivated areas, particularly rice fields,
decreased by about 303,500 hectares. The abrupt decline was Bad turned to worst because malnutrition lowered the
attributed to deaths of farmer-soldiers and of 75 to 90 percent of people’s resistance to diseases. A cholera epidemic broke out in
carabaos in the different provinces.2 Rice shortage was very serious, 1902 and continued in 1903, which caused an estimated loss of
and there was famine in 1901. Importation of carabaos from China over 100,000 lives.2
was arranged but the price of P200 or more for each carabao was
beyond the capacity of poor farmers. Such was the situation when the American Government took
possession of the Philippine Islands as its colony.
American soldiers Carabaos used for threshing rice
More than 75% of the carabaos died during the Filipino-American war.
Many were slaughtered for food of soldiers, and thousands died due to rinderpest infection.
Farm-to-market road. There were few farm-to-market roads and most were impassable on rainy days even with two carabaos to a cart.4
The Philippine Islands
Poor widow and children of a
farmer turned soldier
who died fighting the Americans
during the Filipino-American war.
The Isles of Fear
Mount Makiling in 1907 before the establishment of the UP College of Agriculture. Forestry Leaves
The white patches on the mountain and at the foot of the mountain were “kaingin”
sites with white flowering tall grass (talahib).
Copeland’s Pioneering Years
Borrowed tents pitched up in Camp Eldridge served as classrooms
when the College was founded in 1909 by Dean Edwin B. Copeland.
Typhoons toppled the makeshift quarters now and then. Four months
later, the first temporary building rose.
The Bureau of Education Conceived the School
A s early as 1903, the American colonial government felt the
need to educate farmers in better farming methods.2 But nothing
relative accessibility to attract more students, and its suitability for an
insular agricultural experiment station. He surmised that the
happened until 1907 when the Secretary of Public Instruction proposed school (and experiment station) would need about 100
reported, “Plans have now been adopted for the establishment of a hectares of flat, tillable land, aside from the upland and forested area.
large insular agricultural school in the vicinity of Manila. The
buildings and equipment will cost approximately P100,000 and this In 1908, the Bureau of Education appointed Copeland as
money is available.”3 Dr. David P. Barrows, Director of the Bureau Superintendent of the School of Agriculture in Los Baños with the
of Education, commissioned Dr. Edwin Bingham Copeland, Instructor responsibility of developing the school. Upon his appointment,
of Botany in the Philippine Normal School, to look for an appropriate Copeland began in earnest to negotiate for the purchase of land at
site for a school of agriculture.4 Several prospective sites in the provinces the foot of Mount Makiling from several “kaingeros” and other claimers
of Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Negros Occidental, as well as the of land ownership. By yearend, he successfully negotiated for the
towns of Majayjay, Nagcarlan, and Los Baños in Laguna, were purchase of 72.63 hectares.
considered. Copeland then recommended Los Baños because of its
UP’s First Born: The College of Agriculture
T he enactment of Act No. 1870 on June 18, 1908 finally
created the University of the Philippines. The Board of Regents
(BOR), in its first meeting on March 6, 1909 which was presided
over by Hon. Newton W. Gilbert, Secretary of Public Instruction,
“unanimously decided the immediate establishment of a School of
Fine Arts and a College of Agriculture.” 5, 17
Upon recommendation of Dr. Barrows, who was a member
of the Board of Regents, the BOR approved the purchase of 72.63
hectares at the foot of Mount Makiling in Los Baños, for the site of
the College of Agriculture.
Later, the Escuela de Bellas Artes – more popularly known as
Centro de Bellas Artes – housed in a rented place in Calle San
Sebastian (now R. Hidalgo Street), Quiapo, was adopted by the
fledgling University as its School of Fine Arts. Likewise, the Philippine
Medical School was absorbed by the University and renamed the
Edgar Madison Ledyard (AB) Harold Cuzner, (BS Forestry)
College of Medicine and Surgery. Thus, UP began with three units:
Zoology Instructor, Engineering Instructor,
the first born, the College of Agriculture, and two adopted sons: the Secretary of the faculty, Superintendent of buildings, and
Escuela de Bellas Artes and the Philippine Medical School.1, 15, 17 and Copeland’s right hand man later also Property Officer and
Edwin Bingham Copeland Philippine Agriculturist and Forester
In 1908, working under the Bureau of Education, Dr. Copeland (PhD-Botany) sought the assistance of Laguna Governor
Juan Cailles in negotiating with many farmers and “kaingineros” for the purchase of 72.63 hectares at the foot of Mount
Makiling. This process took over a year.
The Bureau Served as Foster Mother
C opeland, then 37, was appointed Dean and Professor of Education teaching force, and with support from the Bureau and the
Plant Physiology and was given the full responsibility of establishing Philippine Normal School, he attracted “teacher pensionados” to
and developing the College of Agriculture in Los Baños, Laguna. enroll in agriculture.15, 16, 17 Teacher pensionados were those who had
taught for two years in public elementary schools before appointment
In 1909, all preliminary organizational problems had to be to the government pension program to study in the Philippine
solved with the help of the Bureau of Education. Copeland recruited Normal School. Most of them were not even high school graduates.
the pioneering teaching staff of the College from the Bureau of
Classes Were Held in Tents
J ust three months after the first UP BOR meeting, the first
class began in Los Baños on June 11, 1909 with 12 students.15, 23
BPI-Los Baños Botanical Garden). These tents initially served as
classrooms for four months. The students had to bring their own
stools to school. Their desks were their thighs.15
The house of Edgar M. Ledyard became the first office and
classroom in downtown Los Baños. In the morning, classes were held in tents. In the afternoon,
students and instructors had to hike to the College “farm” which was
On the fourth day (June 14), some tents lent by the Bureau of
four kilometers away. The students had no recourse but to clear the
Education to Dr. Copeland were raised by the students and faculty
area of shrubs and trees, cogon, and talahib, and also had to dig out
members in the northwestern part of Camp Eldridge (presently the
tree stumps and remove stones. Thus, literally carving the College
out of the wilderness.
One of the homes in the Student Barrio in the early
days of the College of Agriculture. The houses in the
Student Barrio (across Molawin Creek, an area now
occupied by the Student Union) were built by the
students themselves at a cost of about P25 each.
The first building of the College of Agriculture. Called the “temporary building,” it housed classrooms, administration
offices, tool shed, library, and later the post office. As other buildings rose on the campus, it became known as the “old
College building.” [This building stood in an area now occupied by the parking lot of the Physical Sciences building.].
House of Dean Copeland, his wife
Ethel Faulkner, and four fast growing children.
A Forest School Created as a Branch of the
College of Agriculture
Major George P. Ahern
A s early as 1902, Major George P. Ahern (Ll. B., Yale, 1895),
Director of the Bureau of Forestry, wanted to establish a forestry
Director of the Philippine Bureau of
Forestry from April 14, 1900 to
December 31, 1914
He dreamed of establishing a
school that would train Filipino forest personnel for the Forest forestry school to train Filipino
forest rangers who could help in
District Offices throughout the country. The forestry school, however,
using and conserving the forest
did not materialize because of inadequate technical capacity and resources in the country.
resources, as well as lack of interested students.13
Hon. Jaime C. de Veyra of the Philippine Assembly authored
a bill which was approved in April 1910 as Act No. 1494, establishing
the “Forest School” as a branch of the College of Agriculture, and Hon. Jaime C. De Veyra
“authorizing the Director of Forestry to appoint forest pensionados Author of the law creating the
(to be given P20 a month as pension) and construct temporary
buildings for their use.”13, 19 The law authorized the Director
of Forestry to appoint forest
pensionados and construct
Thus, the Bureau’s dream to give birth to a School of Forestry temporary buildings for their use.
would become a reality. But it was named “Forest School,” and the
College of Agriculture had to be the foster parent.
Division of Forest Investigation
Transferred to Los Baños
M ajor Ahern decided to transfer the Bureau’s Division of
Forest Investigation from Manila to Los Baños to enable the
technical staff to conduct studies on forestry problems in Mount
Makiling, as well as to serve as faculty members of the School.13
The teaching staff, all employees of the Bureau, initially
consisted of the following:13, 19
Royal F. Nash (AB) – In-Charge of the School
D.M. Matthews (MF) – Instructor, Silvics
Hugh M. Curran (BSF) – Instructor, Forest Management
H.N. Whitford (PhD) – Chief, Division of Forest Investigation Forester Hugh M. Curran Royal F. Nash (AB)
worked hard in laying the of the Bureau of Forestry
F.W. Foxworthy (PhD) – Professor of Dendrology groundwork for the served as Instructor and the
“Forest School” as a first Officer-in-Charge of the
At the onset, the Forest School was the strongest department branch of the College Forest School in Los Baños.
of the College of Agriculture although all members of the teaching of Agriculture.
staff were employees of the Bureau of Forestry.22
These were the forestry cottages then in the
College of Agriculture, at the site now occupied
by the College Country Club tennis court and
faculty staff houses.Forestry students lived here
up to Class 1919.
Forest Investigation building in Los Baños Golden Book-Bureau of Forestry
Major Ahern made the decision to transfer the Bureau’s Division of
Forest Investigation from Manila to Los Baños so that the Bureau
staff could do research there and train Filipino forest rangers.
The College Grew Despite Limited Support From UP
P art of the birth pains of the College of Agriculture was due
to the loose organization of UP. The first UP President, Dr. Murray
Bartlett, was not appointed until June 1911.
From time to time, high ranking government officials expressed
doubts as to the wisdom of having situated the College in Los Baños.
The main objection to the present site was its relative inaccessibility
and isolation from the rest of UP in Manila.
Dean Copeland had to lobby to get direct appropriations for
government public works for the College.14 The first of such direct
appropriation was for the construction of a two-kilometer road from
the national road to the College site (P16,000), and the construction Dr. Murray Simpson Bartlett (Doctor of Divinity) became the
of the Administration building (P30,000) and the Engineering building First President of UP effective June 1911. He was not fully
(P54,000) in 1910. convinced that the administration of an agricultural college was the
state university’s task. He proposed to limit the college’s student
population and to shift part of the agricultural instruction to the
Golden Book-Bureau of Forestry
The student body of the College of Agriculture and Forest School in 1910
Administration building Philippine Agriculturist
Dedicated in 1911, this second building was erected on the site now occupied by the UPLB Library building.
The inauguration of the first permanent building (Administration building) Philippine Agriculturist and Forester
was held on May 21, 1911 with Speaker Sergio Osmeña as guest speaker.
Agricultural Engineering building (1910), Philippine Agriculturist
built on the site now occupied by the SEARCA building.
Seed and Harvest Laboratory (1914) and Silk Culture House (1911), Philippine Agriculturist
located on a site now occupied by the Physical Sciences building.
Plant Physiology Laboratory building (1911), later renamed Agricultural Botany building.
This building existed on a site now occupied by the Biological Sciences building.
Agronomy building (1916). The right wing Philippine Agriculturist
housed the Division of Plant Breeding
(Plant Genetics).This building was on a site
now occupied by the UPLB Foundation, Inc.
and the Post Office buildings.
Tobacco House, Department of Agronomy (1915) located
on the site now occupied by the Physical Sciences building.
Student Thesis Became a Requirement
D ean Copeland made it clear to all that no student would be
granted a degree without satisfactorily completing a thesis
research. Each student had to write an outline of his thesis, conduct
“ We require more botany and
chemistry than does any other
agricultural college under the American
flag. With everyday devoted to them, the
the laboratory and/or field experiments, gather and analyze the data, student gains in comprehension of the
and write a satisfactory report. All this had to be done under the
supervision of a faculty adviser.9, 20
Student thesis and researches of faculty members resulted in
world of nature about him. With the
widening of his horizon, his interest
many valuable scientific information, some of which had important
implications to national development.
-Edwin Bingham Copeland
Students Gave Birth to a Scientific Journal:
The Philippine Agriculturist and Forester
M any new agricultural information and interesting research The first issue – Volume I, No. 1 – came out of the press in
findings had to be published. For this purpose, the students gave January 1911 even before the inauguration of the first permanent
birth to the Philippine Agriculturist and Forester. The academic buildings of the College, and before the appointment of
editor-in-chief was Manuel L. Roxas, a fourth year student in the first UP President.
agriculture with a Bachiller en Artes degree from the Ateneo
Locust depositing its
eggs in the soil (After Riley).
Cornfield in Cebu showing leafless plants Philippine Agricultural Review
after the devastation wrought by a locust swarm.
Coconut trees in Cebu in 1913 showing their leaves Philippine Agricultural Review
breaking under the weight of “voladores” or adult locusts.
Coffea liberica, in addition to Coffea arabica, was found profitable
with the use of Bordeaux mixture to control coffee rust disease.
A hermaphrodite papaya, Carica papaya
Large-scale planting of cacao between Bureau of Plant Industry
coconut trees was a recommended practice.
A new tobacco hybrid (wrapper type) produced by the College
Cowpea was found adaptable to Philippine condition. was considered by cigar factories in Manila as revolutionary.
Adult female Adult male
Oryctes rhinoceros L.
Philippine Agricultural Review Philippine Agricultural Review
Close-up of a coconut tree Corn plants more than 13 feet high.
damaged by the Rhinoceros beetle Taller varieties did not necessarily result in high yields.
Dr.Charles Fuller Baker,
an Outstanding Scientist,
T he arrival of Dr. Charles Fuller Baker in
Los Baños on a caretela by the end of August 1912 was a
significant day in the College of Agriculture. He was the first
professional agriculturist to join the faculty of the College, a
man offered to join the College of Agriculture at a salary of
nearly three times the amount paid him as Head of the
Biology Department at Pomona College in Claremont,
Baker had the BSA degree from Michigan State
University, and the doctorate degree from Stanford University.6
Dean Copeland appointed Dr. Baker as Professor and
Head of the Department of Agronomy. But he was a man
bound to strengthen the College not only in agronomy, but
also in botany, entomology, plant pathology, and plant breeding.
Palauan (Cyrtosperma werkusii Schott.), Philippine Agricultural Review
the largest cultivated Aroid, (Tacloban, Leyte) Philippine Agriculturist
First Commencement Day Held Before the
Inauguration of a Permanent School Building
T he first Commencement Day of the University of the Clodoaldo Tempongco and Jose Zamora both received the
Philippines was held in Manila on March 31, 1911, two months degree of Bachelor of Agriculture (BAgric).
before the inauguration of the first permanent buildings in the College
of Agriculture and three months before the appointment of the first There were also three graduates from the College of
UP President. Medicine, and four from the College of Liberal Arts.
Manuel L. Roxas, the editor-in-chief of the Philippine
Agriculturist and Forester, received the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Agriculture (BSA).
First graduating class of the College of Agriculture in 1911 Philippine Agriculturist
Left to right: Clodoaldo Tempongko, Jose Zamora, and Manuel L. Roxas,
the editor-in-chief of the Philippine Agriculturist and Forester
First Batch of 15 Forest Rangers
Graduated Under the Bureau
O f the 25 enrollees in 1910, including one from China, 15
completed the course for Forest Ranger in 1912.13
The Forest School, being under the Bureau of Forestry, had
its own graduation program for forest rangers held in Los Baños
where the Director of the Bureau of Forestry distributed the
certificates to the graduates. Three of the first graduates of the Forest School:
Left to right: Florencio Tamesis, Cayetano Barros, and
The “Forest School” Became Independent
with the Bureau Director as Dean
A s a branch of the College of Agriculture, the Director of the Bureau of Forestry would be the ex-officio
Forest School had only temporary buildings. However, by 1915, it Dean of the School.
had already graduated 122 Forest Rangers and two BS Forestry
students: Antonio P. Racelis ’14 and Anecito Villamil, ’14. Permanent buildings had to be constructed which
required a much larger area. Thus, the Forest School had
Act No. 2578 passed on February 4, 1916 established the to leave its site in the College of Agriculture campus and
Forest School as a separate entity from the College of Agriculture. move further up at the foot of Mount Makiling.13 It
But it was still considered a part of the University.13 Thus, it became became the upper campus of UP in Los Baños, and the
an independent school. However, according to Act No. 2578, the College of Agriculture, the lower campus.
School of Forestry in
the upper campus in 1917,
showing students’ dormitories;
Mt. Banahaw in the background.
Dean Copeland Retired at Age 44 Due
to Political Problems
F rom the very beginning, Copeland had to fight for more
support for the College. Local politicians interested in the
With his wife, Ethel Faulkner, and five children
independence of the islands from the Americans were more
supportive of the College of Law and Liberal Arts, but not of the
College of Agriculture.
Joseph A. Cocannouer, one of the American assistant professors
in the College, wrote, “Politics crept into the schools. Natives were
taking over the important positions and many were not competent to
do so. For one thing, it was impossible to make visiting native
officials understand that the demonstration plots were being carried
on for the purpose of securing valuable information, and not merely
to provide them with choice products to be hauled away for their
own use. In the midst of turmoil, Dr. Copeland left the College.”7
Dean Copeland did not just leave the College. At age 44, he
decided to retire in 1917 under the Osmeña Act.12 As the pioneer
Dean and his wife, Ethel Faulkner, and five children prepared to
leave the College, a pall of sadness covered the entire campus.
Copeland at his desk (right)
with faculty members
28 of the College
PHOTOS TAKEN BEFORE DEAN COPELAND RETIRED AND LEFT THE COLLEGE
His old bamboo and nipa house
View of Campus from the Northwest
This is how the campus looked when Dean Copeland left the College and returned to the USA on August 31, 1917.
On the extreme right is the Administration building on the site where the UPLB Library now stands. Below the
Administration building are the Agricultural Engineering and Plant Physiology buildings. On the extreme left is the
Seed and Harvest Laboratory on the site where the Physical Sciences building is now located. At the center is the
Power House and Cooperative Store.
The College at the Foot of Mount Makiling insp
P rofessor Edwin B. Copeland, founder and first Steps were taken to secure Baker’s services to
Dean of the College of Agriculture, retired at age 44. succeed Professor Copeland as Dean of the College.
He sailed with his family for the homeland on August He had the “unanimous approval” of both the faculty
31, 1917. and student body of the College.13, 17 Upon his appoint-
ment as the new dean, Dr. Baker had to cut short his
On a year’s leave of absence beginning May 1, leave of absence and return to Los Baños in December
1917, Dr. Charles Fuller Baker was in Singapore 1917.
serving as Assistant Director in charge of tropical
First World War: Overwhelming Response to the
Call for Volunteers to the National Guard
W ith the First World War raging in Europe, world On October 10, 1918, Senate President Manuel L. Quezon
conditions were uncertain in 1917 and 1918. Early in October 1918, sent a telegram to Dean Baker: “Congratulate you and your college
the government called for volunteers to serve in the Philippine upon this splendid showing of devotion to country.”
The National Guard was organized and training began in
One hundred and ninety-three out of three hundred students Manila. However, armistice was signed by the Allied Forces and
offered themselves to the National Guard. Of the 32 faculty Germany in November 1918. For this reason, the National Guard
members, 27 enlisted including two ladies of the staff. had to be disbanded and the faculty members and students who
volunteered had to return to their normal lives in Los Baños.
Student volunteers of the College of Agriculture leaving for Camp Claudio in 1918. The mass enlistment Philippine Agriculturist
of faculty and students in the National Guard on October 10, 1918, is now commemorated every year as Loyalty Day
Successful Lobbying for the Central Agricultural
D ean Baker initiated a campaign to establish a central
experiment station for the College of Agriculture. He enlisted the aid
With this appropriation, the following were
of all important elements: professors, alumni, students and friends Expropriation of more than 250 hectares
outside the College. This resulted in greater UP allocation for the of suitable agricultural land adjoining the
Department of Agronomy, and the passage of Act. No. 2730 in College grounds divided as follows: Agronomy
1918 that provided for the establishment of an Experiment Station experimental fields – 139.73 ha and Animal
and appropriating P 125,000 for that purpose.14 Husbandry pasture lands – 122.03 ha.
Construction of laboratory facilities, including
permanent poultry houses, barn, hog shelters
Purchase of fairly respectable number of work
and dairy animals, including special types of
Hon. Guillermo Flavier Pablo Hon. Bienvenido Maria Gonzalez
Representative for Zambales B. Agr. (U.P., 1913) and M.S. (Wisconsin,
and author of Act No. 2730 of 1915) Elected as the First Alumnus
the Philippine Legislature, Member of the Board of Regents of the
providing for the establishment University of the Philippines in 1918.
of an Experiment Station at the
College of Agriculture
Entomology-Plant Pathology Laboratory (1919)
on a site now occupied by the UPLB Administration building Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory (1919)
The Department of Animal
Husbandry and pasture land,
a part of the Central Agricultural
Experiment Station, as developed
by Dr. B.M. Gonzalez
Campus Development and Planting of Royal Palms
I nstructors in Agronomy and Animal Husbandry worked closely
with Dean Baker in planning and developing the agricultural
royal palm trees that lined the main roads of the College. Francisco
C. Bernardo ’23 said, “Our class in engineering planted the royal
experiment station. Professor Harold C. Cuzner (BSF), head of the palms. Prof. Cuzner required us to use the transit to ensure that we
Department of Rural Engineering and Mathematics, planned and planted the royal palms in straight and perfectly parallel rows.”
supervised the construction of practically all permanent buildings of
the College of Agriculture.8 As a forest-engineer, Prof. Cuzner made an excellent choice of
plants for landscaping in the College of Agriculture. The
Aside from almost all the physical facilities on the campus which he colonnades of royal palms with lofty crowns along roadsides
planned and built, one of Prof. Cuzner’s lasting legacies were the truly added beauty and majesty to the campus.
The main road of the campus, leading from
the gate through the grounds to the School
of Forestry and Mount Makiling National Park.
At the left is the Entomology-Plant Pathology
Strengthening of the Socio-economic
Dimension of College Programs
W hen Prof. Evett D. Hester joined the College in 1919, he
organized the Department of Rural Economics and strengthened the
socio-economic dimension of College programs in instruction,
research and extension. He undertook a lot of research on economic
development of the Philippines and on tenancy problems in farming,
and attracted many students to major in rural economics.38
Dean Baker said, Prof. Hester’s “proficiency in economics
and sociology was most unusual, and he had a comprehensive grasp
of Philippine problems.”
Benguet mountaineer Igorot farmer on the trail
Philippine Agriculturist The Pateros duck industry could be improved by
adopting technologies developed by the College.
Interesting socio-economic findings:
Studies showed that the farmers of Cagayan and Isabela received no more than 33 percent of the wholesale
Manila price of tobacco, and the middlemen received 67 percent. Competition among buyers was hardly
known. The channel of distribution was found to be tortuous, leaf tobacco passing through three to as many as
five middlemen before reaching the tobacco factory.
The College of Veterinary Science Transferred from
Pandacan to Los Baños
T he College of Veterinary Science started holding classes in
June 1910 at the medical compound and in the premises of the
Under Dean Baker’s leadership, four new faculty members
were added in 1920:12
Philippine Normal School while waiting for the construction of Dr. Louis P. Koster, DVM (University of Pennsylvania)
Veterinary Science buildings near the animal quarantine station in Dr. Gregorio San Agustin, DVM (University of the Philippines)
Pandacan. In 1912, the College was well settled in Pandacan. Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, PhD (George Washington University)
Dr. Lester Neer, DVM (Ohio State University)
However, in 1918, the Board of Regents, believing that the
country would benefit if the College of Veterinary Science and the
College of Agriculture worked together, voted for the transfer of the
former from Pandacan to Los Baños.6
In Los Baños, the College of Veterinary Science occupied
temporarily the Tobacco House and one wing of the Pathology-
Entomology Laboratory building, while construction of a new
permanent building for the College was going on near the gate of the
College of Agriculture. During this period, Dean Baker of Agriculture
served as Acting Dean of the College of Veterinary Science.
Dr. Alonzo S. Shealy, DVM (Iowa State College), served as Acting
Dean in the absence of Dean Baker.7, 9
Treating a case of spavin
Veterinary science students castrating a A class in surgery at the clinic of the
native carabao bull. College of Veterinary Science
College of Veterinary Science buildings in Pandacan
Administration building – College of Veterinary Science (1920)
-a building constructed near the main gate of the College of Agriculture when Dr. Charles F. Baker was
Acting Dean of the College of Veterinary Science
Glorious Victories of Los Baños in University
I n university athletic competitions against units in Manila, the
College of Agriculture, Forest School, and College of Veterinary
Track and Field Standing
Science combined as the “Agriculture unit,” with Prof. Otto A. Agriculture–81½
Reinking of the Department of Plant Pathology as athletic director. Law – 34 ½
Medicine – 9
For many years, all of the three university championship Engineering – 5
competitions in baseball, basketball, and track and field events were Education – 3
won by the Agriculture unit by very wide margins as shown in the Liberal Arts - 1
1920 scores below:5
In baseball, the Agriculture unit won the Malcolm trophy for
three consecutive times.
Los Baños track team
Agriculture – 44 vs. Education - 5
Agriculture 58 vs. Medicine - 7
Agriculture – 46 vs. Engineering - 15
Agriculture – 84 vs. Law - 12
Agriculture – 104 vs. Liberal Arts - 9
Record of Agriculture: Ten consecutive university
championships in basketball
Champion basketball team of Los Baños Champion baseball team of Los Baños
with Professor Otto Reinking as coach
Offering of BS Sugar Technology in 1920
D r. Manuel L. Roxas was the first to obtain the MS degree
from UP in 1913, and the first Filipino to earn the PhD (Chemistry)
degree, which he obtained from the University of
Wisconsin in 1916.
Upon his return to Los Baños in 1917, Dr. Roxas focused on
improving sugar cane production in the field, and increasing the
efficiency of sugar milling. When he started teaching a course in
sugar technology, he needed a sugar mill for demonstration
purposes. Being resourceful and inventive, “he developed a sugar
mill using tin cans and odds and ends of laboratory materials,” which
created a big impression on administrators and visitors. Leaders of
the sugar industry who were planning to establish sugar centrals in
Luzon and Negros Oriental provided financial support for the
construction of a small scale sugar mill in the College, and they
encouraged Dr. Roxas to train graduates highly specialized on sugar
technology to help run sugar centrals.23
In 1920, the Board of Regents approved the new curriculum Dr. Manuel Luz Roxas
leading to the Bachelor of Science in Sugar Technology, a five-year Professor of Agricultural Chemistry, who became the
course. Only high school graduates were permitted to enroll for this first Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry
The College Sugar Mill in 1925
The College Sugar Mill, circa 1938
Unexpected Large Enrolments in 1920-1921 with Students
from China, Siam, Java, India, Japan, and Guam
E nrolment in 1920 was unexpectedly large, with 528
undergraduate students and 21 graduate students. There were 289
Although these unexpected increases in enrolment caused great
difficulties to the College in terms of lack of teachers and inadequate
new students, a 24 percent increase over that of 1919. Only the housing for students, there was reason to rejoice. Many Filipinos
provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, Davao, and Lanao were not were beginning to realize the importance of agriculture as a profession,
represented in the student body. Moreover, there were foreign and neighboring countries in Asia were sending students to Los Baños,
students from China, Siam, Guam, Java, India, and Japan15. a clear sign that they recognized the high quality of education being
offered by the College of Agriculture.
Enrolment in 1921 was even larger, with 627 students, or a 16
percent increase over the previous year. This was surpassed only
by the College of Liberal Arts in Manila which had 662 students in
Student dormitories and houses on Copeland Heights
Behind the two College dormitories, hidden amongst the banana plants, are the homes of many students.
These houses were built by the students principally from locally available materials.
Panorama of campus showing
some student bungalows
along Molawin Creek.
On the left, partly hidden, is the
Molawin Mess Hall.
College Extension Function Highlighted:
First Laguna Farmers Day (1922) and
First Laguna Provincial Fair (1924) Held
on the Campus
D r. Inocencio Elayda, MS ’16, the President of the In 1924, the First Laguna Provincial Fair was
College of Agriculture Alumni Association, organized the First organized as a one-week affair of the College.25
Laguna Farmers Day held at the College on November 30, 1922
with support from different departments.23 Hundreds of farmers – rice and corn farmers,
vegetable and fruit growers, and livestock raisers – as
In view of Dr. Elayda’s demonstrated interest in organizing well as government officials and alumni trooped to the
field extension activities, Dean Baker had him appointed Director of campus to view the exhibits and to ask for seeds and
Extension and this underscored the College trilogy of functions, planting materials. The improved breeds of hog, cattle,
namely: Instruction, Research, and Extension. and chicken attracted much attention.
Visiting Delegation of Provincial Governors College extension activities resulted in increased
garden production of quality vegetables.
Participants of the Fourth
Agricultural Congress visiting
the College of Agriculture 41
Release of High-Yielding Sugar Cane Varieties Re-
sistant to Diseases
P lant breeders and plant pathologists of the College worked
together to produce sugar cane varieties with high productivity and
resistance to Fuji and mosaic diseases, the two most destructive
pests of sugar cane. Breeding work began in 1919. Variety CAC
87 proved resistant to both diseases, but was too hard a cane for
small millers. This was crossed with P.B. 119, a soft and high-yielding
variety. From about 50,000 hybrid seedlings, selections were made
and tested in the following stations:21
· Pampanga Sugar Co. Lt.
· Calamba Sugar Estate
· Alabang Breeding Station, BPI
· La Carlota Experiment Station (Occ. Negros)
This collaborative efforts yielded varieties CAC 111, CAC 112,
and others which were disease-resistant, soft, good stooler, and with
high percentage of sucrose.18 The widespread use of these varieties High-yielding and disease-resistant sugar
greatly increased sugar cane production in the country. cane hybrid (P.B. 119X CAC87) produced
by the College.
Sugar cane productivity
increased in Canlubang
with the use of sugar cane
hybrids produced by the
Other Research Outputs and Breakthroughs
T wo very promising sweet potato selections (SBY98 and
BLo38) from breeding work
· Crop rotation to control wilt disease of eggplant, tomato,
· New varieties of Hibiscus (gumamela) with various de-
grees of pink, red, white, yellow, and salmon colors
· Drying mangoes at 67oC proved to be better than sun-
drying in terms of appearance and flavor of the product
· Production of industrial alcohol from cassava
· A working model of charcoal kiln
· New college copra dryer
· Giant fresh water shrimp
· Hand rice thresher
· Model farm septic tank A field of Cayenne Pineapple from Hawaii
Outstanding tobacco hybrids
This standard grain drill from the USA was improved
by College engineers for planting upland rice in the
Tobacco hybrid lines of Florida and Baker’s Sumatra.
Note the tall and vigorous line at the left row.
Philippine Agricultural Review
Tobacco hybrid lines of Havana and Baker’s Sumatra
Note the taller and more vigorous lines at the left and right rows.
Dean Charles Fuller Baker Passed Away
H e was ill and hospitalized in Manila. After three weeks, In 1927, the University of Illinois sent a team to the Philippines
on July 22, 1927 at age 55, he passed away. The whole College of to evaluate the quality of university-level education in the different
Agriculture grieved without end.17 colleges of UP The survey results showed that only the College of
Dr. Edwin B. Copeland, the first Dean and founder of the Agriculture was rated “A.”
College, built a very solid foundation of the school with a strong Dr. B.M. Gonzalez said, “When Professor Baker’s work in
tradition in research that ranked with the best in the world. On the agronomy was well started, he saw the enormous ravages done to
other hand, Dean Baker was primarily responsible for the substantive crops by plant diseases. With the aid of more advanced students, he
growth of the College. From 56 students, five faculty members, no initiated investigations along this line. This work later developed into
building, and 72 hectares of wild land, the College grew to become our Department of Plant Pathology. We thus had in Dean Baker an
an institution with a faculty of 88, about 800 students, 61 buildings, agronomist, botanist, entomologist, plant breeder, and plant pathologist
and about 400 hectares of improved land.19 The library holdings had in one; and he was an accomplished worker in every one of them.”
increased from 566 volumes to 7325. The campus had showers At age 45, Dean Baker declared, “I have put into each day as
and bathrooms where none existed before. Electricity had replaced much as most people put into two days; therefore, I have lived about
candles and oil lamps and for the first time, ice was available. 90 years.”
The living room in Dean Baker’s house in downtown Los Baños. Baker’s shelves of insect collections in his house.
Dean Baker called his house a “workshop home”.