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Growth and Beauty Under
the Bureau of Forestry
W hen Major George Ahern retired on December
31, 1914, he was succeeded by Mr. Forsythe Sherfesee
Manila, Dean Fischer had to designate a Forester-in-
Charge of the School in Los Baños. Forester Otto W.
as Director of Forestry. However, Mr. Sherfesee left Pflueger was the Forester-in-Charge of the School from
the position on December 31, 1915 to serve as 1920 to 1925. Forester Harold Cuzner, who transferred
Forestry Adviser of the Chinese Government.9 from the College of Agriculture to the Forest School in
1921 as Professor of Dendrology, took the place of Pflueger
Mr. Arthur F. Fischer who joined the Division of as Forester-in-Charge beginning 1925. 8, 9
Forest Investigation in 1911, and became Chief of the
Division in 1916, was appointed the Director of the
Bureau of Forestry on January 27, 1917. He was a
strong leader and manager of the Bureau.20
Act No. 2578 created an independent “Forest
School” under the University of the Philippines.
However, the law provided that the Bureau Director
would serve as the ex-officio Dean of the School. Thus
Forsythe Sherfesee Arthur F. Fischer Professor Harold Cuzner
starting in 1917, Fischer was recognized as the first Director of the Bureau of Director, Bureau of Forester-in-Charge,
Dean of the Forest School. However, because of the Forestry with responsibility Forestry and first Dean, School of Forestry
for the Forest School from School of Forestry beginning 1925
distance of Los Baños from the Bureau of Forestry in January 1, 1915 to effective January 27, 1917
December 31, 1915
Filipinos Trained as Forestry
Pensionados in US Universities
• Felipe Amos – MF (Yale University)
• Eugenio dela Cruz – MF (Yale University)
irector and Dean Arthur F. Fischer, just like Dean • Juan Deprosa – MF (Montana State University)
Baker, strongly felt the need to train Filipinos to sooner or later take • Nazario Peñas – MF (University of Washington)
full responsibility for running the Bureau of Forestry and the Forest Felipe Salvosa of Polilio was the first Filipino forester to
School. For this purpose, enabling them to get the BSF and Master of obtain the PhD degree (Harvard). He was best known for his
Forestry (MF) degrees in U S universities would be highly advantageous.15 book “Lexicon of Philippines Trees.”11
The first Filipino to avail of the opportunity as forestry SOME FILIPINOS GIVEN TRAINING IN US UNIVERSITIES
pensionado to the USA was Florencio Tamesis who obtained the AS FORESTRY PENSIONADOS OR SCHOLARS
MF degree from the University of Washington in 1921. The other
Filipinos who followed were:5
• Felix Franco – MF (Cornell University)
• Alejandro de Mesa – MF (Cornell University)
• Antonio Racelis – MSF (University of Michigan)
• Calixto Mabesa – MF (Syracuse University)
• Felipe Salvosa – MS (Harvard University) Luis Aguilar Felipe R. Amos
Camaligan, Camarines Sur San Narciso, Zambales
• Carlos Sulit – MF (Yale University) Educational attainment: Educational attainment:
• Cecilio Maneja – MF (Yale University) Ranger Certificate,U.P., ’19; B.S.C.E., Ranger Certificate, U.P., ’15;
N.U., ’37; B.S.F., U.P., ’39; B.S.F., University of Washington, ’22;
• Placido Dacanay – MF (Yale University) M.S., Syracuse, ’40. M.F., Yale, ’23.
Choice of Narra as the National Tree
I n 1934, a committee of four foresters from the School of Forestry and the Bureau
of Forestry selected narra (Pterocarpus vidalianus Rolfe) as the most
symbolic of the Philippines. Its popularity, utility, aesthetic value, hardiness, and tolerance
made it a unanimous choice of the committee. The durability of its wood and beauty of
grain in the finish make narra one of the best cabinet woods in the world.2 Flowers and fruit of narra
Twig of narra showing leaves
and floral development
President Manuel L. Quezon, an ardent tree lover, Philippine Journal of Forestry
plants narra in Malacañang on Arbor Day.
Juan Daproza Placido Dacanay Calixto Mabesa
Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur Bacnotan, La Union Hinigaran, Negros Occidental A narra tree showing
Educational attainment: Educational attainment: Educational attainment: crown development
Ranger Certificate, U.P., ’19; B.S.F., Ranger Certificate, U.P., ’14; Ranger Certificate, U.P.;’15; B.S.,
Montana, ’24; M.S.F., ’25. B.S.F., Montana, ’20; M.F., Yale, ’21. Syracuse, ’23; M.F., Syracuse, ’24.
Eugenio de la Cruz Gregorio Zamuco Carlos Sulit
Lingayen, Pangasinan Aguilar, Pangasinan Sta. Cruz, Laguna
Educational attainment: (He studied in the USA on his own.) Educational attainment:
Ranger Certificate, U.P., ’18; Educational attainment: Ranger Certificate, (Medalist) U.P., ’15;
(winner of Ahern’s Medal); B.S.F., Ranger Certificate, U.P., ’21; M.F., (cum laude) Yale, ’25
(magna cum laude) University of B.S.F., University of Washington ’21; Observation trips in the United
Idaho, ’26;M.F., Yale University, ’27. M.F., Yale University, ’29. States, Europe, India, and Federated
Malay States – 1925 49
Birth of the Makiling Echo in 1922
F or the first time, Makiling Echo, a mimeographed
quarterly publication by the Division of Forest Investigation with
rangers throughout the country greatly appreciated receiving copies
of Makiling Echo.1
Forester Otto W. Pflueger as the editor-in-chief, came out in 1922.
This journal recorded results of scientific and technical investigations Technical information from Makiling Echo that the alumni found
in forestry by the technical staff of the Division, and the faculty as useful were many, including tree species suitable for reforestation in
well as students of the Forest School. Reviews of forestry news abandoned “kaingin” areas, and the propagation of Cinchona, a
from abroad were regularly included. The alumni serving as forest major source of quinine, a medicine against malaria.
Forester Otto W. Pflueger Philippine Journal of Forestry
He served as Chief, Division of Investigation Reforestration project in Arayat, Pampanga established in 1919,
of the Bureau of Forestry and Forester-in-Charge showing seedling nursery (Vitex parviflora and Pterocarpus spp)
of the School (1920-1925). In 1922, he initiated and result of direct seeding on an abandoned “kaingin” site.
the quarterly publication of the Makiling Echo
and served as its Editor-in-Chief
Glorious Celebration of the School’s 20th Anniversary
T he School of Forestry celebrated its 20th anniversary on
June 14, 1930 which included the dedication of its new forestry
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE
SCHOOL IN HUMAN RESOURCE TRAINING
building constructed with P 30,000 allocated by the University. No
less than 5,000 people attended the celebration. About 30 tents In 1936, the 2-year Forest Ranger course was phased
were pitched to accommodate visitors.17, 18 out to enable the faculty to focus more on training
students in the BS Forestry course.
The celebration included a parade , one of the best ever seen From 1910 to 1930, the School had turned out 646
in Los Baños, with many units, including the elementary schools of alumni, of whom 16 took the straight course (BSF),
Bay and Los Baños, the Laguna Institute, Laguna Academy, Veterans and 630 received the ranger certificate. Twenty-three
of the Revolution, Timber Licensees of Laguna with float and band, went to the USA for advanced studies. Except for the
provincial officials, and the College of Agriculture and College of Director of the Bureau of Forestry and two professors
Veterinary Science floats. in the School of Forestry, all the staff members of the
Bureau and the School were Filipinos!15
A lumbering class under Prof. G. Zamuco
Forestry students doing fieldwork
and making forest observations.
School of Forestry building Makiling Echo
Completed in 1930, this building was inaugurated during the School’s
20th anniversary. It housed the library, offices, and classrooms of the School.
Forestry students constructing
a log bridge (1930).
School of Forestry students in nursery work
Stages of growth of Cinchona legeriana, A plot of 4-year old Philippine Journal of Forestry
source of quinine alkaloid, the active Cinchona succirubra A 4-year old Cinchona legeriana with flowers
principle for treatment against malaria.
“FLANGING” TO INCREASE TIMBER UTILIZATION
Preparing to fell a High stump typical in High stump before the
tangile tree logging areas “flanging” process
Foresters, like those in Class ’28 as shown below, Philippine Journal of Forestry
Two views of a tree after it has been flanged off.
have to be strong, rugged and committed to be equal
The tree is ready for cutting at the base.
to the demands of work in forestry.
They seldom dressed up formally, but when they do,
who would say they were those who sacrificed working
in isolated forest areas?
Golden Book-Bureau of Forestry
Discovery of Doña Aurora, Mount Makiling’s
Legacy to the World of Ornamentals
Mamerto D. Sulit
He named the mutant Kahoy dalaga
beautiful variety of kahoy dalaga or Mussaenda Mussaenda philippica A. Rich. Var. Aurora
philippica A.Rich was discovered in 1930 at the foot of Mt. Makiling
by Prof. Hugh M. Curran of the School of Forestry. Botanical specimens
of this variety were first collected by Prof. Calixto Mabesa in 1915 Mutant Kahoy dalaga
was named Doña Aurora.
at Tuntungin Hill, but the original plant was destroyed when the site Its profuse leaf-like whitish bracts
was converted to a livestock pasture area.19 against the predominantly green
background made it most popular.
The mutant plant discovered by Prof. Curran in Boot valley
not too far from the School of Forestry was balled and transplanted
to the Forestry nursery. A few living plants were obtained by
marcotting and planted in the gardens of Doña Aurora de Quezon,
the First Lady of the land at that time. Through the recommendations
of Director Edgardo Quisumbing of the National Museum, and Dean
Tamesis of the School of Forestry, Mamerto Sulit described the
mutant as Mussaenda philippica A. Rich. Var. Aurora.19
In no time, plant propagators obtained samples from the UP
garden, multiplied the plant through asexual propagation and sold
them in the market at P20 to P25 per plant. Thus, with the possible
exception of very rare orchids, Variety Aurora more popularly known
as Doña Aurora became the most expensive and coveted ornamental
plant in the Philippines before the outbreak of the Second World War.
About 4,000 Hectares Converted to the Makiling
Forest Reserve and National Park
G overnor-General Cameron Forbes signed Proclamation No.
106 on November 21, 1910, which set aside 3,767 hectares of
public domain in Mount Makiling covering parts of Laguna and
Batangas as Makiling Forest Reserve and placed this under the
responsibility of the Bureau and the Forest School. In November
1920, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison changed the
Makiling Forest Reserve to Makiling National Botanical Garden.
But in 1933, Governor-General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. converted
this to Makiling National Park. Gateway to Makiling
INTERESTING POINTS OF THE MAKILING NATIONAL PARK
Guesthouse done in bamboo and nipa
Drinking fountain Philippine Journal of Forestry
Visitors resting in the
Makiling National Park
Philippine Journal of Forestry
A natural swimming pool in a setting of wilderness
Mudsprings, the last gasping breath of an expiring volcano
Beginning of Traditions: Celebrations of Forestry
Day and Moving-Up Day
F or the first time, Forestry Day was celebrated on November
30, 1935 under the auspices of Classes ’36, ’37, ’38 and ’39 of the
Moving-Up Day: Passing-of-the-Key Ceremony
School of Forestry. The celebration consisted of athletic games, a
musical and a literary program, and a School of Forestry lechonada.
President Jorge Bocobo was the guest speaker.16
Likewise, Class ’37 initiated the Moving-up Day in 1937, a
day of celebration for the graduating seniors and the juniors who
were moving up.4 Moving-up Day helped in highlighting the
successes of graduating students and challenges to the junior class.
It also helped in bringing the alumni together and creating opportunities
to pass resolutions for the good of the service and the school.
Forestry Day and Moving-up Day became traditional events
in the School of Forestry.
Augustine T. Springer
Leader of Class ’37 that initiated the
Forestry Day and Moving-up Day.
Faculty and Student Body of the School of Forestry in 1937
Golden Book-Bureau of Forestry
Students performing “La Jota Moncadeña” The Forest Songbirds (Left to right, front) Mrs. A. B. Tamolang,
Ms. A. de Dios, Mrs. F. Pollisco, Mrs. N. Vergara, and Mrs. Ranit
Tamesis Rose to the Top Positions in the
Bureau and the School
A fter completing 25 years of service to the Philippine
government, Arthur F. Fischer retired as Director of the Bureau of
Forestry on December 31, 1936. For his splendid work in the
Arthur F. Fischer
Philippines, he was conferred the degree of Master of Arts, Retired and became
honoris causa, by Yale University in 1939. Adviser on Natural
Resources of the
Florencio Tamesis (Forest Ranger ’12), the Assistant Director Commonwealth of
of the Bureau, was appointed by President Manuel L. Quezon in the Philippines
December 1936 as Director of the Bureau of Forestry to succeed
Director Arthur F. Fischer. As the Director of the Bureau, Tamesis
became ex-officio Dean of the School of Forestry.20
Everyone in the Bureau and in the School hailed the elevation
of Tamesis to the top position in the Bureau and to the top leadership
in the School. His record was very inspiring because of his rise from
forest guard to Director of Forestry, and from houseboy to Dean of
the School.10 Florencio Tamesis
The first Filipino who
became Director of the
In 1909, Tamesis was one of the first students in the College Bureau of Forestry and
of Agriculture. He transferred to the Forest School upon its Ex-officio Dean of the
organization in 1910. After graduation as a forest ranger, he worked School of Forestry.
under the Bureau in Negros Occidental as well as in eastern and He rose from forest guard
western Visayas islands. He undertook reconnaissance and to Bureau Director, and
from houseboy to Dean
exploration work, got a good grasp of the lumber business, and of the School.
enriched his forestry knowledge by actual field practice and contact
with lumbermen and forest users.10
Landmarks in Agriculture
Under B. M. Gonzalez
The center of the campus viewed from Balong Bulo Hill in 1930.
The Central Experiment Station is shown in the foreground.
Bienvenido M. Gonzalez, the First Filipino at the
Helm of the College
O n August 27, 1927, the Board of Regents appointed
Dr. Bienvenido Maria Gonzalez as Acting Dean of the College of
Agriculture at age 34.
He first came to the College with advanced credits from the
Philippine Normal School as a freshman in 1910 and joined the
students in carving the College of Agriculture out of the wilderness.
After graduation, he was absorbed by the College as an assistant in
animal husbandry and sent to the University of Wisconsin as a
University Fellow (1914-1916) where he obtained the MS (Animal
In 1917, he was appointed Assistant Professor; in 1919,
Associate Professor, and in 1920, Full Professor.11
Again, he was sent as University Fellow to the USA for PhD
studies. He obtained the ScD degree in Hygiene from Johns Hopkins
University in 1923.
Dr. Gonzalez had virtually been directing the Department of
Animal Husbandry since 1916, and he built the unit into one of the
three largest and most important departments of the College, the
two others being Agronomy and Plant Physiology. 11
Dr. Gonzalez was also the first President of the College of
Agriculture Alumni Association and the first President of the
Los Baños Biological Club. He also served as the first Alumnus-
Regent of the University from 1918 to 1921.
Bienvenido M. Gonzalez
Full Professor at age 26, and Dean at age 34
The New Dean Expected No Less Than Excellent
Outputs from the Faculty and Students
I want every product of this College, whether it be a student, a plant, a domestic
animal, or a scientific paper, to bear a mark similar to that of “sterling” in silver.
-Bienvenido M. Gonzalez
T eaching was a responsibility of the most senior professors in
each department, who had to combine theory and a lot of field
practice for students.
In research, exposure of researchers to field problems was
considered most important for them to appreciate the actual
problems encountered by farmers. Better research facilities were
provided to enable everyone to undertake excellent research.
Class in Plant Pathology studying coconut bud rot. Philippine Agriculturist
The field is the principal laboratory. Selecting corn plants for desirable traits at an early stage
Students and faculty spent much of their time
making soil surveys and mapping the soils.
A party of thesis students as shown mapping
Kapatagan Valley soils.
Field class in Entomology
observing insect infestation
College Ornamental Nursery,
established by Mr. Vicente Dawis
and his assistants in landscape
gardening, located on a site now
occupied by the ACCI dormitory
and International House –
Graduate School. Thousands
of College visitors appreciated
Creation of a Department of Agricultural
Education and a Rural High School
T he creation of the Department of Agricultural Education in
1929 highlighted a new dimension in the role and responsibilities of
As a teacher-training department, the Department of
Agricultural Education organized the Rural High School.
the College of Agriculture. The Vocational Education Act No. 3377 With an allocation of P 20,000 from the University, a
had a provision requiring the College to train teachers for lower Rural High School building was constructed. It opened its
agricultural schools.8 Funds appropriated under Act No. 3377 door on June 1, 1929. This enabled sons and daughters of
enabled the College to construct an Agricultural Education building.1 College employees to take secondary education on campus.
To turn out first class graduates to be teachers in farm schools,
the College designed a one-year course over and above the BSA
for a Certificate in Agricultural Education.6
Department of Agricultural Education main building constructed on a site now occupied by
the College of Development Communication building.
Laboratory Research Facilities
and Other Buildings Constructed
D ean Gonzalez proved to be effective in the generation of
resources for the construction or expansion of laboratory research
facilities such as those in dairy husbandry, soil science, chemistry,
entomology and botany, and other essential infrastructures such as the
Infirmary, student dormitories, staff houses, and bridges.1, 3, 4 He also
raised funds for the construction of Baker Memorial Hall.
The big Bagtican tree
This was an imposing landmark and a silent witness to the pioneering years
of the College, that gave way for the construction of the Palma bridge.
The foothills of Mount Makiling showing Baker Memorial Hall and dormitories
The dormitories and Copeland Heights barrio nestled at the foot of Faculty Hill. Pili Drive bordered the orchards
of the Experiment Station. Baker Memorial Hall is partially hidden by the trees along Molawin creek.
The Palma Bridge over Molawin Creek
Note the “temporary building” at the center where the
parking lot of the Physical Sciences building now stands.
Laboratory practice in farm machinery.
Students operating a small rice thresher at the College Tool Room.
Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) building
The Animal Husbandry Bridge, constructed
out of the income of the Department.
Silo of the Department of Animal Husbandry
This 52-ton silo for the preservation and storage of feed
to be used in time of need was the only silo in use in the
The center for medical, surgical and dental treatment for the faculties,
students and staff of the College of Agriculture and the School of Forestry.
Soils building constructed on a site near the College gate. Student dormitory
Baker Memorial Hall named in memory of the second Dean of the
College, the late Charles Fuller Baker. This Hall served as auditorium, gymnasium and armory.
Construction of the College of Agriculture
Campus Gate the Most Symbolic Landmark of
the College for Decades
T he University Student Council set aside P 2,000 for the The two massive and tall concrete pillars with carabao heads
impressive College gate composed of two imposing pillars topped at the gate served as the most symbolic landmark of the College of
with artistically sculptured heads of carabaos.5 The carabao pillars Agriculture campus for several decades until it was replaced in 1967
were sculpted by no less than Guillermo Tolentino who later on by the present UPLB gate.
became a National Artist.
This College gate, a gift from the University Student Council, was the most symbolic landmark of the
College of Agriculture campus until it was relegated to the background when the present UPLB gate was constructed in 1967.
“Hail College Dear” Sung Publicly for the First
Time During the 1934 Loyalty Day
“H ail College Dear,” a soul-lifting tune, was For several decades until 1972 when UPLB became
composed by Antonino Buenaventura who became a National the first autonomous university under UP, every student and
Artist. The inspiring lyrics were written by Dr. Leopoldo B. Uichanco, alumnus on campus sang “Hail College Dear” as an opening
Head of the Department of Entomology. number in college convocations, conferences or social events.
The hymn was sang publicly for the first time during the 1934
Loyalty Day celebration with Mr. Buenaventura conducting.7
Loyalty Day Parade-Circa 1938 Cadet officers with their instructors
The College of Agriculture Recognized
Nationally and Internationally as a
T he report of President Jorge Bocobo for the academic year
June 1, 1935 to May 31, 1936 showed that out of a total of 583 on-
bibliography directory published in New York. Out of 50
Filipinos in the list, 23 or almost 50% were alumni of the College
going scientific investigations in the entire university for the period of Agriculture.10, 17
under review, 283 or 49% were in the College of Agriculture. This
was significant most especially if one considered that the These, in addition to the fact that many Asian
College had some 70 faculty members, including assistants, which countries were sending students to Los Baños and many
scientists from the USA and Europe were visiting the
represented only 14 percent of the University’s faculty of about 500.18
College of Agriculture, were substantial and concrete
Moreover, 23 College alumni and seven others connected with testimonies that the College had arrived as a vital center of
the College were listed in the 1933 American Men of Science, a science in tropical agriculture.
UPCA-Generated Technologies in the 1930s
T he College unraveled several new researches and
developed improved technologies.
Initially, gasanol was used, which was a mixture of 50%
alcohol, 45% gasoline, and 5% sulphuric ether. The car
ran at a maximum mileage of 15.8 miles/gal.
a. Outstanding breeds of livestock and poultry produced
by the College With 10% alcohol, the car ran at 17.4 miles/gal.
The College, through the leadership of Dr. B. M. Gonzalez, The use of 15-20% denatured 193o proof ethyl alcohol
launched a livestock and poultry breeding program mixed with gasoline exceeded the efficiency of pure
beginning in 1921, and after several generations, released gasoline by 0.7 to 16%.16
Berkjala, a new breed of pig, and the Los Baños
Cantonese chicken, a breed that proved superior in terms
of egg production.12, 13, 14, 15.
In 1939, the College also had Philamin, a superior breed
which was a three-way cross of Philippine native cattle,
American Hereford, and Indian Nellore.25
b. Elon-ram, an outstanding rice variety produced by
The College made a cross between Elon-elon, a low-
yielding but important export variety of rice with good
eating quality and superior milling recovery, and Ramai, a
high-yielding imported variety with less than desirable
eating quality. The end-product after six generations of
breeding work was Elon-ram Strain 2.2
This variety contributed significantly in greatly increasing
rice production in the country. Berkjala boar with resistance to
hog cholera, age 2 years, weight 175 kg.
c. Gasoline with 15-20% ethyl alcohol was better than
pure gasoline as motor fuel
College engineers led by Dr. Anastacio L. Teodoro in the
1930s made extensive studies on the use of ethyl alcohol
(ethanol) as motor fuel. De Sotto de Luxe Sedan (1929
model) was used, which performed very satisfactorily
when ran for over 50,000 kilometers on alcohol fuels for a
period of five years.16
Berkjala weaning pigs, offsprings of a
hog-cholera resistant stock.
A Los Baños
A Los Baños
PHILAMIN: Rebecca, one of the foundation Provincial Fair, foundation bull for a draft-beef
cows for a draft-beef breed animal for the breed animal for the Philippines. The blood
Philippines. The blood composition is American composition is Indian Nellore (50%) and
Hereford (50%), Indian Nellore (25%), and Hereford (50%).
Philippine native (25%).
Comparing alcohol with
imported gasoline as
The performances of
automobile and truck fuels
were compared, using both
the modern dynamometer
shown at the right side of
the picture, and extensive
road tests with cars and
trucks. Gasoline with
15-20% ethanol proved to
be more efficient than
Gonzalez Elected UP President
S hortly after the appointment of UP Pres. Jorge C. Bocobo as
Secretary of Public Instruction on April 14, 1939, Dean Bienvenido
Some questioned his qualifications for the UP presidency, having
come from a “cow college.” But Dr. Gonzalez’s rise to the
M. Gonzalez was elected President of UP by the Board of Regents presidency seemed to be a divine fate. His appointment as UP
at a special meeting presided over by President Manuel L. Quezon President seemed to follow the footsteps of his late father, Dr. Joaquin
on April 20, 1939.8 Gonzalez, who became president of the Universidad Cientifico-
Leteraria de Filipinas, which was established by the Aguinaldo
Many opposed his appointment as College Dean because he Government. At age 46, he was the youngest so far to become
was a very strict Department Head. He “culled” personnel who, in UP President.
his opinion, failed to come up to standard.19
Aerial view of the College of Agriculture and School of Forestry in 1928. Note
at the center the Coconut Grove near the
entrance to the College where the two rows of Royal palms begin.
Faculty of the College of Agriculture
Seated at the center is Dean Gonzalez with hands on his thighs. At his right side is Dr. Espino, Head of the Department of Agricultural
Botany, and at his left side is Dr. N. Mendiola (with short arms), Head of the Department of Agronomy.
Student Body of the College of Agriculture, 1934