University of the Philippines Los Baños

UPLB woke up one day to see change that some did not see rhyme and reason for: that of the names of streets, buildings, and some important halls/rooms in the campus. Where before, the two main streets to which people diverged from the main gate were simply named Kanluran (west) and Silangan (east), they now sport names of people. Further inside the campus, more names of people replaced street names of tree species that used to guide us through the maze of streets in UPLB.

Naturally, as any change is wont to cause, a furor arose over why and how these streets were renamed. As historian Ambeth Ocampo asked over street name changes in Manila: is there pattern or logic to all these?

The Committee

In UPLB, there definitely is, and a select group made sure that this is so. The group was convened as an ad hoc committee on July 19, 2010 by the then chancellor, Dr. Luis Rey I. Velasco. It was composed of Dr. Ricardo Lantican as chair, Dr. Ruben D. Tanqueco, Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez Jr., Dr. Ruben L. Villareal, Dr. Emil Q. Javier, Dr. Cledualdo B. Perez, Dr. Edelwina C. Legaspi, Dr. Dolores A. Ramirez, Dr. Lucrecio Rebugio, Dr. Elpidio M. Agbisit, and Ms. Norma G. Medina.

The committee’s marching orders were to evaluate, plan, and improve the existing names of streets and buildings and assign names of distinguished persons in whose honor the streets and buildings would be named. The committee members first brainstormed on the criteria, then selected people who were considered as pioneers and who have contributed substantially to the development of the University. And so, we all woke up one day to see the change in the names of our streets and buildings.

The Change

The change was meant to keep us in touch with a heritage of leadership in research and instruction in agriculture and forestry. These people for whom the streets have been named paved the way for UPLB to be a leader in instruction and research in the traditional fields of agriculture and forestry. Succeeding UPLB leaders built on these foundations and more expertise evolved in the allied sciences such as engineering, environmental science, natural resources conservation, mathematics, health and nutrition, veterinary medicine, economics, biology, biotechnology, and development communication.

The iconic Pili Drive has retained its name. In most cases, the committee made sure that the pioneers were “right at home” on their turf as their names were assigned to streets near what used to be their immediate places of work.

Traveling through UPLB’s thoroughfares should be more than a way to one’s destination. Instead it should be a chance to know a heritage that is solely UPLB’s. Here, we guide you through the streets and the people who helped build the University.

Victoria M. Ela Ave. (left turn from the main UPLB gate). Ela was the first woman BSA graduate of the University. A pioneer professor in plant pathology, Ela during her time was prolific in scholarly outputs having authored 17 professional articles. Ela’s research work was on the symptomatology and etiology of plant diseases including those of ornamental plants.

Pedro R. Sandoval Ave. (first right turn from VM Ela Avenue; street flanked by the CAS Annex and the Humanities buildings). Sandoval was a professor in economics and the first executive director of the then Center for Policy and Development Studies. Sandoval was dean of the College of Economics and Professor Emeritus of the University.

Jose M. Capinpin St. (street in between the AG Samonte Hall and the Makiling School Inc. and until AP Aglibut Ave.). Capinpin was the first professor of genetics in UPLB who accomplished a lot of basic studies on plant genetics.

Luz U. Oñate St. (second right turn from VM Ela Ave., runs on one side of the Math Building). Oñate provided leadership at the then Department of Home Technology, the forerunner of the College of Human Ecology. Oñate authored 30 research papers on the use, eating quality, and acceptability of indigenous materials and wrote a textbook on nutrition.

Vicente M. Davis St. (third and last right turn from VM Ela Ave). Davis landscaped the UPLB campus before and after WWII as well as the UP Diliman campus. He introduced a collection of exotic species of trees for novelty and landscaping purposes.

Andres P. Aglibut Ave. (street forming a T-junction with Pili drive stretching to the Seniors’ Social Garden, back of the PhySci Bldg. and snaking down to street in front of SEARCA and ending at the DA-BAR building) Aglibut was considered an institution in agricultural engineering, having served it for 70 years. He published 38 scientific articles and 14 popular articles. During the UP-Cornell years, he was one of the prime movers of campus development as well as the establishment of the Central Experiment Station.

Mariano M. Mondoñedo Ave. (street fronting the Dairy Training and Research Institute stretching down to the front of Baker Hall and SU Building). Mondoñedo was one of the early professors of the Department of Animal Husbandry, now a component of the Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster (ADSC). He contributed significantly to teaching and research in swine husbandry, a major sector of the country’s animal industry.

Valentino G. Argañosa St. (Dairy Ville road). Argañosa was a professor of animal science who authored no less than 200 articles, monographs, and reading materials in swine production and contributed significantly to the country’s swine industry. His lifework earned for him many awards including the Rizal Pro Patria Award and the PCARRD/ DOST Pantas Award, the most prestigious awards for scientists in the country.

Joseph C. Madamba St. (street forming a T-junction with Mondoñedo Ave. and fronting the Edwin Bingham Copeland Gym). Madamba was an administrator, teacher in animal husbandry (primarily the beef cattle course in the 1950s-60s), and researcher. He instituted the Rodeo, an activity that is still held to this day by students and other enthusiasts. He was also the founding director-general of what is now known as the DOST-PCAARRD.

Archibald R. Ward St. (street inside the College of Veterinary Medicine or CVM complex forming a T-junction with JC Madamba and ending at ML Roxas St.) Ward was the first dean of the CVM.

Sam B. Durham St. (road in between Fronda and Villegas Halls inside the ADSC and CVM complex). Durham was one of the first five faculty members who held classes in tents when the UP College of Agriculture was first established. He taught animal husbandry courses.

Manuel L. Roxas St. (street on the first right turn from the Institute of Animal Science Arch going up along the left side of the Continuing Education Center, and converging with Getulio B. Viado St.) Roxas was one of the first 12 students to receive instruction in tent classrooms and is the first alumnus of UPCA. He was also the first editor-in-chief of the Philippine Agriculturist and Forester. The former is now the Philippine Agricultural Sientist, an ISI journal.

Getulio B. Viado St. (right turn from JM Madamba St. and running between staff housing units and the VetMed dorm on the left and at the back of the Obdulia F. Sison Hall, YMCA and Men’s dorm on the right). Viado was assistant instructor and rose to become research professor of entomology in the UPCA, and then senior scientist at the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission. He was awarded an Atherton Lee Award for best undergraduate thesis at the CA in 1932.

Jose B. Juliano Ave. (street fronting area from OF Sison Hall to the Men’s/ Women’s Hall, International House, and along the side of the Graduate School until the foot of the incline to the Forestry campus). Juliano was a professor of botany. His early publications on the anatomy of the rice spikelets and of other crops became standard references worldwide. His execution by the Japanese forces during WW II ended an otherwise brilliant career as a plant anatomist.

Gen. Romeo Espino St. (street in between the lower and upper athletic fields). Espino was the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Prior to his military appointment, he was an instructor at UPCA. He joined the underground movement and became head of the guerilla unit in southern Luzon.

Harold Cuzner Royal Palm Ave. (street fronting the DL Umali Hall running all the way down to the Academic Heritage Monument). Cuzner was one of the four pioneer instructors of UPCA in 1909. He planned and supervised the construction of all permanent buildings in UPCA from 1912 to 1920. He mobilized his class to plant the Royal Palms at the Royal Palm Avenue. He was a forester-engineer who headed the Department of Rural Engineering and Mathematics and became a professor in dendrology at the College of Forestry.

Juan V. Pancho St. (street in between Men’s and Women’s Dorms going up to the main street to the Forestry campus). Through Pancho’s hard work and dedication, the UPCA botanical collections that were destroyed during World War II were rebuilt. He laid the foundation of one of the best herbaria not only in the Philippines but in the entire Malesian region. He published seven books and over a hundred scientific articles dealing with the systematics of vascular plants and world weeds in local and international journals.

Melanio A. Gapud St. (street forming T-junction with DM Lantican Ave. at the back of the University Library going up to UPCO Housing). Gapud is a retired professor of agricultural education and was a long time secretary of the UP College of Agriculture.

Jose D. Drilon St. (street to the IRRI Staff Housing from MA Gapud St.). A graduate of UP Iloilo, he was very active in the academe, in agribusiness, agriculture, and community service. He was the first Filipino to be conferred Doctor of Humane Letters by the Kent State University and was a multiawarded public servant. He was undersecretary of agriculture and director of SEARCA.

Fabian A. Tiongson St. (street in between the College of Economics and Management and the former Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Institute now named Nathaniel S. Tablante Hall). Tiongson was program director of the joint Agribusiness Management program of the CA and UP Diliman College of Business Administration. He was author of the book “Improved Merchandising of Selected Farm Products in the Philippines” and coauthor of “Agricultural Marketing in the Philippines.”

Jose R. Velasco Ave. (the street on the right turn from the main gate up to the UPCO Housing area). Velasco was a plant physiologist and National Scientist whose research focused on Cadang-cadang disease of coconut and photoperiodism in rice.

College of Forestry and Natural Resources

Domingo M. Lantican Ave. (street from the back of the University Library going up to the Forestry campus until before the left turn to the CFNR Administration Building). Lantican was one of the leading pioneers of wood seasoning and wood physics in the country. He was dean of the College of Forestry from 1966 to 1972 and UPLB vice chancellor for Administration from June 1, 1973 to April 1, 1991.

Mauricio Oteyza St. (street going to the Makiling Botanic Gardens). Oteyza was one of the Filipino pioneer teachers in forestry.

Martin Reyes St. (street fronting the CFNR Administration Building renamed as the Florencio Tamesis Hall). Reyes was a noted researcher and research administrator who piloted the selective logging system (SLS) in Basilan, Philippines. As a tool of sustainable forest management, SLS was widely adopted in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries.

Felix O. Chinte St. (street in front of FOREHA and MAREHA). Forester Chinte was a pioneer forestry researcher who taught at the College and who contributed much in regreening of Mt. Makiling after WW II.

Valentin Sajor St. (street by the side of the Makiling Tennis Court). Sajor was a professor of forest administration and one of the Filipino pioneer teachers of the College.

Rosario Cortes St. (street going down staff housing units from FO Chinte St.). Cortes was former professor of wood preservation and chief of the Wood Preservation Division of the Forest Products Research and Development Institute.

Not Just names

Street names are not just names of people who have already passed on. They are part of our past and heritage. Remembering the past honors the important contributions of pioneers and trailblazers to our history.

As historian Ambeth Ocampo said: heritage conservation is not just about old structures and antiquities but sometimes can be as commonplace as street names.