Since the creation of La Granja Modelo de Luzon in 1874, it was initially under the tight watch of Spanish company, Coteron y Compania. However, Spanish colonial government had also strong influence over the granja's operations. When La Granja was transferred its control to La Comision Agronomica de Filipinas in 1881, Spanish government through the Ministerio de Ultramar (Ministry of Colonies) in Madrid, started to appoint Spanish directors whom they holding a degree of ingeniero agronomo (equivalent to the present degree of Agricultural Engineer) or other related degrees. These Spanish directors of La Granja finished their education in Spain. Before they appointed directors of la granja, they already appointed in the same position in other agricultural institutions in Spain and in other colonies. In this post, these are the partial list of Spanish directors of the granja and their respective biographies: 

Jose Alemany Penalva- first director of La Granja Modelo de Luzon. Native of Alicante, Alicante province. He was initially appointed as catedratico (professor) of agriculture in now defunct Instituto de Baeza. He later appointed as secretary of Junta de Agricultura Industria of Castellon province. He also taught agricultural subjects in now defunct Instituto de Castellon. After his brief stint in Castellon, he served as perito de la riqueza rustica (rural farm expert) of Comision Especial de Estadistica of Seville province. Due to his extensive experience in agriculture, he was sent to the Philippines in 1881; and he was appointed as secretary of Junta de Agricultura de Manila. In the same year also, he was appointed as first director of La Granja Modelo de Luzon, whom is still located in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. He died on January 2, 1883 when their boarded ship, Lipa was exploded and sunk in Laguna de Bay together with his assistant, Luciano Lizarraga Ibarrola. According to his hoja de servicios, he was credited for writing a study for propagation of sugarcane and eucalyptus while he was in Castellon. He also conducted lectures and conferences in Castellon in the fields of agricultural meteorology, hemp propagation and agricultural sanitation. He also one of the contributors in various agricultural weekly papers like, Gaceta de Agricola, Revisitas Agricola del Liberal, La Integridad de Pabia and La Lectura de Castellon. He held several positions in various organizations in Spain; he was appointed director of Sociedad Española de Agricultura, and at the same time, he was appointed as honorary president of the same organ by King Alfonso XII of Spain. He become director of now defunct, La Escuela de Agricultura de Aranjuez, owned by Marques de Peracampo.

Mariano de Castro Gavalda- native of Madrid, he obtained his degree of perito catastro (cadastral expert) in now defunct Escuela Especial de la Topografia Catastral. He was initially appointed as ayudante practico de catastro (auxiliary cadastral expert) in Cuerpo de Topografos in Spain. Due to his excellent record, he was sent to Cuba in 1879 and he was appointed as Ynspector de Agricultura of agricultural town of Mayari, Cuba. After his brief stint in Cuba, he was sent back to Spain and he was appointed as member of Comision de Topografica. He served also as director of Estacion de Virticola y Enologica in Tarragona province in Spain, a viticulture station known for the extensive study of grape cultivation and wine making. He later sailed back to Cuba in 1882 and he was appointed as professor of Mathematics in Instituto de Segunda de Enseñanza de Sta Clara in Sta Clara, Cuba. At the same time, he also taught Mathematics in now defunct Escuela de Agricultura del Circulo de Hecudados in Havana, Cuba. During his stay in Cuba, he was appointed as board member of various government posts; he held as board member of Junta de Agricultura, Yndustria y Comercio and later, he was appointed as Ynspector y Director of Yngenios Centrales by Conde de Ybañez. Due to his exemplary service in Cuba, he was awarded by the Governor General of Cuba a prestigious Cruz de la Una Clase del Merito Militar. In 1883, Ministerio de Ultramar appointed him to his last position, as the second director of La Granja Modelo de Luzon. He sailed to the Philippines in 1883. During his tenure, he oversaw the transfer of the granja from San Isidro, Nueva Ecija to the foothills of Mt. Arayat in Magalang, Pampanga. After a year, the granja joined the Exposicion General de las Islas Filipinas held in Madrid in 1887. However, Don Mariano didn't see the success of the granja after he oversaw its transfer, he died in Magalang in the same year. After his death, la granja won the prestigious diploma honor award.

Bernardo Jimenez de Perez- he obtained his degree of Ingeniero Agronomo (Agricultural Engineering) in Instituto Agricola de Alfonso XII in 1882 (now the present Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Agronomos, part of Universidad Politecnica de Madrid system in Madrid, Spain). After the death of his predecessor, Mariano de Castro Gavalda, this young director sailed for the Philippines in 1888. He held the position as third director of La Granja Modelo de Luzon until he resigned in 1891 due to health reasons.

When Americans took over the Philippines, they initially appointed American military officers as provisional directors of the granja under Bureau of Agriculture. When la granja was converted into Pampanga Agricultural School in 1918, it was headed by a school principal appointed by the Bureau of Education. It was later headed by a school superintendent in 1938 when it was converted into a national institution. Until 1974, when the school was converted into Pampanga Agricultural College, it was headed by a college president appointed directly by the president of the Philippines. And until 2015, when the college once more converted into Pampanga State Agricultural University, it was headed by the university president, appointed by the president of the Philippines. The present university president is Dr. Honorio M. Soriano, Jr.

Photo Credit: Evangelina H. Lacson collections; Angeles University Foundation; Institute of Kapampangan Studies.

Archival Sources:

Expediente personal del director de la Granja Modelo de Luzon, Bernardo Gimenez 1887/1892; http://pares.mcu.es/ retrieved: December 28, 2016

Expediente personal del director de la Granja Modelo de Luzon, Jose Alemany Penalva 1881/1883; http://pares.mcu.es/ retrieved: December 28, 2016

Expediente personal del director de la Granja Modelo de Luzon, M. de Castro Gavalda 1882/1888; http://pares.mcu.es/ retrieved: December 28, 2016

Book Sources:

Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L.,Manila: The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015); National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2016

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