On an early sunny morning, Dr. Cezar P. Mamaril, 76 stands on one of seven sorjan plots in his farm in Masaya, Bay, Laguna. He looks around to determine how his rice crop in the irrigated portion between the sorjan plots is performing. Next, he turns to the upland crops on the sorjan plots, which are elevated by at least half a meter higher than the irrigated lowland ricefield below them.
Dr. Mamaril was a scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the sprawling campus of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. Before he joined IRRI in 1972, he was a soil chemistry professor in the Department of Soils, UP College of Agriculture where he obtained his undergraduate degree in agriculture major in soil science in 1955.
Right after graduation he worked as an assistant instructor in that department, and it did not take long before he obtained the Master of Science in Soil Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin through a USAID-NEC scholarship in 1958, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Soil Science with specializations in soil chemistry and soil fertility from the Kansas State University in 1963.