What is in a name?

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

‘What’s in a name? A rose by any name will still smell sweet’. The former Sen­a­tor Ed­die Ilarde must be thump­ing his breast and telling fel­low se­nior cit­i­zens that he made sense when he filed a bill in the se­nate propos­ing to change the name of the coun­try from Philippines to Ma­har­likha. That Ilarde Bill was shelved to the dust­bin. It didn’t gen­er­ate much in­ter­est to the gen­eral pub­lic.

Now here comes Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte and ap­par­ently is in ac­cord with what Ilarde launched decades ago. He made men­tion of it in his speech in Maguin­danao re­cently. And the idea elicited mixed re­ac­tions. A sen­a­to­rial as­pi­rant was able to get a three col­umn story from the op­po­si­tion pa­per Philip­pine Daily Inquirer and mocked Duterte by say­ing that the change of name is non­is­sue. ‘Let’s pri­or­i­tize the more press­ing prob­lems of our coun­try like the price hikes and high taxes’, he said.

Chang­ing the name of our coun­try from Philippines to Ma­har­likha at this time is not timely. It wasn’t dur­ing Ilarde’s stint in the se­nate and it will never be timely in many decades to come. But in lo­cal set­tings, say in An­ge­les City, the changes of the names of streets should have been done years ago. Ex­am­ple is the Leon­cia sub­di­vi­sion in the city wherein all streets are named af­ter all known cig­a­rette brands. Not a sin­gle street was named af­ter a dis­tin­guished per­son who has con­tributed to the his­tory of the city. Who­ever was re­spon­si­ble for nam­ing the streets there should make a visit to the Lung Cen­ter in Que­zon City.

A post­man must be con­fused which of the two Ma­galang roads in An­ge­les City where to de­liver a let­ter of the ad­dressee if its postal mark­ing is Ma­galang road. The two roads in­ter­sect each other. Once I asked a lo­cal his­to­rian if he knows how the most pop­u­lar street in the city, the Fields Av­enue, got its name. It was named af­ter whom? And there’s Jake Gon­za­les boule­vard, the eight lane road af­ter you de­scend Aba­can bridge go­ing to the down­town area. Who is Jake Gon­za­les? May we ask our mayor, the vice mayor and the barangay of­fi­cials who’s this Mr. Gon­za­les why we have to name a boule­vard af­ter him? What was his con­tri­bu­tion to An­ge­les or Philip­pine his­tory?

Roads and sub­di­vi­sions tell the his­tory of a com­mu­nity. Like Car­menville Sub­di­vi­sion of the Tayags. It was named af­ter Car­men Dayrit, the mother of the late writer Re­nato ‘Ka­toks’Tayag. There is a street there named af­ter Au­gustina Hen­son, the wife of PIo Rafael Ne­po­mu­ceno of Tayabas, Que­zon prov­ince. He was the first Ne­po­mu­ceno to es­tab­lish res­i­dence in the town of An­ge­les. Then there’s the gated Villa Teresa sub­di­vi­sion named af­ter Teresa Gomez, the wife of Don Juan Ne­po­mu­ceno and their heirs who are con­sid­ered till to­day as one of the rich­est fam­i­lies in An­ge­les City.

Villa Leon­cia was named af­ter Leon­cia Laxa­m­ana, the wife of Trinidad Lazatin, par­ents of the late former Mayor and Gov­er­nor Rafael L. Lazatin. Rafael sis­ters also have sub­di­vi­sions named af­ter them. Villa Glo­ria, Villa An­gelina and Villa Angela. Not to be out­done, Fran­cisco Gopez Ne­po­mu­ceno named sev­eral streets in the Nepo Sub­di­vi­sion like Sylvia, Ed­wina, San­dra and Gail streets among oth­ers. They are the Ne­po­mu­ceno sis­ters.

Marisol Vil­lage is among the first fenced sub­di­vi­sion in An­ge­les City. For many years 98% of the ten­ants were Amer­i­can ser­vice­men and their de­pen­dents. The Gis left al­ready and the com­mu­nity was re­named Barangay Ni­noy Aquino.The prop­erty was owned by Emil­iano Valdez and Maria Soledad Dolor of Batan­gas was the de­vel­oper. The Di­a­mond Sub­di­vi­sion in Barangay Bal­ibago was ini­tially named Sev­e­rina Sub­di­vi­sion and named af­ter its de­vel­oper Sev­e­rina Lim but was re­named later. So if you look around look­ing for an ad­dress and saw a street post, for sure the name of that road there’s his­tory be­hind it.

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