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Sunday, May 26, 2019
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Sangil: What is in a name?

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"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 Maharlika. 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 Maharlika 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 percent 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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