MY FRIEND Mariz Mandocdoc, current vice president of Clark Development Corporation, still remember this for sure when I was tapped then by CDC President Romy David to head a committee to rename all streets inside then Clark Special Economic Zone (Now Clark Freeport). She was a key member of that committee. This came about after I told the retired Air Force General Romeo David who was appointed by President Fidel V. Ramos as CDC president to remove the vestiges of American occupation of the land by way of renaming all the streets. He said it was a good idea. So he ordered the creation of a committee.
The seniors among us will remember the main road Mitchell Highway. It is now M.A.Roxas. And all the secondary roads were named after the American “heroes”. I don’t think if those taxi drivers of S.F.Naguiat taxi company which operated the taxi services inside the military installation will still remember all those street names. I can only recall Mitchell and Dyess.
In my own appreciation, names of streets carry history. During my stint as a member of the Angeles City Council I proposed to rename certain streets in Angeles City. But it was shot down even before it took off by a very influential person in the Pamintuan administration.I drafted a resolution and intended to rename some streets like Sto. Entierro to Pantaleon De Miranda street and Sto. Rosario street to Rosalia De Jesus Street. They were the founders of Angeles City. I was thinking that Rizal Extension Street which starts from boundary of Barangay San Nicolas going to Barangay Sto. Rosario and leads up to the boundaries of Angeles City and Porac can be renamed Juanita L. Nepomuceno street. This is to honor Mrs. Nepomuceno the principal sponsor in the passage of Republic Act 3700, or the “Charter of the City of Angeles”.
A research is needed so it is a must that we should invite historians, academicians and whoever is interested in this issue of renaming the Angeles streets. In the case of one subdivision here, all streets were named after cigarette brands. This in Leoncia Subdivision in Barangay Sto. Domingo. As part of the effort the barangays and private subdivisions should help in the upkeep of the street signs. By the way, there are several streets in the city, and in many subdivisions, without any streets signs. And no wonder you have to ask a trike driver in the neighborhood if you are looking for someone.
Give credit where credit is due. The city should have long time honored her sons and daughters who somehow can be said gave honor to the place. Another figure deserving honor was the late Mayor Rafael Del Rosario. He was the last town mayor and the first Angeles City mayor. He can be credited to the many reforms he instituted in local governance during his time. It was under his watch when the first comprehensive land use plan for the city was implemented. And this was through the help of the late Emmanuel “Manoling” Yap, an economist and head of the Congressional Planning Office of the House of Representatives during the time of Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr.
There are more Angelenos who are deserving to be remembered. The fingers and toes are not enough to count those who should be honored. What about renaming Magalang Road Don Juan Nepomuceno Street? The pioneering businessman of the city.And Magalang Avenue to Dona Teresa, Don Juan’s spouse who was known for here philanthropy. What about a road for writer Katoks Tayag. And another one for educators Ricardo “Gundo” Flores and Barbara Yap Angeles. An effort should be made. And now, and not tomorrow.