The People Behind the Street Names
EDSA brings up a lot of mixed feelings when mentioned in everyday Pinoy conversation. EDSA means the five hour traffic everyone has to endure every day after work, EDSA means the only road that connects everything in the Metro, EDSA means everyone from everywhere on the same road-cum-parking lot, EDSA means the end of the world.
Despite all this, EDSA is a major road in the Metro that connects and intersects with other roads, also named after people who have helped shape and reshape the country. To give these people long-forgotten credit, here are 8 popular roads that you probably go through everyday.
8. Taft Avenue, Pasay
Before Taft became a hotspot for food, university students and trains whose doors open of their own accord, Taft represented William Howard Taft, one of the people who not only truly believed that Filipinos could govern themselves but also took measures to ensure that they could. Before he became the 27th President of the United States, Taft was the first civilian Governor-General of the Philippines under the Taft Commission of 1900, which eventually became the foundation of the Philippine government. His commission was able to establish 499 laws, a judicial system and a civil service.
7. Chino Roces Avenue, Makati
Joaquin “Chino” Roces was the founder and owner of the Associated Broadcasting Company (Now TV5 Network Inc.) and the Manila Times. Roces was one of the people arrested during Martial Law, together with Ninoy Aquino, Pepe Diokno and other journalists who, right after being released, braved EDSA to protest against then-President and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
6. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati
Originally named Buendia Avenue after Nicolas Buendia, Gil Puyat Avenue is now one of the major roads that connects Malate to Makati. Gil J. Puyat was the founder of the Manila Banking Corporation (now Chinabank Savings Bank), Manila Bankers Life Insurance Corporation and the Loyola Group of Companies. He was also a Senator from 1951 to 1972 and the Senate President from 1967 to 1972.
5. Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong
William J. Shaw, Shaw Boulevard’s namesake, is the founder of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong. The boulevard is also one of the busiest streets in Mandaluyong with its array of malls and media and business offices.
4. Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig
Dona Julia Vargas De Ortigas, as her last name already tells, is one of the most prominent philanthropists in the country. She was one of the biggest contributors to the country’s campaign against tuberculosis with her work as a member and then-president of the Philippine Tuberculosis Society–which extensively flourished during her term. She also helped in expanding the services at the Quezon Institute.
3. P. Tuazon Boulevard, Quezon City
Pedro Tuazon was a politician who liked jumping from one political job to another. In his 77 years of existence, he became the Provincial Fiscal of Misamis, Surigao, the assistant attorney of the Bureau of Justice in 1918, occupied the Office of the Attorney General, the judge of the Courts of First Instance in Albay, the Solicitor General, the associate justice of the Court of Appeals, and then the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
2. E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City
With ten years under his belt, Eulogio Rodriguez is the second longest-running Senate President next to ex-President Manuel Quezon, who served for 19 years. As the third person with the highest position in the government, he was seen as a true ally of the masses because of his political and moral compass to let democracy and fairness win in his legislative decisions.
Despite the stress and all the “PUCHA TRAFFIC NANAMAN LORD BAKIT” thrown at it everyday, EDSA is hallowed ground for those who stood against the dictatorship of Martial Law. But just who the hell is EDSA or this Epifanio de los Santos guy who’s been the butt of all the jokes and profanities Pinoys have spewed thanks to the carmaggedon of recent years?
Epifanio de los Santos, also known as Don Panyong, was a genius in every field you can think of. He was a noted personality in politics, poetry, journalism, art, history, literature and music. Basically, he was a really loaded guy with an even more loaded brain that truly deserves to be the namesake of one of the most important roads in the country.
Know any other people that roads in the Metro were named after? Share the knowledge in the comments below!