We rename our streets all too often. Some parts of C-5, for example, are properly named after heroes: Bonny Serrano, the Katipunan, Eulogio Rodriguez Jr., Carlos P. Garcia, among other names. There’s bound to be a thoroughfare named “Rizal” in every part of the country honoring the national hero. Maybe road-naming is serious business in the Philippine political system, considering how much of taxpayer money goes to roads declaring Kalye Banda Diyan as What’s-His-Face Road. The conventions of street nomenclature, as far as this country is concerned, is either an issue of dynasties or of pandering.
In an ABS-CBN News report, Senator Mar Roxas proposes to rename EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue. The report:
A week after the death of former president Corazon Aquino, Sen. Mar Roxas is proposing to rename Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to Cory Aquino Avenue in memory of the late president.
“Whenever we hear of EDSA, one thing always comes to the mind of Filipinos: the People Power led by President Cory. It is but fit to offer in her memory the road that had made her famous all over the world,” Roxas said in a statement.
He said the proposal was appropriate since Mrs. Aquino’s first heroic act of leading the people in a bloodless People Power revolution against dictatorship and authoritarian rule happened at EDSA.
I don’t belong to the Mar Roxas fan club, but I’ll just say it anyway: I think that there is no graver way to dishonor Cory Aquino’s memory than to trivialize the spirit of EDSA by succumbing to the F2 function of politicians and government officials to rename roads. Oh yeah, forget Roxas Boulevard. Zing.
It’s an appeal to flattery. In other words, brown-nosing. Sucking up. And yes, kissing ass. It’s bad enough that few people know who Epifanio de los Santos is, and yet to commit the living memory of Cory to signages and road-names is just plain sad. Some way to honor your heroes, eh, Mr. Senator? Naming them after roads.
Many – from the lowliest of our councilors to the most bombastic of Congressmen – have filed legislation to name roads after their relatives, doing injustice to that memory by not fixing those roads at all. Must we do the same for Cory?
Let the road-naming be keber and etchos, I think; to honor Cory’s memory is not to sally and sully and dilly and dally it with tributes of a road-sign on a crosswalk. To honor Cory through a leviathan of flyovers and underpasses and pollution and traffic is to repeat the everyday damning of our heroes. Let us honor Cory through more meaningful ways: by keeping the spirit of People Power alive, by fostering the seedling of democracy our nation planted with her, and keep away opportunistic hands from even dog-earing the Constitution she helped put into place and Con-Ass-ing the hell out of it. We should strengthen and foster our hard-won democracy. Let us fight for it at EDSA, or any other road if necessary.
Let us keep the F2s out of EDSA.