By Severino Samonte
MANILA – Whenever the topic of conversation involves street names, whether of former Philippine presidents, Filipino heroes, foreign countries, Bible personages, kings, cars, cigarettes, birds, etc., say it and the former town of Novaliches, which was reduced to a barrio over a century ago, most probably has it.
At present, the former Novaliches town, founded in September 1855 and existed until it was abolished during the early American regime in the Philippines in 1903, is shared by the 81-year-old Quezon City and the neighboring Caloocan City.
A close look at both the Quezon City and Caloocan City portions of Novaliches will show that almost all rice fields, forests and other types of land in the former town have been developed either into subdivisions and housing projects, factory sites, shopping malls and other commercial uses.
Even the former national camp site of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), called Camp Concepcion Gonzales along Quirino Highway in Barangay San Bartolome, is now the site of SM City Novaliches. That area used to abound with tall trees and plants of different species.
A rough estimate shows there are now at least 400 subdivisions in Novaliches, about 100 of them situated in the Caloocan portion.
Naturally, numerous streets have to be built within these subdivisions and around the factories and malls in the area. Of course, these streets, like babies, have to be given names for proper identification.
For instance, at T. S. Cruz subdivision in Barangay San Agustin, many of the streets have been named, among others, after former Presidents Emilio F. Aguinaldo, Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio S. Osmena Sr., Jose P. Laurel, Manuel A. Roxas, Elpidio R. Quirino, and Ramon F. Magsaysay.
At Dona Faustina subdivision in Barangay San Bartolome, the streets that can be found include those bearing the names of former Presidents Quezon, Osmena, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, Diosdado Macapagal, and Ferdinand E. Marcos.
In nearby California Village, the streets bear names familiar to Filipinos with relatives in Los Angeles, California. These include East and West Berkeley, East and West Los Angeles, Davies Ave., West San Francisco St. and West San Jose St.
At Jordan Heights subdivision along Damont Maliit-Llano Road in Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon, some of the major streets are Golgotha, Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Egypt, Bethlehem, Sinai, Jordan, Israel, Gideon, Bethel, Babylon, and Shechem.
In Jordan Plaines subdivision in Barangay Sta. Monica, site of the Novaliches mini-city hall, the streets are dominated by names of Bible personages such as Moses, Joshua, Joel, Samuel, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Amos, Job, and Joseph.
In Kingspoint subdivision in Barangay Bagbag, the streets have such names as Kings Ferdinand, Edward, David, Constantine, Christian, Christopher, Augustus, Frederick and Francis.
In Barangay Greater Lagro, site of the La Mesa Dam and Novaliches Reservoir/Reservation, the major street signboard reads Ascension Ave. Either parallel or perpendicular to this avenue are such streets as Panunuluyan, Salubong, Reyna Elena, Santacruzan, Flores de Mayo, Tatlong Hari, Pabasa, and Simbang Gabi.
The names of a number of former Filipino “datus” or traditional rulers or chiefs of indigenous peoples are also featured in several streets in Barangay Urduja in North Caloocan’s Novaliches area. They include Lakandula, Lapu-Lapu, Kalantiao, Sumakwel, Puti, Panday Pira, Humabon, Soliman, Magat Salamat and Sikatuna.
In neighboring Barangay Amparo Nova Ville, names of birds have not been left out in putting up street signs, which carry such bird names as Maya, Pipit, Batu-bato, Tagak, Kulyawan, Loro, Lawin, Pugo, Kalaw, Kunduro, and Tikling.
At Millionaires’ Village in Barangay San Agustin, mineral names are found on street signs like Gold, Emerald, Ruby, Topaz, and Sapphire.
In Barangay Greater Fairview, along and across Commonwealth Ave., streets signs carry the names of cigarette brands and types or kinds of cars. The cigarette names include Marlboro, Piedmont, Chelsea, Winston, New Port, Kool, and Kent.
On the other hand, among the car names featured on street signs are Mustang, Opel, Camaro, Fairlane, Dodge, Pontiac, Impala, Malibu, Coronet, Ferrari, Jaguar, and Falcon.
At Vista Verde Executive Village in Barangay Caybiga, Novaliches, North Caloocan, some of the street signs have the names of foreign countries or capitals such as Dublin, Lisbon, Stockholm, Athens, Cairo, Caracas, Mexico, Amsterdam, Vienna, Peking (Beijing), Moscow, Santiago (Chile), Bridgetown, Canberra, Capetown, Copenhagen, Havana, Belfast and Guatemala.
Even outstanding Filipino senators and congressmen are also honored with street names in some Novaliches subdivisions. They include the late 1934 Constitutional Convention President and Senator Claro M. Recto and Senate President Camilo O. Osias.
One of the major streets in T. S. Cruz subdivision in Barangay San Agustin has been named after Recto who died while in an official visit in Rome in October 1960.
Osias, also a former congressman and Senate president, has been honored with a Camilo O. Osias Ave., the main street of New Haven subdivision along Quirino Highway in Barangay Kaligayahan, Novaliches.
Meanwhile, at the Senate Village in Barangay Bagumbong, also in North Caloocan, majority of the streets bear names related to the lawmaking functions of the two chambers of the Philippine Congress enshrined in the 1987 Constitution–the 24 members of the Senate and the 304 members of the House of Representatives.
The main artery of the village is called Senate Avenue. Around or across it are such streets bearing the names Legislation, Session, Quorum, Amendment, Inquiry, Resolution, Bill, Adjournment, Sponsorship, Caucus, Journal, and Conference (not in that order).
The names of these streets often appear in news stories about the lawmaking activities of the senators as well as the congressmen.
Some of the words even appear in Article VI (Legislative Department) of the 1987 Constitution.
Here is a random definition of the names of the above streets based on the Merriam- Webster Dictionary:
*Legislation — Consists of a law or laws passed by a legislature;
*Session — An official meeting of a legislative body;
*Quorum — The minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present to make its procedures valid;
*Amendment — Changes or additions designed to improve legislation;
*Inquiry — An act of seeking information in-aid-of-legislation;
*Resolution — A firm decision to do or not to do something or anything about an issue;
*Bill — A proposed legislation or law;
*Adjournment — Suspension of the meeting of a legislature to a future date;
*Caucus — A closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction; and
*Journal — Records of the proceedings of the legislature;
There is also a street in the Senate Village named Blue Ribbon Committee. This refers to the powerful Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations of the Senate.
This committee is tasked to investigate alleged wrongdoings of the government, its officials, and its attached agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, in aid-of-legislation, that is, the primary purpose is the suggestion of new laws, or proposals of amendments to existing laws.
Aside from the Senate Village, there is also an existing Congress Village or North Caloocan City’s Barangay 173, which was established during the time of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. (PNA)