No to Renaming of EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue

Senator Manuel Roxas II said he will file on Monday a bill seeking to rename EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue

Sa tuwing mababanggit ang EDSA, iisa ang naiisip nating mga Pilipino: ang People Power ni Tita Cory. Nararapat lamang na i-alay natin sa kanyang alaala ang daang nagpakilala sa kanya sa buong mundo (Whenever we hear of EDSA, one thing always comes to the mind of Filipinos: the People Power led by President Cory. It is but fitting to offer in her memory the road that had made her famous all over the world)” (GMA News.TV)

To this proposal by Senator Roxas, I say NO.  NO, not because I do not like Cory Aquino–I admire her, especially her devotion to the rosary.  NO, not because people may think that Sen. Roxas would like to capitalize on the  symphathy and admiration of the Filipino people for Cory in his bid for the Presidency in the 2010 elections.  And NO, not because I do not like change, for I am for it if it is for the good (but not the CHANGE of the pro-abortion Pres. Obama).

I say no for three reasons:

1.  Cory Aquino Avenue (formerly EDSA) will become indistinguishable from the many roads that will be changed to Cory Aquino avenues in the whole Philippines.  In my hometown in Bacolod City, we have this Narra drive changed to Ninoy Aquino Drive.  And there is also a corner called “Bangga Cory.”  And soon, we will have many roads named Aquino.  Indeed the more prominent the person, the more roads it is named after.  Can anyone tell me how many Bonifacio and Rizal roads and highways there are?  But EDSA is unique, because Epifanio de los Santos, who once was called the “Great among the Great Filipino Scholars,” is obscure to us modern Filipinos who have lost our Spanish tongue.  Thus, no other avenue will be most likely named EDSA.  (A trivia: there is a narrow walk in Ateneo de Manila University named EDSA).

2.  EDSA evokes “People Power” as Mendiola evokes “massacre”. EDSA is the scene of the first People Power that ousted a dictator not by tanks and bullets but by prayers and flowers.  EDSA is a scene of the second People Power that ousted an actor from the highest post in the land, with everything covered in televsion from the gripping court trial to the boat farewell from Malacanang.  And EDSA is the scene of the third People Power that failed.  The People Power is the EDSA Revolution.

But what does Cory Aquino Avenue evoke?  A road in Hacienda Luisita?  A road near Ninoy Aquino International Airport?  Cory Aquino Avenue has no meaning in the same way as Marichu R. Tinga (MRT) Avenue in Taguig City has no meaning.  Maybe MRT Avenue is the better name for EDSA Avenue, since MRT (Metro Rail Transit) train spans EDSA.  But MRT Avenue is actually the new name of Bayani Road (Hero’s Road) that leads to Libingan ng mga Bayani (Grave of the Heroes) in Fort Bonifacio.  If you want to get lost in Fort Bonifacio, look for MRT Avenue.

Road naming is a sign of power, as naming of animals by Adam is a sign of his dominion over them.  When the communists came to power in Russia, they renamed all the old roads associated with the Emperor or the Tsar into those of Lenin and Stalin.  Leningrad was formerly named St. Petersburg, being founded by Peter the Great (1703);  Stalingrad was Tsaritsyn.  So let us be cautious in changing the names of our roads; otherwise, we lose our sense of history.

3.  EDSA means Epifanio de los Santos or Epiphany of the Saints. So what more apt name can you describe the events that happened at EDSA during the People Power revolution?  Everybody is praying, praying, and praying.  All the Juan de la Cruz of the Philippines are praying in their darkest hour  (St. John of the Cross is Carmelite mystic and Spain’s national poet who wrote the Dark Night of the Soul).  Like the persistent widow in Christ’s parable, we prayed and God heeded our prayers.  EDSA is a miracle.  EDSA is truly the epiphany of the saints.

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About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

4 Responses to No to Renaming of EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue

  1. Jonathan Jr. says:

    I get your point and i agree to it.

  2. Rick says:

    I agree. Don’t judge history or history will judge back upon us. The name EDSA is already an icon for Filipinos…part of our culture..history. And if it is named after a great Filipino and who are we to take that away. Heroism goes beyond politics, popularity, media etc. Let us remembered all our heroes with no pretensions. I love all our Filipino heroes.

  3. Ernical_Allan says:

    I agree with this post. We can also remember President Cory Aquino in different ways. via our heart

  4. Ermical_Allan says:

    I agree with this post, I admire her (President Cory Aquino0 so much, but we can also admire and remember her in the different ways.

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