A petty matter! Or really?

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

A road at Cebu City's north reclamation area that ends on a bridge is called S. Osmeña. Whether it is a street, or a boulevard, or an avenue that appends to the name cannot be read from the markers put on the street corners along the route although I believe it is officially called as the Sergio Osmeña Boulevard, to refer to the leader of the Philippine commonwealth, the late Pres. Sergio Osmeña Sr. There should be an ordinance naming this street as such. And that act of the city government in so naming that street is within its authority and prerogative. However, below the name S. Osmeña is written the words "national road," in parenthesis, which I take to mean that this street is maintained by the national government and not by the local government unit of Cebu City.

A street sign that is erected just on the opposite end of the bridge carries the name Ouano Boulevard. The river being the natural boundary between Cebu City and Mandaue City, the Ouano Boulevard is, of course, a part of the territory of Mandaue City and that is why the city government calls it by that name in honor of one of its most distinguished sons. In the same manner, the authority of the Mandaue City government in calling it as Ouano Boulevard is given.

It is only a bridge that connects S. Osmeña Boulevard, in Cebu City and Ouano Boulevard, in Mandaue City. Because the span is very short and so well constructed, we cannot even discern that there is such a bridge. For all practical purposes, there is just one road. While we, residents of both cities, know the names of these two roads, as we are supposed to, we do not expect that those living outside of these two cities realize that there are two names given to this one road. It may very well, be one road with two names!

Let us move to another site. The road in Lapu-Lapu City leading to the old bridge that links it to Mandaue City is called Maximo V. Patalinjug Avenue. Yet, after crossing the bridge and when you are on the side of Mandaue City, the name of the road is different. If we view it from the air above, there is but one road spanned by a bridge and yet, there are two different names starting from the two ends of the bridge.

This situation is not different as regards the road linked by the Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan Bridge.  There are two names given, one starting on each side end of the bridge.

The truth is this matter seems petty.  For locals, like me, I need not care the difference in the names of the roads. After all, it is within the authority of the city governments to name their streets in the manner they think most appropriate.

But, just think of a participant to the current APEC conference who is keenly observing our cities. Imagine how confused he can get when soon after he hops into his car from say a meeting at Radisson Blu Hotel and notices the road sign with "S Osmeña (national road)" on it, yet, just about a hundred meters away, he, while still travelling on the same road, reads another name, Ouano Boulevard, for the same road.

Suppose further that the same APEC participant shortly after coming out of a meeting at the Marriott Hotel, happens to pass by F. Cabahug Street, in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City, and after few turns somewhere is Mandaue City, comes to a street bearing similar name, F. Cabahug but with an entirely different skyline, is it impossible for him to imagine that he has gone back to where he started?

Come to think of it. This petty matter, I must insist, gets messy.  Indeed, while Atty. Ernie Limkakeng, once broached to his audience, many years ago, the idea that "great things come in small packages" or words to that effect, this petty issue can become a disturbing indicia of our disharmony of thought. It may be a good time for our leaders to sit down and harmonize, at least the names of our city streets. They may adopt of set of priority names to be used on roads that traverse their cities and eliminate the source of conflicting information.


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