|Radial Road 7|
|Length:||2.0 km (1.2 mi)|
|West end:||Junction of Lerma (R-7) and Nicanor Reyes (Morayta) Streets in Sampaloc, Manila|
|Lacson Avenue (C-2),
Maceda Street, Blumentritt Road in Sampaloc
|East end:||Mabuhay Rotonda in E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd., Quezon and Mayon Avenue in Quezon City|
|Major cities:||Manila, Quezon City|
|Highways in the Philippines|
España Boulevard is the main thoroughfare of Sampaloc district, Manila and the extreme western section of Quezon City. It is an 8-lane divided arterial road and is a component of one of the radial roads of Metro Manila — Radial Road 7 or R-7. España's name is taken after the Spanish name of Spain, the Philippines' colonial power for 333 years. True to its name, several Spanish names abound the street.
España is an east-west artery of Manila. It connects Lerma and Nicanor Reyes (formerly Morayta) streets of Sampaloc district at the west end to the Mabuhay (or Welcome) Rotonda, Quezon City at the east end. The entire street is straddled by a center island, which is only broken at major intersections and at the railroad crossing. Vehicles are allowed to make a left-turn only on two intersections: southward to Lacson Avenue and at the western terminus going to Nicanor Reyes Street. España is two kilometers long.
At the east end is Mabuhay Rotonda, which connects España with Quezon Avenue, Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue, and Mayon Avenue. Quezon Avenue leads to EDSA and ultimately to the Quezon Memorial Circle. E. Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue leads to Cubao district of Quezon City, a popular shopping place. Mayon Avenue leads to A. Bonifacio Avenue then North Luzon Expressway (formerly North Diversion Road). Vehicles pass through the Mabuhay Rotonda on a counter-clockwise direction, although the west side of the rotonda is now closed to traffic.
At the south side of España at the front of the rotunda is South East Asian College, a medical and nursing school.
At the north side of Macaraig Street are offices of telecommunications company PLDT. Macaraig marks the Manila-Quezon City boundary.
At Josefina Street's south side is a Meralco branch, a power distribution firm.
The first major intersection is Blumentritt Road. The street is named after Austrian professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, Jose Rizal's best friend. The next intersections are characters from Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere: Ibarra, Sisa and Basilio. Crisostomo Ibarra is the hero of the novel, while Sisa was the mother who went mad when her two sons, Basilio and Crispin went missing. Another is Macaraig, from El Filibusterismo.
From Mabuhay Rotonda to Blumentritt lies 2 Ministop Convenience Stores. One is the Macaraig branch, just beside PLDT, and the other one is the Blumentritt-Ibarra branch, across Equitable bank.
The next major intersection is Maceda Street (formerly called Washington Street), the street is named after the former Manila Schools Superintendent, Antonio Maceda. Maceda also leads to A. Bonifacio Avenue then North Luzon Expressway. Along Craig Street on España's south side is a Mercury Drug branch. Between Kundiman and E. Quintos, Sr. Streets is the only pedestrian traffic light along España. The yellow notice at the traffic light reads "Ped Xing," which means "pedestrian crossing." Between Antipolo and Algeciras streets is the Philippine National Railways tracks, on which trains stop at the España station, on the south side.
Vicente G. Cruz (formerly Economia) and Manuel dela Fuente Streets (formerly Trabajo) each have traffic lights. This area is still referred to as "Trabajo" (Spanish for "hard work"). The surrounding streets are named after virtues in Spanish. For example, Pureza (purity), Sobriedad (sobriety), Verdad (truth), Honradez (honor),Prudencio (Prudence), and Alegria (joy).
Along Vicente Cruz lies a Mini Stop convenience store, while on M. dela Fuente lies a 7-Eleven branch, and Wendy's (now closed) and Chowking food chains. Several meters from España on the south side of M. dela Fuente lies a Jollibee branch. Vicente Cruz can only be crossed on a north-south route while dela Fuente can only be crossed on a south-north route.
Between Don Quijote (named after Don Quixote) and Carola streets is the Ramon Magsaysay High School, a reputable public high school. It can easily be distinguished from España's north side with its sky blue walls. The school is also the largest public high school in Manila.
On the north side, from Lacson Avenue to Padre Noval Street is the 21.5-hectare campus of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Lacson Avenue is named after Arsenio Lacson, a former Mayor of Manila. It was formerly Governor Forbes Street after William Cameron Forbes, one of the American Governor-Generals. At the northwest corner of the España-Lacson intersection is UST's Roque Ruaño building, which houses UST's Faculty of Engineering. Between Mariano Jhocson (named after Mariano Fortunato Jhocson, founder of National University) and Centro Streets is another pedestrian overpass, which serves UST students.
At the front of UST is a Shakey's Pizza parlor, branches of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metrobank, a Victory Liner bus terminal, Mayric's Bar, several review centers and dormitories. Visible from España are the Arch of the Centuries and two fountains namely, Fountain of Knowledge and Fountain of Divine Wisdom. This part of the university is named Plaza Intramuros which is a vestige of UST's connections with Intramuros district.
At UST's west side is Padre Noval Street, named after Fr. Jose Noval, O. P., who served as UST's Rector from 1910-1914. At the street corner is the Beato Angelico building, which houses the Fine Arts and Design, and Architecture colleges of UST. The street is peculiar because the southbound vehicles are allowed to cross the street, while northbound vehicles are only allowed to make a left or right-turn along España.
At Padre Campa Street are branches of McDonald's and KFC, both on the north side. At KFC's pedestrian side is another pedestrian overpass. Facing McDonald's on the south side is Saint Thomas Square, a shopping center.
España ends at the junction of Nicanor Reyes (formerly called Morayta) and Lerma Streets. Nicanor Reyes, named after the founder of Far Eastern University, which straddles its north side, leads to Claro M. Recto Avenue. Lerma, on the other hand, leads to Quezon Boulevard (different from Quezon Avenue), named after the President Manuel L. Quezon, who also studied at the UST.
Notable events and trivia
España is well known for its floods during the rainy season. This is because it serves as a catch basin for runoff water from higher elevated Quezon City, as Sampaloc used to be a swamp-marsh area. It is common to find people wading in waist-deep floods especially when a typhoon passes through Manila, causing suspension of classes.
A new mass-transit line is planned to cross España, called MRT-4, also called by some as the Red Line. The said MRT line will traverse the Boulevard until it reaches San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan. But this has been opposed by the City Council of Manila and goes against the conditions set forth by Spain for the donation of the land for Espana Boulevard.
The house of the longest serving Mayor of Manila, Ramon Bagatsing, is in Kundiman Street, on the boulevard's north side. Many people used to flock to his residence as it was open to all his constituents, becoming the de facto public service assistance center for Manila's poor and underprivileged. Today, the Bagatsing compound extends all the way to the parallel street of Craig.
List of intersections from east to west. Bolded names are road crossings with traffic lights. Names in italics indicate former names, some of which are still in wide use. Designations in square brackets indicate official Metro Manila national roads.