España Boulevard

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España Boulevard
Radial Road 7
Route information
Length: 2.0 km (1.2 mi)
Major junctions
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: Welcome Rotonda in E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd., Quezon and Mayon Avenue in Quezon City
Location
Major cities: Manila, Quezon City
Highway system
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 ManilaRadial 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.

Notable landmarks[edit]

España Boulevard during its usual afternoon rush hour traffic.
Map of Manila (click for larger version)

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.

España's north side is its west-bound (Manila-bound) side, while the south side is its east-bound (Quezon City-bound) side. Buses, taxis, jeepneys and cabriolets serve the commuters.

Quezon City[edit]

At the east end is the Welcome Rotonda, also called the 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 Welcome 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.

Manila[edit]

España Boulevard and its side streets. Areas above the dashed line belongs to Manila, those below are to Quezon City's.

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 Banco De Oro España - Blumentritt Branch.

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 Philippine National Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metrobank, 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[edit]

España is infamous 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.[1]

Fernando Poe, Jr.'s funeral procession passed through España on its way to Manila North Cemetery from Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. As many 3 million people took a part in the procession.[2]

A new mass-transit line is planned to cross España, called MRT-4, also called by some as the Red Line.[3] 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 boulevard will also provide access to the northern extension of Metro Manila Skyway via España Exit. The said extension will traverse over PNR tracks until it reaches Grace Park, Caloocan City.

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.

España is also frequently used by anti-government protesters as a gathering area due to its proximity to Mendiola, which ends at Malacañan Palace, the presidential residence.[4]

Intersections[edit]

The Welcome Rotonda, also called the Mabuhay Rotonda
España Boulevard near University of Santo Tomas

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "8 dead as floods hit Luzon". Manila Bulletin. unavailable.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "MASSIVE SECURITY FOR FPJ BURIAL". Philippine Headline News Online. 2004-12-22. 
  3. ^ DOTC to review MRT 4 GOV.ph. Accessed July 25, 2006.
  4. ^ "Activists, cops clash near Malacañang; scores hurt". Sun Star Network Online. 2006-06-10. 

Coordinates: 14°37′3″N 121°0′4″E / 14.61750°N 121.00111°E / 14.61750; 121.00111