California Assembly names 3 streets after Filipinos

By on September 29, 2014

Photo of a street in Alameda, California (Wikimedia Commons)
Photo of a street in Alameda, California (Wikimedia Commons)

MANILA, Philippines – The California District Assembly has finished selecting names for all streets in a housing development at the city’s Alameda Landing area, with three streets named after well-known Filipino American figures.

Three of the roads in the neighborhood were named after Larry Itliong (Itliong Lane), Philip Vera Cruz (Vera Cruz Lane), and Bohol Circle, Inc. (Bohol Lane), as declared by Alameda Councilmember Stewart Chen.

The two Filipinos and one Filipino association were commendable citizens of the district and had contributed significantly to the development of the locality, in particular, and the country at large.

“Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz represented and fought for the rights of the farm laborers. In Alameda, the number of Filipino farm laborers was quite high – my father being only one – in the years prior to and after World War II, moving well into the 60s,” said Ellie Luis, an Alameda resident.

On April 29, the Planning Board approved the names Itliong, Vera Cruz, and Bohol that were included in the short list of 16 proposed street names for Alameda Landing.

And on June 5, it was presented to the Historical Advisory Board who approved the list.

Itliong Lane appeared in the completed Phase 1 Street map, Vera Cruz Lane in the completed Phase 2 Street map, and Bohol Lane in the completed Phase 3 Street map.

Several celebrations in the Alameda Filipino community, particularly the Filipino American History Month in October, will feature this momentous event.

“This is a first in the San Francisco Bay Area. No other moment in history, but now, could this have been possible. Today, we have a Filipino American Assembly Member in our Assembly District 18, Rob Bonta, and two Filipinos in the Alameda City Council: Tony Daysog, a Filipino Japanese American and myself, a Chinese Filipino American,” Councilmember Chen said. “The Filipino community can count on us serving, supporting, and representing Alamedans,”

Back in April, John Knox White of the Alameda Planning Board encouraged Alamedans to get involved in suggesting possible names for new streets in Alameda that ‘honors (and) remembers folks from across the diverse communities of our city.’

The invitation reached individuals in Alameda’s multicultural community.

“Inviting city folks to participate in naming their city streets is a very enlightening process. The process is often rough sailing, but if we bear in mind that our world is diverse and respect that, we will be the richer for it,” said Cynthia Bonta, one of those who proposed Filipino names.

“It’s a matter of being inclusive. You know the history of your culture in Alameda and I want to honor it,” said Alameda School Board Member Nielsen Tam.

With report from Cyra Alameda