MOVIEGOER: Uptown, downtown on new FPJ Avenue

Published September 15, 2021, 7:54 PM

by Nestor Cuartero

Fernando Poe Jr.

After much hemming and humming, a bill that proposed to rename Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City after Fernando Poe, Jr. has been approved by the Philippine Senate on its third and final reading Sept. 13.

The street, on which FPJ grew up (in a mansion built by his father on the hilly part of the road), shall now be known as Fernando Poe, Jr. Avenue.

       It is next door to San Francisco del Monte Avenue, where the late movie king invested in another property, the present site of FPJ Studios. The sprawling studio is still there, housing all of FPJ’s movies.

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        Naming an important road after FPJ is a nation’s tribute to the late Filipino actor, who was proclaimed National Artist in 2012.

   Poe’s family, led by movie queen Susan Roces and daughter Senator Grace Poe, expressed gratitude for the passing of the bill.

     Earlier, HB 7499, passed in the House of Representatives in September, 2020, initially sought to rename Del Monte Avenue  after the “King of Philippine Movies.”

     Catholic groups opposed the move because of its profound religious significance. Del Monte is the site of the first Christian community founded by the Franciscans in Quezon City.

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      In death, as he was in life, Fernando Poe, Jr. has remained a legend.

     His name continues to ring a bell following his passing at age 65 on December 14, 2004. Nightly, Filipino audiences here and abroad are reminded of his legacy via the top-rating TV series, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, which is now on its 6th year.

      FPJ’s old movies remain high on the list of most-watched programs on ABS-CBN platforms.

    In cinema as in real life, FPJ was a genuine advocate and defender of the masa, the embodiment of their dreams and aspirations.

    There are stories of FPJ building schools, fixing irrigation systems, donating generators and water pumps, and taking care of his stuntmen and fellow actors.

      FPJ was not only the King of Philippine Movies. He was also “the unproclaimed President of the Philippines.”

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       Efforts to perpetuate the legacy of FPJ are aplenty.

       The late Manila Mayor Fred Lim erected FPJ’s statue along Roxas Boulevard.

       A prime road within MetroTurf horse racing circuit in Malvar-Tanauan, Batangas has been named after him in recognition of his support to the horseracing industry.

Former Governor Imee Marcos installed FPJ’s statue on the sand dunes of Paoay, Ilocos Norte, where the actor shot his landmark film, “Ang Panday.” 

    Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur were the favorite locations of many an FPJ movie, showing off their magnificent churches and historical landmarks.

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  Speaking of renaming roads, some streets in Quezon City can stand a few revisions.

  In Kamuning-Kamias districts, for instance, roads carry generic names like K-1, K-2, K-3 and so forth. These streets can be named after modern heroes who lived in Quezon City.

Elsewhere, in the Pag-asa area, there are streets called Road 1, Road 2, Road 3, et cetera. Have we run out of creativity, or heroes, in naming roads?

 
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