“Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7)
When we do not remember the days of old, we will forget about the riches it has brought us. If we do not regard with gratitude our foundations, we will not be able to stand secure.
The Diocese of Cubao expresses our opposition to the proposed renaming of Del Monte Avenue. The name “Del Monte Avenue” has tremendous historical, religious, and cultural significance associated with it, especially for Quezon City.
The origins of Quezon City could be traced back to San Francisco del Monte. San Pedro Bautista, now venerated as one of the martyrs of the Catholic Church, himself founded the first settlement there. He named it in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi and the name Del Monte was attached to it to distinguish it from the Franciscan convent in Manila during that time. Del Monte recognizes the hilly topography of the place.
Moreover, it is in San Francisco Del Monte where the first Christian community – the first parish – in Quezon City was established. The Franciscan friars dedicated their efforts in building and strengthening the community. Now, the church and convent of San Pedro Bautista in Del Monte is over 400 years old. It was recently accorded the title of Minor Basilica by the Vatican in recognition of the deep faith and devotion of the people in that area.
While we laud the achievements of the late Fernando Poe, Jr, we cannot agree to cast into oblivion the name of the street around which a community has built its historical, religious, and cultural heritage. Other streets connected to Fernando Poe, Jr. can be considered to be renamed after him. Keep Del Monte Avenue as Del Monte Avenue.
There is blessing when we remember the days of old. There is blessing when we do not forget our foundations. We tell it to our children, and to our children’s children.