Roxas Boulevard is considered as one of the main arteries of Metro Manila. Along this strip of avenue, flow traffics to the airport, southern destinations, Rizal Park, Makati business district, and city proper of Manila. Unfortunately, the boulevard is being used for special events, hence, closed for as long as half day, posing a problem to motorists. Traffics get snarled along secondary streets where the motorists are redirected. The length of the boulevard is shared by Manila City, Pasay City and Paraῆaque City. None of them ever thought of sitting down to discuss options on how to solve the problem, one of which is using the reclaimed area now being developed into an “Entertainment City”. Its streets are more than enough to accommodate running events, as they are wide without any impediment, especially on Sundays. Meanwhile, for as long as this problem is not solved by the “three heads”, the historic strip shall remain an embarrassment to the government.
Then, there’s the Macapagal Avenue, right in front of the Dream City, with its giant potholes. For several months now, the road made useless by these traffic obstacles, have not been touched by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), headed by its General Manager, Peter Anthony Abaya, who is incidentally, brother of Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Jun Abaya. President Aquino always refers to the whole area where a forest of modern structures has sprung up, as the next “Entertainment City of Asia”. But, even with the simple retouch to a short length of road not applied, will it happen?…or remain just to be a dream.
In 1903, Simeon Ola with about 1,500 supporters continued the uprising in Albay against the Americans after the fall of Aguinaldo. In answer to such insurrection, the Americans resorted to the concentration of the villagers resulting to the casualty of about 300,000 due to the inadequate supply of food and unhealthy accommodation. Hunger and diseases caused the deaths.
Governor Taft vehemently insisted that the move was necessary to “save” the villagers from the supposedly terroristic activities of Ola, an accusation which was denied by those affected of concentration. What followed was the ceaseless negotiation for his surrender. Aside from Vice-Governor Luke Wright, Pardo de Tavera was also involved in the negotiation for the surrender of Ola for which conferences were held and promises were made by the American government.
As a last resort, On September 22, 1903, Col. Bandholtz purportedly signed an agreement with Ola “promising him immunity” and other conveniences. When the band of Ola surrendered, the Americans denied having signed an agreement with him. Instead, the colonizers spread the story that Ola surrendered finally, as he found it futile to continue going against the superior forces of the Americans who were really resolute in apprehending him at all cost. This denial tactic was used also against Aguinaldo when he conferred with Dewey just before the outbreak of the Spanish-American war.
To further pin Ola down, the American authorities also spread stories that Ola turned witness against his band, for which, he was given an “executive clemency”. The hearing was presided over by Judge James Blount and Judge Adam C. Carson, assisted by Prosecutor James Rosa. The proceeding resulted to the release of some of Ola’s followers, others were sentenced for vagrancy, while the rest were charged for sedition. Some got the heaviest penalty which was death, under the Brigandage Act. Ola was slapped with imprisonment for 30 years…ironically, despite his cooperation. Ola was clearly another victim of the American treachery.