MANILA -- Among the 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila, 79-year-old Quezon City can very well lay valid claim to the title of being home to the most beautiful and inspiringly-named barangays and villages.

Here’s why: Of its 142 barangays in six congressional districts, more than one-third carry the names of either former presidents, saints, and other blessed persons or appellations, signifying inspiration, success or victory, unity, and holiness.

Quezon City has 37 barangays in the first district, five in the second district, 37 in the third district, 38 in the fourth district, 14 in the fifth district, and 11 in the sixth district.

At least five barangays have been named after former Philippine presidents --Barangays Ramon Magsaysay in the first district, Quirino and Aguinaldo in the third district, and Roxas and Don Manuel in the fourth district.

Barangay Aguinaldo is named in honor of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, first president of the Philippine Republic (1898-1901); while Barangay Don Manuel perpetuates the memory of the first president of the Philippine commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon (1935-1944). Quezon City itself was named after the latter.

Located near the junction of Quezon and G. Araneta Avenues just off the famed Sto. Domingo Church, Barangay Roxas honors the late President Manuel A. Roxas (1946-1948). Barangay Quirino is named in memory of the late President Elpidio Quirino (1948-1953).

Situated in the city’s first district, Barangay Magsaysay is named after the country’s most loved Philippine president and idol of the masses, Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash on Mt. Manunggal in Cebu on Mar. 17, 1957.

Two neighboring barangays in the fourth district bear the names of two former first ladies of the land. These are Barangays Doña Aurora, named after the wife of President Quezon, and Doña Imelda, wife of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos (1965-1986).

Also located in the fourth district is Barangay Doña Josefa, which has been named after Doña Josefa Edralin Marcos, mother of President Marcos.

In the city’s first district, adjacent to Barangay Magsaysay is Barangay Alicia, wife of the late President Quirino.

Quezon City’s longest-reigning mayor, the late Norberto Amoranto (1954-1976), has been honored with the renaming of a portion of La Loma district near the city’s southwestern boundary with Manila as Barangay N.S. Amoranto.

In the third district, the name of the late Senate President Eulogio “Amang” Rodrguez Sr. has been perpetuated with the christening of a barangay adjacent to Cubao, the city’s prime commercial area, as Barangay E. Rodriguez.

Coincidentally, both Rodriguez and Amoranto have also been remembered with the renaming of two major streets in Quezon City after them. The former España Extension from the Welcome Rotunda at the Manila-Quezon City boundary to E. delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) in Cubao has been renamed E. Rodriguez Blvd.

On the other hand, the former Retiro Street from Blumentritt Extension in Manila to Barangay Talayan is now known as N.S. Amoranto Avenue.

The barangays carrying names of saints or holy appellations are San Antonio, San Isidro Labrador, Sta. Monica, San Roque, Sta. Teresita, St. Peter, Sto. Domingo, San Jose, San Bartolome, Sta. Lucia, San Agustin, St. Ignatius, San Martin, San Isidro, Kristong Hari (Christ the King), Santo Nino (Holy Child), Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception, Holy Spirit, Sto. Cristo, Sta. Cruz (Holy Cross), and Lourdes.

There are at least eight barangays that signify or seek to perpetuate love of country and spirit of heroism, nationalism and valor. These are Barangays Katipunan, Veterans Village, Tandang Sora, Unang Sigaw, Pasong Tamo, Apolonio Samson, Matandang Balara, and Pasong Putik.

Barangay Katipunan commemorates the name of the revolutionary society founded by Gat Andres Bonifacio and other patriots on July 7, 1892, which eventually launched the uprising against tyrannous Spanish rule in the Philippines four years later.

Veterans Village is named to honor the country’s numerous veterans, known and unknown, who sacrificed their lives to defend the country from invading foreigners and other lawless elements.

Barangay Tandang Sora, located in the historic former town of Novaliches, perpetuates the memory of the revered Grand Old Lady of the Revolution, Melchora Aquino.

More popularly known as Balintawak, Barangay Unang Sigaw, as its name implies, is among the disputable places where Bonifacio and his fellow Katipuneros were said to have raised the first “cry” of the 1896 Revolution.

Aside from Balintawak, the other places being debated upon as the site of the initial Cry for Independence from Spain or tearing of “cedulas” (residence certificates) include Pugad Lawin, Kangkong (now Barangay Apolonio Samson), and Banlat, which was the birthplace of the heroine Tandang Sora.

Barangay Pasong Tamo, an immediate neighbor of Barangay Tandang Sora, is the site of the first-ever armed encounter between the Katipuneros and the Spanish civil guards on Aug. 26, 1896 (some history books say August 24 or 25).

Also located in Novaliches, Barangay Pasong Putik was where Tandang Sora was arrested by the Spaniards prior to her exile to Guam on Sept. 2, 1896.

Meanwhile, at least two dozen other barangays have names that connote inspiration, hope, unity, progress, cooperation, and love, among other virtues. These are Barangays Kalusugan (health); Paraiso (paradise); Salvacion (salvation); Maharlika (noble); Damayan (cooperation); Bagong Pagasa (new hope); Pag-ibig sa Nayon (love of barrio); Kaligayahan (happiness);

Nagkaisang Nayon (united barrios); New Era; Socorro (aid or succor); Tagumpay (victory); Bayanihan (community brotherhood); Bagumbayan (new town); Masagana (bountiful); Milagrosa (miraculous); Marilag (pretty or beautiful); Bagong Lipunan (new society); Kaunlaran (progress); Laging Handa (always prepared); Paligsahan (competition); Damayang Lagi (perpetual help); Pinagkaisahan (unanimous decision); and Malaya (free). (PNA)