NLEX to Corex: Cheapening the concept of commemoration


A BILL renaming the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to President Corazon C. Aquino Expressway has cleared the House Committee on Public Works and Highways. This news was met with derision in most newsrooms and among the vast majority of Philippine netizens, and with good reason.

The bill (HB 4920) had been gathering dust since it was filed by Nueva Ecija Congresswoman Magnolia Rosa Antonio-Nadres last year. Now it seems likely to pass the full House despite there being more pressing matters for that august body to address.

In her explanatory note introducing the bill, Antonio-Nadres asserts that, “If favorably passed into law, it will constantly remind us of the noble deeds of the late President, especially for the poor, and inspire our people to emulate her example of selfless service to the nation.”

How a toll highway operated by a private contractor will remind anyone of selfless service and noble deeds on behalf of the poor is a bit unclear, particularly when the highway in question was initiated under the regime of the first President Aquino’s predecessor, and expanded and upgraded by her successors. In fact, as our resident expert on roads and infrastructure, Times columnist and InfraWatch head Rick B. Ramos, pointed out, the NLEX actually deteriorated due to lack of attention during Cory Aquino’s term, necessitating the work done during the terms of former Presidents Ramos and Arroyo.

And then there is the matter of the new name for the highway. Because we Filipinos have a penchant for creating acronyms (e.g., NLEX), it is only natural that “President Corazon C. Aquino Expressway” would be shortened to something a little less unwieldy for everyday reference. Rep. Antonio-Nadres, anticipating this, specified in the bill that the abbreviation for the new name should be “CAEx,” but to no avail; the natural-sounding acronym to nearly everyone who’s offered a comment on the matter is apparently “Corex,” which as most Filipino adults will recall was the name of a once-popular brand of cough syrup.

Naming important public works such as roads, bridges, dams, and airports after important national figures is a time-honored tradition, not just in the Philippines but in every country around the world. It can, however, be overdone.

Some years ago, not long after the death of former US president Ronald Reagan, a bill was introduced in the US Congress that would have required every county in every state to name at least one public feature in Reagan’s memory. Despite Reagan’s popularity and the existence of many things already memorializing him—Washington’s domestic airport, for example, had been renamed in his honor—the proposed measure was treated as a joke by the American public and their Congress, and died a quietly appropriate death.

So should the ridiculous HB 4920. Even if we completely disregard the political perceptions of many Filipinos that the Aquino name, particularly in the last few years, has become associated with a legacy of questionable performance and ethics, memorializing anyone to excess cheapens the very concept of commemoration. Cory Aquino, no matter what anyone may think of her performance as president, did play a gigantic role in the EDSA Revolt. Any memorial to her should be relevant, tasteful, and actually remind people of her importance. None of that is accomplished by the proposed renaming of the NLEX, particularly when the result will be an unintentionally funny nickname, and particularly not now when there are so many other vital issues that need attention.

HB 4920 is a waste of legislative time and effort, and does not commemorate the former president in the way she actually deserves. It should be discarded, quickly, and the attention of our nation’s lawmakers returned to more pressing matters.


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  1. Please, Magnolia, tell us poor ignorant Filipinos about these “noble deeds” and “selfless” acts of Cory’s.

    Pakisabi mo na rin kung ano na nagawa mo bilang congresswoman, bukod sa pagkolekta mo ng milyon-milyon suweldo at suhol na pork.

  2. Hay talagang nagpapatunay lang na maraming TANGA dyan sa lugar ng mga buwaya na yan. Bakit hindi na lang ang palitan nya ay yung pangalan ng kalye na kung saan siya nakatira. Yun, gawin nyang “COREX” Street hahahaha…

  3. i think there should be a law to regulate the naming of public infrastructures… I don’t think renaming the NLEX is a good idea…

    • apolonio reyes on

      Eugene, not only regulate but BAN the renaming of all streets to commemorate the lives of public officials, they are elected and paid to work for us….. What if these TONGRE$$MEN WILL RE-NAME SLEX TO KRISS-EXES,,,,,,? WOW NAMAN !!!!!

    • So if they rename the South Luzon Expressway (SLex) to Kris Aquino South Expressway (KASex)?

  4. palitan na lang yung ospital sa mandaluyong na Benigno Aquino Jr Mental Hospital in memory of Abnoy and Ninoy. Aquino is a family of retard. Ninoy started communist. Cory release the leader of commnist and started pork barrel. Abnoy started KKK.

  5. Oh, wag ny na iboto si Tongresswoman Magnolia Nadres. Walang katuturan ung house bill nya. Kadaming problema tiyak ng constituents nya eh renaming lng ng NLEX ang inaatupag at pinagaksayahan ng oras nya sa Tongresso. MAGKANO??? KAHIYA KA!!!

  6. eltee mulawin on


    • May pangalan na ang mga iyan at alam na ng mga tao. Lilitohon mo pa ngayon ang mga tao. Bakit hindi kayo magpagawa ng bago at ipangalan sa kung sino ang gusto niyo. Gusto niyo angkinin ang proyekto ng iba. Tigilan niyo na ang pag pagnakaw sa mga pagaari ng mga tao. Ano ba ang nagawa ni Cory, iyon ang ipangalan niyo sa kanya.

  7. Sayang lang Tax ng bayan sa mga kumag na lawmaker na ito at walang laman ang mga kukote. Why not pass a law removing age discrimination in hiring workers and putting severe penalties to contractualization. Kaya si SM lalong yumayaman dahil sa pagkagahaman. Hindi kung anu-anong pappapalit ng pangalan. E si EDSA ng Epifanio De los Santos nga tumanda na ko di ko kilala kung ano ba siya eh. Mga gunggong. laki ng sweldo nyo dyan sa lower house wala kayung ginawa kundi magpalit ng pangalan.pwe….

  8. A plausible bill. It will remind us of her noble deeds

    And perhaps, the most noble things that tita Cory did was:
    * Deregulate oil prices, so that the price hike is out of control
    * Sell GOCC’s to kamag-anaks and kaibigan (and where did the money go?)
    * Convert our constitution into a great Joke Book
    * Brownouts
    * Change the names of projects built before her
    * Massacres here and there
    * Halt or scrapping of other on-going projects of Marcos
    * Corruptions

    • I can’t recall one noteworthy accomplishment of Cory’s. Even her version of Land Reform (a program adapted from the democratically elected President Diodado Macapagal’s original) was a fraud; she EXEMPTED her own Hacienda Luisita from it.

      I remember the Cory years. The brownouts, the water shortage, the breakdown of public services, the deterioration of public infrastructure, the criminality, the assassinations, the massacre of farmers and peaceful demonstrators.

      I remember how the wealth allegedly stolen by Marcos and cronies was sequestered, and promptly given to Cory relatives and cronies. Like ABS-CBN, Meralco, Philippine Airlines, the Benedictos’ Channel 9… to name a few.

      I remember the corruption — the Meralco Scam, the Petroscam, the Garchitorena Scam, the Roppongi Deal, the illegal diversion of a huge rice shipment that was linked to one Florencio Abad, .. Again, to name a few.

      Cory’s personal failure was giving birth to someone whom she allowed to live and grow up to become the Lying Psycho. That creature is now destroying our country — corrupting our institutions by bribing Congress, emasculating our courts, surrendering Philippine territory to China and selling out the rest to Malaysia.

  9. Corex was a popular over-the-counter cough syrup (among drug abusers) starting in the late 70’s where it went by names such as Corex-D, Corex-DM, etc..Not sure if it’s still in the market but mukhang pangit ang dating kung magiging Corex ang NLEX. Just my opinion.

  10. Benigno Kuha-Ko, Akin-Na on

    Tumitira yata ng COREX si Magnolia Rosa Antonio-Nadres eh, kaya kung anu-ano ang nai-isip.

  11. Manny Castelo on

    I think changing expressway names is ridiculous. NLEX,SLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX are easier
    to remember than person’s names. It is also unfair to other prominent prior elected officials.
    I think these lawmakers better create better bills that will improve their districts.

  12. Firestarter on

    If another idiot lawmaker would name the other high way which is SLEX, I would suggest the better name should be “KSEX —- Kris Aquino South Expressway”…