Many residents of the 42-year-old Caloocan City remain confused over the correct spelling of their city’s name—whether with two “C’s” or two “K’s.”

The confusion prevails despite the passage by the Caloocan City Council in 1988 of an ordinance officially changing “Caloocan” to “Kalookan” to reflect a “Filipinized” spelling of the city’s name.

The 1988 ordinance was authored and introduced by then-Councilor Aurora Asistio-Henson, who later became a congress-woman of the city’s first district.

Since the measure had the endorsement of then-Mayor Macario Asistio Jr. and Vice Mayor Celestino Rosca, its passage followed without a hitch. Henson is a sister of the mayor.

The change in the spelling of the city’s name came under strong criticisms at that time.

Former legislator and later Mayor Virgilio P. Robles said the alteration of the name of the city was illegal because it had no congressional approval.

Robles said a thorough examination of the Caloocan City Charter would disclose that the city’s name is spelled “Caloocan” with letters “C” and never with letter “K” as provided for in the ordinance.

More than 16 years after the ordinance took effect, the residents of the city remain confused as to how to spell their city’s name.

Judging from the reactions of residents, business owners, and most of the city officials themselves, the spelling of the city’s name will forever remain “Caloocan” and not “Kalo­okan” as mandated by the 16-year-old ordinance.

The prevailing confusion generated by the ordinance is best illustrated on the signboards of business establishments in the city.

Along the entire stretch of Rizal Avenue Extension from the Bonifacio Circle in Grace Park to First Avenue near the city’s boundary with Manila, business firms exhibit varied spelling on their signboards.

While some commercial firms already use the name with two “K’s,” a majority continue to prefer the original spelling with two “C’s.” A few of them have put up signboards using both “C” and “K” or vice versa, resulting in more confusing spelling like “Calookan” and “Kaloocan.”

Most national maps have retained the old spelling of the city’s name as do a majority of the Metro Manila newspapers.

On the other hand, the telephone directories published by Bayan Telecommunications and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. carry both versions.

An example of this confusing listing is: “Kalookan Cockpit Arena” which has its address at Caloocan Industrial Subdivision, KC or Kalookan City..

By Severino C. Samonte