Where Nobility, Tobacco Industry, and Politics Reigned; Marquez De Comillas Now Romualdez Street:
Byline: CHARISSA M. LUCI
A one-way route from Galicano Apacible Street up to the south approach of Ayala Bridge, residential mercantile Marquez de Comillas Street in the 1800s became an industrial hub at the heels of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.
In parallel with the industrialization, the name Marquez de Comillas Street has been changed to Romualdez Street, named after the Romualdezes- a famous political and business clan in Leyte.
Business establishments engaged in - seafreight and airfreight forwarding, customs brokerage, trucking, warehousing, distribution services, communications products, computer peripherals, semiconductors and consumer electronics - almost pack the entire street, leaving a small space for dwellers.
"There are a few houses along this street and you can even count them as the area houses various business establishments," said Eulogio Rellon, chairman, Brgy. 664 Zone 71.
Rellon, a resident since 1985, said several cargo trucks and container vans passing through daily along the street are a perfect sign that indeed the place developed into an industrial haven.
Romualdez Street, also used to be the first haven of a school campus, a telecommunication company, a sweepstakes office, and the country's oldest dog and cat clinic.
The first Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) campus, formerly called Marian College, was established along the street in 1975, following the acquisition of the Tabacalera property and the Metaltek buildings.
Its founder, Dr. Paulo C. Campos, also the founding president of the University Physicians' Services, Inc. (UPSI), named the school after Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Republic as a tribute to his heroic acts.
At the foot of the Ayala Bridge is the country's leading telecommunications provider-Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) founded on Nov. 28, 1928.
A few meters away from PLDT is the old and abandoned Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) founded in 1934 by virtue of Act 4130 passed by the Philippine Legislature and signed by then Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon. After a year, the PCSO started its operation holding its first Sweepstakes draw. With Vicente G. Martinez as its chairman, the PCSO acquired the property on Oct. 11, 1962 during the tenure of erstwhile President Diosdado Macapagal.
A historical marker showed that the PCSO Security Printing started operations on July 6, 1970 under the leadership of late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos with Nereo C. Andolong as the Chairman of the Board.
PCSO's main office transferred to E. Rodriguez in Quezon City in 1998 and its printing and planning departments remained along the street, said a certain Celso, 48, an employee who requested anonymity.
Oldest dog and cat clinic
Also found along the street is the country's oldest dog and cat clinic founded in 1927 by Dr. Sixto Almeda, a US trained equine specialist. The 78-year-old Carlos Dog and Cat Clinic was closed down last month following the "slow business" at the clinic for a couple of years, Dr. Enrique Carlos Jr., the grandson and present owner, was quoted as saying. The clinic was first known as Veterinary Clinic, then became Sixto Carlos Dog and Cat Hospital in 1940. Thirty years after, it was named Dog and Cat Hospital until it got its present name in the 1990s. Its original two-story building used to be a communication station of Japanese forces. In the 1940s, the Americans burned it down and later rebuilt it as part of reparation.
The street also became the fourth haven of the 20-year-old Philippine Daily Inquirer founded by Eugenia D. Apostol, chair of Mr. & Ms. Publishing Co. The earthquake in July 1990 prompted its transfer from the damaged BF Condominium Bldg. on Aduana, Intramuros to the Yutivo Investment Corp. (YIC) Bldg. on United Nations Avenue and Romualdez Street in Malate on January 5, 1991. …