11/14/10

Santa Mesa’s “university town”: the “university street” of Teresa

Right outside the main gates of PUP Mabini Campus is Teresa Street, which also serves to connect the campus to Santa Mesa’s main thoroughfare Old Sta. Mesa Street.

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The street is said to be named after the wife of Don Gonzalo Tuason (or Tuazon) from landed Tuason family which owned wide tracts land which happened to include Santa Mesa. And yes, it is also known as the maternal bloodline of the former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

Teresa St. is also notable for being the only remnant of Manila’s street pedestrianization program initiated by former Mayor Lito Atienza. Originally it was intended that the street not to be opened to any vehicular traffic. But somehow the rules were somewhat softened as vehicles ply along the stretch of the street from time to time. Besides, there is not much a regular flow of vehicles in this street, save for some pedicabs passing by. Teresa St. has always been mostly a street for foot traffic.

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the tiles put in place throughout the street's length are still intact

Given its proximity to PUP, it is not surprising to see various businesses that have put up shop in this part of town. Internet shops, food stalls, school supply retailers to name a few. Given also the market, mostly students coming from the middle or lower classes, it is a good place to find cheap foodfare as well.

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There used to be establishments located just right across PUP that have now been demolished as part of the modernization plan of the Philippine National Railways. These “homes along da riles” may have long gone but the iconic image of the train passing along Teresa St. still remains a part of the everyday life not only of the residents but also of the students, faculty, and employees of the campus who pass by this quaint little street.

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acknowledgements to the book Daluyan: A Historical Dictionary of the Streets of Manila published by the formerly known as the National Historical Institute for the additional information.

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