10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino |
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10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino

by Jillian CariolaPublished: August 14, 2017Updated: August 14, 2017

These 10 landmarks (and more) were named after the man who believed that the Filipino is worth dying for.

August 21 this month will mark the 34th year since the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. was assassinated, an incident that escalated protests against authoritarian president Ferdinand Marcos into a full-blown revolution that eventually ended his 20-year dictatorship. Aquino’s outspokenness against Marcos’s authoritarian rule and his passion for the country have inspired Filipinos to look up to him as a hero, hence, the many venues and infrastructure named in his memory.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Pasay and Parañaque

The country’s largest airport and main international gateway was under the control of the U.S. Air Force until 1948, when it was surrendered to the Philippine government upon the country’s independence. For 13 years, the focus of the airport was building an international runway and an associated taxiway, a control tower, and a terminal building. It was not until 1961 that the entire system came to be known as the Manila International Airport, or MIA.

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines NAIA
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Photo via Depositphotos

At MIA in 1983, as Aquino was being transferred to a waiting vehicle from a plane that had brought him back to the Philippines after a self-imposed exile in the United States, he was shot and killed instantly by an unknown gunman. His assassination is believed to what sparked the revolution that overthrew the Marcos administration, which then led to his widow, Corazon Aquino, being declared as president after a peaceful revolt. By virtue of Republic Act No. 6639 enacted in 1987, the airport was renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Aquino’s honor.

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife
Diliman, Quezon City

The Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife was originally part of the 197.28-hectare Quezon Memorial Park, which was established back in 1954 under Proclamation No. 42. Scaled down in size after parcels of the property were reallocated, the remaining 64.58-hectare land was inaugurated and opened to the public in 1970. In 1982, the park was closed for renovation to build various facilities like a craft village cottage, a fishing village, an amphitheater, and a water and lighting system; and was reopened a year later under the moniker “Lungsod ng Kabataaan Recreational Park.”

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines Ninoy_Aquino_Parks_and_Wildlife
Ninoy Aquino Parks and wildlife. Photo by Ramon FVelasquez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Three years after Aquino’s death, the Ministry of Natural Resources Administrative Order No. 4 series of 1986 was passed, leading to the park’s renaming as Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (NAPWNC). In 2000, the NAPWNC was disestablished as a protected area and renamed the DENR-Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center through Proclamation No. 312. This was amended by Proclamation No. 238, which gave the park its current name Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC). Currently, NAPWC is 22.7 hectares and is envisioned as “a world-class ecotourism destination and a venue for biodiversity conservation and education on Philippine endemic and rare wild flora and fauna.”

Ateneo de Manila University Benigno Aquino Jr. and Corazon C. Aquino School of Government
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) formed the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) in 1996 as the public sector arm of the university’s Graduate School of Business. Its founding was meant to help develop public servants, and to create a forum where government, private, non-government, and people’s organizations can engage in dialogue and collaborate.

In 2014, the university’s Board of Trustees made the decision to rename ASOG the Ateneo de Manila University Benigno Aquino Jr and Corazon C. Aquino School of Government or the Ateneo Aquino School of Government after the late senator and his wife, whom the school wished to honor for their heroic leadership. In a statement, ADMU revealed that the move was made due to the school’s desire “for all its students, especially those enrolled in ASOG, to have models of effective and ethical public servants they can aspire to and emulate,” as well as their commitment “to remember the Martial Law period of oppression and injustice.”

The decision was made in August that year in time to commemorate the Aquinos, both of whom died in August (the late president died of colon cancer on August 1, 2009).

Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue
Iloilo (traversing Iloilo City and the municipalities of Pavia, Sta. Barbara, and Cabatuan)

In 2015, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III signed R.A. 10662, which named a stretch of the national highway along the Iloilo Diversion Road/Iloilo Capiz Road as Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue. The national highway referred to in the Act was a 16.6-kilometer segment beginning at the junction of General Luna to the Airport Access Road and ending at the gate of the Iloilo International Airport. According to the lawmakers who sponsored the bill, the decision to name the stretch of highway after Aquino was a tribute to the senator’s struggle to attain freedom for the country during the Marcos regime.

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines Iloilo Benigno Aquino Avenue
Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue in Iloilo. Photo via

Another law—R.A. 10663—was signed to rename the 14-kilometer four-lane Circumferential Road in Iloilo City as President Corazon C. Aquino Avenue. This, said the lawmakers, was to honor the former president’s work in uniting the nation and preserving the freedom the people regained after Martial Law. The road begins at the junction of the Iloilo–Dumangas Coastal Road Jaro and ends at the Iloilo–Antique Road near the center of Arevalo.

Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resources Center
Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa, Manila

The Manila Business School or the Manila School of Commerce was established in 1904 by the Civil Government of the Philippines. Its elevation into a national school led to its renaming as the Philippine School of Commerce from 1908 until 1952, during which time the Philippine School of Commerce library was also constructed. By virtue of R.A. 778, the school earned its college status in 1952 and was dubbed the Philippine College of Commerce. When the college became a university in 1978 and was called the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, the library was renamed Department of Library and Related Services.

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PUP's Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resources Center. Photo by P199 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sometime between 1979 and 1980, the library was christened the Learning Resource Center, then its name was altered again in 1987 to the Library and Book Exchange Center. Finally, after years of growing its collection, completing buildings, establishing sections, and changing directors, the library was designated as the Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resources Center (NALLRC) in 1999. And three years later, in time to celebrate the university’s 100 year, the Ninoy Aquino Center for Human Rights was launched.

At present, the NALLRC Main Library is regarded as one of the largest libraries in Southeast Asia.

Ninoy Aquino Stadium
Pablo Ocampo St., Malate, Manila

Built on the site of the former Manila Carnival Grounds, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was inaugurated in 1934 as a national venue for sports and civic events. One of its facilities, the Rizal Multi-Purpose Arena, was an open-air stadium before being transformed into a covered indoor arena. The renovated venue was opened in time for the 1989 Asian Basketball Confederation Under-18 Championships, during which it was also revealed that the arena had been renamed the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines Stadium Manila PSC
The Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Photo by Philippine Sports Commission [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Since its opening, the Ninoy Aquino Stadium has hosted several high-profile games and events, including the 1991 and 2005 SEA Games, Hillsong United Live in Manila in 2008, and the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

The Municipality of Senator Ninoy Aquino
Sultan Kudarat

Senator Ninoy Aquino is a third-class municipality in Sultan Kudarat. In 1989, R.A. 6712 was passed, combining Barangays Buenaflores, Bugso, Kiadsam, Kadi, Kulaman, Malegdeg, and Sewod from the municipality of Kalamansig with Langgal from the municipality of Bagumbayan to create one independent municipality. This young town’s seat of government was established in Barangay Kulaman. At present, Senator Ninoy Aquino encompasses 20 barangays and has  a population of almost 47,000 based on the 2015 Census.

Benigno Aquino Jr. Elementary School
Katuparan St., Commonwealth, Quezon City

From 2000 to 2009, Commonwealth Elementary School was the most populous elementary school in Metro Manila, indicating the need for additional infrastructure to accommodate the school’s growing number of enrollees. As a response, the National Government Center for Development Committee and the National Housing Authority allocated a 5,000-sqm lot for a new school, on which then Quezon City mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. built a four-story, 18-classroom school building in 2008. Another four-story building followed, and the entire site was referred to as the Commonwealth Elementary School – Annex.

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines Benigno Aquino Jr. Elementary School Commonwealth
Benigno Aquino Jr. Elementary School. Photo by Judgefloro (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Eventually, a resolution was filed to separate the annex from the main school, a move that was approved by the Regional Office with R.O. No. 01, S. 2011. With the enactment of Ordinance No. 2059 by the City Council of Quezon City, the newly independent annex building of Commonwealth Elementary School was named Benigno Aquino Jr. Elementary School.

Ninoy Aquino Avenue
Pasay and Parañaque

Linking Pasay and Parañaque, the Ninoy Aquino Avenue is an extension of Dr. A. Santos Avenue (formerly known as Sucat Road). This busy thoroughfare begins at N194 or NAIA Road in Pasay and terminates at Dr. A. Santos Avenue (N63) in Parañaque. As a main road leading to the airport, Ninoy Aquino Avenue is also the site of Duty Free Philippines’ Fiestamall, as well as the now-defunct Casino Filipino Airport.

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines Paranaque Pasay
Ninoy Aquino Avenue. Photo by RioHondo at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ninoy Aquino Bridge
Barangay San Luis, Tuao, Cagayan

First envisioned in 1968, the Ninoy Aquino Bridge was inaugurated in 2014 with an aim to replace the “Itawes overflow bridge,” which becomes impassable during typhoons and floods, as well as to accelerate transportation and the flow of commerce in Cagayan Province. According to President Aquino III, whose Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funded the construction of the bridge, the 360-lineal-meter structure serves as an inter-regional link for the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Region, and the Cordilleras. The bridge cut travel time between Tuao, Cagayan, and Kabugao, Apayao, from four to five hours to just two-and-a-half hours; between Tuao to Conner, Apayao, by half an hour; and between Tuguegarao and Rizal, Cagayan, to one hour and 20 minutes.

10 Philippine places named after Ninoy Aquino MyProperty Philippines bridge Cagayan
Ninoy Aquino Bridge. Photo via

In a speech by President Aquino, he said that the bridge was in accordance with his late father’s wish for “a society where people work together for the country, a society abundant in opportunities and where no one is left behind.”


Sources:,,,,,,,, Manila Standard,,,,,,,

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