Reactions to Makati barangay’s reso objecting the use of ‘Pobla’ term for ‘Poblacion

February 7, 2023 - 3:03 PM
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This 2016 file photo sgows Barangay Poblacion, Makati City's clock tower. (Judgefloro via Wikimedia)

A barangay captain in Makati is objecting the use of the term “Pobla” when referring to the barangay, Makati City or any other area within its jurisdiction.

Barangay Captain Benhur Cruz on Monday shared that the barangay council of Brgy. Poblacion has unanimously agreed to object to the use of the term, finding the contraction “inappropriate” and a “misuse” of Poblacion’s name.

According to Barangay Resolution 2020-689, the term “Pobla” “is offensive and derogatory to the community.”

It also said that the residents of Brgy. Poblacion “highly considers [sic] the image and values [sic] the rich heritage of Poblacion, including its name.”

The resolution also recognized that people have been using the term “Pobla” in written and spoken forms, specifically to refer to Makati’s backstreets famously lined with hole-in-the-wall restaurants and rooftop bars.

Cruz, who posted a version on its Facebook, said: “THIS IS BARANGAY POBLACION! STOP USING THE TERM ‘POBLA’!”

He also added the hashtags “#NOtoPOBLA” and “#YEStoPOBLACION” to his post.

The resolution earned mixed reactions from Filipinos, with Facebook users and residents lauding the initiative.

“Yaassss! THANK YOU! FINALLY!” a Pinoy on Facebook wrote.

“Finally! Dami ko inaaway dahil sa term na ‘yan,” another Facebook user commented.

While those in r/Philippines, a subreddit for Filipinos on the discussion website, were more critical.

Others argued that one should accept it as part of how language is evolving.

“Ang OA naman, may pa-barangay resolution pa. Language evolves, and if people want to call it Pobla or Poblacion, then what’s the deal? To each their own,” a Reddit user wrote in response to the resolution.

Other places referred to by their shortened terms are Katipunan (Katips or Katip), La Union (LU or Elyu), and Boracay (Bora). These are typically coined by younger generations.

Another Filipino thought the resolution was a “waste” of resources.

“Kailangan pa ng ‘barangay resolution’ ‘yan? Waste of time, effort, and money. Ganda ng priorities ng local government, masabi lang na may ginagawa,” a Redditor wrote.

Others questioned how the term “Pobla” was found to be “offensive and derogatory” in the first place.

“Bakit? Ano meron sa Pobla?” a Redditor asked.

“Same question: [Paano] naging ‘offensive and derogatory’ ang salitang ‘Pobla’?” another Reddit user said.

A different Redditor wondered if the resolution could be “against the freedom of speech.”

History 

Brgy. Poblacion, the cultural and heritage district of Makati, is the city’s first settlement.

Being the original community of the town, this was where the center of the local government was established.

There are no accounts of how it got its name but “poblacion” is a Spanish term referring to a town, city, village, or settlement.

A history of the barangay notes that it was settled as early as Spanish-era 1620, when Jesuits built the San Pedro Church to serve as the center of the Catholic faith of the then-San Pedro Macati.

The residents reportedly corrupted the name to “Sampiro” and used it to refer to both the church and the town.

By the 18th century, Jesuits were expelled from the territory. The Spanish government took over their properties which included San Pedro Macati.

This began the turnover of the land from one owner to another until the Zobel de Ayala-Roxas family began its modern development during the latter part of the 19th Century.