EX-CHED EXEC:
    Monuments honoring archangels to change Angeles’ sin city image

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    ANGELES CITY – Search the internet for images of Manila and London, and natural and mandmade landmarks fill up the first page.

    But images on this city inevitably yields photos of bar girls in skimpy clothing, dancing in bars.

    Now, a move for more appropriate landmarks for this city has been initiated by former Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman Emmanuel Angeles whose family had founded the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) here.

    Already, Angeles, who was born here, has prepared at least three wood-carved models of monuments of at least three archangels which he wants to rise at three major intersections in this city.

    He said building monuments honoring angels would be most appropriate for a city named after angels, as he noted at least seven archangels who could be so honored, namely Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Simiel, and Oriphiel and Zachariel.

    The move, he said, is not only to provide this city with impressive landmarks, but also a way of invoking the protection of the angels.

    Three miniature replicas of the monuments, done in wood, have already been sculpted by Imao de Leon, a recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) award, and were turned over to Angeles who said he wanted the actual monuments to be made of bronze.

    The proposed sites for the monuments include the rotundas at the boundary of Angeles and San Fernando, Pandan-Sto. Entierro intersection and at Clark Freeport.

    Angeles said that apart from the monument replicas, details on how to go about the project are still being mapped out.

    This, even as Angeles also announced plans to expand the old MacArthur highway in this city into four lanes, as he stressed that no trees along the highway would be cut.

    “Instead, the acacia trees will be balled and replanted at Lakeshore,” he said in a press briefing. Lakeshore is an upscale housing project in Mexico, Pampanga, built by renowned architect Nestor Mangio.

    The widening of the highway in other parts of Pampanga has been controversial, as the cutting of acacia trees bordering the old, two-lane highway triggered protests from environmentalists.

    Angeles said that in this city, the trees would be balled and replanted despite the huge cost of P45,000 per balling. He said that the cost of balling some 144 trees along the highway fronting the AUF alone would cost some P6.4 million.


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