|Radial Road 7|
|Length:||2.0 km (1.2 mi)|
|From:||Junction of Lerma (R-7) and N. Reyes Street near Quiapo|
|A.H. Lacson Avenue (C-2) in Sampaloc|
Blumentritt in Sampaloc
|To:||Mabuhay Rotonda in Quezon City|
|Major cities:||Manila, Quezon City|
España Boulevard is the main thoroughfare of Sampaloc district, Manila and the extreme western section of Quezon City. It is an 8-lane divided arterial road and is a component of one of the radial roads of Metro Manila — Radial Road 7 or R-7. España's name is taken after "España," Spanish for Spain, the Philippines' colonial power for 333 years. True to its name, several Spanish names abound the street.
España is an east-west artery of Manila. It connects Lerma and Nicanor Reyes (formerly Morayta) streets of Quiapo district on the west end to Mabuhay (formerly Welcome) Rotonda, Quezon City on the east end. The entire street is straddled by a center island, which is only broken on major intersections and at the railroad crossing. Vehicles are not allowed to make a left-turn at the full length of the boulevard, with the exception of the intersection going to Nicanor Reyes Street at the western terminus. España is two kilometers long.
At the east end is Mabuhay Rotonda, which connects España with Quezon Avenue (also known as Quezon Boulevard Extension), E. Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue (also known as España Extension) and Mayon Avenue. Quezon Avenue leads to EDSA and ultimately to the Quezon Memorial Circle. Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue leads to Cubao district of Quezon City, a popular shopping place. Mayon Avenue leads to the North Luzon Expressway (formerly North Diversion Road). Vehicles pass through the Mabuhay Rotonda on a counter-clockwise direction, although the west side of the rotonda is now closed to traffic.
At the south side of España at the front of the rotonda is South East Asian College, a medical and nursing school.
At the north side of Macaraig Street are offices of telecommunications company PLDT. Macaraig marks the Manila-Quezon City boundary.
At Josefina Street's south side is a Meralco branch, a power distribution firm.
The first major intersection is the one-way (north-south) Blumentritt Road. The street is named after Austrian professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, Jose Rizal's best friend. The next intersections are characters from Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere: Ibarra, Sisa and Basilio. Crisostomo Ibarra is the hero of the novel, while Sisa was the mother who went mad when her two sons, Basilio and Crispin went missing.
The next major intersection is A. H. Maceda (formerly Washington Street), which is named after a prominent politician. Along Craig Street on España's south side is a Mercury Drug branch. Between Kundiman and E. Quintos, Sr. Streets is the only pedestrian traffic light along España. The yellow notice at the traffic light reads "Ped Xing," which means "pedestrian crossing." Between Antipolo and Algeciras streets is the Philippine National Railways tracks, on which trains stop at the España Station, on the south side.
Vicente G. Cruz (formerly Economia) and Manuel dela Fuente Streets (formerly Trabajo) each have traffic lights. This area is still referred to as "Trabajo" (Tagalog for "occupation"). Along V. G. Cruz lies a Mini Stop convenience store, while on M. dela Fuente lies a 7-Eleven branch, and Wendy's (now closed) and Chowking food chains. Several meters from España on the south side of M. dela Fuente lies a Jollibee branch. V. G. Cruz can only be crossed on a north-south route while M. dela Fuente can only be crossed on a south-north route.
Between Don Quijote (named for Don Quixote) and Carola streets is Ramon Magsaysay High School, a reputable public high school. It can easily be distinguished from España's north side with its sky blue walls.
On the north side, from A. H. Lacson to Padre Noval Street is the 22.5-hectare Manila campus of the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
A. H. Lacson Avenue is named for Arsenio Lacson, a former Mayor of Manila. It was formerly named Governor Forbes Street after William Cameron Forbes, the American Governor-General. At the northwest corner of the España-Lacson intersection is UST's Roque Ruaño building, which houses UST's Faculty of Engineering. Between M. F. Jhocson (named after Mariano Fortunato Jhocson, founder of National University) and Centro Streets is another pedestrian overpass, which serves UST students.
At the front of UST is a Shakey's Pizza parlor, branches of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metrobank, a Victory Liner bus terminal, Mayric's Bar, several review centers and dormitories. Viewable from España is the Arch of the Centuries, which is a vestige of UST's connections with Intramuros district.
At UST's west side is Padre Noval Street, named after one of the first priests to arrive in the country who served as rector for UST. At the street corner is the Beato Angelico building, which houses the the Fine Arts and Design, and Architecture colleges of UST. The street is peculiar because the southbound vehicles are allowed to cross the street, while northbound vehicles are only allowed to make a left or right-turn along España.
At Padre Campa Street are branches of McDonald's and KFC, both on the north side. At KFC's pedestrian side is another pedestrian overpass. Facing McDonald's on the south side is Saint Thomas Square, a shopping center.
España ends when it splits into Nicanor Reyes (formerly Morayta) and Lerma Streets. Nicanor Reyes, named after the founder of Far Eastern University, which straddles its north side, leads to Claro M. Recto Avenue (formerly Azcarraga). Lerma, on the other hand, leads to Quezon Boulevard (a different street from Quezon Avenue), named after the President Manuel L. Quezon, who also studied at UST.
España is notorious for its floods during the rainy season. It is not uncommon to find people wading in waist-deep floods especially when a typhoon passes through Manila, causing suspension of classes.<ref>"8 dead as floods hit Luzon", Manila Bulletin, unavailable. </ref>
Fernando Poe, Jr.'s funeral procession passed through España on its way to North Cemetery from Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. As many 3 million people took a part in the procession.<ref>"MASSIVE SECURITY FOR FPJ BURIAL", Philippine Headline News Online, 2004-12-22. </ref>
España is also frequently used by anti-government protesters as a gathering area due to its proximity to Mendiola, which ends at Malacañang Palace, the presidential residence.<ref>"Activists, cops clash near Malacañang; scores hurt", Sun Star Network Online, 2006-06-10. </ref>
List of intersections from east to west. Bolded names are road crossings with traffic lights. Names in parentheses indicate former names, some of which are still in wide use. Designations in square brackets indicate official Metro Manila national roads.
- "8 dead as floods hit Luzon", Manila Bulletin, unavailable.
- "MASSIVE SECURITY FOR FPJ BURIAL", Philippine Headline News Online, 2004-12-22.
- DOTC to review MRT 4 GOV.ph. Accessed July 25, 2006
- "Activists, cops clash near Malacañang; scores hurt", Sun Star Network Online, 2006-06-10