Where and how Cubao got its name?

The name Cubao doesn’t have a written origin or a historical meaning. Someone jokingly said that the early inhabitants of the place were Cubans from the Pre Fidel Castro regime. It could not be indigenous ornative since the Tagalog dialect doesn’t have a letter “c’ in its alphabet.

When I was 4 feet tall ( grade 3 elementary at the Cubao Elementary School ) our teacher Mrs. Acuna, told us a story on how Cubao got its name. The story is entitled “ Ang Alamat ng Cubao”. It is a short story relating the short exploits of two American soldiers who stayed after the Filipino-American war. They were having their usual daily patrol chore in a forested and bushy area, west of a valley now called City of Marikina. They met three youngster running towards their direction. They were loughing and frantically shouting “ KUBA O! KUBA O! They tried to halt the lads and asked, “ What place is this?” The giggling lads ignored their query and scampered away shouting “ KUBA O! KUBA O!” One of the soldiers asked his companion “ What are they saying?”. The other soldier retorted “ I don’t know. They sound shouting CUBA OOO! CUBAO OOO”. Could it be this place is called CUBAO?” In a few minutes another character appeared brandishing a staff and running towards the direction where the three boys went. He was a hunchback, KUBA in the native tongue.

The story did not moved me nor mean any thing at all till today. When I joined the Cubao Lions Club 3 years ago, slowly I learned the organization, tenets, tradition and character. In some ways, it is quite unique among the other Lions club in its district. And this uniqueness gave it a signature. I encountered such monickers as “ Ang Cubao, Naiiba yan”.” Mutant ang Cubao. Mayabang Yan. May prinsipyo yan.”
“ Hindi iyan mahahawakan ng distrito sa sungay”.

Though the Cubao Lions Club is a “nerd” among its lions pride’ it did not mind the teasing and ridiculing of other members of other clubs. The hunchback in the story is a “freak of nature”. It has received the pain of being ridiculed and teased from those who cannot and will never understand his unearthly looks and unique character. Like the Cubao Lions Club, it stood and will stand to what he believe is and fight for to defend his right.

From the Hunchback of Cubao
Lion Dr. Tom C. Lazaro II


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