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City of Naga, Bicol, Philippines : Today is  July 13, 2024

Boning Sia Sr. Street: Honoring the legend behind the iconic business

Taken during the Unveiling Ceremony of the Boning Sia, Sr. Street Sign at Brgy. Triangulo, Naga City last March 15, 2024.
Taken during the Unveiling Ceremony of the Boning Sia, Sr. Street Sign at Brgy. Triangulo, Naga City last March 15, 2024.

AS a gesture honoring a local legend, the city government of Naga, thru an ordinance, named the street that stretches from the corner of Bicol Access Health Centrum up to the opposite end at Zone 4 of Barangay Triangulo as Boning Sia, Sr. Street.

The designation recognizes the contributions of the man whose humble store, Boning’s Trading, which began its operation 74 years ago, has grown over time and hard work to become the city’s single biggest supplier of office and school supplies, as well as other basic merchandise.

The street’s name was established through Ordinance No. 2024-012, which City Councilor Jose B. Perez authored. The ordinance was enacted on February 6, 2024, and subsequently approved by Mayor Nelson S. Legacion on February 8, 2024.

Through unwavering dedication and hard work, Boning Sia Sr. transformed his small business into a cultural institution—one that has witnessed the ebb and flow of economic tides, technological advancements, and societal transformations.

The continuity of Boning’s Trading stands as proof of resilience and adaptability. Over the years, it has not only contributed significantly to the local economy but has also provided employment opportunities for countless individuals. The memories, traditions, and shared experiences associated with this establishment have been woven into the fabric of Naga City.

The family-owned enterprise, set up in 1949, has been in continuous operation with about 30 employees and personnel despite the challenges posed by bigger department stores and malls from Manila and Cebu.

At the unveiling ceremony of the street sign on March 15, 2024, Mayor Nelson Legacion emphasized that the gathering was not only a celebration of the street’s naming but also a fitting tribute to one of Naga’s local business industry icons whose words played a significant role in shaping the economic development of Naga during his time.

It was recounted in the ordinance that in the year 1924, 9-year-old Boning (Bonifacio Sia Sr.) was tagged along by her older sister in Bicol from Amoy, China.  They settled in Barangay Ratay in Calabanga, Camarines Sur and stayed there for four years to pay for his fare working as a young household cook and helper.  He then ventured alone in the nearby town of Naga where he worked as a rice and copra trader as a growing young man.  When war broke out in 1941, he fled to Canaman town.

In the year 1946 when peace finally came, Boning married Dominga Villafranca Sy, a young lady from Daet, Camarines Norte, who was introduced to him by a friend.  The couple started a “chucheria” along downtown General Luna Street where the present Naga City People’s Mall is located.

The Sia couple bore five children who are now all professionals and businessmen/women by themselves.  One of three sons became a board topnotcher in civil engineering, an achievement for which his proud University of Nueva Caceres honored him in a victory parade throughout the major streets of the city. The engineer son, Ruben, upon the encouragement of then City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, laid the groundwork for the development of what is now known as Naga City’s Business District II which heretofore became the core of the city’s continually expanding business development plan.

In June 2016, during the Mayoral Awards as part of the city’s celebration of its 68th Charter Anniversary, the Sia family’s Boning’s Trading was bestowed the Leon SA Aureus Award.  The citation reads: “It is looked up to as a major player in the local commercial and trading scene, earning along the way the people’s approval because it conducts business the old fashioned way:  It offers various kinds of goods and supplies at affordable prices, shares generous donations in community projects and pays taxes honestly and religiously, consistently making it one of the top taxpayers in the city.

The elder Bonifacio Sia Sr., fondly called by his friends and customers as “Boning” peacefully joined his Creator last September 27, 1980.

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Written by: Jason B. Neola (CEPPIO)

Photo Contributions by: Ramil Herrera Jr. (CEPPIO) and Emman Cleofe (CEPPIO)

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Tel. (54) 205-2980 local 2020
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