The bridge that connects the banks of Salog river (salog, is Bicol for river, so I am not sure why the locales call it such) is the first bridge I knew that has a name. I thought the name, Alice, was just a nickname coined by the locales.
My uncle, a former engineer in the public works, would tease me and my cousins that it was actually named after her wife. During that time, it made a lot of sense.
Eventually, I found out that it’s really the official name of the bridge.
So, who is really Alice?
On 1905, Howard Taft, the Secretary of War, embarked on a cruise visiting China, Japan and the Philippines – it is also known as the Imperial Cruise¹. It had two objectives: to assist with peace negotiations in order to end the Russo-Japanese War (1904—05); and to demonstrate American accomplishments in the Philippines. The latter objective entailed Taft’s entourage (which included Alice Roosevelt and some civilians) to visit Japan, wherein he and the Japanese premier, Count Katsura, agreed that the said country will be allowed to keep Korea, but will keep away from the Philippines².
Originally, there was a foot bridge connecting the banks of Salog river. The Alice Bridge replaced that foot bridge in 1905. It was inaugurated by Alice Roosevelt who traveled with Howard Taft during the imperial cruise. The former was also scheduled for the laying of the cornerstone of the Sorsogon High School³.
Alice, according to the sources, is actually the name of President Roosevelt‘s daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth (February 12, 1884 – February 20, 1980). She was the oldest child of the president; she is the only child of Roosevelt and his wife Alice Hathaway.
Here’s a couple of pictures of the Alice Bridge as of October 2011.
³Page 180, “Growing Up”, Tracing – from Solsogon to Sorsogon, 2nd Edition, 2007