PARANAQUE CITY or Lungsod ng Palanyag is one of the key cities that comprise Metro Manila. The place is bordered by Pasay City in the north side, Taguig City in the northeast, Muntinlupa City in the southeast, Las Piñas City in the southwest and Manila Bay to the west side.
The name of the city was derived from the phrase “para na aque” meaning “stop now, boy” which is commonly said by people who wished to get off from “kalesas” or horse-drawn carriages during the Spanish era.
In 1572 the place was founded by Spanish missionaries and called it “Palanyag” meaning beloved. The early settlers were into salt-making, fishing, rice planting, shoemaking, slipper-making and weaving which they trade off to Chinese, Indonesians, Indians and Malayans along the shores of Palanyag. Then in 1580, the town fell under the authority of the Augustinians led by Fr. Diego de Espinar and in the same year Palanyag became an independent town.
The town became one of the hot battle zones during the Philippine Revolution in the 19th century since it is a gateway between Cavite where the revolutionary Katipuneros stayed, and Manila, as the Spanish seat of Government. Upon the American occupation, Parañaque became one of the first municipalities in Metro Manila. And on February 15, 1998, the municipality of Parañaque became a chartered city.
The total land area is 47.7 square kilometers which consists of residential, commercial centers, industrial areas, multinational companies and other service establishments.
The current population of the city is estimated to be at 564,247 with 118,050 households. The predominant language used by the people is Tagalog and English for business transactions.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Trade and commerce are much evident in the northern communities of Parañaque such as Baclaran. This is where affordable dry goods, ready-to-wear clothings can be found. In Barangay La Huerta seafoods products can be directly purchased from the boat, thus the place is called “fisherman’s wharf”.
Other businesses and establishments can also be seen along the stretch of Sucat. Day in and day out business transactions are always on the go in these avenues. As to the southern portion of the city, various industrial estates and plants operates 24 hours a day, such as Toyota Motor Philippines, Johnson and Johnson's, Motorola, Philacor (GE, White-Westinghouse), Columbia Motors (BMW, Hyundai, Kia), and Astra Pharmaceuticals.
Parañaque City has two pronounced season, one is the summer or dry months from March to May and rainy season from June to October. Cool weather can be felt during the months of November to February. The city temperature ranges from 23 °C to 33 °C.
ARTS & CULTURE
The City enjoys various festivities all year round starting from the month of January to May:
Araw ng Palanyag (Parañaque Day) – This is celebrated during January 15 which is a week-long festivity and showcases other events such as Sambalilo Festival, Regatta de Palanyag, and the Komedya.
Caracol – Residents of Baclaran celebrates this festivity every month of May in honor of its Patron Saint Sta. Rita de Cascia. A street gathering involves males wearing women’s clothes and females in gentlemen's attire.
Flores de Mayo – This is a procession of Sagalas involving the town’s fairest ladies every month of May annually, after nine days of prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Each is assigned a title of Our Lady while the last and most prominent one in the entourage represents Reyna Elena or Queen Helena who found Christ’s cross. The boy escorting Reyna Elena portrays the young Constantine.
Komedya – In lieu of the Parañaque Day celebration, stage plays such as Komedya or Moro-Moro is also presented. Local actors and actresses take the center stage and present choreographed swordfights and render poetic verses.
Linggo ng Palaspas or Domingo de Ramos – This is celebrated during the Holy Week which portrays Christ's entry into Jerusalem, with the people bringing their palm fronds to church so that they may be blessed and afterwards they would bring home the fronds and display them in their altars.
Pasyon or Pabasa – This is usually done during holy week, a form of chanting the Savior’s life, passion, death and resurrection. It is done in chapels and in residences by groups of community elders, usually 24 hours straight, with a peculiar melody which has been very much attached to the ceremony.
Salubong (Easter Vigil) and Pasko ng Pagkabuhay (Feast of the Resurrection) – This festivity marks the celebration of Easter followed by a Holy Mass and simultaneous feast rendition in the different communities of Parañaque.
Semana Santa or Holy Week – Lenten season is celebrated in the whole country between the months of March and April with various programs being presented.
Sinakulo or Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) – Parishes in Parañaque performs the way of the cross on Good Friday during Lenten season, enacting Christ’s arrest, mocking, trial, carrying of the cross, crucifixion and death on the cross. There are also actual flagellations and nailings to the cross of penitents as expressions of devotion and penance.
Sunduan – The term means "to fetch" and relates to an old courtship custom of waiting on one’s lady love, accompanying her to the town plaza, and bringing her home. This festivity is another metaphor of Christ's and Mary's ascension to heaven during Holy Week.
The city has diverse religions. It is also home to the Baclaran Church and mosque for Moslem communities.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Parañaque city has two congressional districts and two legislative districts wherein most residents indicate their subdivision or village instead of barangay:
San Martin de Porres
Rainbow Village II
B.F. Homes Parañaque
Better Living Subdivision
Camella Homes Parañaque III (CHP III)
Gatchalian Subdivision I
Goodwill II Subdivision
Goodwill III Subdivision
Marcelo Green Village
Fourth Estate Subdivision
San Antonio Valley
Severina Diamond Subdivision Km. 18
Sun Valley Subdivision
United Parañaque Subdivision
Teoville East and West
Garden City III
South Bay Gardens
This Church is run by the Redemptorist Fathers and is home of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and is one of the biggest and most active churches in the Philippines where devotees flock to hear mass every Wednesday.
BACLARAN BARGAIN MARKET
Tourists may visit this place for a wide selection of dry goods that can be bought for a very affordable price. Ready-to-wear clothes can be found here amounting to US $1.25 to US $6 the most.
This is a popular seafood restaurant wherein visitors can buy their own fresh seafoods and let the adjacent food stall owners cook it for them for a minimal fee. This place is ideal for friends and family get-together.
FIESTA SHOPPING MALL
This is a center for duty-free shopping in the Philippines with low-cost items. It also provides its own food court for visitors and shoppers alike.
In this place enjoy buying bulk of various fresh fishes and other seafoods by way of “bulungan” or whisper.
SUCAT MOTOR SHOPS
The stretch of Sucat Road has various motor shops providing a vast array of services at a reasonable price.
Other interesting sites in the city:
Loyola Memorial Park
Manila Memorial Park
Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal I
Parañaque City Hall.
SM City Bicutan
SM City Sucat
St. Andrew’s Cathedral – the seat of Diocese of Parañaque and home of the Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Buen Suceso.
Major bus companies ply the route going to Baclaran daily.