Highly-Urbanized City

Aerial View of Parañaque City

Nickname(s): The Fashion Capital of the Philippines
The City of Lights
The Bay City
Motto: Dedicated to God

Location within Metro Manila

Location within the Philippines

Coordinates: 14°28′N 121°01′E / 14.47°N 121.02°E / 14.47; 121.02Coordinates: 14°28′N 121°01′E / 14.47°N 121.02°E / 14.47; 121.02
Country Philippines
Region National Capital Region
Districts 1st and 2nd District of Parañaque City
Founded June 11, 1580
Cityhood February 15, 1998
Barangays 17
  Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez (Liberal)
  Vice Mayor Jose Enrico T. Golez (Liberal)
  Sangguniang Panlungsod
  Total 47.28 km2 (18.25 sq mi)
Elevation 12.0 m (39.4 ft)
Population (2015 census)[4]
  Total 665,822
  Density 14,000/km2 (36,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Parañaqueño-Parañaqueña
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Zip Code 1700
Dialing code +63(0)02

Parañaque, officially the City of Parañaque (Filipino: Lungsod ng Parañaque), is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered to the north by Pasay, to the northeast by Taguig, to the southeast by Muntinlupa, to the southwest by Las Piñas, and to the west by Manila Bay.

Like the rest of Metro Manila, Parañaque experiences a tropical climate with only two distinct seasons, wet (July to September) and dry (October to June). The city enjoys an annual rainfall of 1,822 millimetres (71.7 in) and an average daily maximum temperature of 34.4 °C (93.9 °F).[5]


There are several accounts as to how Parañaque got its name. One such story stated that long ago, at the mouth of what is now known as the Parañaque River, there stood a balete tree that, when viewed from afar, looked like a majestic ship. This earned it the name Palanyag, taken from the term "palayag", which means “point of navigation”.[6]

Another version of the story was that, before the Spanish colonizers came to the Philippines, there were some natives who lived close to the Manila Bay whose main livelihood was fishing or paglalayag. On the other hand, the neighboring place from the east called Muntinlupa had rice farmers who were referred to as taga-Palayan. One day, the fishermen and rice farmers had a feast and many got drunk from tuba or fermented coconut wine. One farmer suggested that they should name the whole place Palayan as a sign of cooperation and goodwill between them. However, a fisherman protested and stated that they should name it Palalayag instead. As a compromise, they agreed to merge these two words and came up with Palalanyag. However, another drunken guest shouted, “Mabuhay ang Palanyag at ang mga taga-Palanyag!” The rest liked this word better and ever since then, the place was called "Palanyag".[6]

In another story handed down to generations, when the Philippines was conquered by the Spaniards, some soldiers riding a horse-drawn carriage asked to be taken to a certain place. However, the coachman did not understand the Spanish soldier’s pronunciation. When they arrived, one of the soldiers said, “Para aqui, Para aqui” meaning, “Stop here, stop here.” The coachman did not understand and kept going whereas the soldier also repeated his instruction, “Para aqui, Para aqui”. The coachman left the carriage and told the townspeople that, “These Spaniards are repeatedly saying para aniya ake... para aniya ake” to which the townspeople just laughed. The incident circulated and was repeated around for days and the term "Para Aniya Ake" stuck.[6]


Early history

Due to their proximity to the sea, the early Parañaqueños traded with the Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Indians and Malays. Traditional livelihoods included salt-making, fishing, planting rice, shoemaking, slipper-making and weaving.

Spanish Period

Parañaque was officially founded in the year 1580 by Order of Saint Augustine and it was Fray Diego de Espiñar, O.S.A. became the first minister of the town. The Council of the Definitors (a conference of chiefs of the religious orders) held on 11 June 1580 (Conquistas delas Islas of Fray Gaspar San Agustin, O.S.A.) accepted the village of Palanyag, as Parañaque as an independent pueblo. Other towns in the islands which simultaneously established on the same date according to the 1580 chapter of the Augustinians was; Malolos (in Bulacan) Bulacabe (in Panay) Bantayan (in Cebu). The image of Palanyag's patroness, Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, was brought to St. Andrew's Cathedral in La Huerta in August 1580. Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso is the third oldest Marian Image in the Philippines.

Early Spanish census dated 1591 to 1593 also mentioned Longalo (or Don Galo) and Parañaque as two villages along Manila Bay composed of some 800 tribute-payers. Politically, Don Galo and Parañaque were then under the Encomienda and Provincia de Tondo. The community was headed by cabezas de barangay, a westernized version of datus (chieftains), and the principalia, the local aristocrats, who together justified and moderated the demands of the Spanish colonizers. Education was limited to the principalia as they were the only ones who could afford it.

Historical accounts state that the town's strategic location enabled the townspeople to play an important role in Philippine history. Palanyag was located at the crossroads of Manila, between the provinces of Cavite and Batangas. In 1574 during the invasion of the town by the Chinese pirate Limahong, Parañaquenos, particularly those from Barangay Don Galo, heroically aided in preventing the attack in Manila. This incident became known as the "Red Sea Incident" due to the blood that flowed through the sacrifice of the people of barrio Sta. Monica. With the arrival of Spanish forces led by Captain Juan de Salcedo from Ilocos, Limahong was finally repulsed and the occupation of the town was prevented.

When the British invaded Manila in 1762, the townspeople once again remained loyal to the Spanish colonizers, especially the Augustinians. The invasion however showed that the Spaniards was not invincible and that their rule was not to be permanent. More than a hundred years later, this would prove to be true. During the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1898, the Spaniards realized that the town was a practical gateway to Cavite, the bastion of the revolutionary Katipuneros. Conversely, the Katipuneros based in Cavite saw the town as their gateway to Intramuros, the Spanish seat of government in Manila. Prominent Paraqueños such as Manuel Quiogue and secular priest Father Pedro Dandan y Masangkay became leading revolutionary figures.

American Period

During the American Period of the Philippines, Parañaque became one of the first municipalities in the Metro Manila region.

World War II

A burning building along Taft Avenue which was hit during the Japanese air raid in Barrio Parañaque, 13 December 1941.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II, Parañaque supplied leadership to guerilla movements such as the ROTC Hunters, as well as food and arms. Parañaque was one of the first towns to be liberated and its guerillas helped pave the way for the combined American and Philippine Commonwealth forces to enter the south of Manila. As can be gleaned from the above, Parañaque has played and continues to play a strategic role in the Philippines' political and economic progress.

After the liberation and the Battle of Parañaque on 1945 by combined Filipino and American ground troops with local recognized guerrillas, the general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary was rebuilt and stationed in Parañaque after the war.

Martial law

On 21 August 1983 during the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino, Jr. (a prominent opposition senator and husband of eventual Philippine President Corazon Aquino), was assassinated at Manila International Airport (now Ninoy Aquino International Airport).

Parañaque today

Due to its strategic location, it is an important centre for trade and business in Metro Manila. Baclaran, where a large number of dry goods stores are located, is one of the busiest markets in the country. Small fishing villages called “fisherman’s wharves” are also situated alongside Barangay La Huerta, where the famous DAMPA, a seaside market with numerous restaurants serving fresh seafood, is found. This has the country’s international airport as well as the Baclaran Church, one of the most active parishes in Manila, and the Duty Free for imported goods.

Although having experienced rapid growth in infrastructure and revenue, Parañaque has yet to go back to its "subdivision" roots and address the rising reports in crime.



Parañaque is situated on the southern portion of Metro Manila.[7] It is subdivided into sixteen (16) barangays with two (2) distinct districts.Respectively District I and II composes of eight (8) barangays each. The first district comprises Baclaran, Tambo, Don Galo, Sto. Niño, La Huerta, San Dionisio, Vitalez and San Isidro while the second district consist of Barangays BF, San Antonio, Marcelo Green, Sun Valley, Don Bosco, Moonwalk, Merville and San Martin de Porres.[7]

Local government

Further information: Cities of the Philippines

Parañaque is composed of two congressional districts and two legislative districts which are further subdivided into 16 Barangays. legislative District 1 consists of eight barangays in the western half of the city, whilst legislative District 2 consists of eight barangays in the eastern part of the city.

Former Mayors of Parañaque

  • Santiago Garcia (1897)
  • Timoteo Bernabe (1898 – 1899)
  • Maximo Rodriguez (1900 – 1901)
  • Patricio Bernabe (1902 – 1903)
  • Valentino De Leon (1904 – 1908)
  • Flaviano Rodriguez (1908 – 1912)
  • Nicanor Mayuga (1912)
  • Francisco A. Cruz (1916)
  • Andres Buenaventura (1916 – 1922)
  • Victor Medina (1922 – 1925)
  • Juan Gabriel (1925 – 1928)
  • Olympic Peña (1931)
  • Sabas De Guzman (1931 – 1934)
  • Francis Gabriel (1934 – 1937)
  • Sixto Clemente (1945)
  • Laureano Capistrano (1945)
  • Nicanor F. Cruz (1946 – 1955)
  • Eleuterio De Leon (1956 – 1964)
  • Florencio Bernabe, Sr. (1965 – 1986)
  • Rodolfo Buenavista (1986 – 1987) - OIC
  • Walfrido N. Ferrer (1988 – 1992)
  • Pablo R. Olivarez (1992 – 1995)
  • Joey P. Marquez (1995 – 2004)
  • Florencio M. Bernabe, Jr. (2004 – 2013)
  • Edwin L. Olivarez (2013 – Present)

Districts and barangays

Barangays District Population[8]
Area (km²) Density (/km²) Zip Code
Baclaran 1st 21,332 1702
Don Galo 1st 10,827 1700
La Huerta 1st 8,788
San Dionisio 1st 60,951
San Isidro 1st 69,035
Sto. Niño 1st 28,235 1704
Tambo 1st 26,209 1701
Vitalez 1st 4,518
BF Homes 2nd 83,462 1720/1718
Don Bosco 2nd 47,621
Marcelo Green 2nd 28,772
Merville 2nd 20,391
Moonwalk 2nd 59,614
San Antonio 2nd 59,847
San Martin de Porres 2nd 20,938
Sun Valley 2nd 37,586


Population census of Parañaque
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 308,236    
1995 391,296+4.57%
2000 449,811+3.03%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2007 552,660+2.88%
2010 588,126+2.29%
2015 665,822+2.39%
Source: National Statistics Office[4][9]


Most of Parañaque's population are Christians, mainly Roman Catholic.

Roman Catholic churches in Parañaque City are under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Parañaque. There are two National Shrines, the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church/Redemptorist Church), which mainly attracts devotees on Wednesday, and the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. There are about 20 parishes and 2 sub-parishes.

El Shaddai is centered in the city.

Other Christian denominations include Iglesia ni Cristo and Ang Dating Daan. There are also a number of non-Catholic (primarily Protestant) churches in Parañaque.

There is also a minority of Muslims, primarily living on Baclaran. There are 2 mosques in Parañaque.


Shopping centers

Parañaque also relies on shopping centers as part of its economy.

The principal malls include SM City Sucat(opened in July 2001), SM City Bicutan, and SM City BF Parañaque, all owned and operated by SM Supermalls of SM Prime Holdings. Robinsons operates one mall inside BF Homes and one supermarket. There are also smaller malls like Jaka Plaza and Pergola Lifestyle Mall. Walter Mart has two malls of its franchise inside Parañaque.

Baclaran functions as the city's flea market, primarily selling clothing, especially school uniforms and costumes.


Main article: Tourism in Manila

Hotels and gambling

Hotels and gambling also form part of Parañaque's econonomy.

Casinos like City of Dreams Manila and Solaire Resort & Casino mostly invite foreign gamblers. Closed in 2014, Casino Filipino once served as a casino. Aseana City or Entertainment City, in parts of barangays Tambo and Don Galo, is still being developed.

Cockfighting is common in the barangays. The Roligon Mega-Cockpit, found in Tambo, is considered as the largest and most modern cockpit in Asia.



Parañaque is famous for its lively festivals, such as the caracol, a festival that revolves around boats. Parañaque is also known for the sunduan, a festival held every November during the Araw ng Parañaque (Parañaque Day) celebration. The city also stages the cenaculo, a re-enactment of the passion of Christ, during Holy Week, the Pasko ng Pagkabuhay during Easter, and the Santacruzan, a procession reenacting the search of the True Cross of Christ, in May. Shortly thereafter, the colorful Flores de Mayo, a festival commemorating the discovery of the cross by Queen Elena (mother of St. Constantine) is held. Paranaque also celebrated a Sambalilo Hat Festival which held every February 13 for the cityhood of Paranaque's anniversary held every year.

An outstanding feature of this historic town by the bay is the cultivation of its cultural traditions such as the komedya and bati-bati, among others, that continue to attract local and foreign tourists alike, especially during the summer months.

Parañaque is also known for sabong, a form of cockfighting constrained in coliseums.


Manila Nomads F.C. is a football team currently playing in Division 2 of the United Football League.


Welcome marker over Dr. A. Santos Avenue near SLEX. Dr. A. Santos Avenue, formerly called Sucat Road, functions as Parañaque's main thoroughfare.

Rail transport

Parañaque is served by the LRT-1 (via Baclaran Station, which is located in Pasay City) and the PNR (via Bicutan station). The LRT-1 is to be extended to Bacoor, but no construction still started, although the project is approved.


Parañaque is also the location of one of the terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 1. It is located along Ninoy Aquino Avenue and many major international airlines operate flights from the terminal.

Road network

Parañaque is served by a network of expressways and arterial roads.

Expressways, like South Luzon Expressway, Manila-Cavite Expressway, and Metro Manila Skyway connects the city with the rest of Metro Manila and Calabarzon. The South Luzon Expressway over Parañaque has two service roads, namely the West Service Road and East Service Road, which both serves the communities and businesses lying near the expressway. The NAIA Expressway is the airport expressway serves NAIA Terminal 1, the Manila-Cavite Expressway and also the Entertainment City under development on the reclamation area.

Dr. Santos Avenue (formerly Sucat Road), Roxas Boulevard, Doña Soledad Avenue, Elpidio Quirino Avenue functions as the city's principal arterial roads. Carlos P. Garcia Avenue (C-5 South Extension, which has been involved in land ownership controversies involving former Senator Manny Villar, and C-6 Road, which is proposed to be an expressway, serves as secondary arterial roads.

BF Homes Parañaque is served also by a network of arterial roads, serving residential and commercial areas within it.

Public transport

Buses, either commuter ("city") or intercity/inter-provincial ("provincial") service, ply the city's main thoroughfares. Jeepneys, mainly connecting Alabang and Sucat with Baclaran, serves the city's main thoroughfares, like Quirino Avenue and Dr. A. Santos Avenue. Tricycles and pedicabs serve the barangays and residential areas.


Parañaque has a diverse educational system with specializations in various academic and technical fields and is home to many schools and colleges such as Philippine Air Transport Training Services (PATTS College of Aeronautics) which focuses on producing students specialized in the realm of Aviation around the world, Olivarez College, the only school accredited with both the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities - Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), Parañaque Science High School, St. Andrew's School (oldest private school in Parañaque, established 1917), St. Paul College of Paranaque, Manresa School, Sacred Heart School and Ann Arbor Learning Center amongst many others.

Notable residents

Former Residents

Twin towns – Sister cities

Local Sister Cities Of Parañaque

Foreign Sister City Of Paranaque

See also


  1. "Cities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  2. "An Update on the Earthquake Hazards and Risk Assessment of Greater Metropolitan Manila Area" (PDF). Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. November 14, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  3. "Enhancing Risk Analysis Capacities for Flood, Tropical Cyclone Severe Wind and Earthquake for the Greater Metro Manila Area Component 5 – Earthquake Risk Analysis" (PDF). Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and Geoscience Australia. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  4. 1 2 "NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION (NCR)". Census of Population (2015): Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay (Report). PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  5. "Physical Profile". About the City. Parañaque City. p. 15. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 Baybay, D. F. & Marquez-De Guzman, A. (2001). "Palanyag to Parañaque: A History". City of Parañaque. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Parañaque City Official Website". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  8. "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 2012-11-07.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parañaque.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Parañaque.
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