The City of Paranaque
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. 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”. 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".
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. 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. 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. 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. Other Christian denominations include Iglesia ni Cristo and Ang Dating Daan. There are also a number of non-Catholic churches in Parañaque. 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. 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.
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 still under construction, and will serve 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 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. 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. The City of 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.