The City of Parañaque (Filipino: Lungsod ng Parañaque), or simply Parañaque (pop. 552,660; 2007 Census), is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is located at 121’01” longitude and 14’30” latitude and 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 mm and an average temperature of 34.4° C.
Due to its proximity to the sea, Parañaque is one of the major trade and business centres in the Philippines.
Due their proximity to the sea, the early Paraqueños traded with the Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Indians and Malays. Traditional livelihoods included salt-making, fishing, planting rice, shoemaking, slipper-making and weaving.
Parañaque was officially founded in 1572 by the Augustinian Missionaries from Spain. Early records began in 1580 when Fr. Diego de Espiñar, an Augustinian missionary, was appointed Prior of the town convent. As resident priest, he established the mission house there, with its spiritual jurisdiction reaching up to Kawit in the province of Cavite. The Council of the Definitors (a conference of chiefs of the religious orders) held on 11 May 1580 accepted Palanyag, as Parañaque was then known, as an independent town. The image of Palanyag's patroness, Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, was brought to St. Andrew's Church in La Huerta in 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 Dongalo) and Parañaque as two villages along Manila Bay composed of some 800 tribute-payers. Politically, Dongalo and Parañaque were then under the Provincia de Tondo. The community was headed by <i<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 Dongalo, 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 became leading revolutionary figures.
During the American occupation of the Philippines, Parañaque became one of the first municipalities in the Metro Manila region.
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.
On 21 August 1983 during the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino, Jr. (a prominent opposition senator and husband of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino), was assassinated in Manila International Airport (now Ninoy Aquino International Airport).
Today, Parañaque is a blossoming city. 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. The country’s international airport as well as the Baclaran Church, one of the most active parishes in Manila, and the Duty Free, where one can buy imported goods, can be found here.
Parañaque was converted as the 11th city in Metro Manila (after sister city Las Piñas in 1997), and was chartered and urbanized by Former President Fidel V. Ramos on 15 February 1998 during the celebration of the city's 426th Founding Anniversary.
In May 2001, SM City Sucat, (formerly SM Supercenter Sucat) was formally launched, becoming the first SM Mall franchise in Parañaque City.
In November 2002, SM City Bicutan, the second SM City Mall in Parañaque City was launched, becoming one of the most popular malls in Parañaque City after Uniwide Coastal Mall. In the same month, Parañaque City celebrated its 430th Founding Anniversary as a municipality.
In February 2003, the City of Parañaque celebrated its fifth Cityhood Anniversary.
In June 2005, Toyota Bicutan Parañaque was opened and formally launched the 1st Toyota branch in Parañaque City.
In November 2007, Parañaque City celebrated its 435th anniversary of a former municipality now a city.
In February 2008, the City of Parañaque celebrated its 10th Cityhood Anniversary.
In February 2009, Speedworld Motorcross Racing Park was formally opened beside SM Bicutan in West Bicutan, Parañaque City.
In spite of the rapid growth in infrastructure and the revenue that the city has been gaining in the last few years, Parañaque has yet to go back to its "subdivision" roots and address the rising reports in crime - burglary, hold-ups, rape and street gang violence. Most recently, the city has been plagued with crimes involving current call center workers in and around the city. With the upswing in the call center business in last 2 years, Parañaque has yet publicly come out and identify contingencies measures and visibility to protect these wave of employees who are mostly graveyard (9:00 PM to 9:00 AM) shift workers.
Entertainment City Manila (also known as Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City Manila and sometimes called Bagong Nayong Pilipino Manila Bay Tourism City) or simply Pagcor City is Asia's Las Vegas-like gaming and entertainment complex that PAGCOR proposed to offer on 8 km² of land on the reclamation area of Manila Bay, Philippines. It lies the western side of Roxas Boulevard and south of SM Corporate District (SM Mall of Asia), part of Parañaque City (and soon to be independent from Parañaque as part of Metro Manila's newest city). Investments to the project can reach up to $15 billion, which is scaled down from the more recent $20 billion budget announcement that had been previously announced in 2007. All investments will come from private companies. The project is officially named as the "Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Entertainment City Manila", and has been called several other names by the press. The most common name being referenced is "Entertainment City Manila". The site has been declared a PEZA approved economic zone.