Brief History of Paranaque: An Old Village by the Sea

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Socio-Economic Profile, Parañaque City 2009

An Old Village By The Sea

In 1572, Parañaque was said to be bounded by Ermita on the north and Cavite on the south. When the Spaniards came, Parañaque was already subdivided. It was so large that there was hardly no communication with the government. People immigrated from other places to settle here. Because their means of communication was so crude, these immigration disintegrated. They somehow put up their own government based on kinship and proclaimed their independence.

The Spaniards founded the settlement of Parañaque in 1572, fifteen to two hundred forty-three years ahead of its neighbors. Commence with other Asian people,however, begun long before the colonizers came to this “Village by the Sea”.

Part of Parañaque was Cavite. Cavite was a “kakabit” or annex of the town. That is why it was called “Cabite” and later corruption of the word made it Cavite. Bacoor was used to be called bakod (wall) because of the wall that separated the town from the mother town. Zapote became independent because the people of the place cheated the people of Parañaque. Sapoti means to cheat. Las Piñas came from the word “pilas” meaning to tear-off, for they tore-off their land from Parañaque. Pasay used to be ricefields and the Parañaqueños planted rice. It has been called Pasay stemming from the word “palay”. The pueblo also separated itself from the mother town.

Parañaque salt beds. A popular source of livelihood for Parañaquenos.

City Planning & Development Coordinator’s Office


Socio-Economic Profile, Parañaque City 2009

As far as the legend of Ermita is concerned, it had been told that a priest who wanted to talk to God went to a vast plain not quite far from the pueblo which became “bahay ng ermitanyo” since the priest became a hermit. From then on, the place was called Hermita and afterwards Ermita. Several years has passed, conditions changed and Ermita was cutoff from Parañaque. Some immigrants settled there while others settled in Pasay, established their own independence. The boundaries of Parañaque became definite. Parañaque was said to be known as “Palanyag” , which means embarkation. There was a story that at the mouth of Parañaque River was tall balete tree which looked like a sail boat, where the word Palanyag originated.

ST. ANDREWS CHURCH- The evangelization of Parañaque started 400 years ago with the arrival of the Augustinian missionaries. The founding religious order chose La Huerta as the site of their mission house. It is now the shrine of the Nuestra Sñra. Del Buen Suceso.


City Planning & Development Coordinator’s Office

Socio-Economic Profile, Parañaque City 2009

Another story has also been told about the Spaniards who came to the south and upon reaching his destination said, “para na aqui” to the rig driver of the calesa has was riding. But the rig driver did not understand him and presumed that the place as “Para-naaqui”. So, everytime he goes to the south, he kept on calling the place Paranaaqui. Later on the place was named PARAÑAQUE and only later they found out that paranaaqui means only to “stop me here”.

On February 13, 1998, the City of Parañaque was declared and signed into law as a highly-urbanized city by President Fidel V. Ramos (R.A. 85-07) upon ratification of its creation for the purpose. To commemorate the said date, the city council approved an ordinance series of 1998 declaring February 13 of each and every year as the Foundation Day of the City of Parañaque.

The Actual Origin The town was founded in 1572. It lay proximate to the sea. Parañaqueños traded with the Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and Malay. People’s means of livelihood was salt making, fishing, planting rice, shoe making and weaving. The government was composed of “cabesas de barangay”. The principalia was the local aristocracy. It was a durable social institution. They were the political absorbers. They...
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