Situated in the southern part of the National Capital Region (NCR), the city of Parañaque used to be a trading ground during the precolonial times due to its close proximity to the sea. Chinese, Indonesians, Japanese, Malays, and Indians used exchange goods, especially salt, fish, and rice with the local residents of the city. Today, it is still a significant area because of its economic and financial activities. The city has a total land area of approximately 17.98 square miles, and a total population of 588,126 based on the 2010 national consensus. It was once called “Palanyag”, meaning “my beloved” by the residents because of their affection for their hometown.
During the Spanish occupation, the town was dominated by Augustinian missionaries, whose goal was to inculcate Christianity in the natives. A story that explains how the city name turned from ‘Palanyag’ to ‘Parañaque’ comes from this period: Some Spanish soldiers were on their way to a certain place, and when they finally reached their destination (Palanyag), they commander their coachman ‘Para aqui, para aqui’, which means ‘Stop here, stop here’. The coachman, not understanding the language, kept going and the soldiers kept repeating their instruction to ‘Para aqui’. This incident spread to the townspeople of Palanyag, and the name caught on, and from then onwards, they started calling their town ‘Para Aqui’, later becoming ‘Parañaque’.
The city managed to retain its trade activities throughout the years. One of the largest and busiest dry goods market in the country, which is in Baclaran is located in the northern area of the city. One of the most active churches in Metro Manila – the Baclaran Church – can also be found here. It is also the location of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA), where major international carriers are located.
The city has been experiencing rapid growth in infrastructures and revenues in the past couple of years. Many commercial establishments and institutions are situated in various parts of the city. Most of the businesses are located along Dr. A. Santos Avenue (DASA), and as of late, Doña Soledad Avenue. Boulevard 2000 is a project that the city is undertaking to become the major business district of the South. This area is emerging as a new lucrative location in the capital, as many companies are expected to move their headquarters here.
Other parts of the city are less busy and more residential. The city’s shopping malls are also located here. Some prime areas where houses and condominiums can be bought are in:
More residential developments are also being constructed to accommodate the growing number of professionals and families that have opted to reside in this city.