Parañaque Islands Philippines
Parañaque was founded in 1572 Since the place lay very proximate to the sea, the Paraqueños (Parañaquense) did much trade with the Chinese, Indonesians, Indians and Malayans.At that time the main means of livelihood were salt-making, fishing, planting rice, shoemaking, slipper-making and weaving. The community was headed by cabezas de barangay, a westernization of the local chieftains and the principalia as the local aristocrats were called, a very durable social institution since they were the political absorbers. They justified and moderated the demands of the Spanish colonizers. Education was limited to the principalia since it is only they who could afford it. The recorded beginnings of Palanyag began in 1580 when Fr. Diego de Espinar, an Augustinian missionary, was appointed Prior or superior of the convent or religious house of the town. 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 (or conference of chiefs of the religious orders) held on May 11, 1580, accepted Palanyag as an independent town. The image of Palanyag's patroness, Nuestra Señora del Buensuceso, was brought to St. Andrew's Church in La Huerta in 1625.
Historical accounts state that since Palanyag was located at the crossroads of Manila, the provinces of Cavite and Batangas, the town's strategic location enabled the townspeople to play an important role in Philippine history. During the invasion of the Chinese pirate Limahong in 1574, Parañaque residents, particularly those from Barangay Dongalo, heroically aided in preventing the attack in Manila. This became known as the "Red Sea Incident" due to the blood that flowed as a result of the defense made by the people from barrio Sta. Monica, the barangay's former name. 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 power of the Spaniards was not invincible and more than a hundred years later, this would prove to be true. Then came the Philippine Revolution (circa late 19th century) and the Spaniards realized that the town was a practical gateway to Cavite, the bastion of the revolutionary Katipuneros. Conversely to the rebels based in Cavite, they saw the town as their gateway to Intramuros, the Spanish seat of government in Manila. Prominent Paraqueños, like Manuel Quiogue and secular priest Father Pedro Dandan became leading revolutionary figures. When the Americans took over, one of the first towns to have a municipal government was Parañaque.
During the Japanese occupation (circa 1940's), Parañaque supplied the leadership of the guerilla movement like the ROTC Hunters as well as food and arms. Parañaque was one of the first towns to be liberated and its guerillas helped in paving the way for the combined American and Philippine Commonwealth forces to enter the south of Manila. As can be gleaned from the above, Parañaque then and now has and continues to play a strategic role in the Philippines' political and economic progress. Another outstanding feature of this historic town by the bay is the cultivation of its cultural traditions like the Komedya, Sunduan, and Bati, among others that continue to attract local and foreign tourists alike, especially during the summer months.