Metro Manila

Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary

Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary is held every February 13 in the city of Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is a commemoration of its cityhood that took place on February 13, 1998 by virtue of Republic Act No. 8507. Its culminating activity is called the Grand Sunduan Festival.

History of Parañaque City

Parañaque, formerly known Palanyag, had dealings with merchants from other lands long before the start of colonial period due to its location facing the Manila Bay. Its people engaged in trading various merchandise such as crops, seafood, and salt. It was one of the early settlements explored by Spanish colonizer Juan de Salcedo in 1572 and a mission house of the Augustinians was erected in that year by Fr. Diego de Espiñar.

Two years later, the forces of Chinese warlord Limahong led by General Sioco landed here and, believing that they had reached the territory of Manila, embarked on a bitter assault against the town.

On May 11, 1580, it became an independent town during a council of the Order of St. Augustine. Eleven years later, it expanded its borders by absorbing the nearby Dongalo. When the revolution began in the 19th century, it was occupied by the soldiers of the Katipunan from which they launched their attack against the colonial government.

During World War II, the town was a source of provision and ammunition to the guerilla movement. Defeating the Japanese forces occupying it was put in place in preparation for the eventual attack in the capital in 1945 with the US 11th Airborne Division landing in Nasugbu Bay, recapturing Tagaytay Ridge and Cavite, and proceeding north. On February 4, 1945, amidst heavy offensive by the Japanese military, the Americans and Filipino soldiers successfully liberated Parañaque.

Over the following decades, the town grew. Previously part of the province of Rizal, it became part of Metro Manila by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 824 that was signed on November 7, 1975.

From a land of fisher folks and farmers, it became a city through the enactment of Republic Act No. 8507, otherwise known as An Act Converting the Municipality of Parañaque into a Highly Urbanized City to be Known as the City of Parañaque, on February 13, 1998. This is the date that cityhood anniversary celebrates yearly.

Sambalilo Festival and Grand Sunduan Festival

In the past, the cityhood anniversary was celebrated in an event called Sambalilo Festival (sambalilo means hat). In time for the 16th anniversary, the Grand Sunduan Festival was launched in 2014 and has become one of the highlights of the fest that is often part of the culminating activities. It is aimed towards showcasing and preserving age-old customs surrounding courtship involving a man and a woman.

Sunduan, which translates to fetch, describes the social norms that lovers must observe whenever they decide to meet and go on a date. The man is expected to visit the house of his beloved to fetch her. He is obliged to ask the blessing of her parents before going out and explicitly state where they are going, usually in the plaza or the church, and what time they will be back. As the two are on their way, a marching band accompanies them.

According to history, such custom was first recorded in 1876 in the villages of La Huerta and later San Dionisio, and it is still observed in these places along with the villages of Don Galo and Sto. Niño.

Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary Activities

The calendar of Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary can be short as three days (during the coronavirus pandemic), seven days, or as long as over three weeks (such as in 2023) that begins in January 23. Thus, it may coincide with Parañaque Liberation Day in February 4.

Activities can include beauty pageants like the prestigious Ginoo and Binibining Parañaque, sports, dance shows and presentations, thanksgiving mass, market fair, competitions, fireworks display, awards (such as Natatanging Parañaqueño), and the Grand Sunduan.

How to reach Parañaque City

Parañaque City is south of the capital that is abut 20 kilomters away. Travel time may take about an hour or so dependeing on traffic.


Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary Summary

NameParañaque Cityhood Anniversary
DateFebruary 13
Historical eventCityhood of Parañaque
LocationParañaque City, Metro Manila
OrganizerCity Government of Parañaque