One Day in Manila for P800: Parañaque City
Formerly known as "Palanyag," see what this city in the south of Manila has to offer.
(SPOT.ph) There are different versions of how Parañaque got its name, but one tells of a Spanish soldier riding a kalesa who said "para aqui, para aqui" (stop here). The coachman didn’t understand him and just kept moving. He went on to share how the soldier kept saying "para aniya ake" and the name "Parañaque" was born.
Before Coastal Road was made, Parañaque was famous for being the nearest beach to Manila: Aroma Beach, El Faro Beach and Jale Beach were favorites among local film producers. Fast forward to 2015, and Parañaque City continues to adapt to the changing times but still manages to preserve its rich history and culture.
One can easily reach Parañaque by bus, LRT, or through the UV Express vans and Sucat-Lawton FX. Another option is the jeepney for touring around the city. While Aguirre and its neighboring streets have gained popularity, there are other hidden gems in the areas of San Dionisio, La Huerta, and Don Galo, places where the city gets its old-world charm. Here’s a guide to some places of interest in the city, with only a budget of P800.
Reflect at the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew.
Known as the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was established by Spanish Augustinian friars in 1580 and its amazing architecture makes it a favorite church for weddings. You’ll be in a place of history as the church has been around for 435 years.
The Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew is at Quirino Avenue, Barangay La Huerta (826-1760).
Have an afternoon snack at Nel's Pastries and Specialties.
Nel's has been around since the 1980s and is a favorite among students in the La Huerta area. Its owner, Nelia Dandan, has definitely mastered keeping the prices on her menu easy on the budget through the years. The shop's cozy atmosphere is a breath of fresh air when you want to get away from shopping malls. Here you can indulge in your favorite desserts for a fraction of the cost.
Budget: Ready your appetite for their Baked Mac (P25), Choco Rumble (P20), and Double Choco Cake (P25).
Nel’s Pastries and Specialties is at 5403 M.H. Del Pilar Street, Barangay La Huerta (0920-359-0465). Open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday to Sunday).
Take a dip at Elorde Sports Center’s swimming pool.
Elorde Sports Complex is a three-hectare property with facilities for every sport aficionado. The brand is synonymous to boxing and recently, the venue has also become known for hosting cockfight derbies. From the entrance, you wouldn't think that a pool exists in the premises. Walk past the cockpit stadium and you'll find a large swimming pool. Cottages are also available for rent and the nest time to visit is in the early morning or late afternoon.
Budget: Entrance fees priced at P150 for adults and P100 for kids. Cottage rental ranges from P100 to P300.
The Elorde Sports Complex is at Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Sucat (826-4463). Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday to Sunday).
Order tapsilog at Maty's.
Being in the food business for more than 50 years, Maty's is known as the pioneer "tapsilog" in Parañaque. A family owned business, the matriarch Marty Salazar has distributed the management of their four branches to her children. Their bestsellers, tapa and barbeque, as well as the simple layout of the eatery are the reasons customers keep coming back for more. Maty’s is a definite must-try when you are in the Don Galo area.
Budget: P70 for Tapsilog
Maty’s is at 0385 Quirino Avenue, Barangay Don Galo (853-2525). Open 24 hours.
Appreciate art at Kulay-Diwa.
Kulay-Diwa is a privately-owned contemporary art gallery that has been around since 1987. Its goal is to showcase young artists and establish a strong presence of contemporary art in the south of Manila. Nestled in a residential enclave, both the exterior and interior details of the gallery is a feast for the eyes. The main exhibit area holds featured artists' profiles subsequently adorned with their respective pieces. The opposite wing displays the gallery's vast art collection.
Kulay-Diwa is at 25 Lopez Avenue, Lopez Village, Sucat (826-0574).
Unleash the inner kid in you at PlayBook.
PlayBook is the brilliant idea of husband-and-wife team, Richard and Teta Brojan. With the husband being an avid gamer and the wife a fan of literature, they decided to put up a hobby shop which caters to the needs of both men and women alike. The video game lounge has several games available for rent, where tournaments are also held. The book shop has a wide collection of titles sure to meet every bookworm's needs.
Budget: P120 for one hour rental of PS4 controller
PlayBook is at 2/F Pergola Mall, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes (831-6378). Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Wednesday); 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Thursday to Sunday).
Eat healthy at The Urban Farm.
The Urban Farm is a restaurant along Presidents Avenue that promotes healthy eating through fresh ingredients and a well-prepared menu. Amid several fast-food choices in the area, it is an answered prayer to those looking for a boost in mindful eating and wellness practices. There is a wide variety to choose from, plus you can also purchase essential home effects while waiting for your order.
Budget: P260 for Fish and Chips
4 Presidents Avenue corner Adelfa Street, Tahanan Village, BF Homes (823-8495). Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.