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Pasay News

City of Pasay Seal

Pasay City at a Glance

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Kingdom of Namayan

The name of the city of Pasay, they say, came from the wail of a brokenhearted swain. Jose and Paz were in love with each other and were intent on a life together. But in those days their love was forbidden. Jose's father was one of many tenants of the hacienda of the father of Paz. Jose was ordered to stay away from Paz. Couldn't take the misery and misfortune, Paz died.

At her funeral the elite came to mourn and pray. Jose stood at a distance, and when everybody left, dug a tunnel into the earth to be with her. Once joined, he let out a sharp and anguished cry "Paz-ay!" In sorrow and regret, the parents of Paz named their hacienda Paz-ay. In time the whole town came to be called Pasay.
Historians have another explanation to the origin of name of the city. It is said that the Pasay was then thick with pasaw, a plant with an exotic aroma. It was said that a Spanish botanist, Antonio Pineda, frequented a place called Basal in the vicinity of San Rafael to gather pasaw.

There are other explanations to the nature of the name of Pasay but the most one given most weight is that it was named after a princess of the Namayan Kingdom, Dayang-dayang Pasay. The Namayan kingdom is the confederation of barangays which began to peak in 1175. It stretches from Manila Bay to Laguna de Bai. Dayang-dayang Pasay inherited the lands now comprising the territories of Culi-culi, Pasay and Baclaran. The royal capital of the kingdom was built in Sapa, known today as Santa Ana.

The natives brought their products to the capital of Namayan. Trading flourished during the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. Merchants from the China, Moluccas, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, India, Siam, and Cambodia came to trade with the natives.


Spanish Time

Magellan discovered the Philippines when he landed on the Island of Homonhon on March 16, 1521. On May 19, 1571, Legaspi took formal possession of Maynila in the name of the Spanish king. For 250 years, the Islands were put under the administration of the Viceroy of Mexico but it was the friars that held the reins. 

Of the many religious orders that came, it was the Augustinians who would figure predominantly in the evangelization of Pasay. The parish was placed under the wings of the old capital, Sta. Ana de Sapa, under the jurisdiction of the Franciscan fathers. In 1727, the Augustinian Order took over Pasay and was attached to the Nuestra Seniora de los Remedios parish of Malate. It was also during that year that Pasay's name was changed to Pineda in honor of Don Cornelio Pineda, a Spanish horticulturist.


A room reserved in heaven served as the inspiration for native converts to donate their possession to the church. It is said that Dayangdayang Pasay donated her vast estate to the Augustinians on her deathbed. Most of Pasay went into friar lands, if not by donation by purchase. Many natives were forced to let go of their properties to cope with the stringent colonial impositions.

In 1862, a number of prominent citizens of Pasay sent a petition to the civil and ecclesiastical authorities asking that they be allowed to manage their own political and religious affairs. On December 2, 1863 upon the recommendation of Archbishop Gregorio Martinez of Sta. Cruz, Pasay became a Pueblo.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 led many Spaniards to this part of the world. The new arrivals carried with them ideas and ideals that led to the political and social reforms. Times were good and Filipinos were delighted but the Spaniards and friars considered the liberal learnings as seeds of heresy. Democratic reforms ended with the liberal regime collapse in Madrid. There were wholesale executions and much innocent blood was spilled.

Pasay produced numerous heroes during the Philippines-Spanish War. Katipunan, a revolutionary movement was founded by Andres Bonifacio and a chapter of the movement was organized by Pascual Villanueva, Jacinto Ignacio, Valentin Ignacio in Pasay. Several women also fought for the cause of the Katipunan including Marcela Marcelo. 


The execution of Dr. Jose Rizal, author of the seditious novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, sealed the fate of Spain forever in the Philippines. Rizal's death inspired the natives with revolutionary pride and fervor.

But just when the Filipinos thought they could gain freedom from one colonial ruler, they were on the verge of falling under the yoke of still another. On February 25, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt instructed Commodore George Dewey of the American Asiatic Squadron to make Hong Kong his base of operations. Thus, Dewey, with his squadron would, at his signal, "proceed with offensive operations in the Philippines."

War was declared on April 25th and Dewey steamed into Manila Bay on the night of April 30th. With a few well-directed shots, the American squadron destroyed the Spanish flotilla without the loss of a single life. 

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence of a new Philippine republic on June 12, 1898. He issued decrees providing political reorganization in the country. With this, Don Catalino became Pasay's first presidente municipal. 

Pasay was made the command outpost of the Primera Zona de Manila under Gen. Mariano Noriel but Gen. Merritt appealed that the Pasay outpost turned over to the Americans so that they could be closer to the Spanish lines. On July 29th, Noriel, thinking Americans were allies, left Pasay allowing American General Greene to transfer. When Intramuros was finally captured, the Filipinos were denied entry in the walled city. Since then, tension simmered between Filipino and American troops. Both sides were assigned respective zones but neither observed boundary lines. On the night of February 4, 1899, four Filipinos crossed the American line. Shots were exchanged. The Philippine Insurrection had begun.

On May 19, 1899, General Noriel was given command again of Pasay. In June, Noriel together with General Ricarte almost defeated the American forces had they exploited the exhaustion of the enemy in the Battle of Las Piñas. Instead their forces were attacked by American reinforcements and bombarded by warships. The assault forced them to abandon Pasay. Thus, at the beginning of the Philippine-American War, Pasay was occupied by American Forces. 


American Period

The war between the Filipinos and Americans ended officially on July 4, 1902, and to the surprise of the vanquished, the victors buckled down to bring to fruition McKinley's original version of training Filipinos to run their own government. 

With one generation, the United States helped the Filipinos grow. Political progress was rapid. A vigorous health campaign was started to rid the islands of cholera, bubonic plague, and small pox. Hospitals were built. Artisan wells were dug to halt various water-borne diseases. On August 23, 1901 the United States Army transport Thomas docked at Manila Bay carrying six hundred American schoolteachers. As for public works, roads increased from 990 miles when the Americans first came to 13,000 miles of road half of which are first class and all-weather network.

On June 1, 1901, the town of Pasay (then called Pineda) was incorporated into the Province of Rizal. Antonio Dancel was appointed provincial governor and Pascual Villanueva as municipal president. On August 4, 1901, a resolution was passed petitioning that the original name of Pasay be returned. Before the year ended the Philippine Commission approved the petition. Two years later, on October 12, 1903, the pueblo of Malibay was annexed to Pasay. With a population of 8,100 in 1903, Pasay was placed under fourth-class category together with 9 other municipalities. 

Friar lands were turned into subdivisions. Soon the Pasay Real Estate Company offered friar lands as residential lots for sale or for lease to foreign investors. 

Postal, telegraph, and telephone lines were installed and branches of Philippine Savings Bank were established. In 1907 a first-class road from Pasay to Camp Nichols was completed. Others were repaired including the old Avenida Mexico now called the Taft Avenue extension. Transportation services improved. Among the buses plying routes to Pasay were Pasay Transportation, Raymundo Transportation, Try-tran, and Halili Transit. By 1908, tranvia (electric car) lines linked Pasay to Intramuros, Escolta, San Miguel, San Sebastian, and San Juan. Automobiles took to the streets, testing their maximum 20KPH speed on three new avenues (Rizal, Taft, and Ayala). Marvel after marvel continued to fascinate the Pasayeños. 

On April 11, 1914, Pasay entered the Aviation Age. Miss Cora Wong, a nurse at the Chinese General Hospital became the first woman in the Philippines to fly as a passenger on a flight with Tom Gunn in a Curtiss seaplane off Pasay Beach.

Real estate was cheap. Much of the bayside area beyond Luneta was swamp but American ex-soldiers were quick to seize the opportunity to develop it for residential purposes. By 1918, Pasay had a population of 18,697 because of the exodus of prominent Filipino families and government officials to this seaside town including Manuel L. Quezon.

World War II came and on December 26, 1941, McArthur issued a proclamation declaring Manila and it suburbs (Caloocan, Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Pasay) an open city. On New Year's Day, 1942 Quezon, while in Corregidor, called his secretary Jorge Vargas and appointed him by executive order "the Mayor of Greater Manila" which included Pasay. The mayor of Pasay was then Rufino Mateo, governing a town of more than 55,161. 

During the WWII many Pasayeños joined in the fight against the Japanese. Jose P. Maibag, born and bred in Pasay, laid out underground networking. Carlos Mendoza, a resident of Barrio San Roque, together with 14 others, formed a mobile broadcasting station called "The Voice of Juan dela Cruz." Unfortunately on July 11, 1942 Japanese military police pounced the group. Carling Mendoza, alias Juan de la Cruz" and other members of the group were brought to the old Bilibid Prison and suffered the kind of torture they talked about on radio. 

Pasay had to redo the signs all over town. Tagalog was ordered to prevail over English. The national language became a core subject in the secondary school curriculum. Nippongo was taught in all levels. Pasay was to prepare for the Second Republic.

On October 14, 1943, Japan proclaimed the Second Philippine Republic. Meantime, food had become so scarce that prices soared. Pasay folks began to move away from the city.

In October 1944, word came that Gen. MacArthur had landed in Leyte. In the middle of February, Pasay was to witness the ultimate holocaust yet. Pasay and its neighbors Ermita, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Singalong would hear day and night, the shelling at the mouth of the Manila Bay from across Pasig River. 

Pasay was both witness and victim. In the final days before they lost Greater Manila, the Japanese burned houses and sacked the town. And when the embers cooled, then, and only then, did the Filipinos realize, in shock, that their city was gone forever.

Third Republic

On February 27, 1945, General MacArthur turned over the government to President Sergio Osmeña. One of Osmeña's first acts was to dissolve the Greater Manila Complex. Caloocan, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, and Paranaque were returned to their original province of Rizal. He then appointed Juan S. Salcedo, born in Pasay in 1904, as Director of Philippine Health, and then as executive officer of the Philippine Rehabilitation Administration in charge of national recovery from the devastation wrought by the Japanese occupation.
The postwar reconstruction period was a very trying one for the Pasayeños as they began to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Osmeña appointed Adolfo Santos as prewar vice-mayor of Pasay, in place of incumbent Moises San Juan who died during the war.
Ignacio Santos Diaz, congressman from the first district of Pasay, pushed for the conversion of the town into a city and it to be named after Rizal. The Diaz bill was signed into law by President Roxas on June 21, 1947. Rizal City with population of 88,738 was inaugurated with Mateo Rufino as Mayor.
Rizal was off to a good start with revenues of P472,835 as of June, 1948. There was just one hitch; the residents could not get themselves to call their city by its new name. After two years, eight months, and twelve days of trying the force of habit continued to prevail. Pasay Congressman Eulogio Rodriguez, Jr. filed a bill returning the city to its original name. On May 3, 1950, President Elpidio Quirino, once a resident of Pasay himself, signed into law the bill approved by Congress. 
It was also in the 1940's when houses of faith started rising in different parts of Pasay to help people heal their bruised souls. Among them were the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Libreria de San Pablo Catholic Women's League, Caritas, the nutrition center, and the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
In 1951, two parishes were established -the Parish of San Isidro Labrador and the Parish of San Rafael.
On June 14, 1955, Pasay City regained its power to choose its leader. Pablo Cuneta ran against one-time Mayor Adolfo Santos and became the city's first elected mayor. In 1959, he campaigned again and won against his former vice-mayor, Ruperto Galvez.
On December 30, 1965, Ferdinand E. Marcos occupied Malacañang Palace as the new President of the Philippines, with Fernando Lopez, a resident of Pasay, as Vice-President. From that moment Imelda Romualdez Marcos became involved in national affairs. On the northern boundary of Pasay, she started filling the waterfront on Manila Bay to build the Cultural Center which was a world-class arts complex. She would add three more architectural showpieces on reclaimed land in Pasay: the Folk Arts, Film Center, and the Convention Center.
While the First Lady was busy changing Manila's skyline, President Marcos was using his new presidential powers to create a police state for eventual dictatorship.
In 1967, Jovito Claudio won for the mayoralty race against Pablo Cuneta.
In 1969, Marcos ran for reelection and claimed a margin of one million seven hundred votes over his opponent Sergio Osmeña, Jr. Marcos paid for his campaign in several ways: by printing more money and causing runaway inflation. So obvious was the election fraud that Marcos became the target of unprecedented contempt of students and the opposition. 
In the following year, an assassination attempt occurred in Pasay. A Crazed Bolivian surrealist painter lunged at Pope Paul VI with a knife grazing his chest. 
In 1971, Cuneta became mayor once more of the 206,283 Pasayeños. It was the time of crisis since the Maoist New People's Army was getting stronger in the countryside. The government bureaucracy was corrupt, nepotistic, and inept. Anarchy ruled the streets. The nation shuddered with fear in the face of its own implosion.

New SocietyOn September 21, 1972 Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the nation under martial law on the grounds of growing threat of Communism, natural clamities and rising violence which included a string of bombings and the staged assassination plot on his Defense Secretary, Juan Ponce Enrile.
Mayors in Greater Manila, including Pablo Cuneta of Pasay were called to Malacañang and asked to join the government party, the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and nobody dared to refuse the President. 
On December 7, 1972, an assassin tried to kill Imelda Marcos. The event took place in Pasay, on live television. While Mrs. Marcos was distributing prizes to the winners of the National Beautification and Cleanliness contest. She suffered some wounds and broken nails but on the whole she emerged unscathed from that close encounter.
On the second anniversary of martial law, Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 557, returning to every barrio in the country the barangays. Not long after the decree had been put into effect, the Metropolitan Manila Commission and the Department of Local Government instructed Pasay to create its own barangays. Mayor Cuneta created 487 barangays. Upon the firm suggestion of Secretary Jose Roño of the Department of Local Government, the number of barangays was trimmed down to two hundred. 
On November 7, 1975 Marcos appointed the First Lady as governor of Metro Manila, a new federation created by Presidential Decree No 824. The federation consolidated 13 towns and 4 cities including Pasay.
By 1977 an air of stability seemed to settle on the cities and the countryside. The GNP posted an annual increase of 7%, unemployment dropped, foreign investment doubled, and a sense of law and order existed. But it would take time for people to realize the high prize they had to pay for the New Society. An estimated six thousand political prisoners had been silenced in jail, including Ninoy Aquino. Bodies disappeared without a trace. More importantly, Marcos's main justification for martial law - to curb Communist threat - had in fact had the opposite way.
In 1980, Ninoy Aquino a political nemesis of Marcos was assassinated in the Manila International Airport upon his return from self-exile abroad.

People Power

The killing of Aquino had serious repercussions. Suddenly, violently, Philippine politics entered an uncertain new era. Posters lined the Metropolis calling for the resignation of Marcos. But Marcos remained cocky. Confident as ever, he called for a snap election. He thought there was no way he could be beaten, but the opposition proved him wrong. Marcos had to pull out all his dirty tricks win the election. 

When the Batasang Pambansa proclaimed Marcos as the winner, the people paid no heed. The Catholic bishops publicly condemned the election. People went on a nationwide disobedience movement. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Marcos's own cousin, Lt. Gen. Juan Ponce Enrile deputy chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, broke away from Marcos. As the rebels barricaded inside two military camps, Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin called upon the people to protect the maverick soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos responded and poured onto the streets and converged on the highway called EDSA. And as the "People Power" revolution evolved from February 22 to 25, 1986, history not only opened a new window for a nation long shoved to its shadowed corridors but also gave its people a common weal and pride to chart its own destiny.
The People Power Revolution put Corazon Aquino into office, without an official count of the votes. Mrs. Aquino directed immediate reorganization of local governments. Cuneta relinquished his post and Aquino appointed Eduardo Calixto was appointed as officer-in-charge of Pasay City. In the 1988 local elections Cuneta won and was reelected in 1992. 

Pasay Today

In the middle of 1997 Vice Mayor Wenceslao "Peewee" Trinidad took over the reins of government from an ailing Mayor Pablo Cuneta. Cuneta has been in the driver's seat for thirty-seven years. Between 1949 when he was appointed city mayor by President Elpidio Quirino, and 1997, only twice - for a total of about eight years - was the incumbent at City Hall, Pasay's repository of political power, a man other than Cuneta.

Dr. Jovito O. Claudio assumed office as Pasay City's Chief Executive in 1998 after winning the local elections. He carried out his duties and responsibilities as City Mayor until it was cut short due to failing health. His term of office lasted for only two (2) years. And because of this a Recall Election was held in the City where Mr. Wenceslao "Pewee" Trinidad was proclaimed as the City Chief Executive.

Trinidad has established himself as a political force to reckon with. As the leading player in the drama of statecraft in his political turf, he is aware that the key to his performance rest in what kind of act he can put together. The nature and power of the mayor's office are determined not only by law and custom but by the personality of the man who occupies it. He can be, both in laws and in conscience, as big as he can be. Only his capacity will set the limit. 

Providing the basic necessities alone of the swelling population is a huge task. Pasay has long exceeded the limits of its ability accommodate the influx of migrants. In terms of meeting the people's health requirements, Pasay has been up to the task. The Pasay City General Hospital, founded in 1977, has been in a progress leap -- from a simple two-story squat building on P. Burgos Street into an imposing people's health caretaker at its new building. In line with the national government's policy, Pasay City places education first on its list of priorities. In pursuit of the national goal of nation building, it maintains a local educational system that promotes a close tie-up between the public and private sector. As for their safety and security, there are more than three hundred policemen to render assistance to Pasayeños. Pasay has all the recognized ingredients for an appalling situation yet the crime rate - in terms of robberies, muggings, kidnappings, and murder - is astonishingly low.

When everybody seems to be pitching in to help, there is reason to believe that all be well for the future generations. The children of the twenty-first century can look forward to a world that will be in many ways a beguiling realm.


In terms of area, Pasay City is the third smallest political subdivision in the National Capital Region. It is adjacent to the City of Manila and is bounded to the south Parañaque, to the northeast by Makati and Taguig and to the west in Manila Bay. The city is located at latitude 14º 32' and longitude 121º 00'.

The City has a total land area of 18.50 square kilometers of which 5.5050 square kilometer is the City proper, 9.5 square kilometers is being occupied by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) complex, which include the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the Villamor Air Base and the rest of the reclamation area with 4.00 square kilometers. Thus, among the local government in the region, Pasay has the greater area devoted to utilities covering 51.35% of its total land area or 9.50 square kilometers. The City is known for its entertainment - business-restaurants, coffee shops, and clubs, particularly those located along Roxas Boulevard, facing Manila Bay. A large part of Metro Manila's "tourist belt" is located in the City. Pasay is composed of seven (7) districts, divided into twenty (20) Zones, with a total of 200 Barangays. Zone 19, Covering Barangays 178 and 191 is the largest among the zones with an area of 5.10 square kilometers. Zone 1, on the other hand, is the smallest covering Barangays 1 to 3 and 14 to 17 with an area of 100,000 square meters (0.1 sq. km.).



Hometown: Pasay City
"Bagong Umaga sa Bagong Pasay."

CITY MAYOR ANTONINO G. CALIXTO was born on May 10, 1954 to the former Pasay City Mayor Eduardo Martin Calixto and Leonora Escribe Gallardo. He is married to the former Edna Dayrit Aguas with whom he has three children, namely, Mark Anthony, Derek and Charleen.

He was enrolled at the Malate Catholic School, Manila, for his elementary and secondary education and graduated from San Sebastian College Manila, with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in marketing.

After graduating from college, he worked in the family business as vice president and assistant general manager.
In 1995, he heeded the call of public services and ran for councilor in the 1st district of Pasay City, and was elected, garnering the highest vote among all the other candidates. When he ran for reelection, he again emerged as top notcher. Because of his exemplary performance as councilor, he was elected as majority floor leader by his peers and served as chairman of several important committees.
Upon the expiration of his second term as councilor, he ran as vice mayor in 2002, to which position he was reelected for three consecutive terms with an overwhelming majority.
As City Vice Mayor, he serve as presiding officers of the Sangguniang Panglungsod. He is the designated action man of Pasay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) and once held the position of vice chairman of the Association of Metro Manila Anti-Drug Abuse Council (AMMADAC). He was the former PRO and presently a member of the board of directors of the Vice Majors’ League of the Philippines, National Capital Region.
His present focus is on the intensification of his various program of government intended to promote and 
enhance the welfare and wellbeing of Pasay City residents bearing on:

  • Medical and Dental Mission
  • Health, Sanitary and Feeding
  • Employment Assistance
  • Sports Development
  • Educational Assistance
  • Infrastructure Projects

Visit the official website of Pasay City

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