Fisherman’s wharf: The metro’s next tourist destination

Despite the rapid modernization of Parañaque, fishing still continues in the northwestern side. But most of the marine-related activities are concentrated in Barangay La Huerta, where the city’s “fisherman’s wharf” may be found.

The fisherman’s wharf is angled to become a tourist attraction of the city with Dampa-style eateries, create additional jobs for the residents.

La Huerta is also known for its colorful fiestas, such as the biannual Sunduan festival where local bachelors in their barong Tagalog fetch their dates from their homes dressed in traje de mestiza and carrying a parasol, and parade them around town to the San Nicolas Chapel at the town plaza.

This festival is held in honor of the village’s patron, Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, and dates back to 1876.

Up to the present, fishing is still the source of livelihood for 500 fishermen confined along coastal areas of Manila Bay.

To help local fisherfolk, Mayor Edwin Olivarez has announced that the fisherman’s wharf located along Coastal Road will be developed into a tourist destination.

Olivarez disclosed that the wharf will be permanently called as “Bulungan sa Parañaque,” where local and foreign tourists can buy fresh fish and other seafood.

It was called bulungan because prices of banyera with fish are bid in whisper. This would allow the seller to give the banyera to the highest bidder.

Five years ago, the fisheries production of banak, salinyasi, buging, kapak, alimasag, galunggong, dilis, kitang, tanigue, tahong and hipon reached to 1,103.60 metric ton. While 58,900 kilos of bangus or milkfish and 60,200 kilos of shrimp were harvested by four operators on the fishpond production.

Other fishing activities like safrahan, mussel and oyster culture, and manual hook and bait (long range) are also available. There are 23 safrahan owners and 15 mussel and oyster culture owners in our coastal waters.

Records showed that about 25 to 30 commercial fishing vessels are based on the coastal waters of Parañaque.

Olivarez said that aside from converting the place into a market, the city government will be constructing a two-story building for retail and souvenir stores and a restaurant where visitors can dine on fresh seafood.

“We are optimistic that this will be the next tourist destination in Metro Manila. The building will have retail souvenir shops, market, and seafood restaurants on the second floor where assorted fresh fish will be available for paluto (cooking onsite),” the mayor said.

Mar Jimenez, Public Information Office chief, said that aside from helping the lowly fishermen in the area augment their daily earnings, an added attraction could be the establishment of restaurants offering dampa-style eating.

According to Jimenez, the project will bring value to the city’s property. It will create jobs for city residents, who may be employed by the various businesses that will lease space at the commercial area.

He said that a mini-pier would also be built in the area where local and foreign tourists could catch a ferry ride to the nearby Pagcor Entertainment City where the city’s satellite office is now being constructed.

Entertainment City is Asia’s Las Vegas-like gaming and entertainment complex that Pagcor proposed to offer to investors on 8 km. of land on the reclamation area of Manila Bay and Coastal Road in Barangay Tambo adjacent Barangay La Huerta.

Among the hotels and casinos now operational in the Entertainment City are Solaire Resort and Casino, the first casino hotel and six-star hotel in Parañaque, and the City of Dreams Manila, while the latest to open Ayala Malls Manila Bay, country’s biggest shopping complex.

The construction of the Satellite City Hall is expected to be finished in 2021. It would have the extension offices of the City Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) as well as the assessor’s office, where local and foreign investors can process their city permits.

Moreover, a Senior Citizen’s Wellness Center will also be constructed in the area as well as floating restaurants in the middle of the wharf and Freedom Island, which is currently being managed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Senior Citizen’s Wellness Center

Jimenez added that the city government will undertake and promote the health and wellness of senior citizens as well as to alleviate the conditions of older persons who are encountering degenerative diseases.