Marikina City: The Shoe Capital of the Philippines


The City of Marikina is one of the 17 cities that make up Metro Manila, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Marikina was the former capital of the province of Manila during the declaration of Philippine Independence.

by Jhaypee Guia on July 19, 2012
Marikina City: The Shoe Capital of the Philippines

Marikina Montage

Overview

The City of Marikina is one of the 17 cities that make up Metro Manila, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Marikina was the former capital of the province of Manila during the declaration of Philippine Independence. The city divided into two districts and composed of 16 barangays, located along the eastern border of Metro Manila, it is bordered on the west by Quezon City, to the south by Pasig City and Cainta, Rizal, to the east by Antipolo City, the capital of Rizal Province, and to the north by San Mateo also in Rizal Province. Marikina is one of the most populous cities and wealthiest local government unit in the country.

Marikina was given the title the Shoe Capital of the Philippines because of its notable shoe industry, being the biggest manufacturer of shoes in the Philippines, producing almost 70% of shoe production in the country. Shoemakers in the city recently finished creating the World's Largest Pair of Shoes and it was only recently that the Guinness World Records recognized this feat. The Shoe Museum is home of the famous shoe collection of the former First Lady Imelda Marcos, shoes of the world leaders, past presidents, famous people, and shoes of different countries around the world, and making it the largest collection of pair of shoes in the world.

Marikina is noted as one of tourism and cultural hub in Metro Manila, it is also the home of Philippine Footwear Federation. Marikina is one of the wealthiest local government units in the Philippines. Aside the traditional shoe and leather industry, many places in Marikina are now recognized for its eco-friendly points, balance of industry, people and nature. Among this, the residents satisfy the basic services and transparent governance of the city. The city features typically many spacious parks, museums, tree-lined streets, bike-lanes, traffic signs, crossings, walkways, churches, antiquated houses and commercial establishments. Despite the latter, most of the city is classified as residential and industrial. The city also considered as one of the healthiest and livable cities within the Asia-Pacific, awarded Hall of Fame for its cleanest and greenest city, most awarded city in Metro Manila and most competitive city in the Philippines. The people of Marikina are amongst the most disciplined in the Philippines. Del De Guzman is the incumbent mayor of Marikina.

Marikina City Today

At present, the shoe industry has become a pride of the country and a boost to the growth of its economy. The city also now boasts of hosting other big companies, multinationals and local, as well as leading exporting firms.

Marikina City today is a multi-awarded metropolitan city, often cited for its vibrant economy, a highly-skilled and literate work force, an involved and enlightened business community, and a responsive local government that puts a premium on governance, sustainable urban development and public service.

Proof positive of the city's standing in the league of metropolitan cities in the country are the numerous awards and citations that have been bestowed, most recent and most prestigious of which are the 2003 Most Competitive Metro City in the Philippines award. Marikina also one of the host of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games 2005 in the Philippines which will held the sports event of baseball at the Marikina Sports Park.

Vision and Missions

Vision

Marikina : "A Little Singapore". Bustling in holistic progress, a vibrant community where the citizens have pride of place, pride of self and mutual concern for the common good.

Marikina has chosen Singapore as its benchmark for a variety of reasons, foremost of which are its noteworthy attributes of:

  • Disciple
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Effective governance
  • Work ethics
  • Environmental soundness
  • Economic dynamism
  • Corrupt-free government

Mission

  • Specifically, the city seeks to make itself:
  • A place for living
  • A place for work and business
  • A place for history
  • A place for socializing
  • A place for entertainment
  • A place for arts, culture, tourism and sports
  • A place for education
  • A place for religion

In a nut-shell, Marikina hopes to imbue itself with elements that will transform it into a little Singapore. Efforts, however, shall be geared primarily towards poverty reduction for it is the alleviation of urban blight which determines the efficacy of local governance.

While programs and strategies are multifarious and encompassing, they are basically poverty-focused. Eradication of poverty is, thus, the focal point of everything that the city sets out to do in the long term.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Spurred by the death of natural resources resulting from the continuous growth in residential areas, the City of Marikina took pains in rehabilitating and converting the 220 ha. Marikina River into a sports and recreational park.

One of the old churches of Marikina built in honor of the Infant Child Jesus.

  • Tuazon Entertainment Zone

The Tuazon Entertainment zone is a one-kilometer stretch of entertainment centers to include sing-along bars, restaurants, and cafes located at the heart of the city.

  • Doll Museum

Located inside Kapitan Moy, the Doll Museum houses an impressive collection of Patio Tesoro Nenita dolls where historic events of Marikina are depicted in dioramas.

  • Teatro Marikina

Opened last December 2002, Teatro Marikina is the manifestation of the city's commitment to the development of culture and arts. This facility caters to various events such as plays, concerts, shows, graduations, exhibits and seminars.

  • Amscor Shooting Range

The Arms Corporation (the biggest manufacturer of guns and ammunition in the Philippines) has developed a portion of its premises into a shooting range of international standard, an alternative venue for national and international shooting competitions in the country.

One kilometer footpath with concrete replicas of animals where children can both learn and have fun.

A 14-hectare property located along A. Bonifacio Ave., formerly occupied by UTEX, now the Central Business District of the City.

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto

The River Park's haven of the religious, particularly Marian devotees.

Built by the Augustinians in the 1700s, it was destroyed by two earthquakes in 1816 and 1880 and by fire in 1891. it has undergone years of renovation since 1963.

Marikina was the fulcrum of regional and national sports events when it was still a part of the province of Rizal. It was the training ground to some of the best athletes the country has ever produced. It gained prominence in being the home base of the then de-meddle BLU GIRLS (National Softball Team).

The former Bigasang Bayan of Marikina, rehabilitated and converted into a museum. The only shoe repository, existing in the country, it houses a notable shoe collection to include some 778 pairs belonging to the former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos. The museum is a showcase not only of the premier product of Marikina but also of the industriousness and ingenuity of the Marikeños.

Displayed at the Riverbanks Mall gallery, the biggest shoe in the World is certified by the Guiness Book of World Records measuring 5.29 meters long and 2.37 meters wide. It is made of genuine leather and took 72 days to finish. The shoe can be worn by a 125 ft.-tall person fit 30 people inside. The leather material used can produce 250 regular pairs of shoes.

  • San Isidro Labrador Church

The first mass in Jesus dela Peña was held in this church on April 16, 1630 conducted by Father Pedro de Arce, then Bishop of Manila. The mass was celebrated by the Jesuits who discovered a small image of Jesus, which was then worshiped by the people of Jesus dela Peña.

  • The Cows in the Dairy Farm

Located at the Evolution Park of Brgy. Marikina Heights where 18 sculptured cows stand as a marker of Marikina's expanse of grazing farmland formerly owned by the illustrious Tuazon Clan.

Marikina was considered as the largest private hacienda in the Philippines during the early years of Spanish colonization. Its residents were comprised mostly of farmers whose main crops were rice and vegetables. The town folks had bountiful harvest enabling each family to own more than two carabaos, even a dozen or so. At the time, to possess several carabaos served as a symbol of progress for the town and wealth for the families. From stories and accounts of old owners, the Marikina city government traced the old carabao trail which was the regular route taken from their owner's homes to the fields and vice versa. About 28 stone built carabaos were placed in the path along the riverbanks of Kalumpang serving as an attraction and as a marker of the once scenic and abundant Marikina farmland.

The greater part of the populace of Marikina during the mid-1700s were Mestizo de Sangley (Chinese Mestizo). They came to Marikina upon the invitation of the Jesuits to help in establishing a hacienda which was named after the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro de Labrador. Similarly, the patriarch of the most illustrious clan in the town, Don Antonio Tuason, was a wealthy Chinaman from Binondo, Manila. He was believed to be Sontua (presumably, the Sino-Version of the Tuason name meaning "eldest son") whose wealth has helped provide a battalion for the Spanish was with the British who ventured to get the Philippines from Spain. The Tuazon's property from Manila grew when they bought from the Jesuits their properties here in Marikina which came to be known as Hacienda se Mariquina. Undoubtedly, the Chinese were part of the lineage that formed the history of the present day-Marikina. Chinese Chamber of Commerce had the Chinese Pagoda constructed along the Marikina riverbanks as a commemoration of the roots of Marikeños.

When tracing back the history of Marikina, one can never overlook the contributions of Christianity. On April 16, 1630, The Society of Jesus inherited the ecclesiastical control of the Marikina area and established a mission village. It was told that the Jesuits found an image of the Infant Jesus among the boulders of rocks along the banks of the local river. Thus, on these boulders, the priests built a chapel and christened the center of the village, Jesus dela Peña (Jesus of the Rock). The site, where the Marikina Zonta Club built the Roman Garden in 1998, is believed to be the spot where the icon of Jesus was seen. The Garden also serves as an honor to Marikina Christian residents who comprised a large number in the city.

The old Kapitan Moy building now named Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina was constructed in 1780 by Don Jose Guevarra whose family owns "Asyenda Tyason". This old house is not only a structure of nails and adobe, it is an edifice that links us to the past because of the historical events that became known here. In 1887, the first shoe in Marikina was made here. Supreme Andres Bonifacio of the Katipunan once visited the place; and American soldiers made it a camp in 1901.

  • JAPS Shoe Factory

One of the oldest shoe factories of Marikina owned by Mr. Florentino Santiago which has been in business for the past 35 years. The factory serves a a one-stop shop for all visitors of the city and one of the many worthwhile projects of the Marikina City Tourism Council.

  • EDA Bag Factory

It is located along the Riverpark at the back of Chinese pagoda where one can buy quality bags at the most reasonable prices.

  • Natalia Bag Factory

One of Marikina's noted bag factories owned and managed by the enterprising Muriel Family with belts as their original products. After several years of venture, the business started to manufacture products for local as well as international market. The factory is located at 36 Gumamela St. Sampaguita Village Malanday Marikina City.

  • Loyola Memorial Park

Located along A. Bonifacio Avenue, a privately-owned memorial park set on a sprawling area of 36,000 m² and developed in 1965. The Loyola Memorial Park is the oldest, probably one of the biggest, and most prominent memorial parks in the Philippines.

Accommodations

  • Marikina Hotel - Pio Del Pilar St. cor. Tangerine St., Brgy. Concepcion II, Marikina City Philippines
  • La Trinidad Pension House
  • Family Lodging House - 31 Liamzon St., Brgy. San Roque
  • Family Lodging House - 31 Liamzon St., Brgy. San Roque
  • Villa Ronar Garden Resort & Hotel - 112 Dao corner Champaca St., Marikina Heights, Marikina City
  • RELC - Dormitory
  • MIST-TESDA

Restaurants

  • Pan De Amerikana
  • Cafe Qizia - Italian Cuisine
  • Tapsi ni Vivian
  • Macky's Eatery
  • Dalay's - Filipino Cuisine
  • Cafe Kapitan
  • Kusina ni Kambal
  • Panciteria ni Edong's
  • Kubo sa Tuazon
  • Cafe Lidia
  • Casa Feliz Cakes & Pastries
  • Pap's Dinner
  • Eriz’s Driveway bar and resto Café
  • NOHMU (Resto Bar)

Transportation

Currently, elevated light rail systems run through Marikina City. The first or last station of LRT 2 is Santolan located along Marcos Highway. The station connects to Claro M. Recto Avenue in Manila.

Public transportation within the city, like in most of the urban areas in the Philippines, is facilitated mostly using inexpensive jeepneys and buses. Tricycles (motorbikes with an attached two seater carriage) are the usual transportation used for short distances, while Taxi cabs are used by the upper middle class. The roads are organized around a set of long narrow and circumferential roads that radiate and circle in and around the city.

One of the most notable attractions in Marikina is the bikeways and bike lanes along major roads and streets. This is the only city in the Philippines which has an effective bikeway.

Going to Marikina

Various land transportation ply the route going to Marikina City via bus in major roads or public jeepneys in minor roads in Metro Manila. From Cainta and Antipolo via Marikina City ( BAYAN): Take a jeepney with the sign board ( cubao), ask the driver to drop you at Mcdo Marcos highway and ride a tricycle going straight to Marikina Sports Center.
Or drop by at Fiesta Villa in A. Tuazon Marikina and ride a jeep with the sign board ( going to Marikina).

From Quezon City via Marikina City( BAYAN):
Take a ride either Fx or jeep at Gateway Cubao, ride with the signboard  going to ( Parang, SSS, Kalumpang ) and they’ll drop you off to Marikina Bayan.

From Pasig City via Marikina City (BAYAN):
Take a jeepney in Pasig Palengke and ride with the signboard going to Marikina(bayan),.

From San Mateo via Marikina (BAYAN):
Take a jeepney with the signboard Marikina (BAYAN)

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