Marikina’s Historical Development

Marikina’s history provides an interesting glimpse into the events that helped shape its evolution.The Augustinians were the first to arrive at the Marikina Valley in 1500, at the spot known as “Chorillo” in Barangka. Next came the Jesuits in 1630, in a place now called Jesus dela Peña (Jesus of the Rocks). Here, the Jesuits established a mission and built a chapel.

In 1687, this pueblo became a parish known as Mariquina. In1901, with the coming of the Americans, its name officially became Marikina. The early settlers lived along the riverbanks and nearby fertile farms. With the industry of the natives, combined with the know-how of the early Chinese settlers, the farms began to produce rice and vegetables in great quantities until the valley became part of the country’s most prized hacienda. By the 19th century, Hacienda Marikina was owned and administered by the Tuason family and had become the biggest in the Philippines. For its massive size, natural beauty, and plentiful harvest, the hacienda was declared a mayorazgo (royal estate) by the Spanish colonial government

In 1887, Marikina’s shoemaking industry began through the pioneering efforts of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra, assisted by Tiburcio Eustaquio, Ambrocio Sta. Ines, and Gervacio Carlos. Kapitan Moy’s worn-out pair of British shoes provided the creative spark: he took the shoes apart, painstakingly studied their components, and then made patterns out of them. After keenly observing the Chinese in Parian, Manila, he fashioned his own pair of shoes. With crude tools, raw materials, and the villagers’ support, Kapitan Moy subsequently mastered the art of shoemaking.

By the turn of the 20thcentury, Marikina emerged as a town of shoemakers. Honed by years in shoe manufacturing, the natives quickly developed a work ethic that had prepared them for the arrival of heavy industries in the 1950s. With the proliferation of industrial plants came waves of workers who had chosen to stay, rapidly increasing the population. In no time, shoe manufacturing flourished into a multi-million-peso industry, earning for Marikina the moniker, “Shoe Capital of the Philippines.”

On 11 June 1901 Marikina was incorporated in the newly created Province of Rizal by Act No. 137 of the Philippine Commission. In 1975, when the Metro Manila Commission was created under Presidential Decree No. 824, integrating four cities and 13 towns majority of which were in the province of Rizal, Marikina became part of Metropolitan Manila area. Legend has it that the Jesuits found an icon of the Infant Jesus among the boulders and, thus, decided to christen the new mission Jesus dela Peña or maybe because they were members of the “Society of Jesus” which made famous the place called Jesus dela Peña or Jesus of Stone.

When the Jesuits returned in 1689, they protracted the propagation of Christianity in the town, which included “Olandes” which was a part of Kalumpang. They left Jesus dela Peña, but they converted it to a plantation of wheat or trigo obtaining its name triguhan”.

When the church of San Roque was finished, the barrios of Barangka, Tañong and J. dela Peña were termed “Marikina”. The myths ad tales of the source of the word “Mariquina” were not yet justified but in the publication of a newspaper “La Illustracion Filipina” on 15 November 1859 and at the dictionary of Buseta published in Madrid in the same year, the name of “Marikina” was mentioned but they never mentioned its meaning.

In view of the non-existence of records or documents on how Mariquina came into being, the following legends were gathered from the old of the different barrios in Marikina.

From the name of a priests name “Mariquina”
One of the builders of the Jesus dela Peña Chapel was a young priests called “Mariquina” who was given the task of baptizing children to Christianity. Because of this very noble job “Mariquina” was named in his honor to bestow upon him glory and praise.

From a young lady called “Maria Cuina”
Before the Spaniards came to Mariquina, a beautiful, virtuous, polite and intelligent lady named “Maria Cuina” was residing in the town. Because of her expertise in business, she became rich and her fortunes were expended in charity ad eventually became famous in the whole town up to Manila. When a traveler from other towns visited the barrio, he asked for the name of the town, a resident replied “Maria Cuina” thinking that what was being asked was their admirable lady. Since then, the story spread throughout and the town was known as “Mariquina”.

From the word “Marikit-na”
During the construction of the chapel of Jesus dela Peña, it was being supervised by the Jesuit priest and the laborers were Filipinos. As expected, language barrier was a problem resulting in the usual misunderstanding. When the chapel was completed and the priest asked what would be called of the structure, one worker answered “Marikit-na-Po”, thinking that what was being asked was the condition of the chapel. Because the Spaniards knew that the word “Po” is a sign of respect and they were finding it difficult to express the letter “T”, the Marikit-na was believed to be said as “Marikina”.

From a town in Spain
In the Province of Nueva Viscaya in Spain, There was a beautiful town called “Mariquina”. This was where Eduardo de Mariquina, a famous musician got its name. The town of Mariquina in Spain is located beside the Charmaga River, which is the origin of the Jesuit Priests who came to the Philippines and established Jesus dela Peña. Because of this, “Mariquina” was used to honor the place where they came from. In 1901, Commissioner de Tavera changed the letter “Q” to a more vernacular “K”.

Based on history and documents in the custody of the municipal government of Marikina, the town was called Marikit-na in 1787 and was later changed to Mariquina. According to Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, the word Mariquina was in recognition of Capt. Berenguer de Mariquina who led the town in 1788.

How Marikina Became A City
Mayor Bayani F. Fernando took office in 1992 determined to see Marikina become a city during his watch. It could have been a city in 1994 when it qualified, but no initiative was taken in the House of Representatives. It needed the help of Speaker Jose de Venecia and Congresswoman Carmencita O. Reyes, whose ancestors hailed from Marikina, to get a bill moving in the Lower House of Representatives on second reading in December 1995, after a public hearing was held in Marikina.

The Senate approved the bill unanimously on September 30, 1996. Explaining his vote, Senate President Neptali Gonzales cited the rapid progress of Marikina under Mayor Fernando whose father, Mayor Gil Fernando, was a partymate of Gonzales in the liberal party for many years.

The stage was set for the signing of the bill into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 6, 1996 at Malacañang . Some 150 Marikeños, among many guests, heard the President hailed Republic Act 8223 as“recognition of the indefatigable efforts of the people of Marikina towards development led by Mayor Bayani F. Fernando.”

The next step was to ratify the law in a plebiscite to be held within 60 days from its approval. The deadline for this exercise was January 6, 1997. Mayor Fernando requested the Commission on Elections to set an early plebiscite. He wanted it before December 15, 1996 following a notice from the Department of Budget and Management that Marikina should be declared a city before December 15, 1996 or it would have to wait for another year to get a bigger Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of P180 million against P70 million. On December 6, 1996, Marikina became a city when Republic Act 8223 was signed by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos and subsequently ratified by the people through a plebiscite converting the same into a highly urbanized city. The ascension of Marikina into a city was considered an offshoot of four years of hard toil leading to the town’s dramatic transformation under the leadership of Mayor Bayani F. Fernando.

On March 13, 1997, Marikina, formally inaugurated a city and, thereby, attained a milestone in its long and colorful history. Today Marikina City is a multi awarded metropolitan city, often lauded for its vibrant business life, highly skilled workforce, and a responsive local government that puts a premium on governance, sustainable urban development and public service.

Marikina Has Two Districts
President Gloria M. Arroyo approved on Dec. 15, 2006 Republic Act No. 9364, an act amending Section 10 and 53 of RA 8223, creating two congressional districts in Marikina City. The move validates Marikina’s status as a formidable city with a high potential for further growth and progress. District I comprise of nine (9) barangays, namely: Barangka, Tañong, Jesus dela Peña, Industrial Valley Complex, Kalumpang, San Roque, Sta. Elena, Sto. Niño and Malanday, while seven (7) barangays comprise the second district, namely, Concepcion I, Concepcion II, Nangka, Parang, Marikina Heights, Fortune, and Tumana.


hide panel Loading...