At Shoe Museum Debut, Cong. BF Announces Plan to Bolster Shoe Industry

PIO Department


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Former Marikina City Mayor and now Representative Bayani F. Fernando is optimistic that the shoe industry in Marikina will revive its glory days and reclaim its fame as the Shoe Capital not only of the Philippines but in Asia.

At the celebration of the 18th Anniversary of the Shoe Museum, created under his leadership when he was the mayor of Marikina, Rep. Fernando looked back at the shoe industry in Marikina and how it prospered through the years, though it faced difficulties because of the entry of more cheaper imported shoes from abroad in the Philippines. He also announced an initiative to boost the shoe industry.

The Shoe Museum, established on February 16, 2001, was put up by Rep. Fernando to honor Marikina's shoemakers, workers, artisans and manufacturers, as well as to showcase their creativity and ingenuity to the rest of the world. Since it was founded 18 years ago, the Shoe Museum has welcomed thousands of visitors from here and abroad.

"We are all descendants of shoemakers," Rep. Fernando said at the celebration of the 18th anniversary of the Shoe Museum on Saturday. "Marikina has a higher number of the middle class in the country since the shoe industry was introduced more than a hundred years ago."

The first pair of shoes was created in Marikina in 1887 through the initiative of Don Laureano "Kapitan Moy" Guevara, spurring the rise of the shoe industry and the skilled workers and artisans. Kapitan Moy is now acknowledged as the Father of the Shoe Industry. The industry has also contributed a lot to the domestic economy, culture, tradition, and way of life of Marikeños.

Rep. Fernando said he is overjoyed by the growing interest on the shoe industry among the young people, who together with the older generation of shoemakers in Marikina, attended the event. He said this is a sign that the shoe industry in the country will regain its glory days and be once again at the forefront in Asia.

Towards the end of his speech, Rep. Fernando announced that he plans to file a bill in Congress that would require the national government, government agencies and other government units to buy shoes from the Philippines only, especially when they are using government funds. This would help bolster the shoe industry in the country and specifically in Marikina City, where most of the locally-made shoes are manufactured.

Organized by the City Government of Marikina through the tourism, culture and the arts office headed by Ponchie Santos, in partnership with Zapateria, old and new shoemakers interacted with each other during the event, where a live demonstration on the step-by-step making of shoes was held.

The Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO) headed by Noel Box also lent a hand to make the event successful.

Joni Jocson, executive assistant of Mayor Marcy; Noel Box, Clara Martinez Badong and Alfred Javier of MASIDO; shoe manufacturers, students interested in the shoe industry and in making shoes; as well as guests from foreign embassies in the Philippines; and, former National Treasurer Sergio Edeza also graced the celebration held at the Shoe Museum.

Among the noted shoemakers and manufacturers who attended the event include Rolando "Tatay Oly" Santos, Kiko Medina, Roweliza Cruz Landicho, Zapateria's Rico Sta. Ana and daughter Unyx, shoe entrepreneur and designer Tal de Guzman. Designers and shoemakers being nurtured by Zapateria such as Derick Hibaler and Mara Piñon also attended the event.

Aside from the works of noted Marikina shoemakers such as Tatay Oly and Mang Kiko, the event also displayed the works of senior high school students of the Marikina Polytechnic College, who created shoes using indigenous materials such as barks from malunggay and banana trunks, bamboo, chicken feet and a lot more.

The Marikina Dance Guild presented a well-applauded cultural dance number, while the Rondalla Marikina Band provided the entertainment.

Marikina-made products such as food (especially its famous, bite-sized putong polo) and leather items were sold outside of the museum.

If you are interested to visit the Shoe Museum and other tourist spots of Marikina, please call the tourism office at (02) 646-1823 or drop by its office at the G/F of Kapitan Moy building on J.P. Rizal St., Brgy. Sta. Elena Marikina City. The Shoe Museum is also located along J.P. Rizal St. in Brgy. Sta. Elena, a few steps away from the Kapitan Moy building, where the first pair of shoes in Marikina was made in 1887.

(Photos courtesy of Mae Pontevedra Patactacan of the Marikina tourism office, Marikina PIO, Tal de Guzman and Zapateria. For more photos of the event, please check out the other article about the event:

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