Marikina to Mark Festivals Celebrating Culture, Heritage, Family, Food & Shoes
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The City Government of Marikina will be spreading joy this Christmas season with the celebration of festivals that will focus on the city’s rich culture and heritage, its growing shoe and food industries, as well as the contributions of the family in its growth and development over the last three centuries.
Founded nearly 400 years ago, Marikina City has weathered a number of challenges, thanks to the strength and the unity of its people – those who were originally from Marikina and those who decided to settle here and found kinship with the locals (or "taal na Marikeño" in Filipino). The importance of unity will also be highlighted during the celebration of these festivals.
Billed as "Experience Marikina" – the City Government has lined up a number of activities to celebrate its three main festivals in the last two months of the year: the Sapatos Festival, the Rehiyon, Rehiyon, and the Christmas Festival. In between, Marikina will also commemorate the 22nd year since it became a chartered city on December 8, 1996.
The celebration of these major festivals will be centered on culture, family, food, heritage, shoes and unity as envisioned by Mayor Marcy Teodoro, said Winnie Mariano, city events manager, in an interview.
“United ang theme ng celebrations ng mga festival sa Marikina. Iyan ang vision ni Mayor Marcy na i-institutionalize ang lahat ng city events. So naging tagni-tagni siya in tune with the overall direction, which is to give emphasis and importance to family, culture, heritage, shoes, and food,” said Winnie.
Ushering in the festive season will be the Sapatos Festival, honoring the industry that shaped Marikina’s economy and contributed to its culture and heritage. The festival will commence next Monday, November 12 with the opening of the shoe bazaar.
Marikina is known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines because it was here where the first pair of shoes was made in 1887 that paved the way for the establishment of a vibrant shoe industry known for its high quality craftsmanship, durability, and comfort.
Sapatos Festival Bazaar
Among the highlights of the Sapatos Festival will be the shoe bazaar that will run from November 12 to January 6 at the Freedom Park, right across the Marikina City Hall. Forty-eight manufacturers from Marikina will be selling their products – shoes, bags, belts, wallets, and other accessories at attractive prices.
Another centerpiece of the celebration will be the Tour de Takong or Stiletto Run, where participants will be racing towards the finish line wearing Marikina-made stilettos on December 1. The race, open to both men and women 18 years and above, will showcase the strength and beauty of Marikina-made stiletto shoes. Attractive cash prizes await the winners plus a chance to stretch those sporty legs.
As part of the Sapatos Festival, the Marikina shoe manufacturers will also conduct tours to different factories in the city where shoes and other leather crafts are made. There will also be seminars and trainings on how to make shoes and bags, as well as how to start a business in this industry.
Festive Rehiyon, Rehiyon
On December 8, Marikina will celebrate its 22nd anniversary as a city that will be marked by a simple ceremony. The next day, December 9 will be the much-awaited Rehiyon, Rehiyon Festival that will honor those who came from other places in the country and settled in Marikina, becoming Marikeños in the process as they successfully assimilated with the locals and absorbed their tradition, culture, heritage, values, and ways of life.
Rehiyon, Rehiyon will have the theme “Sa Pag-ibig, Pinag-isa” – a tribute to those who were not from Marikina but made Marikina their own home.
Rehiyon, Rehiyon will be celebrated with a parade traversing various streets of Marikina. The parade will culminate in a series of cultural presentations at the Marikina Sports Center, where students from different schools in Marikina representing the 17 regions of the Philippines will highlight the culture and tradition of each region that they represent with colorful costumes and lively dances and choreography.
“Ang main highlight ng Rehiyon, Rehiyon ay ang cultural presentation at parade. The students will showcase the culture and tradition of each region through dances and costumes. They will also showcase iyong food, festivals, crafts of the region that they represent,” said Winnie.
Winnie said the City Government decided to let students join the festival as a way of familiarizing them with the diverse history and culture of Marikina and the other regions in the Philippines.
Then on December 15, the new Miss Marikina 2018 will be crowned in a spectacular show worthy of a beauty queen.
For the Christmas Festival -- which commenced with the installation of Christmas lights and lanterns on the riverbank, streets, parks and other places in Marikina -- a concert featuring local artists and bands and ending with a fireworks display will be held on December 30 from 7 in the evening onwards at the Marikina Sports Center.
But before the concert and fireworks display, Marikina will commemorate the Rizal Day in honor of the heroism of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in the morning of December 30. This will be marked by a program and wreath laying at the hero’s monument in front of the Leodegario Victorino Elementary School in Brgy. Jesus dela Pena.
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