Trivia about Marikina, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines

Marikina, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines

The City of Marikina, dubbed as the country’s shoemaking capital, aims for world attention as ten craftsmen from the Marikina Colossal Footwear Foundation create what would be the world’s biggest pair of shoes in an attempt to break into the Guiness Book of World Records. The shoes when completed would be 5.5 meters long, 2.0 meters wide, and 1.98 meters high. Fifteen persons can fit into one shoe. The record-breaking pair should fit someone who is 125 feet tall. The shoes cost 1.5 million pesos and have about 200,000 stitches using 1,000 meters of thread. The materials used to create the enormous pair can produce 250 pairs of regular shoes.

Marikina, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines

The Kapitan Moy Building, now the Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina, is a two-century old building once owned by Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra, the Father of the Shoe Industry, was declared a historical shrine by the National Historical Institute. It was here that shoe manufacturing started in 1887 by the group of Don Laureano that discovered the proper method of making footwear. The house was brought and converted into a home for needy residents by Dona Teresa de la Paz. It was used as a primary school for many years. In 1993, the local government of Marikina turned it into a cultural center.

Marikina, a valley bounded by mountain ranges and sliced by a river, was founded on April 16, 1630. The Augusiinians were the firsts to arrive in the valley at the spot now known as Chorillo in Barangka. The Jesuits also came in 1630 in a place now called Jesus de la Pe a. Here the Jesuits established a mission and built a chapel. In 1687 this pueblo became a parish known as Mariquina. In 1901, with the coming of the Americans, its name officially became Marikina.

By the turn of the 20th century, Marikina had emerged as a town of shoemakers. The craft of shoemaking had started in 1887 through the efforts of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra. Honed by years in shoe manufacturing, the natives had developed a work ethic that prepared them for the arrival of heavy industries in the 1950’s. With the industrial plants came waves of workers who chose to stay, rapidly increasing the population. Marikina soon became a victim of runaway growth. Not until 1992 was it able to turn a corner and found a new direction under the dynamic leadership of Mayor Bayani Fernando. It became a city on December 8, 1996. By dint of hard work and discipline, guided by a vision of a modern, livable city, Marikina has been transformed into what it is today under the equally able leadership of incumbent Mayor Marides C. Fernando.

Stamps featuring Marikina, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines

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