Marikina is named as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.
The first recorded foreigners who arrived in the city were the Augustinians, a Catholic religious order, in the year 1570. They arrived in the spot now known as Chorillo, in Barangka. The Jesuits came next and established as mission and built a chapel in a place now called Jesus dela Peña. In that place, the first mass was held in 1680. On April 16, 1630, Fray Pedro de Arce, apostolic ruler of the Archbishop of Manila, approved the transfer of ecclesiastical contraol and supervision to the Jesuit, and settled a place as a town. The town was later called as “Mariquina” in 1787, named after Felix Berenguer de Marquina who was the governor-general at that time. Later the town was declared a pueblo under the Spanish colonial government. That year, Don Benito Mendoza became the first Governadorcillo of Mariquina.
Year 1887, Mariquina emerged as a town of shoemakers through the efforts of Don Laureano “kapitan Moy” Guevarra. He was said as the Father of Shoe Industry in the Philippines. He was assisted in this effort by Tiburcio Eustaquio, Ambrocio Sta. Ines and Gervacio Carlos.
Mariquina became the capital of the Province of Manila (which then included Rizal) in 1898, when the Philippine Revolution broke out.
On June 11, 1901, just after the Americans took possession of the country, the name of the town “Mariquina” was changed into Marikina. After creation of many provinces and towns, Juan Chanyungso became the first Mayor in the year 1938.
However, in the year 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces occupied Marikina. And in 1945, the place was liberated by the combined U.S. and Philippine Commonwealth ground troops who attacked the Japanese Imperial Army by artillery from Quezon City. There were lots of destruction during this siege with a number of civilian casualties of 400.
The work ethic of the people led them to continue their shoe making industry after World War II. Through this, they were prepared for the arrival of heavy industries and was finally named as the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines”.
Population/ Language/ Area
The natives of Marikina are referred as “Marikeños”. They are remarked to be some of the most disciplined people in the Philippines due to the influences, ethics and urbanity from the past administrations. The language spoken in the city is Tagalog. There is also a constant migration of Bicolanos, Ilocanos, Cebuanos and other Visayan settlers in the city. Korenas, Americans, Japanese and Indians are also some of the foreign immigrants to the city.
The 2010 census says that the total population of the city is 424,150. The city features a tropical monsoon climate. With other places in the country, Marikina lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small, rarely going lower than 18 °C (64 °F) and going higher than 38 °C (100 °F). However, humidity levels are usually very high which makes it feel much warmer. It has a distinct, relatively short dry season from January through May, and a relatively lengthy wet season from June up to December.
Products and Services
Marikina is the biggest manufacturer of quality shoes in the country. It produced 80% of the shoe production of the Philippines. All locally produced shoes are made in Marikina, from slippers to shoes. The city also produces shoes which is made of rubber, wood (bakya), and plastic. Additionally, it has a large number of internet shops, parlors, eateries, bakeries, made-to-order products such as food processing and delicacies, and franchising as their common income.
The city provides job fairs, livelihood projects, free training and seminars for its people who want to start or upgrade their business. The shoe and leather industry in the city generates thousands of jobs within the city.
Marikina city has many festivals that are being celebrated throughout the year. These include:
- Sapatero Festival – a month long celebration that show cases the city’s shoe making industry. It was recently changed into ” Sapatos Festival” to promote the local shoes of the city.
- Rehiyon-Rehiyon Parade and Festival – a festival of spectacular dances featuring authentic costumes of various cultural diversities. This event is usually celebrated every first week of December.
- Ka-Angkan Festival – held every April 16 at the Riverbanks Center Amphitheater. Part of the festival is their week-long food festival and a pageant.
They also have landmarks and attractions that are being recognized now not only in the country but also abroad:
- Marikina River Park – most awarded river which set as the Hall of Fame awardee for the Cleanest Inland Body Water in the Philippines. This is also a popular camping site, picnic ground and a recreational park. At night this park transforms into a modern nightlife event center where numerous bars, restaurants and night clubs are being opened along the riverbanks. The Roman Garden, Chinese Pagoda, Kawayanan, Youth Camp, Animal Trail, Skating Rink and Women’s Camp are also located here. The river park also serves as the traditional venue of Marikina Christmas Festival which begins annually as early as October.
- Philippine Science Centrum – the country’s largest and well-maintained science centrum and one of the most visited amenities inside Riverbanks Center by the students from different schools in Metro Manila.
- World of Butterflies – hundreds of butterflies in different variety, kind and sizes are housed here. There are also frogs, caterpillars and all animals necessary for the food chain of the butterflies are bred here. This place is considered as the Philippines largest collection of different butterflies and other species. Field trips and tourists are being attracted here because of its natural ambiance.
- Shoe Museum – houses about 800 pairs of shoes, slippers and boots belonging to former First Lady Imelda Marcos.