An interview with a shoes & bags manufacturer

Year 2000 china made shoes & bags poured in the entire country of the of the Philippines. I was then a bag manufacturer and a shoe retailer. We have 8 stores in Metro Manila and 1 store in Cebu. We sell ladies & children shoes, from 1997 to 2002. Marikina shoe industry was deteriorating.  I’m one of the manufacturers working, pursuing & saving the industry. Our Mayor then was Bayani Fernando, who was not able to do anything to uplift the shoe industry. He imposed the increase in business permit for more than 75% forcing the ‘Marikenians’ to transfer their factories to nearby towns like Pasig, Antipolo and San Mateo. Only few manufacturers struggled manufacturing in Marikina. After few years Filipinos found out that China made shoes does not last like the Marikina made. The newly elected Mayor Del de Guzman made a way to encourage shoe manufactures to go back to Marikina again. He encourages us to make durable shoes that can out sell the China made. Durability is the solution to competitiveness. Together with DTI series of seminars were conducted for us to be alive again in the shoe industry. The city government helped us to organized the shoe caravan. We sell our products to different towns in Metro Manila and provinces. Little by little the shoe industry comes to life again. As of this date I still continue to manufacture ladies bags, wallets, & pouches. So far, business has been good to us.

Thank you to Mrs. Myrna Dela Paz for this interview. 


Largest Pair of Shoes in the world


One of the main attractions of Marikina is the World’s Largest Pair of Shoes. It is located and displayed at the Riverbanks Center. The shoes measures 5.29 meters long, 2.37 meters wide and 1.83 meters high. The heel of the shoe was measured 41 centimeters or 16 inches. The shoes were made in the year of 2002. This was displayed for the First Sapatero Festival. Marikina was given the title Shoe Capital of the Philippines because of its notable shoe industry, being the biggest manufacturer of shoes in the Philippines, producing almost 70% of shoe production in the country. Marikina currently holds the World’s Largest Pair of Shoes and recognized by the Guinness World Records, also, the Shoe Museum houses part of the famous shoe collection of the former First Lady Imelda Marcos, shoes of the world leaders, celebrities and shoes of different countries, making it the largest collection of pair of shoes in the world.




History of Marikina


In 1570, the Augustinians arrived in a place now called Jesús Dela Peña, where the first mass was held in 1630. On April 16, 1630, Fray Pedro de Arce, apostolic ruler of the Archbishop of Manila, approved the transfer of ecclesiastical control and supervision to the Jesuits, and settled a place as a town. The area was later called “Mariquina” after Felix Berenguer de Marquina in 1787 who was the governor-general at that time, and the town was declared a pueblo under the Spanish colonial government. That year, Don Benito Mendoza became the first Gobernadorcillo of Mariquina.

In 1800s, Hacienda Mariquina was owned and administered by the Tuazon family and had become the biggest in the Philippines. The hacienda was declared a mayorazgo by the Spanish colonial government. Don Juan Gregorio became the first Alcalde Capitan of Mariquina in 1822. In 1887, Mariquina emerged as a town of shoemakers. Shoe-making began through the pioneering efforts of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra (known as the father of shoe industry in the Philippines), assisted by Tiburcio Eustaquio, Ambrocio Sta. Ines, and Gervacio Carlos.

In 1896, Andrés Bonifacio arrived in Mariquina before he and his Katipuneros proceeded to the caves of Montalban. Mariquina became the capital of the Province of Manila (which then included Rizal) in 1898, when the Philippine Revolution broke out, a period when Philippine Independence was declared by Emilio Aguinaldo, the first Philippine president. Don Vicente Gomez became the first Alcalde Presidente of Mariquina in 1900.

On June 11, 1901, shortly after the Americans took possession of the Philippines, its name officially became “Marikina” and the province of Rizal was created by virtue of Act No. 137 by the First Philippine Commission which during the time was acting as theunicameral legislative body in the island of Luzon. Marikina, along with many other towns around Manila were incorporated into the new province. Juan Chanyungco became the first Mayor of Marikina in 1938.

In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces occupied Marikina. And in 1945, Marikina was liberated by the combined U.S. and Philippine Commonwealth ground troops who attacked the Japanese Imperial Army by artillery from Quezon City. Almost all the big buildings including the church bell tower were destroyed. In reality, the Japanese had already left town and retreating to the north. The destruction which saw over 400 civilians casualties at the end of World War II. Some the local Filipino troops under the pre-war 4th and 42nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was entering and recaptured in Marikina and helped the U.S. liberation forces attacking the Japanese troops during the liberation.