Chronicles of the Shoe Capital

The Shoe Capital of the Philippines, Marikina City, has gone a long way from its quiescent beginnings in the year 1570.  It was when the early Augustinians settlers occupied the valley that it came to life.  The Jesuits followed suit in 1630 when they started a mission and built a chapel in Jesus Dela Peña.  57 years after (1687), the area officially became a pueblo under the Spanish Colonial government and was named Mariquina.  Throughout this period the town’s main livelihood was farming, until Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra introduced shoemaking as a trade in 1887.  This was done with the help of Tiburcio Eustaquio, Ambrocio Sta. Ines and Gervacio Carlos.  Eventually, Mariquina became a town of Shoemakers.

1898, Mariquina was named as the capital of Manila Province after the proclamation of Philippine Independence from Spain.  By 1901, the Americans changed the official name of the town to Marikina. It was also during the American occupation that the province of Rizal was created in which Marikina was relegated to.  Some years later, the Japanese Army came to occupy the country and besieged the town. Filipino soldiers fought alongside the Americans to free Marikina.  The Japanese was successfully defeated in 1945.

After World War II, the townspeople rebuilt their lives & homes and got back to their shoemaking trade.  By 1956 Marikina was named as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.  The Metro Manila Commission created in 1975 chose Marikina as part of the country’s capital region which is Metro Manila. After more than two decades the town became a first class and highly urbanized city by virtue of Republic Act 8223 on December 8, 1996.  From then on the city continued to flourish, preserving its culture while promoting growth and development for its industry and citizenry.

By the 20th century, Marikina reaped several awards and recognition from both local and international bodies and including the Guiness Book of Record Awards for the biggest shoes.  Unfortunately, tragedy struck in 2009 when flooding from typhoon Ondoy devastated the City claiming lives and destroying the livelihood of its people.  With strong determination and resilience the Marikeños got back on their feet within a year and continued to pursue growth and development.   At present, Marikina remains to be one of the most distinguished and progressive cities in the country.

 *credits to http://www.shoecapitalcity.net

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