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Marikina hosts grand debut for Shoe Museum

Marikina hosts grand debut for Shoe Museum

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Organized by the City Government of Marikina through the tourism, culture and the arts office headed by Ponchie Santos, in partnership with Zapateria, old and new shoemakers interacted with each other during the event, where a live demonstration on the step-by-step making of shoes was held.

Former Marikina City Mayor and now Representative Bayani F. Fernando is optimistic that the shoe industry in Marikina will revive its glory days and reclaim its fame as the Shoe Capital not only of the Philippines but in Asia.

At the celebration of the 18th Anniversary of the Shoe Museum, created under his leadership when he was the mayor of Marikina, Rep. Fernando looked back at the shoe industry in Marikina and how it prospered through the years, though it faced difficulties because of the entry of more cheaper imported shoes from abroad in the Philippines. He also announced an initiative to boost the shoe industry.

The Shoe Museum, established on February 16, 2001, was put up by Rep. Fernando to honor Marikina's shoemakers, workers, artisans and manufacturers, as well as to showcase their creativity and ingenuity to the rest of the world. Since it was founded 18 years ago, the Shoe Museum has welcomed thousands of visitors from here and abroad.

The first pair of shoes was created in Marikina in 1887 through the initiative of Don Laureano "Kapitan Moy" Guevara, spurring the rise of the shoe industry and the skilled workers and artisans. Kapitan Moy is now acknowledged as the Father of the Shoe Industry. The industry has also contributed a lot to the domestic economy, culture, tradition, and way of life of Marikeños.

Rep. Fernando said he is overjoyed by the growing interest on the shoe industry among the young people, who together with the older generation of shoemakers in Marikina, attended the event. He said this is a sign that the shoe industry in the country will regain its glory days and be once again at the forefront in Asia.

Towards the end of his speech, Rep. Fernando announced that he plans to file a bill in Congress that would require the national government, government agencies and other government units to buy shoes from the Philippines only, especially when they are using government funds. This would help bolster the shoe industry in the country and specifically in Marikina City, where most of the locally-made shoes are manufactured.

The Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO) headed by Noel Box also lent a hand to make the event successful.

If you are interested to visit the Shoe Museum and other tourist spots of Marikina, please call the tourism office at (02) 646-1823 or drop by its office at the G/F of Kapitan Moy building on J.P. Rizal St., Brgy. Sta. Elena Marikina City. The Shoe Museum is also located along J.P. Rizal St. in Brgy. Sta. Elena, a few steps away from the Kapitan Moy building, where the first pair of shoes in Marikina was made in 1887.

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