Marikina City earned the title the Shoe Capital of the Philippines because it has the most number of shoe manufacturers in the country. Recently, in a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials, President Rodrigo Duterte showed off his pair of leather boots made especially for him by a shoemaker from Marikina. But it was not the first time a national figure wore and publicly acknowledged using a pair of quality footwear from the shoe capital. During her time as First Lady, Imelda Marcos was provided with an average of 10 pairs of shoes every week by the local shoemakers and she actively promoted the Marikina shoe industry.
|Some of Imelda Marcos' 800 pairs of shoes at the Museum|
Today, 800 of her 3,000 pairs of shoe collection are on display at the Shoe Museum of Marikina City. The museum, initially called the Footwear Museum of Marikina opened in 2001 to highlight the city's shoe industry. And here's a trivia. The building occupied by the museum has served various purposes in the past: an arsenal during the Spanish period, detention cell of hero Macario Sakay during the Filipino-American War, and rice mill of the Tuason family after the Second World War. Today the city government of Marikina owns and operates the museum.
The museum prominently features life-size diorama of shoemakers crafting footwear. Also on display are the tools and materials of the industry. Hundreds of shoe last (the master mold of a shoe) form a tall tower in the middle of the museum's ground floor. Other shoes on display are the ones donated by the country's past presidents, vice-presidents, senators, and movie and sports personalities. There's also an exhibit of shoes made in Marikina as well as unique footwear and traditional shoes from other countries.
|Shoes of past Philippine Presidents|
Do you know when and where the oldest leather shoe was found? What's the oldest sandals made of? Want to see a replica of a Roman strap sandals? If you want to find the answers to these questions and look at the other shoes on display, go to the Shoe Museum of Marikina along J.P. Rizal St. in San Roque, Marikina City. An entrance fee of P50.00 is collected and you may request a tourism officer to give you a guided tour. Although the two-floor museum area is not that big and the shoe collections are properly labeled, the historical notes provided by the tour guide is really interesting.
|Marikina City's version of "Walk of Fame": tiles with shoes bearing|
the names of people who donated shoes to the museum