Marikina Opens ‘Sapatos Festival’

The Marikina City government officially opened this year’s “Sapatos Festival” at the Freedom Park located in front of the City Hall on Monday.

Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the festival aims to boost the city’s shoe industry.

“Pagsasapatos, ito ang industriya kung saan naging tanyag ang Marikina, ika nga, ‘The Shoe Capital of the Philippines.’ Sa pagkakagawa ng unang pares ng sapatos, bahagi na ito ng aming kasaysayan (Shoemaking. This is the industry which Marikina became famous for. As they called it, ‘The Shoe Capital of the Philippines’. The creation of the first pair of shoes is part of our history),” Teodoro said during the opening of the bazaar.

A total of 48 manufacturers composed of footwear and leather manufacturers are participating in this year’s festival showcasing quality and affordable shoes, bags, belts, and other products made by Marikina’s skilled craftsmen.

He said the shoe industry has ever since been the biggest part of the city’s economy.

“Higit sa pagiging bahagi ng ekonomiya, ang pagsasapatos ay bahagi ng kasaysayan, kultura, pagkakakilanlan ng bawat taga-Marikina. Turing namin dito ay isang labor of love, gawang kamay, gawang may pagmamahal (More than being part of the economy, footwear is part of every Marikina resident’s history, culture, identity. We consider this a labor of love. Every shoe is handmade and is made with love),” Teodoro stressed.

Among those who participated in the bazaar is Antonio Andres, chairman of the Marikina-based Philippine Footwear Federation, Inc. (PFFI), and owner of shoe store Gibson’s.

Orlando “Tatay Orly” Santos, 71, who made the shoes worn by President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), is also participating in the bazaar.

Various shoes are being sold at the bazaar for as low as PHP200 to PHP3,000 in this year’s festival which will run until December 29.

The city government continues to promote locally-made and world-class footwear products by having the annual festival as a form of support to micro and small manufacturers.

“I am urging the public to visit the Marikina Shoe bazaar and buy Marikina-made products. Let’s support our quality local products to boost our economy,” Noel Box, officer-in-charge of the Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO) said.

Teodoro said Marikina shoes are of high quality and could last for years, unlike imported shoes which only last for only around three months, based on results of a test conducted by the city government.

Earlier, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Marikina City government inked a memorandum of Agreement to further boost the industry of shoemaking in Marikina

Under the agreement, Shoe Tech course and other technical courses will now be offered at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar).

Teodoro earlier announced that the PHP60-million Shoe Tech School, located inside the Pamantasan ng Lingsod ng Marikina (PLMar) campus, is set to be operational by the third quarter of 2020.

The shoe school seeks to produce more shoemakers through trainings and technical courses certified by TESDA that would address the lack of skilled shoemakers in Marikina. (PNA)

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