By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Marikina City, considered as the country’s shoe capital, officially opened on Monday the annual “Sapatos Festival,” showcasing quality and affordable footwear and leather products made by Marikina craftsmen.
Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro, together with officials of the local government of Marikina City, led on Monday morning the opening of the month-long celebration and the Marikina’s Shoe Bazaar at the Freedom Park.
“Shoemaking, this is the industry where Marikina is known for, in other words, ‘The Shoe Capital of the Philippines,’” Teodoro said in Pilipino.
The city’s shoe industry, the mayor said, has been the biggest part of the city’s economy.
“More than being a part of our economy, shoemaking has been embedded in our history, culture and identity of every Marikina residents,” Teodoro emphasized.
“Every pair of shoes has a story, the story of its maker, how it was made, why it was made, and for whom it was made,” he added.
A total of 48 shoe and leather products manufacturers participated in this year’s festival showcasing quality and affordable shoes, bags, belts, and other leather products made by Marikina’s skilled craftsmen.
Shoes and leather goods sold at the bazaar were at P200 to P3,000 price range.
Noel Box, officer-in-charge of Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO), said urged the public to patronize Marikina-made shoes and leather products.
“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,” he said.
The “Sapatos Festival” is an annual event organized by the city government. It seeks to highlight affordable and high-quality footwear and other leather products made by Marikina craftsmen. It will run until Dec. 29, 2019 at the Marikina Freedom Park.
Marikina-based Philippine Footwear Federation, Inc. (PFFI), headed by Chairman Antonio “Tony” Andres, joined the opening of the festivities as well as 71-year-old Orlando “Tatay Oly” Santos, who is known for making the shoes of Pres. Duterte.