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Marikina Shoe Museum
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Shoe Museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Marikina City, Metro Manila in the Philippines. Marikina is the Shoe Capital of the Philippines with shoemaking as its main industry.
According to former First Lady Imelda Marcos , whose notorious shoe collection is one of the inspirations for the construction of the museum: “This museum is making a subject of notoriety into an object of beauty. More than anything, this museum will symbolize the spirit and culture of the Filipino people.”
HistoryThe Shoe Museum, initially called Footwear Museum of Marikina, was constructed in 1998 and opened in 2001 as homage to the city’s title as ‘the Shoe Capital of the Philippines’. This building on its own has an interesting history as it used to be an arsenal during the Spanish times and a detention cell during the American-Filipino War . The Americans later on converted it into a motor pool but after World War II, it was converted into a rice mill by the Tuason family.
Long before the Spaniards came, Marikina was already making slippers or bakya (wooden clogs). Kapitan Moy Guevarra, through various experiments, paved the way for Marikina to produce finely crafted and durable shoes that would make Marikina shoes well-known throughout the world.
Visiting the MuseumThe most prominent section of the Shoe Museum is the shoe collection of former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos with Marikina shoes and well-known designer brands like Ferragamo, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Prada. Though it is just about 800 pairs or a quarter of the total number of shoes she was said to have, it still is a stunning and blatant display of the luxury and extravagance of the First Couple in a country that was suffering from huge debt and extreme poverty. Her world-renowned 3,400-pair shoe collection is part of a multi-million dollar wardrobe of designer clothes, bags, and jewelry said to have been accumulated during the 2 decades of Marcos' regime. She made it to the 1990 Guinness Records for having the most number of shoes.
Mrs. Marcos defended this amazing number by saying that most of her shoes were given to her by Marikina shoemakers to show off the fine craftsmanship of Marikina shoes to the world. There are photos displayed in the museum that shows Mrs. Marcos attending social state functions.
Another section contains shoes contributed by other important personalities in the Philippines like movie stars and government officials. Each Philippine President has a pair of shoes on display which are arranged in the chronological order of their term. There are also traditional footwear from other countries and prize-winning entries of the city’s shoe design contests.
A visit to the museum will acquaint visitors on the shoemaking history and process with its life-size dioramas showing the traditional way to make shoes. Shoe lasts that were used as master mold for different shoe styles and various materials like natural animal skin (snake, pig, calf, alligator and sheep) are part of this display. Read short narratives on the history and process of shoemaking. At the ground floor are giant shoes on display including one that is three feet long.
All shoes in the museum are treated with utmost care and most are kept in dust-free and moisture-free glass cabinets to preserve them in perfect condition.
How to Get ThereThe Shoe Museum is located at the corner of JP Rizal and Mendoza Streets in San Roque, Marikina City, just across Our Lady of the Abandoned Church . Take the bus and get off at Cubao, then take the Cubao-Calumpang jeep at Aurora Boulevard in Cubao. The jeep will cross the Marikina River and make a right turn on J.P. Rizal Street. The museum is about one kilometer from that junction and is beside the Otto factory outlet. Taxis will take one directly to the Shoe Museum from any part of Metro Manila.
Visitors InfoThe shoe museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 8 AM to 5 PM except during holidays with lunch break at 12 PM to 1 PM. Entrance fee is ₱50 ($1.10) for non-residents.
Safety and Travel TipsMarikina is a safe place to visit through the efforts of the city government which transformed Marikina into the peaceful, clean, and green city that it is today. However, it is notorious for traffic congestion so the best time to go would be towards the middle of the day when the kids are in school and workers are in the office or during Sunday.
The museum tour will take less than an hour. To make your trip to Marikina worthy, it would be a good idea to combine other Marikina attractions such as the Guinness-certified biggest shoe display at the Shoe Gallery of the Riverbanks Mall. The Sentro Pangkultura ng Marikina, former house of Kapitan Moy Guevarra, is Marikina’s center of culture and has a doll museum. Marikina River Park and Our Lady of Abandoned Church are just located near the Shoe Museum as well.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: Nov 27, 2014