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City of Marikina: Flash Your Footwear

By: Nathalie Santos – Dayo

In the Philippines, when we talk about quality footwear, the first thing that enters the minds of most if not all Filipinos is the city of Marikina.

The Bell Arc of MarikinaThe Bell Arc of Marikina

The story of the origins of the name of the city has a very colorful background, which mostly stems from different legends. Some say it came from the name of a Captain Berenguer de Marquina who was an officer of the town. Another says it came from the Jesuit priests who named it after their origins in Spain, a town called Mariquina. Probably the most popular version of the legend of the city’s name came from the story of a beautiful and kind woman, Maria Quina. And one other story says that the name of the town came when a worker blurted out that the church being built at the center of the town is “Marikit Na” (beautiful now).

The Shoe Capital of the Country

It is said the shoe industry of Marikina City started in 1887, at the residence of Don Laureano Guevarra known today as Kapitan Moy. The basement (silong) of his residence served as a manufacturing shop for wooden clogs and slippers. It is also told that Kapitan (Captain) Moy bought an imported pair of shoes and had his workers take it apart and by trial and error, put them back together. And from this also came the story that the Captain saw to it that the people of Marikina were taught this skill. His residence still stands today, a two hundred twenty (220) year old building and a piece of history, the starting point of this City’s famous industry.

Rusty Lopez shoes
The Start of a New Legacy

This is not the two hundred twenty year old Kapitan Moy Building, this is a modern home for one of the those who took the industry of making footwear to heart. This is the building of Rusty Lopez shoes.

Rusty Lopez is a brand name synonymous to quality, authentic and affordable footwear. It is owned by Lolito Lopez who first opened his shoe store by the name of Centropelle, in the Cubao Shoe Expo.

Their office is now located on a one hectare property along E. Rodriguez Avenue, Sto. Nino, Marikina City. The marketing arm of the company established December 1996, is known as “MARITALIA,” the name came from two of the best shoe manufacturers in the world, Marikina and Italy.

I remember my first shoe from Rusty Lopez. I was in the fifth grade and I saw this wonderful looking pair of school shoes, I asked my mother if I can buy that pair which was priced at five hundred pesos (Php500), which was quite expensive at that time, I was jumping with joy when she finally said yes. The test that I subjected those pair was something a cheap pair would not pass. I trekked it through rain, floods, and storms and wore it day in, day out. From then on, I became a solid fan.

My other more memorable pair was the one I had in high school. I bought the pair when I was in my first year and I only noticed wear and tear when I looked at the sole and found a small hole after four years of continuous wear. It was all worth it. So when I got married, we both decided to buy our wedding footwear from the brand that we trust.

Affordable quality sneakers
Affordable quality sneakers

When we moved to San Mateo, Rizal, we got really lucky, we found the factory outlet and office of Rusty Lopez. My husband was able to buy a pair of black suede shoes for only eight hundred pesos (which in the malls would cost about more than one thousand pesos). A year and a half ago, he bought a pair of everyday walk around pair of boots for less than one thousand three hundred pesos, both from the factory outlet.

Last Saturday, we decided to go to the shoe store again to check on their latest designs.

Those nice looking sneakers are priced at two thousand pesos in the factory outlet, but in the malls, it would usually go for around two thousand, five hundred pesos or more.

Hot sandals for the cold weather

And these are their hot trends for women this rainy season. Open-toed sandals, in hot colors…
…made from quality material which will help to keep your feet on the ground even if it’s [ground] wet and slippery.

And since I was already there, of course I wouldn’t let the chance pass to buy myself a cool looking, quality footwear that is of course very affordable.

Chosen Shoe Pair
Chosen Shoe Pair

Those are the shoes that I bought, they look like sneakers, but they’re not. Made from quality rubber, they are light and soft.

Something that I can use day to day, especially when I go out to walk and hunt for good finds in and out of the Metro.




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