Marikina, officially the City of Marikina, known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, was former capital of the province of Manila during the declaration of Philippine Independence and one of the sixteen cities within the Manila Metropolitan Area. Marikina is part of Eastern Manila District of Metro Manila’s four districts. It is located on the eastern border of Metro Manila of the island of Luzon. Several cities and municipalities lies on its border: San Mateo, Rizal to the north and northeast, Antipolo City to the east, Cainta, Rizal to the southeast, Pasig City to the south and Quezon City to the entire west.
Marikina was given the title the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines” because of its notable shoe industry. Shoemakers in the city recently finished creating the World’s Largest Pair of Shoes and it was only recently that the Guinness World Records recognized this feat. The Shoe Museum located in the city is the home of the famous shoe collection of the former First Lady Imelda Marcos, shoes of the world leaders, past presidents, famous celebrities and persons, shoes of different countries around the world etc., and contains the largest collection of pair of shoes in the world.
Marikina City is one of the large distribution in Metro Manila in terms of land area at approximately 21.5 square kilometers (2,150 hectares), about 3.37% of the total land area of Metro Manila. The city lies on Marikina Valley. Not only is Marikina City a part of this valley, the valley extends to the south towards Pasig City and Cainta, Rizal. Marikina River runs through the central portion of the city and Nangka River runs through the north portion. The dynamic Sierra Madre Mountains, the longest mountain range in the Philippines is located at the eastern portion while the Quezon City hills are located to the west. It is also the home of the Valley Fault System, one of the active faults in the Philippines.
Marikina City is a lush valley bounded by mountain ranges and sliced by a river. Located along the eastern border of Metro Manila, it is bordered on the west by Quezon City, to the south by Pasig City and Cainta, Rizal, to the east by Antipolo City, the capital of Rizal province, and to the north by San Mateo also in Rizal province.
The southern portion of the city occupies the numerous commercial, industrial and business establishments and interesting places, it is also located the “center” of the city which is the busiest district of the city. While the northern portion is primarily residential areas and subdivisions, exclusive schools, industrial zones and various small and medium enterprises are also booming. Loyola Grand Villas, located at the northwest portion of the city is a rich gated community that occupies upper-middle class and rich residential area.
The Riverbanks Center has been declared as the city’s business, finance, and commercial triangle, and Metro Manila’s latest developing business and commercial district. And also, Marikina City starts booming with residential condominiums and towers, commercial centers and business parks, mostly concentrated in 3-triangular points: Marcos Highway, Sumulong Highway, and The Riverbanks Center as the hub. Recently mall giant SM built an SM Shoemart Mall near Riverbanks and just a kilometer from the City Hall are Marquinton real estate and Blue Wave.
At present, the shoe industry has become a pride of the Philippines and a boost to the growth of its economy. The city also now boasts of hosting other big companies, multinationals, local and foreign, as well as leading exporting firms. Numerous banks, land development firms, residential realties, business centers, industrial centers, commercial centers, information and communication technology centers, hotels and condominiums is also boasts the city that Marikina rapidly into a highly urbanized city in a short time.
Marikina City today is a multi-awarded metropolitan city, often cited for its vibrant economy, a highly skilled and literate work force, an involved and enlightened business community, environment conscious, disciplined people and a responsive local government that puts a premium on governance, sustainable urban development and public service. Marikina City is one of the most industrialized city in Metro Manila and also one of the richest local government unit in the Philippines in terms of current assets, cash in banks, share of internal revenue allotment, gross income and gross net income.
Proof positive of the city’s standing in the league of metropolitan cities in the Philippines are the numerous awards and citations that have been bestowed. Marikina was one of the many cities, particularly Puerto Princesa City and Las Piñas City, awarded as The Cleanest and Greenest City which Marikina was the second local government, after Las Piñas City, to set as Hall of Famer in that category awarded by the Philippine government. The most recent and most prestigious award received the city of Marikina was the Most Competitive Metro City in the Philippines from the prestigious Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Research Center, Asia Foundation, International Labour Organization (ILO), German Technical Foundation, and Konrad Adenauer Stiflung, and the Continuing Excellence Award in Local Governance given by the Galing Pook Foundation, DILG, Local Government Authority and the Ford Foundation. Marikina is the second local government in the Philippines, after Las Piñas City, that has been honored with the prestigious Global 500 Roll Of Honour of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Marikina was also considered as one of the Healthiest and Most Livable Cities in Asia-Pacific region. It has won over 200 awards and recognitions, both local and abroad, in a span of just 16 years. Since Marikina has been considered as business-friendly city in Metro Manila, it has become an ideal location for industry, business, commerce and for residences. Marikina is also one of the host cities of the recent 2005 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines at the Marikina Sports Park. Mayor Marides Fernando was also recognized as finalist at the 2008 World Mayor Awards amongst the mayors from New York City, Paris and Sydney, as the only city mayor in Asia-Pacific belonging in the list of finalist.
Landmarks and attractions
Here are some of Marikina’s points of interest:
Located at the corner of Shoe Avenue and Sumulong Highway, beside Marikina Sports Park. It is the newest attraction in the city showcasing a beautiful and colorful water fountain, with benches and trees surrounding it. Cityhood Park is now a signature landmark of Marikina because it was featured in numerous television programs. The facade looks like a church with a giant clock on top of it and bells which rings every hour accompanied with music.
Where this park stands was once the only grazing farm in Marikina, in which 18 stone cows now stand, and is located in Marikina Heights.
Jesus Dela Peña Chapel
The first church in Marikina. In April 1630, Fray Pedro de Arce, apostolic ruler of the Archbishopric of Manila, approved the transfer of ecclesiastical control and supervision of the Marikina area to the Society of Jesus, and directed the Augustinians to cede the territory to the Society to be converted to ranch for the support of the Universidad Maximo de San Ignacio in Manila. The Jesuits also decided to build a mission chapel near the banks of Marikina River, a rocky place which they called Jesus Dela Peña. Cavada also considers the year 1630, as the year the mission church was completed, and where mass was regularly held.
Loyola Memorial Park
Located along A. Bonifacio Avenue, a privately owned memorial park set on a sprawling area of 36,000 m² and developed in 1965. The Loyola Memorial Park is the oldest, probably one of the biggest, and most prominent memorial parks in the Philippines.
Manila Boystown Complex
This 23-hectare Manila city government-owned institution and facility in Parang, Marikina is exclusively for Manila’s abandoned, forgotten, and voluntarily surrendered children, teenagers, and senior citizens.
The highway was named by former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, Marcos Highway is an 8-lane national highway and the main road between Metro Manila and Rizal Province, also known as Marikina-Infanta Highway. Marcos Highway passing the boundaries of Antipolo, Cainta, Pasig and Marikina. There are 3 main intersections in Marcos Highway such as Amang Rodriguez Avenue (Pasig), Imelda Avenue (Marikina-Cainta) and Masinag (Antipolo), and an interchange located in SM City Marikina which provide access exclusively between Marikina to major business districts such as Ortigas Center, Eastwood City and Makati City. Some of its landmarks include Sta. Lucia Mall, Robinsons Metro East, SM City Marikina, LRT2 Santolan Station, Masinag Market and Riverbanks Center. Also, Marcos Highway is well-known for numerous establishments like car shops, major schools, restos, food chains, exclusive villages, billboards, industrial parks, etc.
Marikina City Hall
Marikina City Hall is one of the most beautiful city halls in Metro Manila and it has state-of-the-art facilities inside. The city hall is surrounded by many city government agencies and offices, spacious parks, monuments and open areas, and it was located in the heart of the city. Another building is the Justice Hall Building which the extension to the main city hall building. Marikina City Hall has e-government services offered for the people of Marikina. It also has an emergency hotline, Marikina Rescue 161, which is exclusive to the residents of Marikina.
Marikina City’s Largest Pair of Shoes in the World
This is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest pair of shoes. It is currently displayed at the Riverbanks Center and it is one of the top attractions in the city.
This is the city’s first government-owned hotel that will further boost the influx of tourists in the city, and located at SSS Village.
Marikina Entertainment District
A. Tuazon Avenue’s (Gil Fernando Avenue) well-known line-up of having many adventurous bars, live acoustic bands restos, nightclubs and other drinking joints, nearly the entire stretch.
Marikina Industrial Zone
Located at the northeast portion of the city which was established in the 1970s. It is home to a number of industries and some of which are the biggest and are the leaders in their fields, some of these are Purefoods-Hormel, Nestlé, Fortune Tobacco, Armscor and other leading industries and big companies.
Marikina Market Mall
Metro Manila’s cleanest and well-maintained market is Marikina Public Market, known as Marikina Market Mall. It is also one of the biggest market place in Metro Manila in terms of area.
Marikina River Park
Most awarded river which set as the Hall of Fame awardee for the Cleanest Inland Body of Water in the Philippines. Marikina River Park is a popular camping site, picnic grounds and recreational park, such as concrete jogging and bike lanes, benches and skating rink. At night, Marikina River Park transforms into a modern nightlife events center because of numerous bars, restaurants, cafés and night clubs along the riverbanks. Other attractions in Marikina River include the Roman Garden, Chinese Pagoda, Kawayanan, Youth Camp, Animal Trail, Skating Rink and Women’s Park. It is also a traditional venue for the Marikina Christmas Festival which begins annually as early as October.
Marikina Sports Park
Established in 1969 and then known as the Rodriguez Sports Center, the property was bought from the provincial Government of Rizal in 1995. It is also one of the premier sports complex established in the Philippines. It is now a popular venue for national, regional and international sports competitions and other sports and entertainment events, such as the 2005 Southeast Asian Games. Inside the sports park includes the bronze statues of different Olympic sports, Olympic-size oval and swimming pool, boxing, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, aerobics arena and others.
Diocesan Shrine-Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned
Also known as OLA Church, this Spanish-era church is located along J. P. Rizal Street in Santa Elena. The church was started by the Augustinians in 1687 and was finished in 1690. On October 21, 1791, the whole parish was consecrated under the Marian title, Nuestra Sra. Delos Desamparados (Our Lady of the Abandoned), the second oldest parish in the Philippines after that of Sta. Ana in Manila under that title This place of worship was destroyed by earthquakes and by fires in 19th century. It has undergone a series of renovations since 1963. The church houses the miraculous image of the religious patron of Marikina City, Our Lady of the Abandoned (OLA), which was canonically crowned last October 15, 2005 by virtue of Pope Benedict XVI, the first under his papacy. Leading the coronation rites was His Eminence, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of the Archdiocese of Manila. On August 5, 2007, the church was elevated into a diocesan shrine by the Most Rev. Gabriel V. Reyes, D.D., Bishop of Antipolo. Also in 2007, the parish was made the residence of the new auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo, Most Rev. Francisco M. de Leon, D.D. who serves as its parish priest. The shrine has now become a center of pilgrimage not only for Marikina residents but also from devotees of Our Lady of the Abandoned from Metro Manila and other neighboring provinces.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor College
OLOPSC is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary learning institution located in Concepcion, Marikina. It was founded by Dionisio Salvador, Sr. in 1978. The institution is a reputable source of students with morale and discipline. As of 2009, there are already 5000+ estimated students enrolled. OLOPSC is considered as a landmark due to its structural design. The passersby describe OLOPSC as one with the castle-like design structure which is pleasing into the eyes of toddlers.
Philippine Science Centrum
This is the Philippines largest and well-maintained science centrum and it is one of the most visited amenities inside Riverbanks Center especially the field trips of students came from different schools in Metro Manila.
The Riverbanks Center
Formerly Universal Textiles, Asia’s largest textile mills company, located along A. Bonifacio Avenue and nearby Marcos Highway. It is now a center for shopping, commerce, business and entertainment in Marikina, and in 2008, it was declared as Metro Manila’s latest developing business district. Other attractions and buildings in Riverbanks Center include Riverbanks Mall, Riverbend Hotel, Riverbanks Amphitheatre, Gazebo, Philippine Science Centrum, Floating Stage, Open-air food stalls and Stone Carabaos. At Riverbanks Mall, here you will find almost everything you need at a price reasonably affordable, such as supermarkets, department stores, a numerous boutiques, cellphone shops, shops, food stands, fastfood chains and many more. Also, Riverbanks Center is a home of ICT Group, one of the largest IT call centers in the Philippines. SM City Marikina is also nearby within Riverbanks Center.
Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina
This 200-year old building was once owned by Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra, recognized as the father of shoe industry in the Philippines. This is where the first pair of shoes in Marikina was designed and made in 1887. Inside this building can be found Doll Museum, Marikina City’s museum, a dioramas showcasing the events and history of Marikina. This building is the center of culture and arts of Marikina.
The Shoe Museum houses about 800 pairs of shoes belonging to former First Lady Imelda Marcos. It is also a place which a record-holder as the most numerous pair of shoes in the world.
SM City Marikina
SM City Marikina is the first shopping mall that has a wi-fi connecetion. The mall was designed by dsgn associates, an award-winning design firm based in Dallas, Texas, in the USA. Interior design was by EDGE Interior Design Pty. Ltd., a design consultant based in Australia, together with SM City Marikina’s design team includes Jose Siao Ling and Associates (architects), D.A. Abcede and Associates (project managers), and BF Construction Corporation, the general contractors of the mall. SM City Marikina is a part of SM’s 50th Anniversary and it was the first SM mall to open on 2008.
This is the center of performing arts of Marikina and eastern Metro Manila. This facility also caters to various events such as plays, concerts, shows, exhibits and seminars. Teatro Marikina is also the venue of annual pre-pageant of Miss Earth in the Philippines, notable concerts and plays played by the biggest celebrities and artists in the Philippines.
Located beside Marikina River Park. It is a park dedicated to females of Marikina.
World of Butterflies
You will find hundreds of butterflies in different variety, kind and sizes. Also, frogs, caterpillars and all animals necessary for the food chain of the butterfly is bred there. A souvenir house is also available. It’s considered as the Philippines largest collection of different butterflies and other species. Field trips and tourist are attracted to this place because of its natural ambiance especially for the nature lover.
Blue Wave Mall, Marquinton Residences
Bayan-Bayanan Avenue, Concepcion Uno
Circle Mall, Marikina Heights
Doll Museum at Marikina Sports Park
Loyola Grand Villas
LRT Line 2 Santolan Depot Station
Maria Quina Statue at Marikina River Park
TESDA Main Office
The city government prides itself in giving quality free education to its constituents through its primary, secondary and tertiary schools including one science high school. Marikina’s literacy rate is about 98%.
Marikina has a numerous public and private elementary and high school, colleges and universities, and the city-owned institutes like Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina, Marikina Polytechnic College and the Marikina Science High School. There are also privately owned academic institutions such as Marikina Catholic School, and Our Lady of Perpetual Succor College, which is known as the “Center of Future Teachers” for it has graduated most of its college Education students as LET passers. Exclusive private schools here are Marist School Marikina, St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina, Mother of Divine Providence School, Our Lady of Perpetual Succor College, Kostka School,St. Nicholas School, Holy Trinity School, Charis School, to name a few.
There are also some of the famous branded institutions in the city such as AMA Computer College, Ateneo De Manila University, Informatics, IETI, Roosevelt College and Voice Academy of the Philippines.
Marikina became one of the healthiest cities in Asia-Pacific. Marikina provides medical missions and free medical operations in the city. There are numerous hospitals in Marikina, one of the public hospital in Marikina is Amang Rodriguez Medical Center (AMMC). There are also privately owned Marikina Valley Medical Center, just a few blocks away from AMMC and ST. Vincent General Hospital. Other private hospitals include Garcia General Hospital and SDS Medical Center Inc, Immaculate Concepcion Hospital and Medical City Marikina Clinic.
Numerous clinics provide basic health check-ups and free health services for Marikeños. The city also offers services such as health centers in each barangay to provide basic medical and services needs in the community and the city has also a privileges card for discounted fees and free services like emergency, medical and security services.
Peace and Order
Marikina has clean surroundings, tree-lined streets, hassle-free roadways, walkable sidewalks, parks and playgrounds, a healthy public market, good shopping centers and restaurants, free public elementary, high school and college, squatter-free environment, free-health services, minimum traffic, less pollution and a low crime rate. Marikina established Rescue 161, a hotline number for emergencies within city and a team of paramedics, policemen and firemen will come in less than 5 minutes.
Marikina won several awards and recognitions and now a hall of famer of such awards including Cleanest and Greenest City in Metro Manila and the Philippines, Best Police Stations due to effectiveness to resolve and minimized crimes in the city, Best Public Market due to cleanliness and orderliness, Best Public Schools in Metro Manila, Most Effective Bike-Lanes and most of all, Marikeños are one of the Most Disciplined People in the Philippines.
Marikina has its own share of attractions to offer. Sports and recreational facilities are available to its residents and those from nearby towns and cities. Historical landmarks and church, antiquated houses and galleries view to the attention of history and culture buffs. It’s also attracts major commercial centers, man-made parks, large structure buildings, and most of them, a traditional shoe-making in the city, the natural river parks and the hospitality of Marikeños.
Marikina was the biggest manufacturer of quality shoes, and Marikina produced 80% of the shoe production of the Philippines. All locally produced shoes are made in Marikina, from slippers to shoes. Marikina also produced shoes which is made of rubber, wood (bakya), and plastic.
Marikina is the home to a member of industries, some of which are the biggest and most successful in their fields, and foremost of all, shoe manufacturing, being the best in local craftmanship.
The city manufactures food processing, cigarettes, porcelain and chinaware, confectionery, automobiles and cars, appliances, electronics, crafts like bags, hats and slippers, and foremost of all, shoes.
Commerce and Trade
Public markets in Marikina are often divided into two, the dry goods section and the wet goods section. Commerce in these public markets are in full swing, especially in the early morning. Under the urban renewal program of the city, some of the public markets had been refurbished and given a fresher look, like the “Marikina Public Market” also known as “Marikina Market Mall”, or locally called the “Pamilihang Bayan”, the biggest and cleanest market in Metro Manila.
Modern shopping malls dot the city especially in the southern portion of Marikina. SM City Marikina, Blue Wave Mall at Marquinton, Robinsons Place, are some of Metro Manila’s major shopping and commercial centers stands along Marcos Highway. The popular commercial center that lies in Marikina is the Riverbanks Center.
For the adventurous shoppers, you may venture beyond the hotel or shopping complex package and combine other interesting destinations for cheap buys such as in Marikina Market Mall. Bargaining is the major part of your shopping experience when you pass by that area, as it sells goods at rock-bottom prices. Riverbanks Center gives a comfort to the shoppers as it offers air-conditioned mall, but the price of the goods here is still very similar to the goods bought outside. Some of goods are cheap electronic products, toys and other cheap equipments needed into your homes.
Almost all of the major commercial international and local, and government banks in the Philippines operate a branch in the city. Major banks operate in the city with more than one branch. At this time, there are 60 banking institutions offer banking services to businesses and residents. Most of these are concentrated in Barangay Sta. Elena, Sto. Niño, Concepcion Uno, San Roque, Calumpang and Barangka.
Marikina lined up as one of Information Technology hub in Metro Manila and continuously growth of outsourcing and call centers, among them is ICT Groups, Skykes, NCO, Teletech, to name a few. There are numerous contact centers worldwide with IT-based offices in the Philippines in Makati City, Ortigas Center and Riverbanks Center in Marikina City.
Currently, elevated light rail systems run through Marikina City. The first station of LRT 2 is Santolan located along Marcos Highway. The station connects to Claro M. Recto Avenue in Manila.
Public transportation within the city, like in most of the urban areas in the Philippines, is facilitated mostly using inexpensive jeepneys and buses. Tricycles (motorbikes with an attached two seater carriage) are the usual transportation used for short distances, while Taxi cabs are used by the upper middle class. The roads are organized around a set of long narrow and circumferential roads that radiate and circle in and around the city.
One of the most notable attractions in Marikina is the bikeways and bikelanes along major roads and streets. This is the only city in the Philippines which has an effective bikeways.
Utilities and Communications
Marikina’s source of electricity is part of the Manila Electric Company or Meralco. Water supply for the city is supplied by the Manila Water Company. Marikina’s communication system is powered by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone company, Globe Telecom, Bayan Telecommunications Corporation (BayanTel) and others. Cellular network in the Philippines particularly the metropolitan areas is increasing rapidly together with the low cost of calls and text messaging. Such big companies that control the cellular networks in the Philippines and Marikina itself are Globe Telecom, Smart Communications (PLDT) and Sun Cellular from Digitel. Cable television access is provided by SkyCable, Home Cable and Global Destiny. Internet Digital Subscriber Line or DSL coverage is provided by PLDT, cable internet is serviced by Sky Cable’s ZPDee and Global Destiny. Wireless broadband is provided by Globeliness Broadband and Smart Communications. Marikina has its own radio station operated and owned by the city government, DZBF-AM (BF named after Bayani Fernando, the owner of radio station and a former mayor of Marikina and former chairman of MMDA), is an AM radio station that provides information, news and events happening in Marikina, and it also provides some entertainment like other commercial AM radio stations.