“In Makati, 32 Celsius, Quezon City, 33 Celcius and Marikina, we sell shoes.” Thus goes the famous joke by Tessie Tomas’ character weather reporter Amanda Pineda. I don’t expect the young people to understand the reference to GMA 7’s late Amado Pineda.
However, Amanda Pineda was right about Marikina and Marikina shoes. They do sell shoes, though it is saddening to think that many have actually forgotten the strength and beauty of buying shoes in this city. It was many years when I first came to the Marikina Riverbanks. I went there because I saw it in the defunct TV show “Idol ko si Kap”. In one episode they went on a picnic there and I saw the old train displayed in front of the Riverbanks mall. It reminded me of Choo-choo Junction in Greenhills, but that’s another story worthy of a blog post.
I visited Marikina sometime in 2011 because I was in the area. Then I went to the Marikina Shoe Gallery, a section in the mall where they sold locally-made shoes. By locally, I meant Marikina-made. I picked up a decent-looking pair of what looked like leather shoes. They had a sale and the pair I liked sold for P1,000. Not bad for a pair of leathery loafers. I even tested the leather at home with a lighter. Surprisingly, it passed my lighter test with flying colors.
Last payday, I visited Marikina Shoe Gallery anew to buy another pair. I found another pair of leather loafers. I got lucky again because this pair sold for P499.00. Every pair I buy from them is so strong, far exceeding the strength of shoes of the same price sold at SM or Glorietta. Most Marikina-made shoes do not have glued soles. They are stitched to the body of the shoe. All you need to do is look at the bottom and you will see the stitches. Mind you, men’s shoes are usually more expensive than ladies shoes. Imagine how many pairs you can buy for P1,000 if you’re a girl…
Some say that the quality is not good enough for the mall which is why they are not sold there. On the contrary, the quality of Marikina shoes is way too good for its price that the same shoes are actually sold in the malls under different names. You won’t find the brand Checkpoint shoes in the mall, but you will find the same shoes with a more famous brand. Same monkey, different banana. The difference? Nothing, except that the mall has fancier interiors. The logistics cost is also passed on to the consumer, so my leather loafers that I bought for P499 will probably sell for P1,500 in SM. There are cheaper shoes from Korea and China, but I wouldn’t bet my money on these lasting for more than a month. My Marikina shoes have been around for 3 years now. Used every day without a smirk or frown on the sides.
Now how’s that for quality? See the Marikina Riverbanks Mall website for more information. This is not a sponsored post. I really buy my shoes in Marikina. No kidding.