Marikina City

We’re taking a virtual stroll through the vibrant streets of Marikina City! Ever heard of it? This gem, tucked away in the folds of the Philippines, is a place that’ll make you go “Wow!” at every turn.

You know how every city has its own rhythm, its own heartbeats? Well, Marikina dances to the tune of shoemakers’ hammers. Why, you ask? Because it’s known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines. We’re talking about a city that wears its culture on its feet, literally!

But don’t you dare think it’s all about leather and laces here! Marikina City has more to offer than just its fantastic footwear. This city is a mouthwatering mix of culinary delights, a canvas of colorful festivals, and a testament to the resilience of its people. Can you imagine a place where every nook and cranny holds a story of triumph, of bouncing back from adversity? That’s Marikina for you!

Marikina City River Park Roman Garden
By Bryski 25 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

History of Marikina City

In the early 1500s, the area was originally a vast expanse of lush forests and fertile plains, inhabited by a group known as the Dumagats. They named the area “Marikit-na,” which means “beautiful” in their language. Over time, the name evolved into Marikina.

In 1571, Spanish conquistadors arrived and took control of the area. They established a settlement and introduced Catholicism to the locals. As a result, the Marikina Church, also known as Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, was built in 1572. This marked the beginning of the Spanish influence on Marikina’s culture and way of life.

Transitioning into the 19th century, Marikina witnessed significant industrial growth. Don Laureano Guevarra, popularly known as Kapitan Moy, started the shoe industry in 1887. His pioneering efforts led to Marikina becoming the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines.” The city’s reputation for producing high-quality footwear continues to this day.

Following the Spanish era, the American period began in 1898. During this time, Marikina saw improvements in infrastructure and education. The Marikina Elementary School, the first American school in Marikina, was established in 1901.

World War II

Then, World War II struck, and Marikina suffered heavy damage. However, the resilient people of Marikina rebuilt their city from the ruins. Post-war, the city continued to grow and develop, with the shoe industry playing a significant role in its economy.

In 1996, Marikina became a city under the leadership of Mayor Bayani Fernando. His administration implemented strict discipline and cleanliness policies, transforming Marikina into one of the cleanest and most disciplined cities in the Philippines.

In the 21st century, Marikina continues to thrive as a bustling city. It is known for its well-maintained public facilities, disciplined citizens, and, of course, its high-quality shoes. The city’s rich history is a testament to the resilience and industriousness of its people, making Marikina a city that truly stands out in the Philippines.


In addition to its rich history and culture, Marikina City also offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular activities is shopping. Marikina City is home to a number of shopping malls, markets, and boutiques. Visitors can find everything from traditional Filipino handicrafts to the latest fashion trends.

Another popular activity in Marikina City is dining. The city is home to a variety of restaurants that serve both local and international cuisine. Visitors can enjoy everything from traditional Filipino dishes to Italian, Chinese, and Japanese food.

For those looking for a more active experience, Marikina City offers a number of parks and recreational facilities. The city’s most popular park is the Marikina River Park. This park is located along the Marikina River and offers a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, and fishing.

Marikina City is also home to a number of sports facilities. The city’s most popular sports facility is the Marikina Sports Complex. This complex is home to a variety of sports facilities, including a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a track and field stadium.

Food Cuisine in Marikina City

This bustling city is home to a myriad of culinary delights that blend traditional Filipino flavors with international influences.

Let’s begin with the city’s most famous dish, “Everlasting”. This unique meatloaf, made primarily from ground pork, liver, bell peppers, and raisins, is a Marikina original. Its name, “Everlasting”, symbolizes its enduring presence in Marikina’s food culture. Baked in a round tin called “llanera”, it is a centerpiece during special occasions and family gatherings.

Furthermore, Marikina is also renowned for its “Laoya”. This is a soup dish similar to the well-known “Nilaga”, but with a Marikina twist. The dish incorporates banana plantains and peanut butter, giving the broth a sweet and nutty flavor that contrasts beautifully with the savory meat.

Moving on, another food item that you must try in Marikina is “Waknatoy”. This Marikina-style Menudo is a stew made from pork and liver, simmered in a tomato-based sauce. What sets it apart from regular Menudo is the addition of pickles and Vienna sausage.

Besides these traditional dishes, Marikina is also a haven for food lovers with a sweet tooth. “Sapin-Sapin”, a colorful layered rice cake made with coconut milk, is a popular dessert in the area. Additionally, the city is famous for its “Panutsa”, a delightful peanut brittle that is perfect for a sweet ending to any meal.

Finally, no exploration of Marikina’s food scene would be complete without mentioning “Marikina Delicacies”, a popular store known for its wide variety of traditional Filipino sweets and snacks. Here, you can find everything from “Puto”, a type of steamed rice cake, to “Kakanin”, a variety of sticky rice desserts.

Tourist Spots in Marikina City

Firstly, you should visit the Marikina Shoe Museum. This museum showcases the famous shoe collection of the late former First Lady Imelda Marcos, as well as footwear from different periods and cultures. When you step foot into this museum, you can learn about the rich history of the local shoe industry that Marikina City is famous for.

Next, make your way to the World of Butterflies. This is a butterfly conservatory where you can interact with various species of butterflies in a beautiful and serene setting. Walking through this conservatory, the vibrant colors and gentle fluttering of the butterflies will surely captivate you.

Afterward, head over to the Marikina River Park. This park is not just a place for leisurely strolls along the riverbank; it also offers various recreational facilities for sports, picnics, and even outdoor concerts. Spend an afternoon here, and you can watch as the local community comes alive with activity.

Then, take a trip to the Marikina Sports Center. This is a sports complex complete with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a track oval, and a stadium. If you’re interested in sports, you can watch local games or even partake in some of the activities.

Transitioning from sports to history, visit the Kapitan Moy Residence. This ancestral house was the home of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra, the father of the Marikina shoe industry. Here, you can appreciate the architecture of the period and learn more about the city’s past.

Lastly, don’t miss out on the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish. This 18th-century church is one of the oldest in the country, featuring a beautiful mixture of Spanish and native design influences. As you stand in front of this church, you can feel the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the city.

Festival and Events in Marikina City

Starting the year with a bang, Marikina City celebrates New Year’s Day with a grand fireworks display, transforming the city’s skyline into a canvas of colors and light. Local residents and tourists alike gather around the city’s central parks to witness this mesmerizing spectacle.

In February, the city holds the Ilognayan Festival. This festival aims to foster awareness and appreciation for the Marikina River, a significant landmark in the city. It includes various activities such as river clean-ups, educational talks, and related contests promoting environmental conservation.

Transiting into March, the Marikina Cityhood Anniversary unfolds. This event commemorates the city’s establishment, with a series of activities like parades, concerts, and cultural performances taking place throughout the week.

As summer arrives in April, the city gears up for the Sapatos Festival. Marikina, being the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, honors its shoemaking heritage through this event. The festival showcases the craftsmanship of local shoemakers, turning the city’s streets into a massive shoe exhibition.

In June, the city commemorates Philippine Independence Day. With patriotic fervor, Marikina honors the bravery and courage of the country’s heroes through various activities, including historical exhibits, flag-raising ceremonies, and cultural performances.

Transitioning into the “ber” months, the Rehiyon-Rehiyon Festival takes center stage in August. This event celebrates the city’s cultural diversity, featuring unique customs and traditions from different Philippine regions. It includes a parade of floats, a street dancing competition, and showcases of regional cuisines.

As the year draws to a close, Marikina’s Christmas Festival lights up the city in December. The celebration is marked by the “Paskotitap”, a parade of animated floats and giant Christmas lanterns. It’s a sight to behold as the entire city twinkles with holiday cheer.

How to Get There

Marikina City is easily accessible by public transportation. The city is served by a variety of buses, jeepneys, and trains. Visitors can also take a taxi or ride-sharing service to Marikina City.

By car, Marikina City is located about 30 kilometers east of Manila. The city can be reached via the Marcos Highway or the Ortigas Avenue Extension.

People Also Read: Tourist Spots in Masbate City


And there you have it, amigos! That’s the whirlwind tour of Marikina City, a city that’s got soul… and soles! It’s a place where you can taste, touch, and live history, culture, and resilience, all at the same time.

But wait! We’ve only scratched the surface. There’s so much more to Marikina than what we’ve covered. Can you picture yourself exploring its streets, tasting its food, and dancing to its rhythm? I bet you can!

So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you laced up your adventure shoes and headed to Marikina City? After all, as the locals say, “Sapatos nga ba kamo? Marikina ‘yan!” – Looking for shoes? That’s Marikina for you! Can you imagine a better invitation than that?

Remember, every city has a story. But Marikina? It doesn’t just have a story. It IS the story. So, are you ready to be part of it?

Like this article? Spread it! ✨
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top