Located on the easternmost part of Metro Manila, Marikina is a shoppers’ dream. Commonly referred to as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines due to the city’s multitude of shoe factories, being the biggest manufacturer of shoes in the nation, and boasts a renowned shoe museum.
Marikina is also home to a burgeoning leather-goods industry specializing in bespoke bags, wallets, and accessories of all sorts.
Marikina’s main gateway is Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which is serviced by daily international and domestic flights.
Marikina is not currently connected via boat to other parts of Metro Manila, but there are plans for the Pasig River Ferry Service to connect to the city.
The city is serviced by all major modes of transport including the high-volume LRT Line 2. Buses, public utility vans, taxis, and the ever-lovable Philippine Jeepney complete the full complement.
Once in the city, local transport is readily available to residents and visitors alike to suit every budget. If you want to commute like a local, Jeepneys and buses are the way to go when on a budget, with tricycles fulfilling the last-mile service.
Should you wish to travel with relative comfort and convenience, taxi’s and TNV services such as Grab are your best bet.
Marikina is a city with a rich cultural heritage with a multitude of buildings with some dating back to the Spanish colonial era. A good example of one steeped in Marikina’s shoe industry’s history is the Kapitan Moy House. Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevara was the father of the city’s shoe industry and was credited for helping to manufacture the first pair of shoes produced in Marikina in 1887.
Another prominent old building in Marikina is the Chanyungco Ancestral House that was built in the 1920s by Tomas Chanyungco. One of the first shoe traders in the city and a relative of Kapitan Moy, Chanyungco operated a small factory in the cellar of the house and his shoes at the famous Gandara Shoes in Tondo, Manila.
A trip to marvel at the beauty of 16th century Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church or the Riverbanks Park should be the perfect end to your day.
If your ideal day-out involves more than a little bit of retail therapy, then you’re in for an absolute treat! Take a trip down to the Riverbanks Mall – a haven of outlet stores for both local and major international brands. A trip to one of the many local leatherworks for a pair of bespoke shoes should not be missed!
For a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage, take a trip to the Marikina Shoe Museum to see one of the many celebrity pairs of shoes including the former first lady Imelda Marcos’ shoes. Fun fact: before becoming a museum, the building was formerly an arsenal during the Spanish period before being converted into a detention cell during the Filipino-American war.
Marikina is a perfect mixture of the best of the Metro Manila food scene. International and local cuisine blends seamlessly in the city’s vibrant food scene, with a great mix of quaint hole-in-the-walls and well-known establishments.
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is an amazing garden restaurant that would have you believe that you’re no longer in Metro Manila. Serving up an all-day breakfast menu with both local and international favorites, a visit would not be complete without an order of the Ilocos Bagnet and Cinnamon French Toast tower.
Probably the best case for the diversity of the city’s cuisine is Balestier, an Asian fusion restaurant strongly influenced by Singaporean flavors with a local touch. The Laksa Tsukeman and Bak Kut Teh Risotto are most definitely the must-try dishes on their menu.
You would have to say that the city’s nightlife scene is on the more relaxed side as compared to other parts of Metro Manila, but it is the perfect place to begin the evening.
Take a quick trip down to the Riverbank area and have a drink at one of the many establishments on the river while watching the sun go down. Later in the evening a trip to Eastwood City in nearby Quezon City or to Manila’s main center for nightlife BGC, await.
Owing to the location on the periphery of Metro Manila and the largely residential nature of the city, you will not be spoilt for choice with regards to accommodation. A quick search on any popular booking website will reveal numerous budget B&Bs and pension houses, or smaller quiet hotels in nearby Antipolo City.
Should you wish to enjoy a 5-star hotel stay, the nearest option would be EDSA Shangri-La in Ortigas, which is approximately 13kms away.