Marikina brings top export to Davao City
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City has just become the first city outside Marikina to put up a store devoted exclusively to selling the latter’s most famous export — shoes.
The Marikina Shoe Trade Fair store, which was given a spot in Davao’s Pasalubong (souvenir) Center on Tamos Street, recently opened amid an ongoing renaissance in Marikina’s shoe industry.
Shoes have long been central to the city’s cultural identity, not to mention economic prosperity, but increased collaboration between a new generation of shoemakers has given rise to initiatives like the trade fair.
The new shoe store will likely be the first of several to open throughout the country, according to Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, whose city has a sisterhood agreement with Davao City.
“These shoes are a labor of love, handmade and crafted with care,” Teodoro said in his speech at the store opening. “Each pair of shoes has a story — the story of its maker, how it was made, why it was made and who it was made for.”
Marikina shoemakers have been forced to grapple with a flood of imported shoes from China and Italy, which coincided with trade liberalization as the Philippines began integrating more deeply with its Asean neighbors in 2015.
Reintroducing Marikina-made shoes to the rest of the country, Teodoro said, was an integral step toward revitalizing the industry.
The newly opened store, which showcases a vast range of artisanal shoes from various Marikina designers, is the only one in the “pasalubong” center selling products from outside Davao.
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