Shoe Museum – Marikina City, Part I

“More than anything, this museum will symbolize the spirit and culture of the Filipino people.” – Imelda Marcos

Marikina City is the Shoe Capital of the Philippines due to its rich history of footwear industry that dates back hundreds of years ago. It is only fitting that it has a dedicated edifice that houses some of the most important shoes in the Philippines.

The Shoe Museum in Marikina City is a place that showcases not only hard work of the local magsasapatos (footwear makers) but also the ostentatious vanity of former First Lady Imelda Marcos. Mrs. Marcos, specifically her infamous collection of more than 3,000 shoes that paved her way to the Guinness Records as the person with the most number of shoes, is the main draw of the Shoe Museum. 800 pairs of her collection made their way to Marikina City and are now housed in glass cabinets so the common Filipinos can gawk at them and marvel at the amount of money spent on footwear instead of paying the national debt of the Philippines.

Some fun facts about Imelda Marcos and her shoes:

  1. Imelda Marcos’ shoe size is 8 ½ inches or 21.6 cm
  2. Imelda Marcos did not wear high heels when she was with husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos.
  3. As mentioned above, 800 out of Imelda Marcos’ 3,000 pairs of shoe collection are in the Shoe Museum.
  4. The Imelda Marcos shoe collection includes famous international shoe brands like Ferragamo. Givenchy, Chanel, Christian Dior, Charles Jourdan and Bally.
  5. During her time as first lady, Imelda Marcos was very active in the promotion of the Marikina Shoe Industry.
  6. Imelda Marcos was given an average of ten (10) pairs of shoes by the Marikina magsasapatos every week*.

*If one multiplies 10 pairs of shoes by 52 weeks in a year and then by 20 years that Ferdinand Marcos lorded over the Philippines like it was his own playground, the 3,000 pairs of shoes makes sense. If only all her shoes were local brands.

The Imelda Marcos shoe collection on display at Shoe Museum takes up the entire second floor. The shoes fill up several glass cabinets. Some of the cabinets have photos of Mrs. Marcos rubbing elbows with world leaders in her capacity as the representative of the Philippines to these political, economic and social events. Despite the negativity that surrounds her family legacy, one cannot deny Mrs. Marcos’ remarkable beauty and keen eye for fashion.

A painting of former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda R. Marcos. The painting within the painting is former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

A painting of former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda R. Marcos. The painting within the painting is former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Imelda Marcos, also known as Maganda (beautiful), promoted the Philippine terno and other Filipiniana items during her husband’s more than two decades of presidency.

Imelda Marcos, also known as Maganda (beautiful), promoted the Philippine terno and other Filipiniana items during her husband’s more than two decades of presidency.

The Stuart Weltzman for Mr. Seymour shoes that Mrs. Imelda Marcos paired with the outfit above.

The Stuart Weltzman for Mr. Seymour shoes that Mrs. Imelda Marcos paired with the outfit above.

Former President Ferdinand Marcos, also known as Malakas (strong), wore Barong Tagalog in official functions.

Former President Ferdinand Marcos, also known as Malakas (strong), wore Barong Tagalog in official functions.

The black shoes that complemented the Barong Tagalog

The black shoes that complemented the Barong Tagalog

Some of the shoe collection of Former First Lady Imelda Marcos that are exhibited at Shoe Museum in Marikina City. The shoes come in different forms and colors.

Some of the shoe collection of Former First Lady Imelda Marcos that are exhibited at Shoe Museum in Marikina City. The shoes come in different forms and colors.

Mrs. Marcos had enough sling back shoes to fill six levels of glass cabinet.

Mrs. Marcos had enough sling back shoes to fill six levels of glass cabinet.

Just a part of Mrs. Marcos’ collection of black shoes

Just a part of Mrs. Marcos’ collection of black shoes

More black shoes for the woman whose name is synonymous with excessive extravagance.

More black shoes for the woman whose name is synonymous with excessive extravagance.

Mrs. Marcos also favored open-toed shoes in rainbow colors, gold and nude.

Mrs. Marcos also favored open-toed shoes in rainbow colors, gold and nude.

More shoes owned by Mrs. Imelda Marcos

More shoes owned by Mrs. Imelda Marcos

These shoes have a painting of Mrs. Marcos as backdrop

These shoes have a painting of Mrs. Marcos as backdrop

Glass cabinets full of shoes from the 3,000 pair collection of shoes owned by Mrs. Imelda Marcos

Glass cabinets full of shoes from the 3,000 pair collection of shoes owned by Mrs. Imelda Marcos

A closer look at some of Mrs. Imelda Marcos’ shoes

A closer look at some of Mrs. Imelda Marcos’ shoes

A closer look at some of Mrs. Imelda Marcos’ shoes

A closer look at some of Mrs. Imelda Marcos’ shoes

Some of the photos of Mrs. Imelda Marcos that accompanied her shoe display at Shoe Museum include her role as an ambassadress of the Philippines. Clockwise from the top: (1) US Vice President Walter Mondale, who officially visited the Marcoses in Manila, was briefed with President Jimmy Carter during one of the First Lady’s mission to Washington. (2) US President Gerald Ford, his wife Betty and daughter Susan were overwhelmed by the welcome they received during a state visit to the Philippines in 1976. (3) After signing an agreement with Fidel Castro, Madam Imelda Romualdez Marcos and her children were personally shown around Havana by the Cuban leader. (4) Seated together at an official ceremony, Madam Imelda R. Marcos and England’s Prince Charles discussed a topic close to their hearts: ecological balance in the design of cities.

Some of the photos of Mrs. Imelda Marcos that accompanied her shoe display at Shoe Museum include her role as an ambassadress of the Philippines. Clockwise from the top: (1) US Vice President Walter Mondale, who officially visited the Marcoses in Manila, was briefed with President Jimmy Carter during one of the First Lady’s mission to Washington. (2) US President Gerald Ford, his wife Betty and daughter Susan were overwhelmed by the welcome they received during a state visit to the Philippines in 1976. (3) After signing an agreement with Fidel Castro, Madam Imelda Romualdez Marcos and her children were personally shown around Havana by the Cuban leader. (4) Seated together at an official ceremony, Madam Imelda R. Marcos and England’s Prince Charles discussed a topic close to their hearts: ecological balance in the design of cities.

The friendship between Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and Madam Imelda R. Marcos went beyond official expectations. Her respect for the Chinese leader was close to a daughter’s admiration of a father.

The friendship between Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and Madam Imelda R. Marcos went beyond official expectations. Her respect for the Chinese leader was close to a daughter’s admiration of a father.

For more information, please read Shoe Museum – Marikina City, Part II.

For more Marikina sights, please visit The Book MuseumMuseum of Miniatures and The Spirit of Bethlehem.

Where: Shoe Museum is at the corner of J. P. Rizal Street and Mendoza Street in Marikina City. It is a short walk from Our Lady of the Abandoned and the house of Kapitan Moy Guevarra.

When: Shoe Museum is open for public viewing from Monday to Sunday except on holidays, from 8am to 5pm, with lunch break from 12noon to 1pm. It is open to walk-ins and group tours. 

How much: The entrance fee for Shoe Museum is P50.00 (US $1.17) per person.

How: I do not know how I got there. 🙂 I just relied on the help of nice strangers from Marikina. 🙂 I think one can take a jeep bound for Marikina-Bayan from Gateway (Aurora Boulevard) or from Katipunan LRT Station.

 

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