Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Shoe-pping" at The Marikina Shoe Museum

After our 3-hour lunch at Rustic Mornings at Isabelo Garden last January 17, 2016, we decided to visit the Marikina Footwear/Shoe Museum, which was just a few steps from the garden restaurant (Good thing that it was open on Sundays!)

Marikina Travels
The Gand (L-R): Vins, Shiela, Mars, and Me

The entrance fee to the museum was Php 50. It’s a small, bi-level museum that keeps a collection of 3,000 shoes.

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First time to step into this museum. Incidentally, I was wearing
Swatch, a Marikina-made shoe brand.

Upon entering, one would have to register and pay. In return, he/she would receive a newsletter and a pamphlet about Marikina. A museum tour guide would explain what visitors could see inside.

Marikina Travels
Cindy, our museum guide

Cindy was the one assigned to us. According to her, the structure was built in 1880. It used to be an arsenal during the Spanish time, a waterpool during the American occupation, and a rice mill during the time of a certain Tuazon, one of the wealthiest men in Marikina. In February 16, 2001, under the leadership of then Mayor Bayani Fernando, the building was converted into a shoe museum.

Cindy showed us a diorama featuring an “areglo” (lady fixing the top part of the shoe) and “sapatero” (men fixing the bottom part of the shoe).

Marikina Travels
Shoemaking Diorama

She also showed us a 3-ft tall shoe made of pure leather and beside it was a tower of shoelast made of wood. Shoelasts are used to shape the shoes.

The three-foot tall pure leather shoe,
behind it are the shoelasts

The museum also features a collection of shoes from different countries, shoes from different personalities in the Philippines (they donated their shoes), and the 800 pairs of shoes of – guess who – Imelda Marcos, herself!

Marikina Travels
The Iceman's Shoes
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GMA's shoes are just among the many shoes displayed here.
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Some of Imelda Marcos's 800 shoes on display!

What I loved about the museum were the shoes that won the annual shoe design competition in Marikina, as they proved how creative the minds of Pinoys are. Seeing the shoes reminded me of the play “Rak of Aegis”, where different designs of shoes were showcased, validating that there is no limits to imagination.

Marikina Travels
Marikina-made shoe brands

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Sarimanok-inspired shoes

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Other footwear with unique designs (winners of annual shoe design competition)

Visit The Marikina Shoe Museum if you have time.

Marikina Travels
Yes, I'm going! Gala Pa More!




Rustic Pleasures at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo in Marikina City

Just a short ride from Katipunan (Php 9.00 fare) and a few steps from the Marikina Shoe Museum lies Rustic Mornings by Isabelo, a garden restaurant that offers delicious food at a fairly reasonable price.

It was my friend Mars’s suggestion to try this place last January 17, 2016, because of its impressive photos that she saw in blogs. Mars, Shiela, Vins and I met in Katipunan at around 1pm, took the jeepney going to Calumpang, and alighted at the Marikina Shoe Museum.

Marikina Food Trip
L-R: Mars, Vins, Shiela, and Me 

The place was full when we arrived so we waited for approximately 30 minutes before we were finally given our table. While waiting, we took the time to observe the place. What amazed me was how they were able to use the materials that seemed useless to beautify both the garden (open area) and the covered restaurant. For example, they utilize empty perfume bottles to decorate the washroom and empty wine bottles to accessorize the garden. The ambience was very relaxing that Vins would like to have a similar garden set in their house!

Marikina Food Trip
Restaurant Interior
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Empty bottles of perfume used as decorations
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Hang everything and you'll have a lovely ceiling display
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Imagine being surrounded by plants while dining

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Rustic Mornings also has gallery of paintings, mostly of flowers

We asked for the best sellers of Rustic Mornings and the waiter suggested the following: 2-piece Real Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon, and Hashbrown (Php 270), Cheesy Chicken Fricasee served with rice (Php 380), Beef Ribs served with rice (Php 380), and Banana Split for dessert (Php 350). We ordered 2 additional serving of plain rice (Php 90) and Shiela ordered Café Americano with one free refill (Php 65).

Marikina Food Trip
Our orders are ready!


The pancake was quite yummy, however, the butter included in the serving was good for only one pancake. Additional butter would cost you Php 40, so we just ate the other pancake with the ice cream from the Banana Split!

Marikina Food Trip
2-Piece Real Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon, and Hashbrown (Php 270)

We loved Cheesy Chicken Fricasee and Beef Ribs, especially the latter. It was indicated in the menu that each was good for 2 persons only, but when you see their serving size, you would say that each could already satisfy four hungry stomachs! According to Shiela, Cheesy Chicken Fricasee, however, should be a little bit saltier for it to become more delectable.

Marikina Food Trip
Beef Ribs served with rice (Php 380)

Marikina Food Trip
Cheesy Chicken Fricasee served with rice (Php 380)

The dessert, Banana Split, was enough for 4 persons. My friends used to joke that what I wore that day matched the colors of the dessert! (So prior to eating, I had to take a photo handling the bowl of Banana Split!)

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The good-4-for-persons Banana Split (Php 350)
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Happy Me!

Over lunch, we talked about Noli and Fili (yes!), because Vins gave Mars a number of bookmarks with quotations from Rizal’s novels done by her previous students. Mars would give these to her public school students in Grade 5. Our favorite was this bookmark with the line "Maaari ba kitang malimot?" (Can I ever forget you?). Each of us picked a bookmark and explained what we thought about the specific quotation. Aside from that, we also talked about mountain climbing, marathon, and life.

Marikina Food Trip
The bookmarks! (c) Mars


We finished around 4pm and we paid Php 1,672 (inclusive of the 10% service charge) for everything. We all agreed that what we paid was worth it – good food, good ambience, shared with good friends.

Marikina Food Trip
Sharing my #happy30 with good friends

Visit Rustic Mornings by Isabelo's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RusticMornings/ to know more about this restaurant.