Marikina is famous for being the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, and the home to the largest shoes in the world as recognized by Guinness World Records. The city also houses the famous collection of shoes owned by prominent people in history, including those owned by Imelda Marcos, the wife of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, as well as those owned by several world leaders, former presidents, and celebrities.
Marikina is also known for being one of the healthiest and livable cities in the Asia-Pacific Region, and one of the wealthiest in the Metro.
Various legends surround the formation of the city’s name, including those pertaining to various people in history, including a priest, a generous lady, a musician, and even a captain. One legend has it that the name is a result of a misunderstanding between a Spanish priest and a Filipino labourer during an exchange between them.
The Marikina River, which is located on the western side of the city, is known for being prone to rise at a significantly rapid rate during typhoons and other natural disasters, causing much trouble for those residing close to it.
The shoe industry is perhaps the biggest, if not the most famous, industry Marikina is known for. Dubbed the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, the shoemakers in city live up to their name, producing footwear of the highest quality. Owning a handmade pair from Marikina shoemakers was considered a symbol of high social status in the past, and to an extent it still does today, if only from a point of having high standard and good taste in shoes.
Despite shoemaking being its bread and butter, Marikina has a lot more to offer. The also houses several commercial and industrial centers, and even several shopping centers that complement its primary shoe industry. It also the location several manufacturing plants and local markets, typical of a highly urban Metro Manila City.
The city of Marikina was founded in the 1600s, and was originally called Jesus Dela Pena or Jesus of the Rocks. Sometime later, the city was called Mariquina, and a parish was thereafter built thereon. The city’s industries were fishing and farming. In the late 1800s, through the efforts of Don Laureano Guevarra, is when its famed shoemaking industry began to flourish. In the early 1900s, the city was renamed by then Philippine Commissioner Trinidad Pardo de Tavera into the name we know it by today, Marikina. The city has since long moved on from the traditional fishing and farming industries it started from in the 1600s, and although it is still a household name when it comes to the sales and manufacturing of the highest quality handcrafted shoes, it has also gone beyond being known for footwear. The city is home to some major companies in the manufacturing and shopping industries, as well as several in the commercial and industrial business.
Marikina is in relatively proximity Quezon City, Pasig, and Antipolo, giving residents access to various key areas in the Metro. Renting an apartment in Marikina provides one with access not only to the Ortigas business district, but also to several of the top schools in the country.
This makes Marikina an ideal address for both students, families, and young professionals. Its location near Antipolo and Rizal area also allows for immediate access to the Southern part of Luzon, such as Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon Province, without the hassle of having to traverse EDSA and SLEX.
Popular options for those looking for apartments in Marikina include one to two-bedroom apartments and condominium units. Condominium units range from around Php 12,000 to Php 28,000 a month. The advantage of opting to rent a condominium unit is that like in most major cities, a condominium project is usually located near or within the commercial center.
There are, however, cheaper options available for those looking for convenience and affordability instead of luxury. An apartment in Marikina Heights, for instance, could go for around Php 5,000 a month. A very important factor to consider in deciding on where to rent an apartment or condominium unit in Marikina would be the location and its proximity not only to the basic facilities and transportation access points to Metro Manila, but also to the Marikina River, considering that the distance of a property from the body of water may be an indicator of whether the area is prone to flooding or not.
According to the latest census, Marikina is currently home to around 450,741 people. While the increase of residents in the residential city has been steady, the easternmost locale of the National Capital Region has a deeper story than what its official number of inhabitants signifies. The first settlers of the city, a lakeshore settlement then, were descendants of Lakan Dula of the Kingdom of Tondo in the 1560s. In 1787, the town was named “Mariquina” in honor of the Spanish governor-general sitting at that time. It later became the capital of the Province of Manila in 1898, when the Andres Bonifacio-led revolution broke out. When the Americans arrived, it was officially renamed to “Marikina.” Development was swift pre and post war, and by the 1950s, the city had re-emerged as a town of shoemakers, a legacy it maintains until now.
Marikina is defined by more than its moniker “Shoe Capital of the Philippines”. The city’s former local government heads began instituting very strict rules regarding cleanliness and orderliness, which locals have since followed to the letter. As a result, Marikina is now considered one of the Philippines’ cleanest cities, boasting of sidewalks devoid of litter and trash, and featuring plenty of green spaces.
As the city accounts for 70% of the Philippines’ local shoe production, Marikina also expectedly has its very own Shoe Museum. Built in 1998, it serves as a showcase of the cultural and historical significance of the city’s shoe industry. The museum features pairs owned by local and international personalities, including some from the Iron Butterfly herself, the Philippines’ infamous former first lady, Imelda Marcos.
While its shoe industry continues to thrive, Marikina has also steadily welcomed an influx of infrastructure projects, businesses, commercial, and retail establishments, all of which made the city an attractive residential area of choice for many of Metro Manila’s residents. Among these developments include SM City Marikina, Blue Wave-Marikina, and the Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall.
With the growth of other industries in Marikina, what once was the country’s largest hacienda became a city of opportunity not only for employment, but for residential purposes as well. Its strategic location—between Quezon City, Pasig, and Rizal Province—remains one of the biggest factors why it is a popular choice for renting an apartment in the Metro.
The city is accessible to and from some of the country’s most prominent universities, such as the University of the Philippines Diliman, the Ateneo de Manila University, and Miriam College. This continues to result in a high demand for residential real estate in the city, as many students look not just for dormitories, but also for an apartment for rent in Marikina that is near their schools, so they can temporarily live there as they attend their classes.
Not being as highly urbanized or densely populated as Quezon City, Makati, or Taguig has made apartments for rent in Marikina generally affordable. Units in the city come with very affordable price tags, making them the residence of choice not only among students but also among people who work in Metro Manila’s major business districts. In fact, listings data from Lamudi shows that brand-new, one-bedroom apartments in Marikina can be rented for as low as PHP 6,000 per month, which is quite ideal for newly-wed couples or starting families saving to eventually buy their own home. Typical apartments at this price have none to standard furnishings, are studio-type or one-bedroom units, and are relatively small in floor area. However, the convenient distance to and from schools and commercial areas tend to be what most tenants are after.
Property seekers can of course expect to receive more when the rent of a unit is substantially higher. For example, for PHP 15,000 monthly, one can rent a one-bedroom apartment along Sumulong Avenue that measures 28 square meters, is fully furnished, and includes numerous amenities and features. Among these are a fitness gym, air conditioning, function room, shower rooms, billiards table, powder room, game room, laundry area, club house, a pool, and a garden. In essence, in this property, one can find the convenience of a cheap apartment and the amenity-rich feature of a more expensive one.
Marikina apartments for rent flourish simply due to the brisk housing demand. This is attributed to the presence of schools, steady yet sustainable commercialization, and the far less urban environment that is akin to nearby Rizal’s rural landscapes. Marikina offers a lifestyle rich in history and culture, as meaningfully indulged as every well-crafted pair of leather in this city of feet and measures.