By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said on Wednesday that the world-class quality of footwear made in Marikina can be seen in the way his pair of boots made by a Marikina shoemaker has kicked out many officials out of government and still remains durable.
The President was gifted with a pair of custom-made leather shoes by Rolando de Guzman, a shoemaker from Marikina in 2016.
“Ginagamit ko ‘yung boots mo. Ako mahilig magsipa ng tao (I am using your boots. I like to kick people),” Duterte jested as he addressed the 70-year-old shoemaker.
He said that he always uses the footwear, especially when he is “kicking” some officials in Malacañang.
“Tanungin mo ‘yang mga guwardiya diyan sa Malacañang siguro nagtataka ‘yan sila. Ako lang nakita nilang tao talagang sinisipa ko (You can ask the guards there in Malacañang perhaps they are wondering. I am the only one they saw kicking somebody),” he added.
“Tatay Oly, salamat sa sapatos mo ha (thank you for the shoes),” he continued.
According to Duterte, with Marikina’s quality shoes, there is no doubt that it will someday take its place on the world stage.
“Marikina is known for its shoes. It’s a matter of… Kagaya nitong mga t*******… Itong mga famous na mga Hermes ganun, gawa ‘yan doon sa eastern Europe (Just like famous brands like Hermes which is made in eastern Europe),” he said.
“They come up with a better — most superior material. Pero ‘pag na-perfect ‘yang Pilipinas (But if we can perfect ours), I’m sure Marikina would go a long way to be somebody,” he added.
Duterte also expressed confidence that Marikina will be able to dominate the local market despite foreign brands also being sold in the country.
“[There are] 110 million Filipinos. Biruin mo ilang paa ‘yan (Can you imagine how many feet that is)? You think about it,” he said.
“If you just can improve on it, you would be cornering the market. We cannot prohibit imports, free trade eh. I can sell in your country and you can sell in mine. But ang pinaka-laban diyan is (But we are battling it out in terms of) quality,” he added.