Nov 18, 2020

Over a decade since Ondoy, Marikina City found itself submerged in floodwaters once more during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses. Its local government unit estimates that the city incurred P30 billion in damages as the deluge affected both households and the warehouses of various businesses, including those who make Marikina’s most famous products: shoes and bags. 

“We may be able to clear the roadways, restore the power, the water, telecom, utilities, public infrastructure, but the problem really is on the individual level, the economic hardships brought about by Typhoon Ulysses,” says Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.

With this devastating situation in the country’s shoe capital, local footwear brands have stepped up to express solidarity with the community by setting up various initiatives.

Among those helping Marikina shoemakers get back on their feet is leather footwear brand Andanté. “Of the 18 people who make our shoes, 15 have water in their homes. Four to eight entire homes were flooded,” wrote the brand on its Instagram post. Some of their shoemakers had to be rescued from rooftops, it added.

 

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A post shared by andanté (@andantefootwear)


Because of this, Andanté is teaming up with other footwear brands through Stride Collective to raise funds and gather in-kind donations—not just for their own partners, but also for other shoe and bag makers in Marikina who were affected by the typhoon. The brands will be distributing relief packs that include food, hygiene products, blankets, clothes and medical items including face masks. They will also allocate cash donations to help repair the shoemakers’ damaged houses. As of Nov. 16, the collective has already distributed 100 bags for its first round of relief operations.


Meanwhile, Marikina-based footwear brand Josanna is selling handmade pairs from its current inventory at half their retail prices until Nov. 21 to help partner shoemakers. The brand will also contribute to citywide relief aid through the non-profit organization Pembarya Project using the proceeds from shoe sales.  Shop and order through its website here.

 

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A post shared by Josanna (@studiojosanna)


Even before the massive flooding during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, the city’s shoemaking industry has been suffering from loss, mainly because of reduced business from the ongoing pandemic. According to Mayor Teodoro, back in August, some 80 percent of shoemakers were forced to shut down their operations. Only those who were able to successfully shift to digital platforms managed to sustain their livelihood, but they comprise only about 20 percent of the city’s shoemakers.  With the typhoons adding to their woes, these hardy craftsmen need our help even more.

 

Header photo by Niño Jesus Orbeta for Inquirer.net

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TAGS: #UlyssesPH Marikina Marikina shoemakers Marikina shoemakers relief Typhoon Ulysses