MARIKINA City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro honored Rolando de Guzman Santos, a shoemaker who gifted President Rodrigo Duterte a pair of shoes, which the President proudly wore on his meeting with United States Secretary of State John Kerry last week.
Mang Olly, 68, got a long and loud applause from the crowd as the city government recognized his effort to revitalize the city’s shoe industry during the flag-raising ceremony on Monday.
He was accompanied by his daughter Rosemarie, who sent the shoes to the fashion house that designs barongs for Duterte.
“He has brought Marikina City again on the map as the country’s shoe capital. I don’t know what pushed him to make a pair of shoes for the President, but one thing I am certain – he really wanted to be happy with his craftsmanship,” Teodoro said.
“He is full of hope with the new [Duterte] administration. But what is more important, he brings hope to the whole shoe industry,” the mayor added.
To boost the city’s shoe industry, a shoe festival and a series of shoe caravans will be held in the next coming months, Teodoro said.
“Mang Olly has brought new hope to the city’s shoemakers despite the fact that the local shoe industry has fallen on hard times because of cheaper imports from abroad,” the mayor noted.
Mang Olly, who started making shoes when he was 14, said he is “honored” that the President wore the shoes that he made for almost a week.
“I came from a family of shoemakers. My grandfather and my father were also shoemakers. All my siblings were shoemakers too,” he said.