Marikina is known for making high-quality shoes in the country and is also a great city to retire. It is in the eastern part of Metro Manila. The key to this city’s success is that it has a very good local government and a disciplined and friendly community.
Also Read: 10 Best Reasons to Retire in Nueva Ecija
Marikina City has a flourishing economy, modern shopping malls, historic homes, expansive verdant parks, and welcoming locals, making it a picture-perfect old city on the cusp of urban modernization.
Located to the east of Metro Manila, Marikina has the appearance of a sleepy suburb thanks to its well-maintained streets, peaceful neighborhoods, and abundance of natural spaces, but it is, in fact, a bustling metropolis home to the largest shoe manufacturing industry. If you’re wondering if Marikina should be your forever home once you retire, then here are the best reasons you should!
Marikina has a low crime rate and is known as one of the safest cities in Metro Manila. This is important for older people who are moving to Marikina.
Marikina is in the center of Metro Manila, which makes it easy to get to major business districts, schools, and other important places.
3. The emergency services have gotten better
“If this ambulance doesn’t get to you in five minutes, call the mayor,” says a sign on the ambulances that drive around Marikina. Even the vehicles used by their local government have signs that say they can take anyone to the hospital in an emergency. Since accidents and health crises can happen at any time, it’s important to retire in a city with good emergency services.
4. Infrastructure is kept in good shape
Since Bayani Fernando became mayor and head of the MMDA in the early 1990s, infrastructure has gotten better. Tricycle riders used to get bumps on their heads from potholes. Today, you won’t find any roads that aren’t made of cement. Cleanup campaigns were pushed by the local government. Laws about sidewalks, pets, and cleanliness were enforced by the then-mayor. Projects were started to save the river, garbage collection got better, and each barangay joined the competition to be the cleanest. Soon, Marikina in the Philippines started getting a lot of environmental awards. This is when the locals started to feel more pride in their city.
5. There are many green spaces
There are more places to hang out at the barangay mini parks. Where there used to be only grass, there are now park benches, playground equipment, bike lanes, and, strangely enough, a lot of cow statues. When Marikina was a pastureland in the past, the cows remind us of that.
6. Best education
Some of the best schools in the country are in Marikina, such as Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College. Marikina is the place to go for retirees who want to go back to school.
7. Employment or business opportunities
Marikina has a thriving business community. There are many companies and factories in the city that give its residents jobs. Here, retired people who want to run their own small business can do so!
8. Leisure and culture
Marikina has a lot of cultural history, and there are a lot of historical sites and museums there. The city also has many parks, bike paths, and places to play outside. The Kapitan Moy Museum, which is in the place where shoemaking started and is now Marikina’s Sentrong Pangkultura, is a quick way to learn about the city’s history. Just a few steps down the road is the Shoe Museum, which has Imelda Marcos’s famous collection of shoes. There is also a tableau about the history of shoemaking in Marikina and the shoes of local and international celebrities.
9. Great for foodies
Marikina is known for its local specialties, like “puto,” and its busy shopping centers, like the Marikina Shoe Expo. Marikina City has recently come to people’s attention because of Lilac Street, Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue, and The Truck Park, a cool place to eat with murals. But Marikina already had its own food scene before the newcomers moved in. Marikina is what everyone says it is: clean, organized, and with lots of open, green spaces to explore. If you wait a little longer, you’ll see kids of all ages riding their bikes around. And in the afternoon, you’ll see older people relaxing at a town square and kids walking home from school safely.
Marikina City has recently come to people’s attention because of Lilac Street, Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue, and The Truck Park, a cool place to eat with murals. But Marikina already had its own food scene before the newcomers moved in.
Popular restaurants that have been serving the city for years include Jesus Panciteria, Macky’s Goto, Mama Chit’s Coffee House, Tapsi Ni Vivian, and Mang Frederick’s Barbecue. Jesus Panciteria has a simple dining area and retro signs, but it has been serving Marikeos for decades. Don’t forget about Luyong Restaurant, which has been serving Cantonese food since the 1950s.
Marikina has a strong sense of community, and many of its residents take part in civic and social activities. This makes a place where newcomers feel welcome and cared for.
10. This city helps you stay in shape
With its wide, paved sidewalks and bike lanes, Marikina makes it easy to walk or ride a bike around the city. It has a lot of open spaces, like the Riverbanks amphitheater and the river bank, which are popular places to jog, walk, play, or just walk around to clear your head. And right in the middle of the city is the Marikina Sports Center, which has a 400-meter track oval, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a fitness gym, and courts for different sports. With an entrance fee of P10, it’s cheaper than most gym memberships.
11. It’s mostly quiet and organized
One of the city’s 14 barangays, Marikina Heights, has a very quiet and clean neighborhood that helped the city win its Clean and Green Awards in the 1990s. The neighborhood still has a rural feel, with birds singing in the morning, especially on weekends when there are no school buses going by. East of the houses, Marist School, an all-boys school where I went to high school, is only a five-minute walk away. St. Scholastica’s, an exclusive school for girls, is close by.
12. Great for frugal shoppers
Marikina is full of places to shop that offer good deals for the money. Riverbanks Center mall is the best because it has so many outlet stores for international and local brands like Guess, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Bizaare, BNY Jeans, and Page Jeans.
The Philippine International Footwear Center is right next to the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church. It sells leather and materials for making shoes, as well as Marikina Made Shoes.
There’s a shop called JMS Japan Surplus that sells used sofas, dining sets, dinnerware, and lots and lots of bicycles. It’s a good place to find cheaper home goods. You can use to ride your bike around Marikina.