Duterte’s Marikina shoemaker: I can’t believe the President wore the boots I made

  • A 68-year-old shoemaker from Marikina feels overjoyed that the President wore the shoes he made
  • He is Rolando Santos who has been making shoes for up to 54 years
  • Without a size or a sample given, Santos was able to make a pair of boots for the president that fitted perfectly

“Hindi ako makapaniwala. Biruin mo, gawa ko nasuot ng president.”

[I can’t believe it. Imagine, the president wore my craft.]

These were the overjoyed words of a veteran shoemaker from Marikina as he described his feeling when President Rodrigo Duterte wore the boots he crafted with his own hands.

Photos and a video of the president showing off to his cabinet members the brown boots he is wearing that is made by a craftsman from Marikina circulated in several news outfits.

“May nagpadala nitong [sapatos], babae, sabi niya ginawa daw ng tatay niya sa Marikina,” he told cabinet members.

[Someone sent this shoes. A woman. She said this was made by his father in Marikina.]

The honored shoemaker is 68-year-old Rolando Santos.

In a story by GMA News on Thursday, Rolando said they just handed the shoes to a friend who tailors the clothes of the president. PhilStar said in its story that it was Boni Adaza of Chardin Fashion House in Davao City who disclosed the identity of the shoemaker.

“Nung maisukat ayos na ayos. Papaano ko daw nagawa ‘yon nang wala namang sample o sukat e nagawa at nagkasya,” he said.

[It fitted him very well. They asked how did I manage to do it when there was no sample or size of Duterte given to me.]

In an interview with Kicker Daily, Lolo Rolando’s daughter said: “He is the only politician whom my father made shoes for out of admiration for him.“


Duterte, known to be a shoe lover, lauds the quality of Filipino craftsmanship not only in making shoes but also other products.

“Sa craftsmanship, number one ang Pilipino. Even sa furniture, walang makakatalo sa Pilipino,” he said.

[In craftsmanship, Filipinos are number one. Even in furnitures, no one can beat Filipinos.]

Marikina is known to be the city where quality shoes are made. But due to a competition with imported shoes that are cheaper, the industry has been pale with less young people from the city willing to continue the tradition.