Marikina City – What to do & Where to go?

Marikina City Riverbanks Carnival

Marikina City is the shoe capital of the Philippines, due to the city’s thriving shoe industry. It is the country’s largest manufacturer of high-quality shoes. It supplied 80% of the Philippines’ shoe production. Marikina manufactures all locally produced shoes, from slippers to shoes. The city also manufactures shoes made of rubber, wood, and plastic. It also has a large number of internet shops, salons, places to eat, bakeries, made-to-order products such as food processing and delicacies, and franchising as a source of revenue.

They also have landmarks and attractions that are well-known not only in the country but also internationally. One of these is the Marikina Riverpark, which was named the Cleanest Inland Body of Water in the Philippines by the Hall of Fame. During my last visit, I also noticed that the place is really clean. Literally no trash littering on the streets! They have a strict implementation of no jaywalking too, which I think is best for both commuters and drivers. Pedestrians are made for safety. It reminded me so much of my hometown (Davao) giving me instant nostalgia. If you happen to go here, I have some suggestions you can check out!

Riverbanks Center

Riverbanks Center is an integrated development complex for shopping, recreation, business, and commercial use along Andres Bonifacio Avenue in Barangka, Marikina. It was known as the biggest outlet mall in the country before the ACIENDA in Tagaytay. Prior to the Shoe Museum and Marikina sports center, it was home to the infamous giant shoes (as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records). It took 77 days to complete the shoes, which have a size of 753 by French shoe size standards. Currently, Riverbanks still holds the largest outdoor amphitheater nationwide nonetheless. I was even surprised to see this as the facade of the mall is only one storey, unbeknownst to me, it was just tucked away behind. The amphitheater can hold up to 20,000 pax. We went there on Wednesday but there were so many people already, made me think what more during the weekends?

Unlike other amphitheaters, Riverbanks rarely hold events anymore, instead, they put up bazaars where people can find cheap items. The bazaar used to be available during the Yuletide season only, but now it operates almost throughout the year. According to the vendors, they usually take breaks during the summer for 1-2 months and then get back before the ber months. Marikina-made shoes, trendy clothes, gift items, street foods, and more are filling up the amphitheater. Every year starting in September, they open up the carnival where people can ride a roller coaster, horror train, and more! These rides cost Php 50 per head and are open from 4 PM until around midnight. I also noticed that they have a spacious food court where live bands can play. Shawarma, rice bowls, skewers, pizza, corndogs, and other snacks are among the options. I definitely recommend this place for hanging out and shopping!

River Park/Ilog

From Riverbanks, you may take some jogging or exercise walking all the way going to Marikina River park, which the locals prefer as “ilog”. An 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) section of the Marikina River is home to a network of parks, trails, open spaces, and recreational facilities. The urban riverside park spans 220 hectares (540 acres), passing through the western city neighborhoods of the Industrial Valley Complex and the villages. The park, which has been under construction since 1993, is the largest recreation and sports area in the city and is home to the Riverbanks Center. It is a favorite location for camping, jogging, biking, and other outdoor activities among Metro Manila residents as well as visitors from neighboring cities.

Very much similar to the Riverbanks Center, you can find a bazaar along the stretch. The riverside is crowded with street foods, trendy clothing, gifts, and footwear made in Marikina. They open the fair every year in September, where guests can ride roller coasters, play Bingo, and more. These rides are available from 4 PM until close to midnight for a fee of Php 50 per person. What I like about this is they have a sizable street food area where a variety of snacks are available, including pizza, corndogs, shawarma, rice bowls, skewers, and more. I. couldn’t help but try out a grilled isaw (chicken intestine) from one of these and oh boy, no regrets! Didn’t taste a slight bitterness so I know they cleaned it well. It was very tasty! This location is excellent for shopping, food trips, and hanging out!


Somewhere around V. Santos in Marikina, anyone who passes by will be mouth-watering by the smell of a street Fried Chicken shop. Every lunchtime and dinner, people make a long line to buy from Aton’s. Even me and my friends instantly got hungry as we smell it from around 15 meters away! Upon entering, we were lucky that there wasn’t a long queue probably because it was already 4 PM in the afternoon. We can see them cooking barrels of chickens in two gigantic woks. The chickens were breaded with thin layers of flour and other secret spices cooked through deep frying and high heat. They keep on stirring it with a huge cooking strainer to make sure that all sides and parts are equally dipped under the oil. The sounds of the oil and the golden color of the chicken’s skin are making our hunger get stronger!

We ordered one whole Chicken (Php 250) and a few orders of rice (Php 10) right away for dine in. The place is just the usual karinderya (Filipino street eatery) you can find, ventilated with some electric fans. It may be kinda hot, but hey, it just added to the Filipino street dining vibe making the meal even more enjoyable! They asked us if we want them to chop the chicken, but we said no so we can make sure everything is complete and plated more appetizing. Spiced vinegar and gravy came with the serving, but tasting it, I prefer without any! The chicken meat was so flavorful and juicy, with crunchy and tasty skin on the outside. I can’t stress enough how delicious this Fried Chicken is! It tops all of the commercial ones that I tried.

I wish they grow and have more branches!

The sellers were probably tired of repeatedly hearing me say I wish they have a branch in Makati. I couldn’t have enough of it so I ordered a few more whole-fried chicken to go! Also, this is best matched with some glasses of soft drinks. The skin wasn’t crunchy anymore when I arrived home but it still tastes as good, heating it up will do the trick! We even went back here from Makati the next week just to get some more.They also sell quarter, and half chicken for lower prices.


One of the most prosperous and well-run local governments in the nation is Marikina City. Between the Marikina Bridge and the Marikina Sports Complex, in the center of Brgy. Sta. Elena, is where you’ll find the Marikina Public Market. They also refer to it as Marikina Market Mall, which is one of Metro Manila’s largest and best-kept markets. I was very amazed on how huge this Market is, they even have a catholic church inside! I’ve been to so many public markets in the span of my stay here in the Metro, but this one really stood out for me. Where in the Philippines can you find clean, not smelly, and spacious a wet and dry market? It’s only here in Marikina! The dry goods are separated from the fresh and wet areas. They even have a tailoring building where you can have clothes alterations, gowns, and costumes.

However, despite the space, parking could be difficult. At the end of M Cruz St. there is a parking lot with a fee but since there are a lot of people shopping here, getting a space is still a challenge. People who will bring cars may park their vehicle in the nearby establishments if allowed. Good news is Marikina’s local government is constructing a multi-level parking across the main entrance of the Market. This will be very helpful once opened.

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