Monday, August 30, 2010

Cafe Kapitan (Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina) and Around

WHERE: Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina, JP Rizal Street, Sta. Elena, Marikina City
DATE OF TRAVEL: August 28, 2010

1. It was the house of Don Laureano Guvera (more commonly known as Kapitan Moy), the founder of Marikina's shoe business.

2. Shoemaking was made in Kapitan Moy's house, therefore, it was also the first shoe house of Marikina.

3. It is a 200-year old house that definitely has a lot of history. It was not only the first shoe house nor the house of the person who gave birth to the shoe industry in Marikina; it also became a place for the underprivileged and poor residents of Marikina. Dona Teresa dela Paz bought the house from Kapitan Moy and turned it into a place to serve the needs of the marginal sector of the community. It also became a primary school!

FEES: None, but there are two restaurants inside: Cafe Kapitan Restaurant and Cocina


1. Kapitan Moy supposedly discovered the art of shoemaking by buying a pair of leather shoes from Europe and did reverse engineering. :)

2. The two people in the statue in front of Plaza Kapitan are Kapitan Moy and Tiburcio Eustaquio.

3. Early in 1993, Mayor Bayani F. Fernando met with the officers of the Marikina Valley Heritage Foundation, Inc. and the Historical Zone Commitee in 1995 to restore this house and make it a place for culture and the arts. An ordinance was passed by the Municipal Council renaming the place "Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina".

Cafe Kapitan is a 200 year old house that belonged to the Guevara Family. Don Laureano, the son of Jose Emiterio Guevara and Matea Mariquita started the shoemaking business here in 1887 with the help of Tiburcio Eustaquio, Ambrocio Sta. Ines and Hervacio Carlos. Don Laureano thought of making shoes as a response to the reality that not all men had interest in farming and a lot of people didn't have jobs. He didn't want to see his countrymen being idle and doing nothing. With a pair of shoes brought home from Europe, he opened the shoe part by part and discovered how it was made. This began the shoe business in Marikina that is now what it is known for.

Cafe Kapitan now houses two restaurants: Cafe Kapitan Restaurant and Cocina. It is also a venue for seminars, conventions and other events. The Bulwagang Bayani, located on the 2nd floor, is fully air-conditioned and can house 400-450 guests. The Plaza Kapitan may also be rented for different occasions.

ADDRESS: J.P. Rizal Street, Sta. Elena, Marikina City

Cafe Kapitan Restaurant - +632 6464303
Cultural Affairs Office - +632 6461823/ +632 6462360 local 221/

We tried Cafe Kapitan Restaurant and ordered the following:
Garlic Mushroom (good for two) - P125
Garlic Rice - P35
Iced Tea - P48
Coke - P38
There are other (few) vegetarian food you can order such as bread, french fries and egg.

If you're already in Cafe Kapitan, might as well walk around the area to see other interesting places. Right beside Cafe Kapitan on JP Rizal street is an old house owned by the Piquintos. Right across this house is another beautiful old house (JP Rizal corner Kapitan Moy). Walk along Kapitan Moy and you will see Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Cemetery on your left. Go inside to see a nice mausoleum and a basketball court in the middle of the gravestones. There's also a bird house here so expect to see pigeons resting or hanging out. ;) Once you're done, head back to JP Rizal Street and cross to the other side of Cafe Kapitan. It's a narrow street (where a beautiful yellow and red old house stands) that is said to be one of the first settlements of the Marikina people since it is near the riverbank. This street makes you feel like you're back in time. When you're done appreciating the small details of the houses and the narrow alleys, go back to the patio of Cafe Kapitan and walk straight to the Shoe Museum (in Isabelo Street). Once you're done adoring the shoes, you can say a little prayer in the church nearby or eat at our friend's yummy restaurant in Isabelo Street called Isabelo's Garden Restaurant! This restaurant is only by reservation so make sure to call ahead of time. :)

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