Marikina City, touted as the ‘little Singapore’ is fast becoming a ‘must-see’ itinerary of every tourist. Small wonder, with the fast-tracking of developments in Marikina City in the area of real estate, industry, arts, culture, and even in sociopolitical matters that showcase women empowerment, even in livelihood and family programs – thanks to the staunch efforts of the city mayor, Marides Fernando who spurred local tourism in the city.
A day tour of the River city, which is Marikina City is in itself an educational and cultural exercise, judging from the melange of places and activities that await every visitor to this famous city. There’s a tour of the Municipal City, then of the world-renowned Shoe Museum, the Marikina River tour, Doll museum tour, an educational tour to the city’s shoe and bag cottage industries, a cultural tour on foot of the city’s historic churches, followed by a gustatory jaunt to Marikina’s best delicacies. The above-mentioned tour is actually part of ‘Lakbay-Aral’ Tour designed by the Department of Tourism and City government of Marikina specifically for LGUs and private organizations. The Educational tour meanwhile caters to schools up to the tertiary levels while the city also offers a tour of the industrial zone where most giant manufacturing companies are situated, like Purefoods, Noritake, Lucban Hats, ARMSCOR, and many more.
A short distance from the city center is a rising edifice that’s a welcome landmark: The Marikina Hotel now graces the quiet community of premier SSS subdivision, along Pio del Pilar and Tangerine Streets. It is a mere walking distance to the village’s Barangay Hall, Police Precinct and hospital.
According to Marikina Hotel’s general manager Al Ferrer "Marikina Hotel formally opened last October 20, 2003. It was equally a significant day for us as it was simultaneous to the holding of a very auspicious event, the 2nd Symposium of the Asian Network of Major Cities in the 21st Century."
Built on a sprawling 1.3 hectare lot, Ferrer says that Marikina Hotel is positioned primarily as a business resort hotel – wholesome, clean, spacious, accommodating, cordial, on a par with industry standards.
"But more than that, we want to tell all the local residents and the big companies that Marikina now has a hotel collaborating with the Marikina Tourism Office. And that Marikina Hotel is working towards the completion of providing modern conveniences, facilities and amenities that other quality hotels offer so that companies looking for a proper venue to hold their special events, seminars, conferences, anniversary celebrations need not to go out of Marikina. It’s a strategic move and basically common sense, since Marikina is now a major tourist destination. Why not fulfill needs and complete the picture?"
Ferrer adds that Marikina Hotel aims to be a major economic contributor to the tourism industry of Marikina City. "This is a feasible objective. Right now, the hotel has 84 spacious first-class guest rooms, individually-controlled airconditioning units, separate toilet: lavatory and shower in every room, television and telephone."
There is still much to be done, says Ferrer. "Construction is still going on. Soon, there will be a convention center, several function rooms, and also a ballroom for a variety of functions. There will be coffee/tea service at the lobby lounge, a coffeeshop, a swimming pool, a mini-playground and a wellness spa. It’s all right here."
[ Shoe Museum Wiki ]