Monday, August 13, 2007


I was in Araneta Center's Gateway Mall yesterday for a business meeting. Afterwards, I asked the guys to walk with me to check out the Marikina Shoe Expo where I used to buy my shoes while a senior in high school.

In this tiny enclave is also Cubao X, a group of quaint shops reminiscent of New York City's Greenwich Village -- galleries, cafes, a bookshop, an Italian restaurant, a furniture shop, a toy store, and antique shops -- most of which are owned by artists . On weekday mornings, some of the shops are either quiet or closed, but from 4 pm onwards, the entire community begins to stir with life. This is because most of the artists who own these shops have day jobs to support their art.

And of course, there's still some shoe stores; most probably remnants of the original group of establishments that mainly occupied this area way back then.

But what I found most captivating was the row of children's shoes neatly displayed in front of one of the stores (bottom photo). They remind me of some of the shoes sold in the old favorite store of mine when I was a kid, Ang Tibay Shoes, in which I wrote an entry about,
"Ang Tibay Naman."

And what what makes this whole thing quite uncanny was that throughout the rest of the afternoon, I was saying to myself that I should have had this photo to go with the entry when I posted it back then. It would have been just perfect.

And then last night, a comment was posted on this previous entry, but it wasn't until this morning when I saw it. It reads:


I stumbled upon your post on google while researching on various information about Ang Tibay Shoes. I would first want to congratulate you on a wonderful entry. I am Lorenzo Teodoro, the great grand son of Don Toribio Teodoro. I am currently researching on more facts that are known about him on the internet. I come from the line of Francisco Teodoro (one of the sons you mentioned in your entry). He passed away the day after my birthday in December 2, 1993. Anyways, I would just like to add that Ang Tibay no longer exists, but they are now known as Good Fit shoes, but I am unaware of its success. Thank you so much for this info and it truly makes me proud to know that a lot of people do respect him for everything he has contributed to the country during his time. He still remains an inspiration to me.

Keep up the good work with your blog... its great!

Talk about Carl Jung's theory of synchronicity!

I must admit, Lorenzo's comment makes such a wonderful read, especially on this early Monday morning.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:13 AM


Anonymous rhodora said...

Wow, I'm having goose bumps while reading this and checking your old post on Ang Tibay Naman.

This just goes to show, Eric, that your blog and photography are truly leading somewhere. :)

August 13, 2007 10:02 AM  

Blogger carlotta said...

with the advent of robinson's galleria and megamall, my family stopped going to cubao. never thought of going back there to hang out until they built gateway. =) still have to find time to check out cubao x, which i'm sure is very interesting.

August 13, 2007 10:51 AM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

Great improvements in Cubao area. There was a time that it look so shoddy and misplaced, lots of careening jeepnes with smogs all over...I hope the developments there goes through and through and so much farther on.

August 13, 2007 11:25 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Officially on line na. ;-)
I agree with Rhodora. You have a very nice way of telling stories.

August 13, 2007 11:40 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

I like the last photo best; it has a very nostalgic feeling.


August 13, 2007 12:43 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks for your support always, Rhoda :)

It is truly a wonderful feeling I get whenever my site is able to serve or connect people with others.

August 13, 2007 1:24 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I guess, the best time to check out Cubao X, Carla is on a Saturday late afternoon. This way, you'd be certain that all the shops are hopping with activities :)

August 13, 2007 1:25 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You've just described Cubao (Araneta Center)that I saw four years ago, Major Tom, in which some parts were lacking sufficient illumination for safety. There were also constant reports of muggings and cellphone snatching.

I also agree with you that they should continue improving the entire place.

August 13, 2007 1:29 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Finally, welcome back, Sidney! Trust you had a wonderful holiday.

And as always, salamat sa iyong laging pagtangkilik ... hehehe

August 13, 2007 1:30 PM  

Blogger daniel palma tayona said...

here's a little trivia to add to your Ang Tibay spot. I just found out from my landlady that the property where the hardware building i live in stands used to be the offices of the Ang Tibay shoes.

she mentions that her husband bought the property way back in the late sixties after it got razed in a fire.


with regards to cubao x and the other shops there, i heard down the grapevine amongst my other artist friends that the lease of the shops there are running out. that area of marikins shoe expo will be soon developed into part of the araneta center.

i love going there for the heck of hanging with other artists. unfortunately soon it'll be just a memory.

August 13, 2007 3:19 PM  

Blogger daniel palma tayona said...

have you tried eating at BELLINI'S? that restaurant owned by an italian photographer married to a pinay right there at the farthest end of marikina shoe expo? ay naku, on a good night, the owner would be there chitchatting with the customers. ;-)

i simply love the pasta WITHOUT putting a hole in one's pocket. it's a great hole-in-the-wall kind of place.

corollary to this post, there's another hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant a few minutes away from my place in bangkal. it's called Fat Michael's. if you're on a food trip Eric, i suggest to try these restaurants. :-)


August 13, 2007 3:25 PM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

Quiapo: Manila; Cubao: Quezon City

Tama ba ang analogy ko? :)

When hubby and I were newly married, we lived in Quezon City for a year, and we would frequently go to Quiapo and Cubao - wala lang - kain, pasyal, nood ng sine, magsisimba tapos shopping. Honeymoon period, parang walang katapusang kaligayahan, pero hindi pala. hehehe.

August 13, 2007 4:00 PM  

Blogger Photowalker said...

Cubao X or Marikina Shoe Exchange needs a make over. Well, the entrance at least. From the outside, it just looks like an ordinary drive way. It's not as pleasing to the eyes compared to Gateway.

I've only found out about the place a few years ago when a friend told me about it.

I like the Chunky Far Flung store. they have these cute Japanese trinkets, gashapon and toys. And Bellini's, I have got to try that place. I read somewhere that the owner is a photographer and hie photos are all over the walls.

August 13, 2007 7:43 PM  

Blogger Ebb Tide said...

Enjoy reading your post on Cubao. When I was an art student at the U.P. we hanged out there. I don't recognized the place anymore after long absence. Good to know about Cubao X. There was no artist shop back then. It's good for Pinoy artists to have day jobs and art shops too. I'd like to invite you to visit my art-blog. Pls. check it out here:

August 14, 2007 12:28 AM  

Anonymous ced solidon - said...

Cubao X was the Marikina Shoe Expo of old, right? My mother used to buy us shoes there too when my sisters and I were still in elementary. Memories. That was the time when we still didn't have giant malls to go to. Cubao was the place to be for us. Hehe.

August 14, 2007 9:14 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! That is surely come coincidence, Daniel! I mean, really!

That would be sad if the Araneta Center management decided to completely develop the property where Cuba-X is now without making any effort to relocate it somewhere within the same complex.

It surely appears to be a fun place to hang out.

Now that tyou mentioned it, I will definitely try Bellini's. I've been craving for some decent pasta lately anyway.

Carlos Celdran has recommended Fat Michael's. It is supposed to be a really cool place to eat at in Makati beyond Ayala.

Thanks, Daniel!

August 14, 2007 9:48 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I would say that it is a perfect analogy, Rhoda!

Oh, well, I'm sure you guys managed to keep the spark going, though both of you are busy these days with your respective work and other responsibilities :)

August 14, 2007 9:50 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I'd like to check out Cubao-X on Saturday evening and just hang out, Photowalker, especially now that Daniel had mentioned that it may soon disappear.

And then have dinner at Bellini's :)

August 14, 2007 9:52 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

A more ideal situation, of course, is to just concentrate working on one's art, Ebb Tide, but ... :)

Interesting site you got! Really nice :) Will have to go back to read your entries.

August 14, 2007 9:56 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"Cubao X was the Marikina Shoe Expo of old, right?"

You are correct, Ced.

I, too, bought a pair or two in there while in high school. I also remember a really popular place for young people nearby -- sort of like an arcade or something.

Cubao was a really trendy spot back then!

August 14, 2007 9:58 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Nice human interest angle on Ang Tibay shoes. Growing up, all male members of our family, including friends, wore Ang Tibay shoes at one time or other. Thus, saddened to know that it is no more.

While Ang Tibay focused on leather shoes, two other local companies went into rubber shoes (they were not called sneakers then). Competing were Marcelo and ElPo (short for El Porvenir).

They were your affordable playing shoes, since the imported Converse brand was way above most folks in price.

Are they still around? I am guessing the Marcelo family is still in business because it was also in other local ventures, maybe tire manufacturing or steel.

August 14, 2007 11:23 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Since I was the youngest of six boys, Amadeo, I've had my share of hand-me-downs with both Elpo and Converse "rubber shoes." It was only while in high school that my father had to buy me a brand new Converse because my feet had outgrown those of my older siblings ... hehehe.

The country has been overwhelmed by foreign or stateside brands; so much so that there's even an over-abundant supply of fake sneakers, which leaves no room for locally produced brands/models to viably exist.

I'll have to research more on the Marcelo businesses.

August 15, 2007 6:15 AM  

Blogger Liza's Eyeview said...

Ahh... Cubao - I grew up in the area. I lived in Murphy. Thanks for the photos.

Feeling nostalgic,

August 15, 2007 9:59 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Liza :)

August 15, 2007 10:30 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

Greetings Senor!! I love your site!! And this post on Cubao is just fab. I've loved Cubao since I was a child. I love it more now. I wrote a post on it, btw. Hope you can check it out :)

August 17, 2007 11:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

A lovely entry you got, Scrooch! And your girls are the cutest!

BTW, there is also a flower market near the Dimasalang Bridge, which I pass by when driving home sometimes. Dangwa, is it?

August 17, 2007 1:23 PM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

Yes it's Dangwa. It's along Dos Castillas street in Sampaloc. I used to go there but parking can get really troublesome. Farmers Market is a bit pricier but certainly more convenient. Plus, it's near Bellini's :)

August 17, 2007 2:35 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Ok, Scrooch, you got me sold on Bellini's!

And yes, tough to get parking spot in that area, and maybe this is the reason why most other people avoid this flower market despite its lower prices.

August 17, 2007 3:33 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Guys, just want to post here also the comment left by Misha Teodoro on my previous entry on her great grandfather's company -- Ang Tibay Shoes:

"Its so weird how i stumbled across your blog and how you know more about my family's history than I do. I am Misha Teodoro, the great granddaughter of Toribio Teodoro
and granddaughter of Prudencio Teodoro and the youngest among his grandchildren. I am so interested in my family's heritage that I just had to google Ang Tibay to know more about it, your blog actually helped me a lot more that the other results that came up. I read the previous post by Lorenzo and how strange it is that he is my second cousin and i didn't even know that he existed. It's so great how you still remember Ang Tibay, and how i wish i could have lived during its existence. It would be great if you could update me when you find more information about Ang Tibay. I'd love to hear more from you, if you could e-mail me at that would be great! :) thanks"

August 18, 2007 6:15 AM  

Blogger BA3 said...

Ola Senor Enrique, I came across your blog while searching for my old friend, Margarita Hamada (whom I still have not found).

I was delighted to find out that you hail from Subic, Zambales. Although not a native of the area myself, I moved here, inside the former US Naval Base two years ago. Believe it or not, I relocated my family mostly on the basis of a calling alone. I read the signs and decided to take the plunge. I felt as if the place was beckoning me to stay. So I did. I am also a blogger ( and find your pictures add so much more flavor to the story at hand.

I grew up in Manila (San Juan, Greenhills, Pasig, Makati) and find your blogs so nostalgic. I often find myself thinking that those places in Manila are so distant from me, both in terms of time and space! Funny I never looked at those places as you do. I still come to Manila every other week but see it for all its negativities: traffic, pollution, street urchins, etc. You give me a fresh perspective of Manila, my home.

Keep up the good work, you are now one of my idols!

August 19, 2007 11:11 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Margarita Hamada is a friend of yours? Whoa! Great independent thinker she is.

Try this:

Mrs. Gloria F. Rodriguez

Perhaps, she can help connect you with your old friend.

Looking at Manila requires only two options -- its positive or negative. I choose the positive, the good.

I, too, moved to Manila mostly "on the basis of a calling" hehehe.

Hey good luck! Will be checking out your blog :)

August 19, 2007 1:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi sir, the email address for Giraffe Books is or

September 15, 2008 2:42 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks for the correction, Anonymous! Much appreciated :)

September 15, 2008 7:09 PM  

Blogger vincent teodoro said...

hi kmusta po... mga kamag anak po kmi ni don toribio teodoro... im so glad nang nabasa ko ang history ng ang tibay shoes,,, god bless po

March 10, 2010 10:13 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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