Tuesday, October 02, 2007


It was during my first vacation in Manila after living in New York for quite some time when I returned to Baclaran with my sister Inday. We were looking for those brightly-colored floral sundresses to bring back to New York for my mother and her friends.

As we passed by the seemingly endless row of shoe stores, I couldn't help but notice the abundant displays of high-heeled, knee-high leather boots for women. I know they're popular in New York, especially during the winter months when the temperature drops unmercifully, but I couldn't figure out who would wear them in tropical Manila? Nonetheless, I solved the puzzle a couple of nights later. This moment of intense insight happened while enjoying some chilled brew in a club along Pasay City's Airport Road, invited by my niece's husband.

Incidentally, did you know that the local humidity can sometimes ruin the heels of those shoes from the States if kept for too long in the closet?

And that goes for both leather dress shoes and athletic footwear. Thank God for Mr. Quickie and those other local neighborhood shoe repair shops. However, there are instances in which the heels, especially the rubber kind, would simply disintegrate even with a slight rubbing.

In another incident that happened recently, as I stepped off the LRT train one afternoon, the bottom layer of the sole of my rarely used Adidas waterproof sneakers (which I paid a hundred dollars for back in New York) got unglued from the rest of the shoe. When I finally realized what had happened, the doors had closed and the train sped off with a piece of my shoe aboard. You can imagine how suddenly awkward my gait became.

However, it wasn't all that bad compared to my sister's friend's experience many years back. One of the heels of her red stillettos got caught in the grill step of a jeepney; it snapped right off her shoe. How she managed to walk the rest of the way to her office, as if everything was fine and dandy, was tough to imagine.

Anyway, the guys at Mr. Quickie were unable to repair my Adidas sneakers because the now missing part was specifically created for that particular model; hence no way for them to replace or fix it. Perhaps, I should try Joseph Shoe Repair Shop in Quiapo or any of the sapateros on Rizal Avenue.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:13 AM


Blogger carlotta1924 said...

oh, too bad for your adidas sneakers. hope joseph can repair it ^^

natawa naman ako sa mga shoe emergencies nyo. i also had similar situations like that, the first one was in bangkok nung bumigay yung strap nung mojo sandals ko and the other one was just recently, the heel of another pair of sandals got chipped off at a very revealing place eh pasira sa porma ko lol. anyway i used both situations as an excuse to buy new pairs of shoes. =)

October 02, 2007 9:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I had commented already but I guess not... just wanted to say that everytime I visit your blog, I go, "I wish I was there!" Mannn, I miss Pilipinas! Thanks for the daily updates:D

October 02, 2007 10:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ay, sinabi mo, Carla. Nakaka bad trip talaga. Kahit anong ganda ng damit na suot mo o kahit perfect ang buhok, pag nawala ang takong ng isang sapatos mo, sira na lahat ang porma :)

In hindsight, I really shouldn't have bought those pricey waterproof Adidas, because when it rains in Manila, baha ang katapat agad! So useless lang ang waterproof na sapatos, except for those knee-high rubber boots that come in various brilliant colors -- pang lusob talaga sa baha.

October 02, 2007 11:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the image reminds me of mr quickie and the sapatero who use to walk around our neigborhood to fix our shoes =)

October 02, 2007 11:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh thank you, Jo Anne :)

Just in case you haven't yet, check out Sidney's series on Quiapo:



October 02, 2007 11:31 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks for reminding me about the sapateros that walk around the neighborhood, Nell. I almost forgot about them.

Anyway, we also had one in our neighborhood when I was a kid; however, don't see any them anymore, except for those with regular spots on the sidewalk like the sapatero on Avenida Rizal, bottom photo which I had just added.

October 02, 2007 12:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Adidas sneakers.

I had the same experiences as you have stated in the post too. It was my Nike sandals. The right sole came off and it was so awkward to walk without it. Pero, just my luck, I was passing a cobbler when that happened. So, I walked across the street and have him glue it back for me.


October 02, 2007 12:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hehehe. I also lost a heel along Session Road in Baguio City. Buti na lang, maraming shoe repair stands kasi downtown area ito.

But my most unforgettable footwear experience was in our school library during my college days.

I was wearing a pair of those Happy Feet wooden sandals. To make myself more comfy, I took off my sandals and tucked in my feet in my chair - lotus style. I was sharing a table with my dorm mate. Then the bell rang. Time to go to class. Wow! my wooden sandals were nowhere! Mangiyak ngiyak na talaga ako - how would I go to my class barefooted? Yun pala, my naughty dorm mate hid them in one of the book shelves. Sobrang pilya talaga. Na bad trip ako sa kanya, I was fifteen minutes late in my class - considered absent na ako! I didn't talk to her for days. hehehe.

October 02, 2007 12:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I've had a couple of those Nike ACG sports sandals, Kyels, and their soles do tend to get unglued :)

You're lucky that the sole of your sandal that got unglued didn't go anywhere else like mine did ... hehehe.

October 02, 2007 12:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... I can imagine how frantic you got, Rhoda! At least it was caused by a prankster. What would you have done if they got stolen ... hehehe. Attend your classes barefoot?

Incidentally, that reminds me: I had this co-worker in the PR department who was always stylishly attired down to her matching high heels. One time a heel of her shoe also came off, and while the messenger ran to the nearest shoe repair shop to get it fixed, she wore a pair of sandals. However, her entire stature and gait seemed to suddenly change for the worse. She no longer personified that sexy Tina Turner-like walk with those sandals ... hehehe.

October 02, 2007 1:03 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I couldn't figure out who would wear them in tropical Manila? Nonetheless, I solved the puzzle a couple of nights later.

Please share with us your experiences in Pasay City's Airport Road! ;-)

Thanks for recommending my blog to your readers!

October 02, 2007 1:30 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That Quiapo series of yours, unarguably, required a lot of work, Sidney, and you did one heck of a job of it.

Actually, it should be published as a book and distributed to every school library in the country. You'd be surprised how many Filipinos do not know Quiapo as well as you do.

As for Pasay's Airport Road, it'll have to be a separate blog entry in the future ... hehehe.

October 02, 2007 3:58 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

back in the day, suki ako ng mga shoe repairmen. i might have been too rough on my shoes. i used to frequent those along cm recto. i hope these places never go out of style.

October 03, 2007 12:12 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

In our place, we call those lowly but hardy entrepreneurs, zapateros. With throwaway old tires as essential raw rubber materials, they can repair most anything brought to them.

Imagine having pieces of truck tires for new soles! As they say, you can wear your feet thin and sore, but those re-soled shoes will still be going, going . . .

Oh, they also repair old luggages or malettas. And yet, they typically occupy only little left-over spaces in sidewalks, between buildings, etc.

October 03, 2007 4:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, there are still shoe repair and custom-made shoe shops operating along Claro M. Recto, Photo Cache.

October 03, 2007 9:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

One of those lowly but hardy entrepreneurs, Amadeo, ended up venturing into our malls as Mr. Quickie. The services you mentioned that they provide, are essentially what makes Mr. Quickie popular, except for making soles out of old truck tires ... hehehe.

By the way, another product that come from those old tires are pots of various sizes for plants.

October 03, 2007 9:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to Sidney's blog:) He frequents my significant other's blog (Chinkin.ph) so I check his page out once in a while:).

October 03, 2007 10:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss these sapateros who can fix anything with leather shoes espcially - change the sole, heels, sew torn leather. When I was a kid I like watching these skilled sapateros carve out a new leather sole with those super sharp fan bladed knives - and that smell of glue pervaded the shop :)

October 03, 2007 10:33 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Was that rugby, BW? No wonder those sapateros or zapateros seemed perpetually blissful ... hehehe! Yes, they are incredibly skillful.

Incidentally, you ought to see these vendors who create just as incredible ornaments from soda pop cans and plastic bottles with merely a sharp knife!

October 03, 2007 12:20 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ah, ok then, Jo!

I always tell my friends and new readers to check out Sidney's site for a more in-depth pictorial essays on Manila.

October 03, 2007 12:23 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Haven't had a footwear disaster recently, but my trusty Rusty Lopez (Philippine brand) pair had deteriorated after two years of 1km daily walks to and from the office. Before, they were impermeable, but recently just a few steps on puddles and my socks get wet. I'm actually thinking of using combat boots instead.

October 04, 2007 1:19 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Like those dependable Doc Marten footwear, Dave? Or the steel-toed ones ... hehehe.

October 04, 2007 7:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

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.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile


This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.