Laguna has 24 municipalities and 6 component cities, with each municipality offering different attractions. One of the many beautiful places to visit is Liliw, which is often considered and is rightfully attributed as the footwear capital of the province.
The municipal hall is situated in the middle of anywhere between 70 to 80 stores selling footwear, ranging from slippers to sandals, ballet shoes to boots, and all manner of shoes for all ages.
They have a year-round sale on slippers and sandals at 3 for 100 pesos and differently-styled shoes sell at 200 up.
If you can buy shoes at that price, you would probably say it might not last long because of poor quality. However, the shoemakers of Liliw adhere to strict quality standards and their footwear and its craftmanship are sources of great pride. Subject to normal wear and tear, your footwear would last, so long as you do your part in taking care of it.
But just a few steps with your newly-bought shoes is Liliw's other pride--Saint John the Baptist Church.
The red bricks and adobe façade of the Liliw church is of the old yet beautiful baroque style. The first church was made out of wood in 1620 then was reinforced with stone starting from 1643 to 1646. However, tragedy struck when it was partially destroyed by the Luzon earthquake in 1880 and then by a fire in 1898.
In spite of the calamity, however, the church--now rebuilt and renovated to modern standards--has served as the town’s center and gathering place since it was built and has been a favorite venue for weddings because of its Old World feel.
I was lucky that on the day I visited Liliw, one couple was posing for their wedding photos at the steps. Not one to miss a chance, I happily clicked photos of the couple.
Cheap footwear finds and cheap thrills in one place--Liliw.
How to get there:
From Manila, get on a bus to San Pablo in Laguna then ride the jeep to Liliw.
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