Laureano M. Guevara (4 July 1851 – 30 December 1891), also known as “Kapitan Moy,” is the founder of the Marikina shoe industry. He studied and experimented on how to make a pair of shoes, then taught what he learned to the townspeople to give them a source of living.
Early Life and Education
Guevara was born in Marikina on 4 July 1851 to Jose Emiterio Guevara and Timotea Marquita San Adres. His father established a shop named La Industrial in Escolta, Manila. It was a bazaar, printing press, lithography shop, and firearms shop rolled into one.
His parents were his first teachers before he enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila. However, he did not finish his studies because he wanted to help his father in the family business.
He later married Eusebia Mendoza and they had eight children, of whom only one survived.
Guevara wanted to provide occupation to the people of Marikina. When he noticed that not everyone can afford to buy shoes, he thought of making affordable shoes. However, no one wanted to teach him the process of making shoes.
Thus, he decided to undo a pair of shoes with the help of Tiburcio Eustaquio, a wooden shoemaker. He unstitched all the parts and studied how they were originally put together. After several experiments, he was able to master the art of shoe making. His first customer was Father Jose Zamora, the parish priest of Marikina during that time.
Guevara then opened his own shoe shop in 1881. He hired assistants and taught them to make sandals and shoes. He also started an embroidery business using the designs of Zamora. He hired women to do embroideries. He organized a town band for people who were musically inclined, as well.
He served as capitan municipal of Marikina and was called "Kapitan Moy." The people respected and loved him because of his contributions.
After acquiring the skills in shoe-making, Guevara's assistants soon started their own shoe shops. When he died on 30 December 1891, Marikina already had 15 shoe factories.
To honor him as the father of the shoe-making industry in the town, the Marikina Shoes Producers Association, Inc. erected him a monument in 1954. A historical marker was also installed at his birthplace in 1970. Then Marikina mayor Bayani Fernando restored Guevara’s former home and declared it "Sentrong Pangkultura" in 1995.
- Manuel, E. Arsenio. 1955. Dictionary of Philippine Biography, Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications.
- National Historical Commission of the Philippines. 2015. Laureano M. Guevara (1851-1891). Accessed 18 April 2021. https://nhcp.gov.ph/?s=Laureano+Guevara.