Carcar City is known as the Heritage City of the South due to its many historical sites. It has one of the oldest churches on the island and several ancestral houses with centuries-old architecture.
Carcar is also famous for its local shoe business. The city has produced thousands of sandals, sneakers, and loafers to sell to locals and visitors as casual or occasional footwear.
Because Carcar is one of the only places in Cebu exclusively producing these shoes, various organizations have supported the shoe business by showcasing their products in specialty stores and trade fairs all around the island.
HISTORY OF CARCAR’S SHOE BUSINESS
Many believe that the shoe business in Carcar started in the 1700s when Mano Teroy, a resident of Liboron, created make-shift sandals inspired by The Last Supper.
His success inspired many of his neighbors to learn and continue the practice, producing more shoes to trade and sell.
Shoemaking became a lucrative business and helped improve the economy and tourism in the city.
Over the years, shoemakers have passed on their knowledge and skills to younger children and relatives to preserve the industry for generations to come. Today, the shoe business remains a lucrative and sought-after industry in Carcar City.
Organizations like the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Cebu Provincial Government have repeatedly shown off the shoe business to bigger audiences that may not have the time to travel all the way to Carcar.
CARCAR SHOEMAKING TODAY
Several shoemaking stores gather at the Carcar United Footwear Manufacturers Association Inc. – One Town One Product Center (CUFMAI – OTOP). This shopping center allows shoemakers to sell their products in an easily accessible location along the highway.
The stalls in the shopping center sell footwear of different sizes, with traditional and unique designs and patterns. Their durability and style make them great as personal everyday footwear, shoes to wear for special occasions, or as gifts for friends and loved ones.
These are also some of the most budget-friendly shoes you can buy in Cebu. Many customers purchase them in bulk, especially since the vendors sometimes offer discounts. You can also haggle with them and agree on a better price.
The shoes have world-class quality. You can have them exported to other parts of Cebu and even outside the Philippines. Shoemakers even sell their shoes on online platforms like Facebook Marketplace.
Here you will find casual shoes like slip-ons, espadrilles, sandals, and sneakers, or formal shoes for work or school. There are several options for men, women, and children.
Shoemakers also offer services where they customize your shoes based on your preference.
The shopping center also has a nearby restaurant called the Acacia Grill.
It serves popular Filipino dishes and has an open garden you can walk around. Their meals are also reasonably priced, as many of their food options only cost 100 – 200 Php. You can order a plate of pork belly with a bowl of rice and iced tea for around 150 Php.
Many tourists who don’t know what to buy in Cebu consider visiting Carcar’s shoe business for something out-of-the-ordinary but practical. These footwear products serve anyone well in casual or social situations due to their comfort and durability.
The best part is that you won’t need to spend much to find the perfect pair for you. From the hundreds of stylish shoes produced daily, you can find the one that perfectly suits your preferred style and look.
HOW TO GET THERE
Cebu South Road, Carcar City, Cebu
8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Take a bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. The fare will cost you around 100 Php for an airconditioned bus and around 70 Php for a non-air-conditioned one.