Every Filipino knows what tsinelas are. These comfortable footwear easily slipped onto the foot are a necessity to most. It can be said that you are not Filipino if you don’t own one.
With a simple design and flexible sole, tsinelas can be worn from going to the market in the morning to walking along the shores of your favorite beach. I personally love wearing my tsinelas on long journeys and in the summer. Tsinelas are traditionally made from abaca but the modern and cheaper ones are now made out of mostly rubber and other materials.
Since the 1930’s, the city of Gapan in Nueva Ecija have been in the forefront of producing this footwear. The people of Gapan lists this as one of their source of income and livelihood. And to further instate themselves as the Tsinelas Capital of the Philippines, Gapan is celebrating the Tsinelas Festival!
The festival, which usually happens on the 25th of August each year, showcases the ingenuity of Filipinos in their craft and livelihood. Gigantic slippers are also produced for everyone to see and marvel on. Other activities include street dancing, Slippers Bazaar and the Parade of Floats.
The colorful and interesting Tsinelas Festival is a must see for everyone, just as the tsinelas will always be a part of the Filipino culture.
To get there:
By Bus: From Manila, buses to Gapan, Nueva Ecija is serviced by bus terminals in Cubao, Pasay and Caloocan with signboards Cabanatuan, Santiago and Tuguegarao
By Car: From Manila, take the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) and take the exit to Sta. Rita. Follow the route that will lead to Pulilan, Plaridel, Baliuag, San Ildefonso, San Miguel and then Gapan.
Photos from: http://monvalmonte.com/nuevaecijajournal