‘Erap All-Stars’ makes it way to the Philippines’ collection of LGU kicks

April 27, 2018 - 5:25 PM
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Erap All Stars
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada proudly holds up an "Erap All-Star." The local government unit plans to give away hundreds of thousands of the shoes to underprivileged students. (Manila gov't/Joel Santos)

Metro Manila’s proud collection of LGU-produced sneakers has a new addition: the Erap All-Stars.

Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada proudly announced the release of his “Erap All-Stars,” an allusion to Converse’s popular Chuck Taylor All-Stars, from which the shoes’ basic design draws inspiration from.

The fuss on the city-funded and distributed sneakers started when Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay distributed sneakers bearing the seal of Makati City late last year. The public has given the sneaker an assortment of names: “Air Binay,” “Binay Baller Brand,” “Air Jejomar” to name a few.

Since then, photos of a sneaker bearing the seal of the city of Mandaluyong have also gone virals. The “Air Abalos” has figured in sneaker discussion threads where people have debated on which of the two shoes was the better product.

Photos of a sneaker bearing the seal of Pasig City and the name of its mayor Bobby Eusebio have also gone viral, though the sneaker’s physical existence is yet to be documented.

It was only a matter of time before the head of the capitol also cashed in on the trend.

Photos of a sneaker allegedly distributed by the Manila Mayor surfaced earlier this year, but it is the recently-released “Erap All-Star” that received the city government’s full publicity and endorsement.

Like the “Air Binay” before it, the Erap All-Stars were produced for the purpose of providing footwear for the economically disadvantaged.

In a statement, the Manila government said 280,000 pairs of Erap All-Stars will be distributed to public school students at the elementary and high school level.

LGU sneakers’ warm reception

Surprisingly, the Air Binay was quite well-received by some in the sneakerhead scene.

Sneaker collector and reviewer Carlo Ople on vlog Unpacked gave the Air Binay a warm review. While suspicious of the material used and skeptical about its long-term durability, Ople called the Binays’ opus “pretty fresh.”

Sneaker review website Shoephoric on the one hand dubbed the Air Binay “the shoe with a heart,” possibly in reference to the reason for its conception: providing for those unable to afford the luxury of outdoor footwear.

One user on the RedditPH thread pitting the Air Binay and the Air Abalos against each other commented that neither looked bad, and underscored the fact that the purpose behind their creation was to aid the underprivileged.

While reviews for the Erap All-Star are not yet in, discussion on the purpose and practicality of the project is ongoing on Reddit.

One user accused Estrada of using taxpayer’s money for funding the shoe project, which he believes is just a publicity and promotional stunt.

Some have rebuffed this argument, pointing out that the beneficiaries, the school children, were non-voters. Others also argued that Estrada’s name was not even placed on the product.