Urduja is Sewn Sandals’ homage to the Philippines’ legendary Pre-Spanish era warrior princess - Princess Urduja. The accounts of Urduja first appeared in the writings of Mohammedan traveler, Ibn Batuta of India in 1347. Scholars and historians debate whether Princess Urduja was an actual historical figure who lived and ruled Pangasinan in the 14th century or a heroine in a legend set in that time and location.
Princess Urduja was famous for leading women warriors who were skilled fighters and equestrians. She defended her kingdom through warfare. Her legend as a warrior princess of the Kingdom of Tawalisi in Pangasinan mirrors the legend of the Amazon women in Greek mythology.
The Ibalois of Baguio traces their ancestry to Urduja. Urduja, to the Ibalois is Deboxah (pronounced Debuca). The name Debuxah describes a woman who is strong, of good character, and of noble-descent.
To the people of Pangasinan, Princess Urduja was an actual historical figure. To me, as a woman who is inspired by the undeniable successes of other women, she was as real as the other Filipino heroes we learned about in our history lessons. She is also my favorite historical figure. Schools from this province tell her story more extensively compared to other schools in this country. Prominent buildings and other structures are also named after her. The Governor's office building in Lingayen is called the Urduja Palace.
When we hear the name Urduja, we equate her to a powerful and brave woman. Although modern women no longer have to fight actual battles (with swords while riding on horses), we still have our own struggles. To face these modern-day battles, we summon our inner Urduja as we get through our day.
As a way to celebrate women’s empowerment, resilience, and desire to rise above difficult circumstances, Sewn came up with Urduja. This pair of gladiator sandals are made of abaca handcrafted by Pinoy shoemakers. Its clasp secures the sandals to your feet as you run your everyday errands, lounging or working at home, or running your business from anywhere. The footbed is comfortable to wear all day, every day. Its versatile style can be worn anywhere - to the mall, to the office (for dress-downs), and even the beach. Its color can be matched with either monochromatic or colorful clothes. If you’re a fashionista at heart, statement pieces of jewelry complement the elegance yet simplicity of this footwear.
Channel your inner warrior princess with Urduja. Reach your goals one day at a time with courage.
Until My Next Musing,
Mariel Ortiz-Luis Veluz
Founder, Sewn Sandals