Black Wing and the New Normal

First of all, I hope you are all doing well. This has been a tough time for all and the impact of this event has caused us to reconsider how we do things. Our plans have all been derailed and I have had to reconsider our strategy on how we can keep operating while exercising safety precautions for all. There were already plans since last … Continue reading Black Wing and the New Normal

Footwear Choices: Some Things to Consider in this Time of Covid-19

The imposition of the local quarantine here in the NCR, Philippines in order to contain this pandemic has been so sudden that most people have not been able to prepare properly and process what needs to be done during this time. The past two weeks have been focused on securing supplies for home and trying to give help as much as possible to our artisans … Continue reading Footwear Choices: Some Things to Consider in this Time of Covid-19

‘Anyare? (What Happened?)

We all thought we were moving the industry forward. Demand in the mid-range market is higher than ever. Prices have become competitive and our locally made footwear can now be compared to imported ones. Micro brands have started popping up all over the Internet offering variety and a great price. “Mura at Matibay“, the old Marikina slogan, became something that stuck to consumers’ heads. The … Continue reading ‘Anyare? (What Happened?)

A Bespoke Life

Bespoke is a word that is thrown around by brands and businesses the past few years to describe their products. From bespoke suits to shoes to small leather goods and even food. It normally refers to a product or service that is tailored specifically to a client, but what does it really entail to be something truly bespoke? Bespoke is the past participle of the … Continue reading A Bespoke Life

A Time to Hope – Fighting for the Marikina Shoe Industry Heritage

While there is a resurgence in interest in Marikina made products, the main foundational issues still remain. So buying Marikina doesn’t necessarily mean helping Marikina. As with many aspects in life, we need to first acknowledge that we have a problem and recognize it before we can address it. Supporting Marikina by buying Marikina is a typical response but is no more than a band-aid … Continue reading A Time to Hope – Fighting for the Marikina Shoe Industry Heritage

Passion Microbrand Culture

Recently, people have been asking me for what I would advise young entrepreneurs in starting their own business. I would give some quick answers but they are pretty much scattered all over the place. Common answers like “persistence” and “timing” are often on top of my head, but it goes deeper than that. Those words are oversimplifications of what I went through when establishing the … Continue reading Passion Microbrand Culture

Industry Categorization and Segmentation – Getting to the root cause of the problem

When one has an ailment, it helps to properly identify the problem by studying the symptoms first. Proper education is key in order to come up with a proper diagnosis and eventually a cure. The shoe industry, like manufacturing related industries, both has a mass production component and an artisanal component with a lot of hybrids in between. In order to help push our industry … Continue reading Industry Categorization and Segmentation – Getting to the root cause of the problem

Small Scale Marikina Shoemaking

Marikina has developed its own identity as the shoemaking capital of the Philippines. Over the years, trends and traditions have evolved to suit the industry demands and thus created its own brand of shoemaking. As I was learning shoemaking from a journeyman shoemaker (who eventually became Black Wing’s first foreman) during the first year of the workshop, I noticed that the local method had to … Continue reading Small Scale Marikina Shoemaking


It’s been a while since I last posted here on the blog. We have been busy tweaking our internal processes and improving our builds. As most of our returning clients from 2014-2016 would notice, our fitting and silhouettes have improved and our senior shoemakers have progressed their last making skills to be able to make a sleeker looking shoe even with a wider fit. This … Continue reading Rekindled

Business and Leisure Interview

Here is a video of an interview I did last December 2017 for sir Butch Gamboa’s Philstar column and was eventually translated into a short video feature for the Business and Leisure website under the Strictly business segment. The interview also got reactions from readers of his column. The article can be read at: We hope to bring more awareness about our industry in … Continue reading Business and Leisure Interview