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

Basic Leather Shoe Care and Rejuvenation (PH Version)

I have always been frustrated about polishing shoes. Ever since I was a young boy, I would polish my shoes by using “Kiwi” and a shoe brush. I forgot if it was a horsehair or nylon brush, but just when I thought that I had done a good job I would see a classmate’s shoes done better. And in my ignorance, I would put more … Continue reading Basic Leather Shoe Care and Rejuvenation (PH Version)

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: https://www.philstar.com/business/2017/12/08/1766520/readers-react We hope to bring more awareness about our industry in … Continue reading Business and Leisure Interview

Update: 2016 BWS Design Winner Shoes

I know it has been a while since these pairs were awarded to the winners but would like for you guys to see how we implemented the vision of our winners. 1. Armike Bengco – Chelsea boot captoe with custom medallion. On c013 last. Bronze calf pullside. 2. Emil Francis Floro – Brogue oxford saddlecut combination leathers. On c013 last. Oxblood calf pullside and treated … Continue reading Update: 2016 BWS Design Winner Shoes

Retaso Project Update

Back towards the end of 2015, I had this idea of making use of scrap/leftover leathers (retaso) as base materials for shoes to give them a second use instead of just being scrapped or be used for smalls like key chains and cable organizers. I wanted the scrap leathers to fulfill a more functional role by becoming shoes once again. The original prototypes made use … Continue reading Retaso Project Update