My city is known for its Shoe industry — that is much evident with the local brands that are present and registered here. While my focused interest lie on designing and producing leather bags, Fate would have had made so that I should at least venture and learn the shoe field too. What was at first a simple inquiry over the phone about the possibility of taking up Shoe Making classes turned to an educational visit and conversation about Marikina City’s own TESDA-UTPRAS Accredited Program: the shoe making classes hosted by Philippine Footwear Federation INC!
I was welcomed, guided and well-accommodated by Sir Roy Pena (hi, Sir!) who allowed me to take a look around PFFI, take photos and inquire about the Shoe Making classes — the overall idea of creating, understanding and learning the practice and livelihood, shoes made locally for the international market and Philippine-Made shoes being globally competitive. With a pen and notebook ready, I asked the most basic topic first that I was highly interested with: the classes
According to Sir Roy: The Philippine Footwear Federation INC. invites anyone – and they mean any citizen of the country! – who have the passion and interest to join and take up their one month duration program. Participating requires certain fees to pay, as most educational programs have, and it includes Pattern Making, Advance Pattern Making and Shoe Prototyping, hands-on work and designing — happening in an airconditioned environment of 5 students max per program. This is to make sure the experienced trainers guide all participating students properly and with minimal amiss. Additionally, said classes are also prepared with special equipments to test shoe prototypes and a quantity of books and references for additional information. Right there and then and for entirety of the program, global standards are carefully taught and imparted.
After the classes follow the certification and a competent graduate equipped with knowledge and skills of shoe making, understanding how the production works and the capability to go forth for the bigger world. All these, in a month’s time.
Is Philippine Footwear Federation INC. the only one offering this type of extensive course, I asked. Sir Roy replied with an assurance that no, PFFI is not the only one that offers shoe making classes as there are many others at different cities and their respective government. However PFFI is and has always been internationally connected with other countries’ footwear association and camaraderie. This gives PFFI an edge as they are engaged with neighboring countries that come to visit and invest with shoe-producing companies found here in the country from time to time. Definitely a good and sound connection; I inwardly felt impressed.
While PFFI aims to produce competent students they also offer short classes of other footwear for out-of-school youths — to give them knowledge and skill to start their own businesses and livelihood. I did mention seeing their Facebook post about a Slipper-Making workshop which was all sorts of amazing in its essence.
Moreover the Federation is gearing towards a goal to include shoe-making classes under the educational curriculum of either public or private schools. It won’t be mandatory, Sir Roy said. More like it’d be under Electives where students could voluntarily join in to learn and more.
For Sir Roy who worked for the Philippine Footwear Federation INC. for 9 years, advocating for learning and making shoes is his pride and joy and he’d hope for more Filipinos to learn the art and science of it. I could pretty much tell he’s all for it, especially the way he welcomed and accepted my request to blog about PFFI and the program.
I like the direction and vision of PFFI despite the fact that I’m still for the other side of the leathergoods (I still feel much more strongly for learning bag-making!). This visit and meeting with Sir Roy and the ones behind the Federation made me realized and discover the passion behind each and every pair of shoes that are studied, drafted, patterned and produced. The beauty of crafting it and the meticulous way for it to be up standard to be internationally fit (no pun intended!), no wonder Marikina City prides itself with shoes. How amazing is that?
So for my lovely readers from the Philippines who are looking for Shoe Classes, look no further! The Philippine Footwear Federation INC. is accepting applicants for their monthly classes and are always open for your inquiries and interest to join. To see more of PFFI, you can Like their Facebook page or call the landline/text them for more details:
Philippine Footwear Federation FB Page
Telephone #: (02) 942 – 4228
Cellphone #: 0922 – 307 – 1518
I tried with the punny title. I tried. *laughs*
And while Marikina City is known for its Shoe Industry, I myself utilize the abundance of what I like the most that are found here: leather and raw materials.
Interesting fact I learned from Sir Roy: most man-made leather here are from China and them fancy, authentic ones are from the Middle East. Why, I didn’t know that! Wow!
My extended and heartfelt thanks to Sir Roy who was totally awesome during the time I visited and photographed. I had fun and learned a lot!