Working in an integrated marketing communications agency can be both tiring and rewarding. Actually, it really depends on the person what you want to experience.
Like for this author who has been in the industry for more than a decade. Rather than seeing the piles of work before me (countless meetings, call reports, communications and strategic plans, attending various events, etc.), what I usually see and envision are the opportunities that my job as a PR consultant and now a digital marketing specialist has given me both professionally and personally. You see, I love meeting different kinds of people. And this profession of mine has given me this chance that is why I truly feel blessed.
When a project from Republic Chemical Industries, Inc. (RCI), distributor of Pioneer Contact Bond, arrived through our events agency Themeactive, we were excited because the endeavor will allow us to interview Rolando “Tatay Oly” Santos. A world-class shoemaker from Marikina who made the headlines when the boots he made especially for President Duterte made the rounds of both traditional and social media.
RCI is taking the lead in reviving the country’s shoe industry by supporting its shoemakers. As an initial step, the company showed its support for “Tatay Oly” Santos, 68, by donating a new set of hand tools, a working table, and a year-long supply of adhesives from Pioneer Contact Bond.
It was during the filming of this project that I get to know the man, they myth, the legend when it comes to shoemaking. Coming from a family of shoemakers, Tatay Oly honed his craft and made it his life’s mission to showcase the world-class talents of the shoemakers of Marikina.
While I was interviewing Tatay Oly, I saw the sincerity in his eyes and I can really say that what he is sharing comes from his heart. Even though he is considered a “rock star” by his loyal customers that they will pay him in advance just for Tatay Oly to make their shoes, he does not want to over price his finished works. In fact, what he consistently does is to ensure that all the shoes that he makes are carefully done with passion and extra care.
“MAHIRAP MAGYABANG PERO ANG TOTOO NYAN, MAY MGA IBA AKONG CUSTOMER MAGBIBIGAY NA NG PAUNANG BAYAD KAHIT HINDI KO PA ALAM KUNG KAILAN KO MATATAPOS. BASTA ANG GUSTO NILA EH KAMAY KO ANG GAGAWA NG SAPATOS NILA”
Meeting Tatay Oly makes me realize that there are still people who value integrity, respect and passion over the riches in this world. Whatever accolades Tatay Oly has been receiving, he rightly deserves it.
If you want to meet Tatay Oly and the other wold-class shoemakers of Marikina, you can visit the ongoing Sapatos Festival 2016 at Freedom Park in Marikina City.