Joseph Marco prefers the comfort of boat shoes

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Joseph Marco decorated his topsiders with letters of the alphabet and donated them to charity. The Kapamilya actor dubbed his creation as "The Alphabet Shoes," one of many pairs auctioned off for the benefit of Habitat For Humanity.


Kapamilya actor Joseph Marco is glad to be part of the joint project of shoe brand Sebago and Habitat For Humanity—a non-profit organization founded to help provide decent and affordable housing to the less fortunate.

He was one of the celebrities tapped by the Michigan-based shoe company to design the brand's world-famous Docksides model for auction.

Other names who participated in the project were actor Enchong Dee, TV host Phoemela Baranda; The Dawn vocalist Jett Pangan; top Filipino designers Rajo Laurel, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Rhett Eala, Joey Samson, and Kate Torralba; fashion stylists Noel Manapat and Sidney Yap; columnist-socialite Tessa Prieto-Valdes; architects Gil Coscolluela and Nix Alanon; shoe designer Maco Custodio; Team Manila's Mon Punzalan and Jowee Alviar; columnist Leah Puyat; interior stylist Anton Barretto; fashion editor Liza Ilarde; and artists Martin Honasan, Julianne Tarroja, Nix Puno, Rory Morales, Carlo Ongchanco, Nelz Yumul, Niño Hernandez, Mike Nakayama, and singer Raymond Lauchengco.

The shoes were unveiled on June 23 at The Gallery of the Greenbelt 5 in Makati City. The exhibit is ongoing.

Proceeds of the auction will go directly to Habitat For Humanity, and will be used to fund the organization's projects.

FUN AND COLORFUL. Joseph recalled the day they delivered the pair of black deck shoes.

"Nung binigay sa akin yung shoes, pagkakita ko sa kanya, feeling ko plain na plain naman 'to. And then I got these colored letters from Hong Kong.

"Sabi ko, 'Why not ilagay ko dun sa shoes para maging fun siya and colorful?'

"So ayun nga, nung nilagay ko, parang lahat ng taong nakakita, natutuwa naman sila. 'Ang cute daw!'I feel good naman sa naging resulta ng ginawa ko," Joseph proudly told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

Coming up with a name for his "art work" was a no-brainer.

"Yung mga letters, may kulay na talaga, so dinikit ko na lang sila. 'Tapos I called the finish product, The Alphabet Shoes!"

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The 22-year-old actor-model said although he was not a visual artist, he had fun designing the shoes.

"Actually, this is my first time to design. Natuwa naman ako, habang ginagawa ko siya—nag-enjoy naman ako."

How long did it take to finish the shoe project?

"Paputol-putol, e. Parang days din kasi, gusto ko din siyempre ma-perfect."

SIMPLE AND PRACTICAL. Incidentally, Joseph is a fan of the sponsor's products.

"Actually, mostly ang sinusuot ko ngayon, boat shoes.

"They're very comfortable 'tapos ang daming binabagayan. So, kahit naka-shirt ka lang, naka-pants, or kahit walang socks, very comfortable siya."

Boat shoes—also called deck shoes or topsiders—are commonly worn by sailors in the past. It gained mainstream popularity in the U.S. and the United Kingdom in the 1980s, thus, inspiring shoe manufacturing firms to produce models tailored after the original design.

The simplicity of the design suits Joseph's practical nature perfectly.

"Wala naman akong masyadong hinahanap pagdating sa sapatos. Ang hinahanap ko lang is kung marami siyang puwedeng bagayan. Ayoko kasi ng exaggerated designs. I prefer yung simple lang pero maraming binabagayan."


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