When Jojo Bragais discovered how shoes are made, he fell in love with the idea of creating his own line. But he did not know how to start until he realized he had to make things work. (at least sa sapatos na in love, ako kung kani-kanino!)
“Nung una, it was an escape. I was from a very remorseful breakup and those days I was starting Bragais, I got no direction, no dreams, no plans. The only thing clear was that, I wanna do something, I wanna be busy to keep things out of my mind.” Jojo recalls. (yung hugot galing sa talampakan ha!)
With his faith and hardwork, he was able to establish his own brand, Bragais shoes in 2013.
“Before me doing the shoes I just prayed, like the most sincere prayer siguro na ginawa ko sa buong buhay ko. I just said, “ Ina Peñafrancia they say you are miraculous I am not that religious but i know I’m a good person, if you can hear me, I am not asking you to take away the pain, but please give me the reason why things happened. Two months after I found my way to shoe making.” (ay may divine intervention!)
One of his most memorable creations was for an 18 year old girl. “I remember my nagpagawa sa akin ng shoes for a debutante. A special case, pes cavus, a foot deformity. The mom said never pa nakapag suot ng close shoes anak niya. Nagawan ko ng paraan yun. Then the nanay cried and niyakap ako. Di ko alam if that time I just needed a hug dahil I’m down but tumagos yun sa akin. Lahat ng pakiramdam ko na wala ako silbi, tanga ako, gago ako, bobo ako, napalitan yun ng may silbi pa pala ako, na I am needed, na kaya ko magsimula muli. Minahal ko na siya after that. Nag-aral pa ako mabuti and binigay ko na yung sarili ko for this craft.” (iba ka rin klase magmahal bro!)
Jojo’s business soared even higher when he became a favorite shoemaker of beauty queens. (ay dapat meron ako nyan!)
“The whole beauty queen shoes is an accident. I have a good friend who was joining bbp. That time wala ako idea sa Binibining Pilipinas talaga. Naririnig ko about it pero di ko alam ganun kalaki sya. Sabi ko wala akong pera to support her financially but I can do all her shoes. Nakita and na-apreciate siya ni Madam Stella Marquez Araneta and Sir Gines Enriquez called me one time saying na they wanted me to become their official shoe provider. Dun na nagsimula,” Jojo shares. (basta pagsasali ako sa pageant, ikaw na bahala sakin bro!)
The 28-year-old registered nurse hopes to make Bragais shoes a symbol of love and passion.
“Binansagan nila na lucky shoes yung shoes ko kasi lahat ng panlaban sa Binibining Pilipinas halos panalo pag shoes ko gamit. That’s why I want to continue doing quality shoes that will be available for real people. Coz fashion is for all, and I want to see people wearing them. Iba yung kilig ng ganun. Dream ko rin makagawa ng pair para kay Ms. Kris Aquino.” (ay di nya ko knows. kaya no comment ako dyan. )
Jojo has also ventured into producing series on line via his Bragais TV on YouTube. His latest project is the BL series titled “Limited Edition.” (pero ikaw ay unlimited ha! ayaw paawat!)
“When I read the script I love it. Uso BL series ngayon but what sets it apart from others is I think it will open up discussion. Yung lesson sa series na ito malalim,” Jojo explains. (ay kunin mo ko sa next BL mo, basta may love scene ha sa partner ko!)
He wants to make his YouTube Channel, another milestone in his career. “This pandemic for me is the birth of the modern renaissance. Things are about to change and at the present keeps on evolving. Technology within reach. I think this is the direction. So aside sa ambag ko sa film industry, I wanna position myself early in the digital era. I wanna see the growth, and the start. I sound so weird but to me I wanna be part of the that change. Real success for me is freedom.” (ayan na, parang sagot na ng beauty queen ha! bigyan ng sapatos yan!)
(MR.FU hosts on 91.5 Win Radio, 8pm-12mn, Mondays to Fridays. Twitter/IG: @mrfu_mayganon. FB: Mr. Fu the Star DJ. Youtube/Patreon: WTFu)