Wallei Bautista Trinidad is a Dubai-based footwear designer who specializes in creative direction, product research and development. He has particular expertise in Arabic footwear styling and designs for local and international brands in United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
In 2005, his journey for Arabic footwear concepts commenced when he joined one of the most established and famous local brands in UAE as a Leather Products Designer. In 2007, he was commissioned to start an Arabic footwear production unit in one of the Middle East’s largest footwear production firms.
Over the years, Wallei has consistently demonstrated his capacity for growth by developing distinctive skills in creative direction, trend-forecasting and concept-generation, as well the design and management of the requisite technical processes that are part of product development.
Bold colors and peculiar cuts
“My profession is something that came by chance and later on became a choice. Very few are given the chance to take up this kind of course and I have been blessed enough to be able to practice this profession. I am already in the footwear industry for 10 years.”
Wallei co-founded Kinema Gulf Group and now the Director for Product Research Design and Development. He finds fulfillment in leading one of the largest and most professionally managed business organizations of UAE, with the business footprint in the Middle East, East Africa and Europe. The company employs more than 1500 personnel in have 3 operating factories.
Designing footwear give him a sense of freedom. “It is from this I was able to interpret my imagination. The artist in me is visible in my all forms of design.”
Wallei is fortunate to have received a scholarship grant from the Philippine Government to study Footwear Design and Manufacturing Technology outside the Philippines, after finishing his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Bulacan State University.
He earned his Post-Graduate Diploma in Footwear Design and Manufacturing Technology in Footwear Design and Development Institute as a scholar through Philippines and Germany’s Public Private Partnership Program of DTI-TESDA.
Upon his return to the Philippines, Wallei was employed as a Footwear Industry Development Specialist for Philippine Footwear Federation Incorporated. In addition, he was selected as one of the pilot trainers within the Philippine Footwear Academy and Technical Expert Panel for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority which drafted the guidelines on the implementation of the Philippine TVET Qualification and Certification System.
Giving is fun
Why he is inspired doing great things? “I believe that money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, and we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give. Giving is fun and addictive. Giving and doing something to your fellow kababayan is one of the noblest things that will inspire others too.”
He simply knows.“I was taken care by my aunt since 9 months old. Manolita B. Inosanto and her husband took care of me.”
“They are incapable of having a child so it was me who became like their child. I grew up with them while knowing I have still my biological parents because I still carry their name. Marcelino Viola Trinidad and Susana Catimbang Bautista are my biological parents whom I have a sister named Marisan and a brother Marlon.”
Explore the world
He was hired directly from the Philippines. “I actually applied as a Production Manager in Al Dana Leather Products (Mandoos Trading). It was an ambitious attempt because the company is looking for someone with 10 years experience in Footwear Production, I got 2 years only. But they have given me a position as Leather Products Designer which I have not used also. I was assigned in different departments and later on worked for the new system installed for the CAD/CAM.”
As an expert, Wallei deserves a space for giving advice. To his fellow OFWs, he raises many points. “Life is unpredictable. There’s a big difference between being scared and being prepared. Always be prepared. Do something more than just looking and imagining. Act.”
“Go and live a full life, and collect many delightful experiences, knowing fully well na mabuting alagaan natin ang ating sarili para mas mahaba pa ang panahon na ma-enjoy natin ang buhay na hitik sa magagandang karanasan and so that we can give more.”
“Honor our feelings – be it happiness or sadness. Be truthful about what we feel. If we can share, do it with love. If we can’t just love. Not all of us here in abroad are given the equal opportunities. If you are capable of helping, it’s a good feeling to dispense your extra blessings. Be wise with how we handle our finances. We are not here forever.”
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.