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All seats taken: APEC chairs a hit

(The Philippine Star) - November 20, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The 35 designer chairs used by Pacific Rim leaders at the welcome reception Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena have been sold – except for the one used by US President Barack Obama, which will be auctioned off to benefit Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Designed by internationally acclaimed Kenneth Cobonpue and manufactured in Cebu, the iconic Yoda chairs, made of rattan reeds, were not purchased but merely rented by Malacañang for the reception. The manufacturer was thus allowed to sell the chairs after the event.

Cobonpue told The STAR that right after photos of the chair and the setting came out on the paper’s front page last Nov. 12, he began to receive calls from people wanting to buy or reserve the chairs. The most requested was Obama’s chair. The chair of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, one of the APEC “hotties,” was also popular, especially among the women.

Yoda is one of Cobonpue’s best selling designs. The original Yoda does not have armrests and does not swivel. Cobonpue modified the design so that the leaders could comfortably watch the performances after the dinner, which were held on stages all around the arena, without having to turn their chairs or twist their bodies.

The chairs sold for P75,000 each; a steal, really, considering that one is purchasing a piece of history as well as a finely crafted piece of art furniture.

Apparently, it’s such a good buy that one businessman present at the dinner, when told the price, wanted to just get all the chairs. Unfortunately for him, many other reservations for specific leaders’ chairs had already been made.

ACIRC ATILDE CHAIRS COBONPUE KENNETH COBONPUE MALL OF ASIA ARENA MEXICAN PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PE PACIFIC RIM PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN YODA
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