By Alex M. Eduque
I have always been a fan of Kenneth Cobonpue – his creative genius, ideas and vision are parallel to none. The man is ahead of his time, has made a name for himself, yet, remains to be one of the most hard working and humble men I know. Not to mention, extremely kind, generous, and one to fulfill every promise of his. I first crossed paths with him during one of the FAME exhibits years ago. I remember being completely star struck and awed – not just with his presence, but because of how hands on he was with his craft. A few months after, I formally met him as we both found our way to the roster of ambassadors for an organization we both advocate for, Habitat For Humanity. It was during my stint as the Chairperson of the Habitat for Humanity Philippines youth council that I first got to work with him. “First Light” our project was dubbed – these tea light candle holders in the shape of homes made from mesh wire adorned various corners, and even made it to the New York Times.
I kept track of his prowess in the succeeding years, but did not quite stay in touch as much as I would have wanted to. Not until a few months ago when I tapped him to take part in an auction that was being staged for the benefit of MovEd this time around. I don’t know why I thought of him, but I did. Perhaps it was the heavens that caused the eureka moment, and I am thankful I listened to my intuition, because the stars have aligned ever since. And as always, he did not fail to impress with this massive piece of artwork – his first return to canvass since he was in school. I remember chatting with him during the process, and he mentioned to me how much he believes in the plight for education, and giving everyone an access to it. He was left fulfilled, but still wanted to do more. And boy, did I take him up on the offer.
Banca, a limited edition canapé tray (available in various sizes) was then born, inspired by the Filipino fishing boat. Exclusively made for the benefit of MovEd, Banca, according to Kenneth, was inspired by, and aims to symbolize the famous proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” – a fundamental principle he sees in the advocacy of education for children. Attribute it to serendipity, (and whether he knows it or not), Banca also pays homage to the community of Barangay Tanza in Navotas where our pilot school was set-up. The very site that marked the beginning of MovEd’s journey, and has not only served the most students, and their families to date, it also now houses our biggest student population in a single community. Indeed, when things are meant to happen, they just rightfully fall into place.
MovEd is now honored to be a proud partner of this well-known and globally recognized, multi-awarded furniture and industrial designer, Kenneth Cobonpue. Together, we believe that early childhood education is the key to succeeding in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty in the Philippines. More than 60 percent of children do not have access to early childhood education, and MovEd is proud to be one of the few organizations in the Philippines that have chosen to focus on this. Together with Kenneth and his team, we aim to sail on with hope – as we believe that the key to success is to encourage these children to become self-confident and independent learners; to give them a sense of hope, and to encourage them to dream big. On behalf of the entire MovEd team, and the children we have the everyday honor of serving: We thank Kenneth and his team – for the generosity, the love and the faith in our mission, and in what we have set-out to do. May this be the beginning of a long-lasting partnership to come.
For inquiries on how to purchase Banca, you may contact MovEd directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a direct message on Instagram @moved_orgph, or call 552-7006 during office hours.