Chairs update

 

 

Daphne Chair
Me and the DAPHNE® chair, by my front door.

 

I’ve been meaning to write an update about the “Iloilo-APEC-chairs” issue last Thursday. But I’m never good with immediate reactions. So I slept on it and let a few days pass. Now there are no more emotions.

Last Thursday morning I posted this blog on “familiar-looking chairs” being displayed and sold at the Yusay Consing Mansion in Iloilo City. The story was carried by Coconuts Manila as well.

A quick recap –

 

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A reader sent me photos of the Yusay Consing Mansion (Molo Mansion), where these “familiar looking chairs” were on display.

 

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The Yusay Consing Mansion was set up with Ilonggo-made products on display and for sale. The logo of APEC appears prominently in the front lawn. Photo by John Rou, as it appears in Iloilo City Government Facebook.

 

On Iloilo City’s preparations for APEC —

Lawyer Helen Catalbas, director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) office in Western Visayas, said the tours would highlight century-old mansions and restored buildings, Iloilo churches, and local delicacies.

Another popular attraction of the tour is Casa Grande, a mansion built in the 1920s at Molo District that once was owned by the Yusay-Consing family. The house is right across Molo Church, also a popular sight for its Gothic-Renaissance architecture.

Casa Grande had been acquired and renovated by the SM Group, and was opened to the public on Sept. 17 in time for the Apec meetings. The mansion, which showcases Ilonggo products and other native wares, has since drawn hundreds of visitors daily.

Source Inquirer September 25, 2015

 

Two hours after I posted the story, I got a text from Stevan Tan, SVP of SM Supermalls. “It has reached my office – about the issue of an Iloilo furniture maker who copied your chair and showcased it in our Molo Mansion in Iloilo. We immediately called the attention of the exhibitor and had it pulled out already.”

 

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This is what the Molo Mansion looked like after the chairs were pulled off from the selling floor.

 

For sale....

This is the Iloilo-based furniture maker involved in this story. This photo was taken just last week at the Molo Mansion.

 

Beware of FAKE Daphne Chairs. My authentic chairs have a brass plate with my registered trademark. And the back doesnt look like that. Also that carving & paint finish are not at par with our standards. #DaphneFurniture is sold only in Dimensione shops.
In January 2014 I posted this on my Instagram. A friend of mine found these chairs in Iloilo City. Back then I was still actively selling DAPHNE® chairs in Dimensione. I had warned readers about these alleged poor imitations.

 

Since this story came out, I heard from lawyers, students, readers, and Ilonggo people who were disturbed by what had been done. One of them told me that those chairs were actually on display in the University of San Agustin. The owner of the furniture factory’s daughter had recently graduated from interior design class. And their son just got his architecture license.

I am touched by the expression of support from many readers and viewers, especially from my fellow Ilonggos. The silver lining is that I actually heard from people who were able to trace our common roots. Not only am I half-Ilonggo, I also gave one year of my adult life to help Iloilo and Guimaras in nation-building after I graduated from university in Canada. I was sent to the Philippines by Canada, specifically to that region, to manage an urban planning program funded by my Canadian government. (My first return to the Philippines was via Iloilo).

I was moved by this photo from a long-time reader. She is a Filipino working abroad. I remember she emailed us about purchasing this DAPHNE chair for her daughter. She wanted to give it to her daughter as a surprise. She couldn’t come home that Christmas. And if I recall, we had arranged the delivery of the chair to her home.

 

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My reader, a Filipino working abroad, reminded me that no kind of imitation can replace the value of something that is truly from the heart.

 

 

Leave a comment

  • cheekeegirl

    Indeed! Nothing’s gonna beat the original thing…

  • http://meikah.blogspot.com/ Meikah Ybañez-Delid

    Good, they have pulled out. I hope people would really stop making counterfeits!

    • http://daphne.ph Anonymous

      sigh

  • http://angeldiamante.blogspot.com/ Nadine

    I’ve seen authentic Daphne chairs in Amigo Mall (also in Iloilo), and the knock offs really cannot compare to it. So obvious it’s fake at first glance..