Kenneth Cobonpue launches ‘First Light’ for Yolanda relief
MANILA, Philippines – When Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit Central Visayas on the morning of November 8, 2013, one of the first things that signaled the impending destruction was the loss of power in the area. The next day, telephone poles and power lines littered the streets of Tacloban and nearby provinces. Everyone was left in darkness.
According to Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, if power isn't restored in Typhoon Yolanda-ravaged areas by Christmas eve, he would resign. "The first sign of hope is always electricity. We will persevere to give them that."
Today, a light of hope aims to make a difference.
On December 2, industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue unveiled his newest piece titled, “First Light.” Held at his showroom in Makati City, Cobonpue teamed up with the Habitat Youth Council to create a limited edition centerpiece that will benefit underprivileged communities devastated by typhoon Yolanda. (READ: Kenneth Cobonpue opens first Manila showroom)
Made of black steel and wire, the minimal lamps hold tealights. “The lamps are a way for me to merge what I love to do with what I want to do for my fellow Filipinos,” said the Cebu-based designer. “Especially in light of what has happened to the Philippines, I feel that this is the time for our countrymen to step up and become more engaged in helping other people.”
"Initially, I wanted the houses to be made of solid metal to symbolize Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ work in building homes. After the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda, I felt that there was a need to go beyond the physical properties of the building and instead, bring to light what was inside the home – the human spirit and the ties that make a family strong to withstand any typhoon – as represented by the candle. The home becomes a beacon of light for all the world to see."
All proceeds generated from the sale of the “First Light”, priced at P3,500 for three lamps, will go towards re-building houses for the families affected by typhoon Yolanda.
"The Habitat Youth Council (HYC) has built over 500 houses to date,” said Simon Tantoco, co-president of the HYC. “With Kenneth Cobonpue's aid, we are able to build more, at a time where the people of Visayas need us the most. We are prioritizing partnerships with the local government units of the municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Our focus is to implement our projects to these areas as soon as possible." – Rappler.com
“First Light” by Kenneth Cobonpue is available at Swatch shops in Metro Manila and the KENNETHCOBONPUE showroom at the ground floor of The Residences at Greenbelt on Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. You may also contact Habitat for Humanity Philippines at (02) 846-2177 to place an order.