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August 16, 2009

Do you own a Benji's?

August 16, 2009

Do you own a Benji's?





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Benji Reyes is a Filipino furniture artist based in Antipolo, who has an international cult following because of his customized chair creations handmade from recycled wood and hand-polished in oil. I heard about the Legend of the Benji Chairs when I was still with P&G. Most of the P&G Expats would buy his creations with price ranges from P20,000+ to P200,000+. One expat even furnished their entire house with Benji's furniture. 

Ever since I heard that legend, I always dream of owning a dining table made by Benji with customized chairs custom-made for each member of the family's butt. My passion in owning a Benji was ignited once again when I met Benji Reyes personally for the research trip of OAP's culinary tour of Antipolo. When we saw Benji Reyes' "Tahanan" made entirely from recycled wood, it is like being transported into a picture in an architectural magazine that leaves you wondering -- is this for real? 

From just a dream of owning a dining set, the dream transformed into owning a bahay kubo dream house of recycled wood overlooking a beach created by Benji Reyes:) 


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 Here are the samples of Chairs by Benji Reyes: (clockwise from top left) Lola Basyang, Keesha, Datu, Rajah, Eena, Pedro.

Benji Chairs 
(Photos are from Benji Reyes' Official Blog).  The chairs are sturdy and yet super comfortable to sit on like wearing Crocs everyday. 

 

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Aidan and Aikee sitting on a Benji chair in the living room of the Reyes "Tahanan". 

 

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Here is a Michael Cacnio creation given by the artist himself to Benji Reyes :) I love the elegant glass balloons. 

 

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A picture of the dining room at the Reyes Tahanan. If you look closely at the lower left of the picture above, you'll see the Benji Reyes and Michael Cacnio collaboration artwork. 

 

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During the Antipolo Culinary tour, we will have merienda in Benji Reyes' "Tahanan" while he shares with us his design philosophy and gives us a grand tour of the house. 

 

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The kitchen was simply awesome and picture perfect. My wife loves a kitchen like this one.

 

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Benji Reyes is one of the grandsons of Severino Reyes popularly known for Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang. The study table above is originally owned by Benji's lolo who could have used it to bring Lola Basyang to life.  

 

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The photo above showcases the Kite Flyer- another Michael Cacnio Creation, with a backdrop of Benji's chairs in their living room. 

 

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Benji gave us a grand tour of their house and their personal "spa" place with a backdrop of raw forest and the sounds of flowing creek water. 

 

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Here is a sneak peek of their personal "spa" with swimming pool and a bar area. Hopefully, they open it for reservations specially for honeymoon couples or barkada looking for a weekend bed & breakfast place in Antipolo. 

 

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The spa has one room with an overhanging bed perfect for a romantic getaway. Benji is thinking of opening a restaurant soon and hopefully this Bed & Breakfast place. 

 


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The Benji Reyes' Design Philosophy is defined by his articles on "The Need to Design" which shares what it means to have your own true Originality, and "Wood is Man's Oldest Natural Resource" where he advocates the use of recycled wood. He also runs an apprentice program that gives poor children a chance to learn the art of woodworking craft by sanding and treating the wood used in his furniture. The best kids become the master-craftsman and become his competitive advantage in his workshop.

I highly recommend to all OAP readers to meet this awesome Filipino in Antipolo.

Benji Reyes "Tahanan" and Antipolo Workshop
Private viewing by appointment only.  
Email: benji.reyes@gmail.com
Blogbenjireyes.blogspot.com
Address: 23 Lores Drive, Lores Farms, Antipolo 

 

Live an Awesome Life,  

anton signature 
Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 
blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 
email: anton@diaz.ph
 

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