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“The monobloc chair does not dis­crim­i­nate much in terms of de­sign or cost,” adds Quevedo. “Its de­sign and form blend well in any in­te­rior or ex­te­rior set­ting. It is not fussy. The chair serves many func­tions as well. It can be used for var­ied ac­tiv­i­ties— for din­ing, sem­i­nars, religious ser­vices, birth­day par­ties, wed­dings, etc.—and is gen­er­ally com­fort­able for dif­fer­ent body types. Fur­ther­more, be­cause it is made of plas­tic, it can be washed and dried eas­ily. It is also stack­able and there­fore easy to store. Even peo­ple from lower so­cio-eco­nomic classes buy it be­cause of the value they get for its price.”

Ar­guably the reign­ing uni­ver­sal chair of this age, the monobloc can be likened to an­other Filipino sta­ple: rice. “Rice is a sta­ple item of ev­ery­day life just like the monobloc chair is an ev­ery­day ob­ject,” Que­vado ex­plains. “Even if some Filipinos no longer eat rice, they need to serve it to other fam­ily mem­bers or guests. In the same man­ner, there will al­ways be a sit­u­a­tion where the monobloc chair is used or needed.” This is where things get in­ter­est­ing. With food parks, bazaars, and fes­ti­vals pop­ping up across the metro, peo­ple have be­gun to get cre­ative in their use and treat­ment of monobloc chairs— and some re­sults are sur­pris­ingly im­pres­sive.

The monobloc chair is so ubiq­ui­tous that it can be both taste­ful and rugged at the same time, depend­ing on the set­ting. The pop­u­lar Choco­late Kiss Café of­fers monobloc seat­ing in­stead of other el­e­gant chairs, mak­ing it a nos­tal­gic and note­wor­thy el­e­ment inside the restau­rant. The all-black plas­tic chair is made more com­fort­able with the use of seat cush­ions best suited for re­laxed con­ver­sa­tions over cof­fee.

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