Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue creates tokens, set for APEC economic leaders' welcome dinner

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Designer Kenneth Cobonpue revealed that the night's performers will have a wide range, from classical acts to different age groups, and one thing for sure is that all acts chosen are "world-class talents."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Multi-awarded Cebuano industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue has been tasked to oversee and create the designs at the welcome dinner for the 21 economic leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on November 18.

Cobonpue was chosen as the creative director because of his strongly-rooted, yet global background. He was tasked to handle the welcome dinner's set design at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay, as well as designing the souvenir tokens and special chairs for the economic leaders.

He confirmed to CNN Philippines on Thursday (November 12) that the theme of the 64,085-sqm Arena is patterned after the Philippines' rice terraces.

Kenneth-Cobonpue_2_CNNPH.png  

"Everything is in green. It will be dark with accents of green," he said.

To help achieve this effect, a grassy circular stage will be set up in the middle of the arena, and colorful anahaw leaf-inspired designs will be hung from the ceiling.

The tokens created by Cobonpue are called "Sama-Sama" to symbolize unity, partnership, and cooperation among the member economies.

Kenneth-Cobonpue_4_CNNPH.png Sama-Sama souvenir token  

The sculptures, made of brass and finished in yellow gold, pale silver, and warm copper, feature communities of people grouped around island formations representing the member economies. All fixtures were custom designed for the setting.

"It's made of highly-detailed brass figures floating around a three-dimensional map of the member economies. Their hands are all linked and they are all ascending to the top," he detailed.

Cobonpue added that the tokens were specially-commissioned APEC gifts.

"Normally in other APEC events held in other countries, they gave cultural [gifts] and this is specially designed for the event and commensurate with the theme," he said.

Cobonpue's innovative Yoda chair, inspired by blades of glass, will be used by the leaders during the dinner. He said that he made sure the chairs were comfortable and ergonomic.

Kenneth-Cobonpue_3_CNNPH.png Yoda chairs  

"I made it more comfortable so it became wider. I put arms in it and the important thing was it had to swivel because the action is happening 360 degrees around you, so the leaders have to able to turn their chairs to follow the action," he said.

He added that the leaders can bring home their Yoda chair after the event if they wish to do so.

The welcome dinner's performances

Cobonpue revealed that the night's performers will have a wide range, from classical acts to different age groups, and one thing for sure is that all acts chosen are "world-class talents."

The musical performances will be directed by Louie Ocampo and Paolo Valenciano.

Cobonpue added that all the performers are going to be set on different levels inside the Arena and that the stage is the entire Arena.

The APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will happen from November 18 to 19 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.