Woodcraft in the Philipines #7: How much?

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Blog entry by kiwi1969 posted 06-29-2009 02:39 PM 1913 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Trees, bamboo,palms and their uses Part 7 of Woodcraft in the Philipines series no next part

So you made the move to the Philippines and you want to furnish your house with some nice examples of locally made furniture, how much is it going to set you back. If your in Manila expect to pay more than you would in other urban centers like Cebu or Davao, but even so you won,t break the bank. A sala set, like the one here, usually consisting of a sofa, two chairs a coffee table and two side tables, will cost you around 55000 peso (US $1150) The somewhat awful photo shows it as you will find it in the shop awaiting final finishing and upholstery which is then chosen by you. The wood on this set is Molave and weighs a ton so forget shipping this set home in your excess baggage, seriously it took two of us to lift it!.
The display case here, made from Narra, is selling for 25000peso (US $520). This one took a month to complete start to finish, stands around 7 ft tall, comes with glass shelves and has matching carvings on the bottom. The finish is typical here, thick heavy orange looking goop that completly obscures the timber and i,ve yet to understand why they insist on useing it when there are much better options out there. But for $520 bucks it still looks great.
This cabinet can be yours for about 20000 peso, with a bit of haggling. Thats about US $420. 420 bucks! You can,t even buy the wood for that price. Well you can here. The timber used on this example is Gmelina thats been stained. and it,s all hand carved.
How much for a dinning table and chairs? How longs a piece of string. They vary fom 10000 pesos for a four seater up to six figures for the eight seaters and above. They are usually pretty solid in the undercarriage department. This Gmelina table is over 8 ft long and all the rails are at least 2inchs thick.
Photobucket Shop around and you,ll find something you like, but never accept the first price your given, especially if your a foriegner. The additional cost is known locally as ” skin tax” or as a friend called it “long nose tax” and they won,t be upset if you negotiate. But do check it over before you sign up for anything, some of the pieces I saw in this store had insect damage and doors and drawers that didn,t quite fit right. Delivery is usually thrown in if you live close enough. Happy shopping.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

6 comments so far

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 5481 days

#1 posted 06-29-2009 02:59 PM

Those are nice pieces. I am trying to plan a trip to Davao City in the next year or so…if my wife will let me go. I wish I had room in a suit case of some furniture. Thanks for the post.

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View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 5090 days

#2 posted 06-29-2009 03:06 PM

They are so beautiful.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5148 days

#3 posted 06-29-2009 03:14 PM

wow, thanks for the pricing info… quite remarkable indeed!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 4941 days

#4 posted 07-03-2009 12:12 PM

Hey chris enjoy your trip to Davao, it,s a wonderful town. Good place to stay is Drifters apartelle, good food and a bar with free internet, I think around 1000peso a night. Checkout Samal island and Mt apo if you get the time.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View mmh's profile


3703 posts in 5221 days

#5 posted 07-07-2009 05:37 AM

Beautiful craftsmanship. It’s good to see that they are able to create works such as these.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5076 days

#6 posted 07-07-2009 05:43 AM

Some very outstanding work thanks for sharing


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