Michelangelo once said that there is a sculpture in every stone and that it was up to the artist to find it.
In the case of the artist-brothers Manny and Junjun Montelibano, they had lots of plastic containers for soy sauce, hot sauce, oil, dishwashing liquid, ketchup and the like from the resaurant they were operating.
They had kept them and had thought of giving them to the basureros who might be able to make money out of these used plastic.
Then Covid-19 happened and the need for protective gears became acute. Their mom, Marietta, made washable masks for them but pretty soon, talk about the frontliners in the ERs and their need for protection was on everybody’s lips. The artists minds went to work, and what Michelangelo saw as sculptures in stones they saw face sheilds in the used plastic containers.
The plastics, ready for disposal, was now upscaled, Manny laughs. He created the structures; Jun-jun designed the control mechanisms made from, you guessed it, used plastic bottle caps. Their mom, Manny quips, has joked it was good she was a softdrinks guzzler they now have a lot of plastic caps to use.
They also asked help with the materials from their friends who have businesses which generate the plastic containers, like Charlie and Ann Co, Carla Lacson. Charmie Siao,Ana Tison and Marianne Magalona.
Once they had the prototype, the brothers decided to give it to the man delivering vegetables to them every morning. Since he is part of the food chain for the family, the brothers thought they might as well protect him.
The vegetable man at first refused to accept it, insisting instead fo pay for it. To acquiese him, Manny says they offered him a barter: the Monte shields in exchange for kalabasa.
The Montelibanos have since then produced 110 sheilds and are still making them for as long as they have the materials. Among them in the family, Manny says they can finish up to 30 pieces a day. But he is willing to share the design with others who may want to produce them, too; all they will ask is for people to keep the name “Monte Sheilds.”*TGLife
For those who wouldlike to donate materials for this project, drop it off at Tropicalia Pizza at the Art District in Mandalagan on MWF 3 to 5 pm