It did, at first, seemed, when you think logically about it, a rather extravagant purchase made by my mother but when the matched set of two chairs and a coffee table was delivered to our family home here in Lianga, I had to admit to myself that there is indeed something about the mysterious, dark mystique and aura of precious, durable beauty attached to Magkono wood products that can mark any one excessively engaged in hardfisted haggling about how much they should or really cost as downright cheap and insufferably stingy.
Even when still rough and unfinished, the table and chairs already exude a sense of primitive yet subdued strength and toughness, as if the patina of weathered and roughened skin covering the robust, metal-hard wood beneath it can somehow bear witness to countless years of stubborn and defiant resistance to the destructive effects of time and the unfriendly elements. There are, in fact, more than a few furniture fanciers who prefer to get their Magkono items unsanded and unpolished since much of this very quality and the unique beauty and symmetry of the hardwood's natural grain patterns are often lost in the final cleaning and varnishing process.
Most, however, prefer them completely smoothened all over and polished to a glossy sheen, the flat surfaces gleaming like dark mirrors. The color of Magkono wood in its natural state varies from a darkish cream to almost black with the younger wood often lighter in hue. When cut down and buried in the ground, it generally darkens with time. Old, time-seasoned wood is best for making top quality furniture and is so tough and hard that it is impervious to termites and other wood-boring pests.