Photo by  Flickr user Alma Gamil licensed under Creative Commons

Photo by Flickr user Alma Gamil licensed under Creative Commons

By Cornel Bongco

According to the Department of Trade and Industry Region 5 publication Trade Winds:

“The Philippines is a 100-million-strong agri-marine nation enjoying the manifold gifts of its archipelagic ecosystems. Given this richness and diversity of natural resources, the Filipino foodscape is characterized by very unique yet abundantly available products and delicacies, a number of which are not found elsewhere in the planet. The Pili Nut can be spotted in bushes across tropical Asia and other Pacific islands, but the ones grown in the Bicol Region, southeastern end of the Philippine island of Luzon, are acknowledged as the best-tasting yet. And why ever not; the region is where the best variables for growing Pili converge. Home to at least five active volcanoes – one of which is the perfect-coned and world-admired Mayon Volcano – Bicol’s land is a fecund mix of volcanic soil and generous rainfall. That typhoons regularly pass through the region does not even pose a problem to Bicolano Pili growers, as the Pili Tree is known as a “stress tree”, that is, the more it is shaken and beaten by storms, the more it blooms and bears better fruit.”

The characteristic of the Pili as a “stress tree” is a wonderful secret from which leadership and life lessons could be derived. The storms of life are inevitable. But Pili has a wonderful characteristic of not only withstanding storms but blooming more and bearing better fruits as each storm passes. Excellent leaders choose to bloom more and bear better fruits as adversities come. Problems, like storms, present to excellent leaders, rooms of improvement, creativity  and innovation. They view complaints like fertilizers that would enhance and improve their products or the way things are being done, if what they offer are services.

The periodic storms that visit Albay becomes a blessing to the Pili trees because of the rains that it gives; coupled with the rich volcanic soil, the region provides the necessary environment for it to bear more fruit. This makes us think of the environment created in excellent organizations. The foundation really is a nourishing, encouraging and motivating environment that allows growth and development to happen.

Storms are inevitable, but with the right foundation, nourishment, encouragement, motivation, and environment, anyone will be able not only to survive but thrive! Wonderful Pili Nuts!

Cornel Bongco is in his own words, “a beggar who found Bread and want to share the delicious feast he enjoys.”