The Bicol region, where most of the country’s Pili trees are located, has its share of blows with typhoons every year. Despite this, its people, and even the Pili tree, have become resilient, an attitude most useful especially during this pandemic.
“The Pili tree is known as the Tree of Hope. No matter how hard the typhoons are, they remain standing. Kapag binabagyo, mas marami siyang bunga,” shares Rosalina Tan, owner of Pili Ani.
This resilience has been imbibed even in Pili Ani, a brand which specializes in beauty products made from Pili oil and the elemi resin. COVID-19 has challenged its operations: the company had to let go of some of its people and temporarily halt some of its plans for development. Despite these challenges, it remains optimistic about the future.
“We used this time to reflect. I have had my own share of misgivings in the past four years, and I have used this time to learn from them. We are using this opportunity to reboot,” says Mary Jan Tan-Ong, CEO of Pili Ani.
Mary Jane stresses that it is important for the company to continue taking care of its remaining employees and extending a helping hand to their partner communities.
“We continue to buy Pili from the farmers at the price we used to buy from them before the pandemic. Ayaw naming binabarat ang mga farmers. We’re sustaining and helping them the best we could,” Mary Jane says.
Pili Ani is also boosting its presence online and its partnership with its retailers like Kultura in an effort to continue touching base with their customers. Mary Jane’s daughter is taking the helm of their online initiatives, making the business a three-generation affair.
“We are strengthening our own online platform. We are also coming up with online ads for more visibility. Our presence at Kultura has also helped us to continue reaching our market,” shares Mary Jane.
Going into the new year, Pili Ani is more confident with its plans of taking the brand to the next level. “Now that we have seen the problems and were able to address them, we feel that we’re more ready to take our products to the States,” says Mary Jane.
Pili Ani and other products are available at Kultura located in SM Malls. You may also order Pili Ani and other uniquely Filipino items at www.kulturafilipino.com.