Kamusta Pilipinas!

I feel thrilled about the recent formation of “Paul Penders Philippines, Inc.” for the marketing and distribution of Paul Penders natural cosmetics in The Philippines. For this I was in Manilla over the weekend prior to my ayurveda study trip in Kerala, India. 

The new company is managed by Michael Lee who also owns advertising companies in The Philippines and in Myanmar. Mike is a real example of an entrepreneur, a “self-made” businessman who pursues his dreams with heart and passion. Before my trip he had already arranged for his “angels” to distribute Paul Penders products nationwide. Mike’s angels are the best people from his advertising company who were trained and motivated to take charge of Paul Penders sales in different parts of the country. Mike’s new mantra is, “Paul Penders will become a well-known and respected brand in the Philippines as Filipinos love natural products!”

I must say I was really impressed with Mike’s level of professionalism and his contacts; we had one of our meetings in the office of a congressman and his staff was very enthusiastic about our line of natural cosmetics made from organic ingredients. I noticed that people in The Philippines have a very close bond with nature. During my short stay I heard plenty of interesting stories about local village treatments, including “Goo Goo” which is a traditional shampoo made from a part of rice paddy which is cooked.

Mike’s office is located in the countryside in a serene spot with clear lakes and volcanoes. It was so picturesque I could imagine living there happily! Although The Philippines has a hot, tropical climate, the high altitude of Mike’s estate was a welcome relief from the humidity. One of Mike’s life’s philosophies is hard work, but he balances this with a need to share and experience true friendship. His 2-story office is on an estate that also includes 22 fully furnished apartments (each complete with bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and shower) for his team of angels.

Mike really believes in looking after his people and has a huge green area on the estate, where vegetables are grown and staff can jog or walk around. Every morning I saw people exercising and meditating, all motivated by Mike’s belief in being healthy in mind and body. I should mention that in his younger days Mike trained as a Buddhist monk, and is well versed in meditation. He was even taught by a senior monk how to read palms.

After leaving the monastery for the ‘real’ world, Mike entered the shipping business and owned a fleet of coastal freighters. He also became a developer, specializing in low-cost houses. Today, in his latest reincarnation as an ad man, his billboards can be seen throughout The Philippines – in cities and along highways. His focus on work and the business is amazing and I noticed him constantly snapping pictures of billboards when driving in his car! His newest passion is to bring natural cosmetics to the people of The Philippines – a brand new opportunity for him and for his angels.

Even though my trip was short, I was truly touched by the hospitality and friendliness shown to me in The Philippines. Thank you Mike for taking up the challenge of introducing Paul Penders products, for showing unique leadership and for your professional approach. I was very impressed with the ethical way in which you treated your staff. My memories of my trip are of the astonishing natural beauty of the country as well as the simple, genuine kindness of its people.

Mike, I wish you and your angels every success in establishing the Paul Penders brand in The Philippines!