50th Anniversary Celebrations
Monday, September 10, 2012
Rande T. Badana

The grandest of celebrations, a commemoration of Planters Products, Inc.’s fiftieth year of meaningful existence, was held on the night of September 10, 2012 at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio Global City.

DA Sec. Proceso Alcala graced the event together with dignitaries who have faithfully partnered with PPI. Sharing DA’s practicable strategies to staples sufficiency, Sec. Alcala emphasized the National Government’s deliberate move to walking together with the Filipino farmers.

Atty. John Paolo Roberto A. Calleja, PPI CEO and President, reminded everyone of the organization’s glorious past, of the vital role it once played in augmenting the harvest yield of the Filipino farmers. The present does not dictate any respite from what once was, demanding for a much more significant upsurge in food production. Agricultural land conversion, increasing food consumption effected by population explosion, environment protection and conservation, climate change, unpredictable bouts of El Nino and La Nina, intensify the need for immediate and actionable solutions.

Atty Calleja shared an overview of PPI initiatives on Seed-to-Shelf and Plant-Now-Pay-Later programs. The Seed-to-Shelf (S2S) program was launched in support of DA’s need to assist farmers who have fallen victims to typhoon Ondoy. Through the S2S, PPI lent inputs to farmers over one hundred fifty days at zero percent interest and a guaranteed purchase of their rice produce at a peso greater than the prevailing market price. The PNPL is a variant to the S2S wherein farming inputs are also lent to farmers, but they are free to sell their produce to whomever they wish to.

Jim Paredes and beauty queen, Venus Raj, emceed the event. Dondie Ong and Fame Flores, two of today’s rising performers, wowed the crowd with their vocal duets and commanding presence. The Black Theater, a group of mime performers who capitalize on black light for their presentation, depicted the rigors of boldly going through various challenges and keeping faith until victory is within one’s reach. A sand artist imbued life to the sand, showcasing a farm, a farmer busy growing rice and rice served at the dining table. Talented guitarist, singer and composer, Noel Cabangon engaged the audience with his witty and thought-provoking lyrics enumerating the behaviors and reactions of a “mabuting Pilipino.”

Valued business partners, guests, former and current employees were resplendent in their Filipiniana attires. Everybody enjoyed food from the overflowing buffet tables and crispy and flavorful lechon.

The night ended with launching of PPI’s own hymn, “Kaisa Ka sa Tagumpay,” a song that recognizes the importance and sacrifice of our modern-day heroes, the Filipino farmers, and Planters Products, Inc.’s commitment to living it’s slogan “Kumpanya ng Magsasakang Pilipino.”

The grandest of celebrations in our corporate existence did not really end that night. In our minds and hearts, the celebration of life in Planters Products, Inc. is continuing, and as far as endings go, has just begun.