Rosalina Tan has a way of lighting up the room whenever she walks in. Before Pili Ani she was already an accomplished businesswoman and led a wide variety of companies, mostly related to the livestock industry. She was a long time supplier of packaging and feeds, and created for herself a superb reputation due to her integrity and prompt service.
Along with this, she was also a real estate broker and an insurance agent - on top of being a mom.
Yet, her success was always a result of her passion, and when she learned that there was such a high level of pesticide content in commercial rice, she realized there was a huge problem afoot. She was worried not only about her family but about all families and she couldn’t sit back and not do anything about it.
Rosalina is proud of her spirituality and has always lived by the words in the book of James 4:17 “If anyone, then, knows the good you ought to do, and doesn’t do it, it is a sin for them”. So she rolled up her sleeves and got to work.
That’s when she co-founded “Opta-Organic Producers & Trade Association of the Philippines” and was the president for 10 years (from 1995-2006). As a pioneer of this movement, she worked hard to lobby for her cause with the Department of Agriculture and eventually the Philippine Government enacted the Republic Act 10068: “Promoting the Development of Organic Agriculture in the Philippines”.
As the president of Opta-Organic, she visited several provinces, teaching different communities and farmers about sustainability and organic farming. She noticed that one particular province tugged at her heartstrings - a province called Bicol, which was famous for housing the legendary Mayon Volcano (known for its perfect cone). However, she also saw how kind the people were and how receptive they were to organic farming. So, when her own children were looking to expand their businesses to a provincial site, she quickly suggested Bicol.
She loved it so much that she even moved to Bicol in 2006 so she could further immerse herself in the community and nature that surrounded her there. It was here that she fell in love and learned so much about the magnificent Pili Tree.
Along with founding Pili Ani during this time, Rosalina also started the Save Our Soil Foundation. This is tightly associated with Pili Ani, but also works alongside the DAR-Department of Agrarian Reform, which has given 100 hectares (approx. 200 acres) of expropriated land that has been distributed to 154 farmer family beneficiaries. She’s taken it upon herself to encourage the private sector to collaborate with the government to create a sustainable partnership to help the farmers have a steady stream of income. So, not only does she make sure that the Pili Trees are properly tapped and ethically harvested, she also helps the farmers by teaching them to organically harvest vegetables and corn for the main Philippine market.
Not only does she continue to support these amazing programs, but she’s also an active member of the Filipino-Chinese Business & Professional Women’s Association, The Zonta Club of Greater Rizal (she was the President from 2018-2020) and as well as the Global Women’s Club in London where she was given an honorary award in 2021.
In a nutshell, Rosalina is quite frankly a real-life superwoman.