Writing this article made me vividly remember a memory that I thought had long been gone. When I was a child, I loved to play many types of toys and I was not content with having just one set. This behavior led me to unexpected serendipity.
One day during Christmas vacation in my elementary years, I woke up to the yells of my playmates because apparently, the bakery where we usually bought our pandesal, the local bread in the Philippines, was giving out toys to children in the whole barangay. One only needed to line up and patiently wait for one’s turn to be given a gift.
I did not have an idea of how profitable a bakery business can be. Nevertheless, I admired the owner of the bakery. He looked like a typical baker, and he enjoyed his job so much. More importantly, he knew how to share his blessings, especially to the children who loved his pandesal. I seldom saw him smile, and one would really think twice whether he really loved making children happy. But he often did, especially during Christmas season. For putting joy in children’s hearts, he also became known as the local Santa Claus.
He was fondly called KaMundo by people in our area.
KaMundo taught me a lesson in life. That is to value with gratitude the community where one belongs. I am dreaming of being able to do the same as he did in time.
As part of an activity in the Action Research class of my masteral program, I came upon a poignant video of Archbishop Antonio Luis Cardinal Tagle as he delivered his speech during the Synod of Bishops in 2008. I was moved by his reflections of the Holy Eucharist. I do not remember the details of his speech, but what I can still remember is how the passion shown by the cardinal for his vocation moved every single soul attending the Synod of Bishops and how much he touched the lives of many in every little thing he did. Out of this experience, I remembered KaMundo.
A true business leader should be just as selfless as KaMundo. Let me put it this way: KaMundo gave importance to making profit for his business. But I also observed that in times of crises, KaMundo was so generous in giving donations and spearheading fundraising drives, showing how much he cared for the common folk. I discovered that a business leader becomes more powerful when he is nurturing.
KaMundo was an exceptional human being. He was the type of person who could give his all. He could never be measured by the amount of money he had. Yet, he seldom smiled. He was also quite strict to his employees to ensure they made the best-selling pandesal. I am thinking that maybe he did not know his value in our community.
I dedicate this article to him today. He is the type of a business leader who recognized his role in his society. He made me realize that a true business leader like him exists.
Rommel del Rosario, currently a manager at a BPO-Insurance company, is also finishing his MBA at the De La Salle University. He has taken a deep interest in the way businesses give back to the community.