Name of Author: Conrado S. Perreras Title of the Book: Bamboo: The Timber of the 21st Century
Would you please introduce yourself?
I am an economist by training, a marketer by profession, and an entrepreneur by choice. An advocate for life in protecting and preserving the environment, overall wellness, and good governance Tell us about your book. Who are your target readers?
It is a comprehensive assessment of the state of the bamboo industry and how it can transform itself to be the timber of the 21st century. It concerns itself with providing a roadmap for the government and the private sector in revolutionizing the bamboo sector of the country. It is therefore directed first and foremost to policymakers responsible for the future of the industry. It also serves as a briefing paper for everyone else interested in the logic of the bamboo industry. 3. What makes it different from the existing books in the market? Existing books on bamboo are too technical and challenging to read. They were mostly written by scientists and meant as textbooks or technical references on bamboo. My book is a layman's presentation on the supply and demand for bamboo, describing the industry's value chain. I wrote it for business people and entrepreneurs wanting to get into the business of bamboo: establishing nurseries, developing plantations, harvesting, and processing of bamboo into handicrafts, furniture, and most especially engineered bamboo products where the future of the industry belongs. It is a roadmap that describes where we are and where we are going, how we will get there, how much it will cost, and who is responsible for making things happen.
Please share your journey writing this book. Who has been your inspiration? How long did it take you to finish it?
My journey started way back during my childhood when my father instilled discipline with me by using a bamboo stick and extended to my experience in building a bamboo table as part of my industrial art in elementary school. It came to a life and death situation when I almost drowned during the great floods of the late sixties, and my father saved me using a bamboo pole as a floater. When I was active in Rotary, I was at the forefront of a project called Bamboo for Life which advocated the planting and use of bamboo for livelihood generation. Harnessing the best of science and technology for people and the environment led to the formation of the Bamboo Network of the Philippines with scientists, entrepreneurs, and advocates. Our network helps craft the Executive Order that led to the establishment of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council, where I sat in the Board of Trustees and Cabinet Secretaries of the DTI, DENR, DA, DOST, DOLE, DEPED, LMP, and industry associations and non-government organizations.
I traveled around the country to promote our bamboo advocacy and partnered with private donors and LGUs to plant bamboo in marginal lands to put up integrated bamboo operations as a source of income and employment for our people. Bamboo has become an instrument in pursuing the triple bottom lines: people, planet, and profit. Then I wanted to teach in the graduate school of an establishment but did not have the degree to qualify me. So I enrolled in its MBA Program and obtained a master's degree in business administration even though I already took my master's in industrial economics immediately after college. My master thesis was on strengthening the supply of bamboo for furniture, handicrafts, and engineered bamboo products as the basis for crafting a roadmap for the industry. I was engaged earlier by the Department of Trade and Industry to write a paper for this purpose. In a more concise and easy-to-read manner, I put together what I have been doing all along in the bamboo advocacy, which started in Rotary and ended up in a master's degree. I adopted my master thesis into a book and published it during my 70th birthday to pay back to society for the many blessings I received. It is my gift to the Filipino People and the rest of humanity.
What do you hope your readers or your target community will get from reading your book?
It is my fervent hope that the readers of my book will realize that the lowly bamboo can be an instrument to a better life by transforming it into a progressive, dynamic, competitive industry with a sustainable resource base. I wanted to provide a roadmap to minimize trial and error in setting up large-scale integrated bamboo operations throughout the country for those in business and industry. I wanted to open their eyes to bamboo's possibilities for the rest of my readers, hoping that they will patronize bamboo products in their everyday lives.
What is your vision for this book?
This book is on the supply side of the bamboo industry; the sequel to this book is about the demand side of the bamboo industry. My next book on bamboo focuses on the feasibility studies on setting up micro, small and medium scale enterprises. It will explore what else can be done with bamboo as a raw material for sophisticated products in the future. It will also explore a thorough investigation on how to effectively compete in the world market and have our rightful market share.
What are your future projects and endeavors?
I am in the process of crafting my roadmap for personal governance. I plan to write my autobiography with the end in mind of describing what I will be doing for the rest of my professional life. My future books will focus on my journey to wellness, good governance, and the environment. I may also write about my Toastmasters journey by compiling all my speeches in the 12 paths in Pathways.
Would you please invite them to buy your book?
Instead of just buying a book for yourself, please pledge your support to the bamboo advocacy by getting more books to share with your family, friends, and associates. Please help us create the multiplier effect across the country and help the bamboo revolution that we are waging to transform bamboo into the timber of the 21st century.