Pointing Upward:How Cypress Bomanite Inc.’s Founder Built His Life’s Work


Not all establishments in the landscaping industry can boast decades of success and renown in the country, but Cypress Bomanite is one of these long-standing brands. The company has worked with all leading developers and contractors all over the country for various landscape and hardscape construction needs, ranging from decorative concrete flooring to swimming pool and water feature installations.


With 50 years to its name, this company was built on humble dreams and is a testament to how a man’s perseverance, compassion, and generosity would be the solid foundation of one of the Philippines’ leading names. What started as Rolly Traballo’s vision would go beyond his own personal achievements and move the industry beyond greater heights.


“All the Leaves Are Pointing Upward”


The road to Cypress Bomanite Inc,’s inception was far from astraightforward journey. It took a young aspiring student from Palawan to find his way in Manila, where he worked part-time as a waiter while finishing his studies in college. From his workplace, he would meet his soon-to-be wife, Nena, a cashier, who was studying accounting at the time. After graduating, the two would be more than a young couple and become full-fledged business partners of a simple garden setup store known as Cypress Garden Rock and Supply. This business endeavor that started in March 1972 would be akin to similar mom and pop’s establishments at the time.


When Rolly found the home for his company in a compound in EDSA, he chanced upon a tall Cypress tree as a notable landmark in the area. He opted to use this symbol to reflect his forward-minded vision for his company, noting its unique quality where “all the leaves are pointing upward.” And things indeed looked upward for the fledgling company as they faced the construction boom in the 80’s.


Nena’s early experience working part time in one of his uncle’s garden and landscape business proved to be one of the pillars of the company’s success. While he worked on the nitty-gritty of things, his partner became the solid rock of the operations by consolidating retail sales and running a tight and organized ship. With the construction boom in the 80’s, Cypress Garden Rock and Supply became one of the major suppliers of quality rocks and pebbles of big contractors in the country. Besides serving local clients, it has also serviced other neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other countries in Asia and as far as the USA (Hawaii).


When aspiring business owners talk of

sustainability, it typically boils down to optimizing business practices to inspire growth and expansion in the company’s first years. While planning for these essentials is only natural, not many entrepreneurs consider the true essence of what they’re building.


Moreover, very few players in the industry welcome the idea of one day leaving their

company’s direction to someone else.


The early beginning of Cypress Garden (1972)

Cypress Bomanite Enchanted Kingdom Landscaping Maintenance


Finding Breakthrough After Breakthrough


Growing into the PHILIPPINE CYPRESS CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (PCCDC) in 1984, Rolly found his big break by branching into landscape maintenance in finishing. The company handled many notable landmarks, such as the masonry finishing of NAIA Terminal 1, Araal installation of the iconic Benguet Tower, the full landscape development of the Marbella Marina Club Resort in Caylabne Bay, and several other big-name resorts as a start.


From these projects, his company was able to grow, handling major development works and earning his reputation enough to be appointed as a consultant of the Philippine Tourism Authority (now known as TIEZA) It wasn’t just the quality of the work his company enforced that showed his mettle as a leading name in the industry; it was also through the forward-looking mindset that made him stand out from local competitors.


In 1991, he acquired the BOMANITE franchise in the USA the inventor of stamped concrete, when he saw the potential of stamped concrete in the Philippines. Owning the exclusive master licensing to this imprinted concret technology would pave the way to change the industry moving forward. To date, his

company has installed more than a million square meters of Bomanite all over thecountry, finally leading to his company’s partnership and evolution into CypressBomanite Inc. by the year 2000.


The growth of the company expanded outside of the Philippines as it acquired the rights to most of southeast Asia and it has established customers and presence in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia through its regional arm Bomanite SE Asia Pte Ltd.

Bomanite Licensed Partner, Okada Manila (Bomanite Sandwash Finish) Cypress Bomanite


Cypress Bomanite Grand Hyatt Hotel Greenwall (left)

Cypress Bomanite Grand Hyatt Hotel Water Feature (right)


Cypress Bomanite The Finance Center Landscaping


Branching Out One’s Potential

Cypress Bomanite’s success isn’t limited to Rolly’s career progression. It alsoled to inspiring growth to the industry as a whole. He realized the importanceof building a licensing network to work with other capable and similar mindedcompanies across the country. To date the company has 8 licensee partners;Stone 2000, BPMH Finishing Services, Paul Tropical Landscape Concepts in Luzon, ARQ Cebu and ARQ Mindanao, and MJ StoneWorld in Iloilo.


The growth of the company expanded outside of the Philippines as it acquired the rights to most of southeast Asia and it has established customers and presence in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia through its regional arm Bomanite SE Asia Pte Ltd.


Rolly understood the need for partnership in fostering growth. His son, current CEO and managing director at Cypress Bomanite Inc., Ronnie Traballo, notes that “Partnering with customers and suppliers, even with competitors, should work hand in hand to develop the industry further.” His father was one of the pioneers of LACAP (Landscape Construction Association of the Philippines), composed of pioneering landscape contractors in the country that aimed to professionalize the industry and partnered with PALA ( Philippine Association of Landscape Architects), the only professional organization for Landscape Architects.. LACAP has now evolved and is now known as LACISAP (Landscape Contractors and Industry Specialists Association of the Philippines (LaCISAP) to include all other related trade professionals in the industry.


Paying it Forward

It’s easy to see such a well-known man’s list of achievements and assume that there were little to no hardships along the way. However, Rolly Traballo’s journey was far from easy. As he found his way to Manila, he had to ask the local churches to let him stay throughout his studies. He would then perform

chores around the church and even help in celebrating mass and other activities. This act of paying it forward is one of the many mantras he has embraced and embodied in his life which continues to inspire those who work with and for him.


Challenges would continue to trouble him as he was growing his company, especially during the Asian financial crisis in the 90’s. Nevertheless, he pushed through with perseverance, and by the grace of God, he was able to overcome and survive these challenges. He understood that it is his responsibility to give back the blessings he had received. Coming from a very spiritual family himself, it’s no surprise that his work ethic would be deeply rooted in giving thanks to God. An active member of the church, he has used his talents to provide landscape services to the public and donate to the Lungsod ng Kabataan in

Mandaluyong through the LIONS club.


Ronnie remembers his father’s charitable acts as a commitment to paying it forward. “My grandparents were very religious, spiritual, and deeply active in Church. So he knew that all blessings we receive are provided by God, so it must be returned in kind.” He adds, “Being grateful means paying it forward in kind to the community he grew up in.” Rolly continued to work and partner with various church efforts, from medical missions and other charitable works, using his company’s and his own resources to make the world a better place.


Branching Anew

Ronnie remembers his father as being very hands-on with his work. He notes that “My father continues to go around and visit projects, so he knows what’s happening.” However, this didn’t become an issue with his personal life. “To him, there is no break from work, especially if you have the commitment for it,”

Ronnie recalls.


Cypress Bomanite SM Fern Swimming Pool


Colouredge Swimming Pool Project

Rolly’s passion for work extends to how he treats his company as his family, allowing him to view his personal life and work as one and the same.

Mactan Shrine Stamped Concrete (ARQ)


Rolly’s passion for work extends to how he treats his company as his family, allowing him to view his personal life and work as one and the same.


He focused his company’s vision on people development in order to have the right people working and for them to be the best at what they do, which is why he chose to live by example. Ronnie recalls a quite ironic quote from his father, that he will “only retire, two days before he dies.” He seemingly decided to stay strong enough to deliver plans for a project one last time, before succumbing to his illness. It was only right after accomplishing this task that he finally took his final rest.


Saying goodbye to Cypress Bomanite’s founder comes with its corporate and personal repercussions. Ronnie understands his father’s legacy and the need to continue not just his company’s work in the industry, but also his mission to serve the community as he notes that “Besides further innovating the company and continuing the outreach programs he has started, we must also commemorate the life and times of those people who made the company where it is now.” Thus, a coffee table book is being published to match the 50th year anniversary of the company and to give back to everyone who has been a part of the Cypress Bomanite family.


“Besides further innovating the company and continuing the outreach programs he has started, we must also commemorate the life and times of those people who made the company where it is now.”

Verdant Strip Mall (Paul Tropical)


Aqua Planet Stamped Concrete (Stone 2000)



Mactan Shrine Stamped Concrete (ARQ)


Bayugan Rotunda Stamped Concrete (ARQ)




Manila Zoological (BPMH Finishing Services)




He’s fondly remembered by colleagues not just as a business partner but as a welcoming friend.


“He had a very kind, gentle, and humble, generous soul, as anyone who meets him will quickly experience. You could sense he was living a Godly purposeful life. I will be eternally grateful for all the memories with Rolly, and for the genuine friendship I’ve had with Rolly

for the past 30 years. He was a man of God, a man of honorable integrity and generosity and service to everyone he met, He was a bright light, an enormous example of how to live life well.”

- Matthew Stegemiller, Bomanite International





“Rolly, I would say, is the quintessential gentleman, very humble, courteous, and polite. Even as one of the stalwarts of the landscape industry, he would not consider himself a man above others.”

- Ace Dimanlig, PALA


“I have learned a lot from him, from the many small talks we’ve had and from his many food friends…he was a good man, a great dad, and above all, a very devoted husband to his wife.”

- Grace Arquisola, ARQ Builders


Truly the testament to success isn’t just achievable in one’s own lifetime; it is in building a life’s work worth continuing.

Continuing a Life’s Work

Cypress Bomanite Employees with RPT



Cypress Bomanite has received many recognitions and milestones throughout the years, even covering

other countries across Asia to expand their services. Unfortunately, a company owner’s reach will have its limits. Last December 6, 2021, Cypress Bomanite’s founder, Rolly Traballo’s untimely passing led him to the last leg of his life.


At the age of 75, he left not just a company and industry to mourn and remember his legacy. He also said goodbye to friends and family who will continue his vision and aspirations and pay things forward for generations to come. Although his death may be a grim reminder of our mortality, it’s also a reassuring reality of what we must aspire to be while we are in this world.

Not all business owners are comfortable about the idea of leaving behind what they started. However, it's an inevitable reality we must all face. Whether we’re retiring to enjoy the peace of our golden years or passing down the torch to our successors, the true measure of one’s worth isn’t quantified by just profits and gains. It’s in the impact one has made over the years, not just to one’s name in the industry, but also in the merit of their character. Truly the testament to success isn’t just achievable in one’s own lifetime; it is in building a life’s work worth continuing.



 

WORDS

Gerald Manuel


IMAGES

Cypress Bomanite