The bamboo bends and thus does not break easily like other plants. In fact I remember that there is a story about a bamboo tree and a narra tree wherein they had a sort of contest to find out who is the strongest. The bamboo I think was able to withstand the strongest wind because of its ability to bend whereas the mango was uprooted by the same wind.
Filipinos are regarded to be pliant like the bamboo because we manage to survive whatever conditions we are in. In fact we not only manage to survive, we actually survive smiling!
The photo is a miniature bamboo that is used for decorative purposes.