Manuel Villar

  (Redirected from Manny Villar)

Manuel "Manny" Bamba Villar Jr. (Tagalog pronunciation: [biljɑːr], born December 13, 1949) is a Filipino billionaire businessman. He has been a Philippine Senator and the president of the Nacionalista Party.

Manuel Villar
Manny Villar T'nalak Festival 2009.jpg
25th President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 24, 2006 – November 17, 2008
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byFranklin Drilon
Succeeded byJuan Ponce Enrile
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2013
20th President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 23, 2001 – August 12, 2002
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byBlas Ople
Succeeded byJuan Flavier
18th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
In office
July 27, 1998 – November 13, 2000
PresidentJoseph Estrada
Preceded byJose de Venecia Jr.
Succeeded byArnulfo Fuentebella
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Las Piñas' Lone District
In office
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 2001
Preceded byFilemon Aguilar
Succeeded byCynthia Villar
Personal details
Manuel Bamba Villar Jr.

(1949-12-13) December 13, 1949 (age 70)
Tondo, Manila, Philippines
Political partyNacionalista Party
Other political
Independent (2000–2003)
LAMMP (1998–2000)
Lakas-NUCD (1992–1998)
Spouse(s)Cynthia Villar
ChildrenManuel Paolo Villar III
Mark Villar
Camille Linda Villar
ResidenceLas Piñas, Metro Manila
EducationUniversity of the Philippines
Known forChairman of Vista Land & Lifescapes
Chairman of Starmalls, Inc.
Chairman of Golden Bria Holdings, Inc.
Net worthUS$6.8 billion (Jan 2020)[1][2]

Villar was born to a middle class family in Tondo, an impoverished and densely populated district of Manila.[3][4][5][6][7] After graduating from the University of the Philippines, he worked as an accountant and financial analyst, then launched a highly successful business in real estate. Villar's companies have built over 200,000 homes, and his business career made him the wealthiest person in the Philippines.[2]

Villar entered politics in 1992 when he was elected congressman representing the district of Las Piñas-Muntinlupa, and later became Speaker of the House of Representatives. As Speaker, he presided over the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada by the House of Representatives in 2000. In 2001 he was elected Senator, and served as Senate President from 2006 to 2008. He was the candidate of the Nacionalista Party in the 2010 presidential election, which was won by Benigno Aquino III.

Early life and educationEdit

Manuel Bamba Villar Jr. was born on December 13, 1949 in Tondo, an impoverished and densely populated district of Manila.[8] He was the second-born of the nine children of his parents in a poor family.[3][4][5][6][7][9] His father, Manuel "Maning" Montalban Villar, Sr., was a government employee from Cabatuan, Iloilo who worked as an inspector for the Bureau of Fisheries.[4][8] His mother, Curita "Curing" Bamba, was a seafood vendor from a poor family in Orani, Bataan.[4] The family lived in a small rented apartment in a run down slum area.[6] Villar's father was eventually granted a year-long scholarship for higher education in the United States, which led to a job promotion to a director position in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources upon his return.[3] Due to cramped conditions in Tondo, Villar's father obtained a P16,000 loan from the Government Service Insurance System, payable in 20 to 25 years, to build a home in San Rafael Village, Navotas.[7] As a child, Villar initially attended Isabelo delos Reyes Elementary School, a nearby public school in Tondo.[10] He also assisted his mother in selling shrimp and fish at the Divisoria Public Market, as early as age six, in order to help earn the money to support his siblings and himself to school.[4][8] However, accompanying his mother interfered with his education and he was forced to drop out from school during Grade 1.[10] He was then enrolled at Tondo Parochial School (later renamed Holy Child Catholic School), a private school in Tondo run by priests, to complete his elementary education.[10]

Villar finished his high school education at the Mapúa Institute of Technology in Santa Cruz, adjacent to Tondo.[11] He attended the University of the Philippines - Diliman and earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1970.[11] He returned to the same school to earn his master's degree in business administration in 1973.[11] He later characterized himself as being impatient with formal schooling, and eager to start working and go into business.[6]

Business careerEdit

After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Villar began his professional career working as an accountant for Sycip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co), the country's largest accounting firm.[11] He resigned from SGV & Co. to start his first business, delivering seafood in Makati.[9] However, when his largest customer was unable to pay him, he negotiated a debt restructuring of sorts, selling discounted meal tickets to office workers in exchange for receivables.[5] He then worked briefly as a financial analyst for the Private Development Corporation of the Philippines, where his job was to sell World Bank loans.[4][8] Wanting to start a business of his own again, he quit his job and availed of one of the loans, which offered attractive rates.[4]

In 1975, with an initial capital of ₱10,000, Villar purchased two reconditioned trucks and started a business delivering sand and gravel for construction companies in Las Piñas.[6][9] This eventually segued into building houses, as Villar took out a seven-year loan from a rural bank offering low interest rates.[5] From the loan, he kick-started building and selling homes at his first project, Camella Homes Phase 1 and 2 in Las Piñas,[12] initially with 160 units and would have resulted to be the country's largest home building company, with an emphasis on low-priced mass housing.[8] A notable innovation of Villar's companies was to sell house and lot packages, when the common practice at the time was to sell lots for future homeowners to build upon.[9] He initiated mass housing projects through economies of scale, utilizing the cost advantages of developing a large-scale project in order to bring down housing prices.[9] The number of homes built by Villar's companies totaled to over 200,000 units.[5]

In the 1980s, Villar established Prime Water to operate and maintain water distribution systems throughout the country. It counts a 25-year partnership with the municipality of Daraga to deliver bulk water, a 25-year joint venture agreement with Lingayen Water District in Pangasinan, and a 25-year joint agreement with the Leyte Metropolitan Water District[13] among its 30 water projects with local water districts. The Commission on Audit flagged Prime Water’s operations in Guagua, Pampanga due to high levels of arsenic in the commission's 2018 annual report.[14] The company produces over 170 million liters of treated water daily, supplied by more than 250 deep wells and surface water resources, and is directly involved in delivering water to more than 150,000 households across the Philippines.[15] Now under the Villar Group of companies, the water utility firm is led by their eldest son, Paolo.[16]

In 1984, he founded Golden Haven Memorial Park, a chain of cemeteries in the Philippines, started with its first branch in Las Pinas and expanded in Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Zamboanga, Bulacan, and Iloilo. It will also expanded into the businesses of memorial chapel, crematorium and columbarium.[17]

In July 1995, Villar's flagship property, C&P Homes, was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange and grew by more than a third in one day, ballooning Villar's 80% stake in the company to $1.5 billion. Villar had concentrated on low-cost housings which were bought by the home buyers themselves, giving opportunities for the low and middle-income Filipino families to acquire homes. He also wanted to set an example to Filipino entrepreneurs that what they set their mind on can be achieved.[18]

Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc., a family-owned business of Villar, is also listed in the privately owned Philippine Stock Exchange. Their shares of stocks were bought primarily by foreign funds which had given the government, as well as the PSE, good revenues.[19]

Villar has received several awards for his achievements during his professional and business career, including being one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in 1986, the Agora Award for Marketing Management in 1989, Most Outstanding CPA by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1990, and Most Outstanding UP Alumnus in 1991.[8] In 2004, he was named the Most Distinguished Alumnus, the highest recognition given by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.[8]

As of September 2018, Forbes magazine ranks him as the 2nd-wealthiest person in the Philippines, with his net worth of US$5 billion or ₱269 billion (53.8 exchange rate).[20] However, his statements of assets and liabilities (SALN) filed for the year 2012 states his net worth at P1.453 billion.[21]

In 2015, the MB Villar Group formed another company, Vitacare Healthgroup, Inc., a group that will build chain of hospitals nationwide. Its first project Vitacare Unimed Hospital & Medical Center (in partnership with Unimed) will be located in Vista City, Las Pinas will be fully operated in 2018.[22]

Manny Villar also ventured into coffee shop business, Coffee Project (formerly The Coffee Project) which has now 31 stores across the country.[23]

Becoming the richest person in the PhilippinesEdit

In 2019, Forbes Magazine named Villar as the new richest individual in the Philippines, with an estimated net worth of P250.68 Billion, taking the spot from the late Henry Sy, Sr.[24]

Political careerEdit

House of RepresentativesEdit

He was elected to the House of Representatives, representing the district of Las Piñas-Muntinlupa.[8] Due to congressional redistricting, he later represented the district of Las Piñas City.[8] He served for three consecutive three-year terms, consistently posting landslide election victories.[8]

Villar was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1998, during his third term in congress.[8] As speaker, he presided over the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada over corruption allegations in November 2000.[25] Along with a large group of lawmakers which include the Senate President, Villar defected from Estrada's Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) coalition in order to hasten the process of impeachment.[26] Seconds after the opening prayer, and skipping the traditional roll call, he immediately read a resolution sending the impeachment case to the Senate for trial, bypassing a full vote and ignoring attempts by Estrada allies to delay the proceedings.[25]

Hours after the impeachment proceedings, congressmen allied with the president led a move to oust Villar from his post as speaker, replacing him with Camarines Sur representative Arnulfo Fuentebella, an ally of President Estrada.[25]

In 2001, barred by constitutional term limits from seeking re-election to a fourth term in the House of Representatives, Villar was succeeded by his wife, Cynthia Villar.


Villar ran for Senator in the 2001 election. Having recently resigned from Estrada's LAMMP coalition, he ran for Senator as an independent politician, but campaigned as a member of the People Power Coalition, the administration coalition party which was supportive of the recent 2001 EDSA Revolution. He was elected to the Senate with more than 11 million votes, ranking seventh out of 37 candidates.[27] He later won re-election in 2007, running as a member of the Genuine Opposition coalition, ranking fourth out of 37 candidates.[8]

In July 2006, Villar was chosen Senate President, making him the first post-World War II public official to head both the House of Representatives and the Senate.[8] He had previously held the position of Senate President pro tempore, as well as the chairmanship of the Committees on Finance, Foreign Relations, Public Order, and Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries.[8]

In November 2008, Villar lost the support of the Senate majority, due to alleged fabricated accusations thrown on him by political enemies on the C5 project. He then resigned as President of the Senate and was succeeded by Juan Ponce Enrile[28] who later on investigated Villar for C5 scam.[29]

2010 presidential campaignEdit

Villar was a candidate for President of the Philippines in the May 2010 presidential election, as the standard bearer of the Nacionalista Party. He filed his certificate of candidacy for president on November 30, 2009, along with his running mate, Senator Loren Legarda.[30] His popular campaign line was "Sipag at Tyaga" (Hardwork and Patience). Villar's campaign platform includes combating poverty and corruption, two major problems between which he believes there is a strong link.[31]

According to a January 2010 survey by polling firm Pulse Asia and the February 2010 survey from Social Weather Stations, Villar was statistically tied in the lead with his main rival in the election, Senator Benigno Aquino III.[32] In a March survey rival Aquino had regained a significant nine-point lead.[33] Other significant rivals in the presidential race included former President Joseph Estrada and former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

During the presidential campaign, opinion columnist William Esposo claimed that Villar has lied in his TV ads and could not have been poor because his younger brother Danny was admitted to FEU Hospital, which he claims was a top hospital at the time and in 1962, there was no bone marrow transplantation and chemotherapy yet and everyone whether rich or poor died from contracting leukemia.[34] Villar clarified that his brother was admitted as a charity patient, because the family was unable to afford treatment. Any family member, who is on the verge of death, will definitely be brought to the nearest possible hospital to try and save him, regardless of their status in life.[7]

Villar placed third in the election, behind Senator Noynoy Aquino and former President Joseph Estrada. On May 11, 2010, a day after the election, Villar was among the first to concede to Aquino.

Offshore leaksEdit

During the ICIJ's (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) report of Offshore leaks in April 2013, his name appeared on the list of businessmen with offshore accounts. It was revealed that Villar owned an account in the British Virgin Islands.[35]

"The ICIJ investigation, of which PCIJ was part, found that Villar is the beneficial owner of a BVI international business corporation called Awesome Dragon Holdings Limited," said an ABS-CBN article. [36]

Villar has not denied ownership of Awesome Dragon, and no evidence of any wrongdoing has been found.

Personal lifeEdit

In his third year of college at the University of the Philippines, Villar became friends with Cynthia Aguilar, his classmate in the UP College of Business Administration.[5] Her father was then mayor of Las Piñas City. They married at the age of 25.[5] They have three children: Paolo (born c. 1977), eldest child and first of two sons; Mark (born 1978); second of two sons; and Camille Linda (born c. 1985), youngest child and only daughter.[18][37] Villar's two sons studied at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for their college education, while Camille attended Ateneo de Manila University for her undergraduate degree and IESE Business School for her MBA in 2013.[5] All three children graduated with degrees in finance or business management.[37] Mark is a former Representative of Las Piñas City and the current DPWH secretary, while Camille is the current Representative of Las Piñas City and a former co-host of Wil Time Bigtime and Wowowillie.

Villar lives in a two-bedroom house with his family in Las Piñas City.[5] In early 2010, a political smear was disseminated on the Internet, claiming falsely that Villar owned an extravagant mansion in the United States, which was debunked by[38]


  1. ^ "Manuel Villar". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b Abadilla, Doris Dumlao (March 6, 2019). "Manny Villar is richest of 17 Filipino billionaires on Forbes list". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Margie Quimpo-Espino (2007-05-06). "Nanay Curing won't let age get in the way of business". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Millet M. Mananquil (2009-05-10). "Fish be with Nanay Curing Villar". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tanya T. Lara (2009-11-15). "Cynthia Villar on Manny, the presidency & what her father taught her". Philippine Star. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Mr. Billion: How Cheap Homes Made a Filipino Rich". Asiaweek. 1995-08-18. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d Maila Ager (2010-03-29). "My brother died poor, Villar insists". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Senator Manny Villar". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Manny Villar". Manny Villar official website. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Amita Legaspi (2010-03-01). "Villar offers Noynoy a tour in Tondo". GMA News and Public Affairs. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  11. ^ a b c d "Villar, Manuel Jr. - Personal Information". Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Geography". CHAINworks. Camella Homeowners Association, Inc. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Villar seeks to expand memorial parks". BusinessWorld. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Getting Rich By Really Trying". Asiaweek. 1995-08-18. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  19. ^ "Transcript of Sen. Manny Villar's Press Conference". Senate of the Philippines. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  20. ^ Nam, Suzy (June 22, 2011). "Philippines' 50 Richest:#2 Manuel Villar". Forbes.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Villar group launches entry into hospital business". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Manny Villar is now PH's richest man". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  25. ^ a b c Thomas Fuller (2000-11-14). "The Impeachment of Estrada : Day of Political Tumult in Manila". New York Times. Archived from the original on July 29, 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  26. ^ Thomas Fuller (2000-11-04). "Impeachment Of Estrada Is Certainty, Rival Asserts". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  27. ^ "Senatorial Canvass Report No. 24". Commission on Elections. 2001-08-30. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  28. ^ Christina Mendez (2008-11-18). "Villar ousted; Enrile elected Senate president". Philippine Star. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  29. ^ Winnie Monsod (2008-11-18). "Monsod: C-5 road extension unnecessary, wasteful". ABS-CBN Corporation. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  30. ^ Anna Valmero (2009-11-30). "Villar formalizes bid for president". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  31. ^ "Candidate Profiles - Philippines Election 2010". Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  32. ^ Helen Flores (2010-02-04). "Pulse Asia: Noynoy 37%, Villar 35%, Erap 12%". Philippine Star. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  33. ^ Cyril L. Bonabente (2010-03-30). "Aquino leads Villar by 9 pts in new poll". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  34. ^ William M. Esposo (2010-03-28). "How Manny Villar lied and used the death of his brother Danny Titi be like". Philippine Star. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  35. ^ "BIR chief ready to investigate Pinoys with offshore accounts".
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b Kristine Servando (2010-02-15). "The lifestyle of Rep. Cynthia Villar". ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  38. ^ Barbara and David Mikkelson (2010-03-05). "Bel Air Mansion". Retrieved 10 March 2010.

External linksEdit

House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Filemon Aguilar
Representative, Lone District of Las Piñas
Prior to 1998, Lone District of Las Piñas-Muntinlupa
Succeeded by
Cynthia Villar
Political offices
Preceded by
Jose De Venecia
Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Arnulfo Fuentebella
Preceded by
Blas Ople
President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Juan Flavier
Preceded by
Franklin Drilon
President of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Juan Ponce Enrile
Party political offices
Preceded by
Salvador Laurel
President of the Nacionalista Party