Who is Manny Villar?

The public life of Manny Villar straddles both the worlds of business and politics. He is one of the few who managed to excel in both.

Working Student

He was born to a simple family on December 13, 1949 in Moriones, Tondo, Manila. His father, Manuel Montalban Villar, Sr., a government employee, hailed from Cabatuan, Iloilo and his mother Curita Bamba, a seafood dealer, came from Pampanga and Bataan. Manny is the second child in a brood of nine. At a very young age, he was already helping his mother sell shrimp and fish in the Divisoria Market. With the burning desire for a better future and a strong determination to improve his family’s living conditions, Manny worked hard in selling shrimps and fish to be able to send himself to school.

“I learned from my mother what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” he revealed. “And it means working really hard to achieve your dreams.” In Divisoria, he marveled at the volume of sales that Chinese merchants were making, thus he vowed early on to become an entrepreneur.

Hard work, persistence, and perseverance became his guiding principles in life. This earned him the title “Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga.”

He continues to inspire Filipinos with his life story and encourages each and every kababayan to improve their quality of life and fulfill their dreams through the very values he believes in — “sipag at tiyaga.”


Manny Villar was a working student at the University of the Philippines, the premier institution of higher learning in the country, where he obtained his undergraduate and master’s degree in business administration and accountancy. By then, he was also putting in long hours as a fish and shrimp trader, where the action starts at the ungodly hours of the morning when the catch lands in the market.

After graduation, he tried his hand as an accountant at the country’s biggest accounting firm, Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co). He resigned shortly though to venture on his own seafood delivery business.

When a restaurant he was delivering stocks to did not pay him, he printed out “meal tickets” which he persuaded the restaurant owners to honor. He then sold these tickets at a discounted price to office workers. It took him one year to liquidate his receivables.

He worked briefly as a financial analyst at the Private Development Corporation of the Philippines. His job was to sell World Bank loans, despite the attractive rates of which there were no takers. Convinced that he could make it on his own again, he quit his job and promptly availed of one of the loans.

So with an initial capital of P10,000 in 1975, Villar purchased two reconditioned trucks and started his sand-and-gravel business in Las Piñas.

Housing Innovator

It is here while delivering construction materials to big developers that Manny Villar came up with the idea of selling house and lot packages when the convention then was for homeowners to buy lots and build on them.

Manny Villar became the housing industry leader, and the biggest homebuilder in Southeast Asia, having built more than 100,000 houses for the poor and middle class Filipino families.

He then initiated mass housing projects to achieve economies of scale. His various innovations practically created the country’s mass housing industry. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism calls him “the dean of the (Philippine) real estate industry.”

Awards and Distinctions

For his business achievements, he was made cover story in the Far Eastern Economic Review. And his life story was also featured in Asiaweek, Forbes, AsiaMoney and Asian Business Review.

He garnered various awards such as the Ten Outstanding Young Men Award (1986) by the Philippine Jaycees, Agora Award for Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Management (1989), Most Outstanding CPA by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1990) and Most Outstanding UP Alumnus (1991).

Through the years, universities and colleges all over the country have conferred upon Villar honorary degrees in various fields in recognition of his exemplary performance in public service, his pioneering initiatives and innovations that revolutionalized the country’s mass housing and real estate industry, and his distinct role in the enactment of economic and social reform laws that are vital in sustaining the country’s economic momentum and improvement of the lives of Filipinos, particularly the cause of small and medium enterprises.

Among these universities and colleges that have bestowed Honoris Causa to Villar are: Adamson University, Doctor of Science; Bataan Polytechnic State College, Doctor of Humanities; Bulacan State University, Doctor of Humanities; Cagayan State University, Doctor of Humanities; Central Luzon State University, Doctor of Humanities; Foundation University (Dumaguete), Doctor of Humanities; Laguna State Polytechnic College, Doctor of Humanities and Entrepreneurship; Pangasinan State University, Doctor of Development Management; Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Doctor of Business Administration; Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Doctor of Entrepreneurial Management; Romblon State College, Doctor of Humanities; Tarlac State University, Doctor of Public Administration; Wesleyan University-Philippines, Doctor of Humanities; and Western Visayas College of Science and Technology, Doctor of Technology in Entrepreneurial Management.

Political Career

In a stunning political debut in 1992, Villar won with the most overwhelming mandate among congressmen in Metro Manila. He promptly applied his economic and managerial expertise as a key member of the House’s economic team, marshalling in economic reform measures of the Ramos Administration such as the New Foreign Investments Act and the restructuring of the Central Bank of the Philippines. He was the House representative in the government’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. in 1992.

He also oversaw various infrastructure projects in his districts like the construction of concrete roads and the Alabang-Zapote Flyover. He introduced the “Friendship Route” to ease the traffic problems in southern Manila by persuading subdivision homeowners to open up their roads to the general public.

He succeeded in passing Republic Act 8003 “Declaring Certain Areas in Las Piñas as Tourist Spots.” The law formalized his program of rehabilitating historical and cultural landmarks in Las Piñas starting with the world-famous Bamboo Organ Church. The ongoing project dubbed as “Las Piñas Historical Corridor” covers the stretch of the Old District and may even rival the Intramuros and Vigan restoration projects.

A staunch environmentalist, he initiated a privately funded tree planting drive in his district. He developed a P10-million tree nursery beside his home. He also quietly led a dedicated tree-planting drive complete with maintenance and watering of tree seedlings planted in the open spaces of the community.

When he realized that many poor students could not go to school because they do not even have fare money, he organized the “Manpower on Wheels” Program, a livelihood training school housed in a van that makes the rounds in depressed areas. The program has since produced more than 5,000 graduates and has been awarded by various government and civic organizations for its innovative scheme.

During his first term, he steered Las Piñas and Muntinlupa to cityhood. He pointed out: “As a developer, I have always envisioned these two communities as the ‘Twin Cities of the South’ of Manila. In fact, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa are the two fastest growing communities in the country today.”

For his constituency work and personal vow, he extended grants of home sites to some 10,000 poor families in Barangay CAA, Las Piñas City. Two major roads were also opened in his district: the Sucat-Pulanglupa Link Road to Parañaque and the Zapote-Molino (Daang Hari) Link Road to Cavite, thus alleviating the traffic congestion in the area.

During his second term, he was able to upgrade the Las Piñas District Hospital with a new building and better facilities. He also launched the “Sagip-Bukas” Drug Prevention Program on all the private and public schools of Las Piñas to educate the youth about the dangers of drug abuse. He also nationalized the Las Piñas High School to upgrade its facilities.

By the end of his second term of office, Villar had already proven beyond doubt his capacity for excellence as a true Filipino entrepreneur and a brilliant public servant who can get things done.

Champion for Entrepreneurs

In 1995, Manny Villar ran for re-election and won an unprecedented 142,000 votes, the highest number of votes for a congressman in the entire country. Winning media acclaim as an outstanding congressman as well as the respect and recognition of his peers, he was elected to chair the Committee on Entrepreneurship.

As one of the leading entrepreneurs in the country, he championed the cause of small and medium-sized enterprises. He authored and passed into law the landmark New Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises (RA 8289). He initiated creative legislation such as the establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprises Stock Exchange and Business One-Stop-Shop centers, the latter he immediately implemented in Las Piñas City with the help of local officials.

Speaker of the House

It was no surprise then to those in the know when he gained the remarkable acclaim of 171 of 220 congressmen as the Speaker of the 11th Congress of the House of Representatives.

In a time when the country is slowly recovering from a host of economic and political crises, the election of the ‘brown taipan’ at the helm of Congress signaled a watershed event in the Philippine political history. The rise of Manny Villar ushered in a new consensus of leadership based on managerial skills and not simply on oratory and rhetoric.

By his first year in office, Villar undertook three pathbreaking reforms. He succeeded in marshalling consensus in the House to reform the ‘pork barrel’ system by limiting congressional discretion projects to the set parameters of the Executive’s development policies. Secondly, he launched a revamp of leadership by appointing at least seven neophyte congressmen to head powerful committees like ecology and banks. Finally, he set a strong and principled stance on environment protection legislation with the passage of the “Clean Air Act,” a measure that for more than ten years and three previous congresses were not able to pass.

On his second year in office, Manny Villar steered the 11th Congress into a record-breaking achievement in legislation and economic reforms. Among the pioneering measures he shepherded into law were the Retail Trade Liberization Act, the New Central Bank Act, the New Securities Code, and the New Banking Act.

Senator of the Republic

In the national elections held last May 14, 2001, despite being a relative newcomer in national politics, Manny Villar posted one of the most impressive showings in the national polls. On his first day in office, he filed 204 bills covering a comprehensive legislative program of action— the first among neophyte senators and the third highest filer among the senators of the 12th Congress of the Philippines.

After being elected by his colleagues, he assumed the position of Senate President Pro-Tempore, the second to the highest post in the higher Chamber of Congress. He is presently the Chairman of the Committee on Finance that is in charge of all deliberations and discussions on the national budget of the country and the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Committee on Agriculture. He authored 44 laws during the 12th Congress, among them are: RA 9178 Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act, RA 9189 Overseas Absentee Voting Act, RA 9208 Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act, RA 9257 An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, and RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act. He has filed Bills aimed at providing business opportunities for the people and improving the Filipinos’ quality of life through basic health care, decent shelters, responsive social services, and high quality education.

Outside the Senate’s halls, Villar actively sponsors the Sipag at Tiyaga Caravan Kaalaman, a livelihood training program that provides skills and inspiration to people that will allow them to venture into their own businesses. The caravan travels all over the country conducting livelihood seminars that are consistently widely attended and appreciated.

He has also spearheaded the building of schools, sending out medical missions and setting up relief operations whenever or wherever needed. He led the inauguration of the Las Piñas-Muntinlupa-Laguna-Cavite (LPMLC) link road, more popularly known as Daang Hari, as part of his road improvement program aimed at easing traffic in the south of Metro Manila. According to him, an efficient and rationalized road network is one of the fundamental requirements in improving commerce and spurring economic progress.

In February 2004, he was elected as President of the Nacionalista Party—the country’s oldest and grandest political party. He was also named the Most Distinguished UP Alumnus—the highest recognition given by the UP Alumni Association—for his exemplary public service and achievements.

Senator Manny Villar, despite his numerous accomplishments and heroism, has remained simple and unaffected. A true family man, he is a devoted husband to Congresswoman Cynthia A. Villar (Lone District of Las Piñas), and a loving father to sons Paolo and Mark and daughter Camille.

(taken from http://www.mannyvillar.com.ph/biography.html)


16 Responses to “Who is Manny Villar?”

  1. Elord Fama Says:

    thank you the information that was get from you…it helps a lot of our report of Senator Manny Villar because we were studying the Entrepreneurship right now…again thanks again…God Bless …More power……THANK YOU….

  2. Rodrigo Mercado Says:

    Yan ang manok ko sa 2010…saan pa tayo kay MBV sigurado ang bayan korapsyon ay aalisin, pamumuhay iaangat sa sipag at tiyaga itoy makakamtan

  3. Helen M. Escudero Says:

    Can I have an e-mail address of my idol manny villar?

  4. Koenig Says:

    Hi Helen,

    Thanks for dropping by. Here’s a link to his email and other contact info


    You may also want to check out his supporters community http://villar2010.ning.com

  5. cesar santos umali Says:

    Can I add to his acronym by calling him Mr. Sipag, Tapatan at Tiyaga? I met him through my spouse Margery Tobias, class of UP BSBA `70. Being an entrepreneur myself, for the past 30 years, as general manager of CS UMALI EXPORT, basically I went through what he went through, except that I did not become a politician. I share his way of thinking, his passion for progress, and his strong adherence to hard work and patience which are the traits of a successful entrepreneur. But now that his goal is for the highest office of the land, TAPATAN has been always the missing ingredient in all the Presidents who took office.
    TAPATAN is integrity in English, being whole, without malice nor deceit must be the essential trait that can make our country whole, because it is really TRUTH that will set us free, as the word of God says. As I heard several stories from his colleagues, his classmates, his close associates, integrity is what I can rationalize from this man who by my vision coming from God Himself, will be our next leader, who we can call truly be the next father of our nation, because this is what our country needs right now. We need a leader who can lead this nation from darkness to light, from bondage to sin to the freedom of purity, cleanliness in soul and spirit, and most of all, the moral ascendancy to lead this nation. Let us continue to pray to God Almighty that He will pick this next leader. God bless the Philippines. God bless our country.

  6. Arlene Rodriguez Villafania Says:

    I want to request for an e-mail address of Senator Villar, for I am a single mom of a three year old girl.Professionally, I am an experienced Accountant by Practice, and have an extensive training in Sales of Credit card and other bank products, will like to ask for his assistance to find work at home in line of Financial Research or Product and Service Development. I am previously enrolled to University of the Phils. Open University taking Research and Devt.Mgt. but I have to stopped this semester.
    Why I singled his out from the many?Because like U.Phils.who take my desire more important than my limitation, I do believe he is the man he will also be there to help me overcome my limitation and inspire me to do more than to let me suffer from what I do not have now.
    Soon I will start working with Sunlife Financial, butunlike abroad who grant a monthly pay for a sales person, I still do have to find permanent job to give me monthly income.

  7. Koenig Says:

    You can visit Senator Villar’s fansite (http://villar2010.ning.com) for his contact info. ty

  8. bungayan katuday Says:

    Hello! I am an igorot and a native of Bauko, Mt. Province. I married a man from Kalinga who happened to be one of the clergy in town.

    How I wish we can get his email address. We want to email him personally. Thank you and God bless.

    vikki bungayan

  9. bungayan katuday Says:

    Hello! I am an igorot and a native of Bauko, Mt. Province. I married a man from Kalinga who happened to be one of the clergy in town.

    How I wish we can get his email address. We want to email him personally. Thank you and God bless.


  10. marie Says:

    can i have the complete Home address of senator Manny Villar in Las Pinas?

  11. marie Says:

    can i have the complete Home address of senator Manny Villar in Las Pinas

  12. aleli coso Says:

    Senator Villar nais ko pong humingi ng tulong kung paanu po makakapag avail ng iyong pabahay, I’m from Cebu and ako lang po ang maytrabaho,may isa na po akong anak at nangungupahan lang po kami, sana po matulongan nyo po ako na maka avail ng iyong pabahay dahil kahit huloggan para po pagdating ng araw maituturin ko na po na aking sariling bahay, kaysa lagi po kaming mangungupahan…mahirap po kasi ang pag avail ng PAGIBIG loan dito. sana po mabasa nyo ito salamat po!

  13. Mel olan Says:

    Magandang Araw! po sa inyong lahat

    Tawagin n’yo nalang po ako sa pangalang Mhel may asawa at may tatlong anak .
    Nais ko po sanang idulog sa inyo ang aking problema wala na po akong ibang malapitan at minsan ay nawawalan na rin ng pag-asa sa buhay ngunit sinusubukan kong lahat upang mapaglabanan ang problema kong ito sa matuwid na paraan.

    Ako ay isang ama na naghahangad na mapabuti ang katayuan sa buhay ng aking pamilya subalit ulti mo trabaho ay mailap sa akin ibat ibang skills training na ang pinasukan ko para madagdagan ang aking kaalaman subalit hindi pa rin ako mapasok ng trabaho madalas ibibili nalang namin ng bigas ng pamilya ko isinasapalaran ko pa ring ipamasahe para lang makapag hanap ng trabaho subalit umuuwi akong bigo, ang palagi kong naririnig sa inaaplayan ko ay tatawagan nalang ako yon ang palubag loob na palagi kong naririnig subalit wala naman ako talagang maasahang tawag.

    Ibat ibang bagay na rin ang itininda naming mag asawa makatawid lang sa gutom ngunit hindi sapat ang aming kinikita hanggang sa ulti mo maliit na capital ay nauubos. Minsan ay parang gusto ko ng sumuko lalo na pag may problemang pinansyal dahil pakiramdam ko, ako ang haligi ng tahanan subalit hindi ko mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang pamilya ko lalo na ngaun na papalapit na naman ang pasukan ni hindi ko na naman alam kung saan ako kukuha ng pampaaral sa aking mga anak at sa susunod na taon mag kokolehiyo na ang anak ko mapapaaral ko pa kaya s’ya, ano nalang din kaya ang magiging buhay nya kung hindi sya makakatapos ng pag aaral ngayong lalong pahirap ng pahirap ang buhay. Yan ang malaking katanungan na palaging sumasagi at nakakapagpagulo ng isipan ko, ang kinabukasan ng mga anak ko.

    Ang lagi ko nalang iniisip ay kailangan lakasan ko ang loob ko dahil sa akin din sila kumukuha ng lakas para lumaban sa problema na ito. at ang panginoon na laging nakatanaw sa atin upang malayo ako sa tukso na gumawa ng hindi naayon sa kautusan n’ya upang mapunan lang ang gutom ng pisikal na katawan.

    Kaya kumakatok ako sa puso ninyo naniniwala ako na “NO MAN IS AN ISLAND” hindi po ako humihingi ng aming kakainin ayoko ring maging walang silbi at kung hindi po ako nagkakamali nasusulat din po sa biblia na wag pakakainin ang tamad. Ang akin lang pong idinudulog ay kung sino man po ang may kakayahang mag finance o kung sino man ang may PASSENGER VAN kahit second hand na pwede kong bayaran as boundary hulog at walang down payment ay malaking tulong po sa amin iyon upang magkaron ako ng pirmihang hanap buhay at handa naman po akong magbayad maging interest ng perang kanilang ilalagak sa pamamagitan nga po ng boundary hulog at kung ako rin naman po ay may maiipon bukod sa boundary dahil nga sa may aasahan na rin akong kita akin din pong ibabayad agad para mabayaran ko sa lalong madaling panahon ang nasabing sasakyan.

    Ako po ay nagsusumamo sa inyong progama na nawa ay matulungan n’yo ako na magkaroon ng magagamit na sandata para lumaban sa kahirapan sa buhay at makapamuhay ng marangal. O baka pwede nyo po akong mai-refer sa isang Motor Company na papayag sa klase ng pag babayad ko kahit second hand lang po akin po itong pagyayamanin. Sana po matulungan n’yo akong mabago ang aming buhay.

    Para po sa inyong tulong pwede po kayong makipag ugnayan sa email address ko na ito.

  14. Ricky Salera Says:

    greeting! by God grace…
    i want to keep in touch with Sen. Manny Villar or Sipag at Tiyaga Foundation. i believed on your advocacy to helping us. i finished my Accountancy and i have my family, unfortunately i am not able got a job. and i decide to put my own business since i work my first business as advertising. my passion in creative design in computer made me to raised my family. but i don’t have yet my personal computer and a shop, i am willingly to have my personal business to move on.

    if you consider me as you Sipag at Tiyaga recipient it will be give break to my ambition and big help to my family.

    Thank you very much.

    truly yours,

    Prk. 1, Pob. Banaybanay, Davao Oriental

  15. NOREEN Says:

    Hi Senator Manny!!!!!!
    I am noreen,im 13 y.o. Can I ask a question about where do you live now?
    I am hoping that you can answer to my simple question. I know that asking of your address is very difficult but i do my best to ask you because this is a part of our assignment…
    thank you very much and hoping for your wonderful answer as soon as possible……..

    COMING ELECTION!!!!!!!!!

  16. Koenig Says:

    Manny Villar’s address is at
    Carolne Masibay St.,
    BF Resort Village
    Las Pinas City

    source: http://www.i-site.ph/Databases/Congress/13thSenate/personal/villar-personal.html

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