Manny Villar 01Manuel “Manny” Bamba Villar, Jr. (born December 13, 1949) is a Filipino businessman and politician. He is the President of the Nacionalista Party and a member of the Senate of the Philippines. Villar was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2000—in which capacity he presided over the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada—as well as President of the Senate from 2006 to 2008.

He assumed the Senate presidency at the beginning of the Third Regular Session of the 13th Congress, as part of a power-sharing agreement with his predecessor Sen. Franklin Drilon. On November 17, 2008, resigned due to lack of support in the Senate.

He is recognized as the richest legislator in Philippine history where he was consistently the richest congressman from 1992 to 2001 and richest senator from 2001 until 2008 with a net worth of P1.04 billion. On the Forbes Magazine released October 2007, its list of “The Philippines’ 40 Richest”, he is ranked 5th and the year’s biggest gainer. From $110 million last year, his net worth shot up 755% to $940 million after the public offering of his company Vista Land & Lifescapes.

Senator Manny Villar’s wife is Cynthia A. Villar, currently the representative of the lone congressional district of Las Piñas. He has two sons (Paolo and Mark) and a daughter (Camille).

Manuel “Manny” Bamba Villar Jr. was born 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. The second of nine children, Villar attended Holy Child Catholic School and started selling seafood at the Divisoria Market at an early age.

While Manny Villar was a working student, he was also putting in long hours as a fish and shrimp trader: working where the action starts during the wee hours of the morning when the freshly caught seafood arrives at market grounds. As a working student, he was able to put himself through school by finishing his studies at the University of the Philippines where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Business Administration.

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 their attractive rates 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.

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

He then went on to establish one of the largest development firms in the Southeast Asian region, the Camella & Palmera Homes. Originally low-end developers, the company has recently started selling more high end homes under the Crown Asia brand name, although criticism have been voiced in the press of many such developments in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

He earned citations such as 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 Alumnus in 1991.

Other Information

  • Name: Manuel “Manny” Bamba Villar, Jr.
  • Also known as : Manny Villar
  • Birthday: December 13, 1949
  • Birthplace: Tondo, Manila, Philippines
  • Residence : Las Piñas City
  • Nationality : Filipino
  • Political party : Nacionalista Party (2003- )
  • Other political affiliations : LAMP (1998-2000), Lakas-NUCD (1992-1998)
  • Schools Attended :
    • Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Business Administration, University of the Philippines
  • Father : Manuel Montalban Villar, Sr.
  • Mother : Curita Bamba
  • Spouse : Cynthia A. Villar
  • Children : 3
    • Paolo Villar
    • Mark Villar
    • Camille Villar
  • Occupation : Businessman, Politician
  • Religion : Roman Catholic

Career Highlights

  • President of the Senate of the Philippines (July 24, 2006 – November 17, 2008)
  • Senator of the Philippines, Incumbent (June 30, 2001)
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, (July 27, 1998 – November 13, 2000)
  • Member of the Philippine House of Representatives, Lone District of Las Piñas City (June 30, 1992 – June 30, 2001)

Notable Events

  • 2010 presidential campaign

Awards and Recognitions

  • Richest legislator in Philippine history, Forbes Magazine, “The Philippines’ 40 Richest” (October 2007)
  • Ten Outstanding Young Men (1986)
  • Agora Award for Marketing Management (1989)
  • Most Outstanding CPA, Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1990)
  • Most Outstanding Alumnus (1991)


One Thought to “Manny Villar | Filipino Businessman, Politician”

  1. Jaime Lamb Java

    Senator Villar: As an elected public official, you were always an active executive and never placed your vast business empire under a blind trust as expected of an honest government official. If you were elected President are we to understand that the presidency will be just another of your business interest? Can you address this serious concern for the Filipino people.

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