Manuel Villar is a Filipino entrepreneur and politician. In 2020, he was listed as the richest Filipino with a net worth of more than $5.6 billion, according to forbes.com. He was also listed as the 286th richest worldwide. A former senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives, he ran for president in 2010 but lost to former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
Complete Name –> Manuel Bamba Villar Jr.
Nickname –> Manny
Birth Date –> December 13, 1949 (Age 71)
Birth Place –> Tondo, Manila, Philippines
Holding Company –> Vista Land and Landscapes
Net worth (2020) –> $5.6 billion (source: forbes.com)
Wife –> Senator and former Congresswoman Cynthia Villar
Children –> DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Business Executive Paolo Villar, Congresswoman Camille Villar
Father-in-law –> Long-time Mayor of Las Pinas Filemon Aguilar
Manuel Villar was the son of a government employee father and a fish vendor mother. He finished a business degree and MBA from the University of the Philippines, the country’s most prestigious institution of higher education. He worked briefly at SGV, the country’s largest accounting and management firm. Later, he left his 8 am to 5 pm job, bought a second-hand truck and started his own business as a supplier of building materials. Not long after, he began building affordable homes with an eye on the huge overseas Filipino workers market. When he married the daughter of an established political clan of southern Metro Manila, the door into politics and more business was opened.
Manuel Villar established Camella Homes in the early 1970s. Soon, he added another brand, Palmera. His instinct on being the first to build subdivisions in the largely untapped market of the suburbs and emerging cities in the countryside put him ahead of the competition. By the early 1990s, he became the foremost housing developer for the middle class market. He began to expand into related businesses such as townhomes, condominiums, shopping centers, and cemeteries. He also acquired a small bank that caters to small and medium enterprises.
As a politician, Manuel was the Congressman representing Las Pinas City from 1992 to 2001, Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2001, Senator of the Republic from 2001 to 2010 and senate president from 2006 to 2008. After losing the presidential election, he returned to manage his business. He expanded his empire with the establishment of a chain of construction materials store and a chain of coffee shops. He also joined the bandwagon of developers creating communities complete with all the amenities of modern living.
Manuel Villar has two sons and one daughter with his wife now Senator Cynthia who is also a former congresswoman. His son former congressman Mark is at present the secretary of public works. Daughter Camille Villar took over her father and mother’s former seat as representative of Las Pinas City.
See also: List of Philippine Senators