Note: this biography is lifted from the senate website
Manny Villar was born to humble beginnings in Moriones, Tondo, Manila. His father, Manuel Montalban Villar, Sr., hailed from Cabatuan, Iloilo and his mother Curita Bamba came from Orani, Bataan.
At an early age, he helped his mother sell seafood at the Divisoria market in order to support his siblings and himself to school. With the burning desire for a better future and strong determination to improve his family’s lives, Manny finished his studies at the University of the Philippines (UP) where he earned his Bachelor’s and Masters’ degrees in Business Administration. He started his professional career as an accountant and financial analyst for prominent corporations before venturing into his own business.
Armed with an initial capital of only P10,000 and a solid determination to succeed, Manny went on to establish the largest homebuilding company in the country today.
Manny Villar received several awards including the Ten Outstanding Young Men in 1986, 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. In 2004, Manny Villar was named the Most Distinguished Alumnus—the highest recognition given by the University of the Philippines — for his exemplary public service and achievements.
In 1992, he entered politics and was elected Congressman of Las Pinas and Muntinlupa for three terms in a row, consistently posting landslide victories. In 1998, he was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He was elected Senator of the Republic in the year 2001. In July 2006, with the staunch support of a majority of his colleagues, he assumed the Senate Presidency during the third regular session of the 13th Congress. He has previously held the position of Senate President Pro-tempore and the chairmanship of the Committees on Finance, Foreign Relations, Public Order, and Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries.
Manny Villar is the first post-war public official who became both Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President.
He is the President of the Nacionalista Party—the country’s grandest political party.
Manny Villar dreams to help and inspire Filipinos to fulfill their dreams thru hard work and determination (Sipag at Tiyaga) – the same values that helped him conquer poverty and succeed in life.