Former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar was born in Muntinlupa City. She earned her college degree from the University of the Philippines, which recently recognized her as one of its Distinguished Alumni.
Villar used to work as a college professor and a financial analyst before marrying Senator Manuel “Manny” Villar in 1975.
With a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the New York University, she then helped her husband in making their real-estate company Vista Land the biggest home-builder in the country.
She also was active in addressing various social and civic concerns that prompted her to establish the Villar Foundation, which has programs that helps Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWS).
The businesswoman also carried out programs that cared for the environment and providing livelihood to residents in depressed areas before moving on managing a private bank from 1989 to 1998.
In 2001, she replaced her husband as the representative of the lone district of Las Pinas to the House of Representatives, where she served for three consecutive terms.
During the 13th Congress, Villar served as the chair of House Committee on Higher and Technical Education that helped her pursue legislation benefitting Filipino women, children, and family.
In her term as congresswoman, she led the passage of 28 bills including University of the Philippines Charter of 2008 and Philippine Normal University Modernization Act of 2009.
If elected in the Senate, she vows to create a separate department for Filipino migrant workers, which centralize all the services and functions of related government agencies or bureaus, for OFWs.
Being honored as one of its distinguished women, the University of the Philippines named a flower after her, calling it Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Cynthia A. Villar for its dark orange petals that is similar to the political color that her husband has been wearing for his political campaigns.
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By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian nations must ensure that territorial disputes do not erupt into conflict, leaders said on Friday, with Japan and the Philippines reaffirming their commitment to freedom of flight as concerns grow over China's new air defence zone. Beijing's growing military strength has sparked concern in Asia and tension has spiked in the last month after China announced the air defence zone including islands in the East China Sea also claimed by Japan. The air defence …