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.
Go back to Cynthia's page
In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …