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This is How Manny Villar Achieve Success Out of 'Sipag at Tiyaga'

This is How Manny Villar Achieve Success Out of 'Sipag at Tiyaga'

Manny Villar was born on December 13, 1949, in the Moriones Tondo neighborhood of Manila to Manuel Villar Sr. and Curita Bamba. As the second of nine children, Manny grew up in a household where his father worked as a government employee and his mother sold fish at Divisoria Market. From a young age, Manny assisted his mother in the market, an experience that profoundly shaped his work ethic and business acumen.

Early Exposure to Business

Manny's early exposure to business came from helping his mother sell fish and shrimp at the market. This experience taught him the value of hard work and resourcefulness. By working with his mother, Manny was able to cover his tuition and other school expenses, relieving his mother of the need to hire additional help. The environment of Divisoria, with its bustling activity and diverse business practices, provided a rich learning ground for Manny.

One anecdote that stands out from Manny's childhood involves a bank teller remarking on the fishy smell of a check he brought to cash. Manny insisted that it was the teller's responsibility to process the transaction regardless of the odor, demonstrating his early understanding of business transactions and customer service.


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Academic Pursuits and Early Career

Balancing work and studies was a constant challenge for Manny. He attended the University of the Philippines, where he earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and later, a master's degree in business administration and accounting. His daily routine started at dawn when he helped his mother with the fish deliveries and continued with selling at the market before heading to his classes in the afternoon. This rigorous schedule honed his diligence, determination, and grit, qualities that would later define his career.

Sipag at Tiyaga

Villar's relentless perseverance earned him the nickname "Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga," which translates to "Mr. Hard Work and Patience." He attributes much of his work ethic to his mother, whose perseverance in the face of adversity left a lasting impression on him. Reflecting on his childhood, Villar fondly recalls moments spent with his mother before their early morning trips to the market. These experiences ingrained in him a deep appreciation for hard work and resilience.

Be Ambitious

Despite his humble beginnings, Villar revealed that he was an ambitious young man with lofty goals for the future. Though it appeared hopeless at the time, he persisted in pursuing his goals. The company of other "dreamers" encouraged him to dream bigger. At the University of the Philippines, he developed a broader perspective on the world around him. Villar denied being a radical "aktibista," but he was impressed by the impact of social awareness. He commented, "Here I was hoping to improve things for my family, and now they're talking about improving the country and the world!"

Recover quickly!

Villar, a business magnate, is well aware of the dramatic shifts that can occur in the corporate world. You're doing well financially one minute, and the economy forces you to shut down. Villar argues that the key to building a successful enterprise is developing the ability to "bounce back quickly" from setbacks. Try to maintain a fluid and open mindset in the face of change. He explained the experience as a regular part of being an entrepreneur, telling Esquire, "Pag businessman ka, you have to recover quickly."

Business Savvy

As Villar put it, having an "entrepreneurial mindset" is crucially important. He thinks being a successful businessman and working hard is the key to getting out of poverty. “A more entrepreneurial populace would have helped us develop more quickly. Most people are employed; they do not have an entrepreneurial spirit. I strongly believe that only business can do the trick when alleviating poverty. Creating wealth is the way forward”, he said.

Political Career and Public Service

Manny Villar's success in business eventually led him to a career in public service. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, representing the district of Las Piñas-Muntinlupa. In 1998, he was elected Speaker of the House, and in 2001, he was elected to the Senate. His tenure in Congress and the Senate was marked by his advocacy for economic reforms and poverty alleviation.

One of Villar's significant legislative achievements was the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) extension, which aimed to distribute agricultural land to farmers. He also championed the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the construction of affordable housing. His legislative efforts were guided by his belief that economic development and social equity are intertwined.

The Real Estate Mogul

In addition to his political career, Manny Villar is renowned for his success in the real estate industry. He founded Camella Homes in 1975, which later became Vista Land & Lifescapes, one of the largest homebuilders in the Philippines. His real estate ventures have provided affordable housing to thousands of Filipino families, contributing to his reputation as a champion of the masses.

Villar's business empire includes various companies in real estate, retail, and utilities. His entrepreneurial ventures have not only generated significant wealth but also created jobs and stimulated economic growth in the Philippines. His success story serves as an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs.

Philanthropy and Legacy

Manny Villar's legacy extends beyond his business and political achievements. He is actively involved in philanthropic activities, focusing on education, healthcare, and disaster relief. The Villar Foundation, established by his family, has funded numerous projects aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos. These include scholarship programs, medical missions, and environmental conservation initiatives.

Villar's life story is a testament to the power of perseverance, hard work, and ambition. From his humble beginnings selling fish in Divisoria to his rise as a business tycoon and influential public servant, he has demonstrated that with dedication and resilience, anyone can overcome adversity and achieve greatness.

Lessons from Manny Villar's Journey

  1. Embrace Hard Work: Villar's early experiences selling fish with his mother instilled a strong work ethic that has been a cornerstone of his success. Embracing hard work and perseverance is essential for achieving one's goals.
  2. Stay Ambitious: Despite his modest upbringing, Villar maintained ambitious goals and surrounded himself with like-minded individuals. Dreaming big and staying focused on long-term objectives can lead to significant achievements.
  3. Be Resilient: Villar's ability to bounce back from setbacks has been crucial in his career. Developing resilience and adaptability allows one to navigate challenges and seize new opportunities.
  4. Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Villar believes that entrepreneurship is key to economic development and poverty alleviation. Cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit can drive innovation and create wealth.
  5. Give Back to the Community: Villar's philanthropic efforts reflect his commitment to improving the lives of others. Giving back to the community not only creates a positive impact but also leaves a lasting legacy.


Manny Villar's journey from a fish vendor's son to a business tycoon and public servant is an inspiring story of perseverance, ambition, and resilience. His life demonstrates that with hard work, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a commitment to giving back, it is possible to overcome adversity and make a significant impact on society. As we reflect on Manny Villar's biography, we are reminded that the pursuit of success and the desire to uplift others can go hand in hand, creating a legacy that transcends generations.

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