Who is the Richest Person in the Philippines Today?

• Richest Person: Manuel Villar

• Age: 74

• Net Worth: $11 Billion

• Rank: 190

• Source of Wealth: Real estate

• Residence: Manila, Philippines

• Marital Status: Married

• Children: 3

Manuel Villar
Manuel Villar

According to Forbes' real-time billionaire list, the richest Filipino billionaire is real estate tycoon Manuel Villar, 74. He invests a significant portion of his wealth in real estate.

As the current chairman of Vista Land & Lifescapes, he oversees six subsidiaries that operate in various industries such as retail, business process outsourcing, residential real estate, resorts, hotels, clubs, and spas.

His investment in Golden MV Holdings, a developer that specializes in memorial parks and mass housing projects, is his most valuable holding.

In addition, Villar intends to invest in a casino and theme park in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, as well as the free-to-air television sector.

Learn more: The Full List of Billionaires Of Philippines - Who Are The Richest People In The Philippines?

Manuel Villar Early Life and Education

On December 13, 1949, in Moriones, Tondo, Manila, he was born into a modest family. His mother Curita Bamba was a seafood dealer who was from Pampanga and Bataan, and his father Manuel Montalban Villar, Sr. was a government employee who was from Cabatuan, Balazan, and Tanza, Iloilo. Manny is the second of nine children in a brood. He started helping his mother sell fish and shrimp in the Divisoria Market at a very young age. Manny worked hard selling fish and shrimp to pay for his education because he was determined to improve his family's living conditions and had a burning desire for a better future.

He is a certified public accountant who graduated from the University of the Philippines with a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting. He began his career with the top accounting firm in the Philippines, Sycip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co.). Additionally, he had a brief stint at the Private Development Corporation of the Philippines as a financial analyst.

Manuel Villar: Career

Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., the largest homebuilder in the nation, is led by Manuel B. Villar, Jr. as Chairman of the Board. The company is known for its masterplanned and themed communities as well as its premium housing brands, Camella, Crown Asia, Brittany, and Vista Residences, which are available in all market segments. Vista Land was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2007.

Mr. Villar established Camella Homes in the early 1970s. He successfully ran the business over the years, growing it into one of the major players in the real estate market. With the largest geographic reach in 35 provinces and 85 cities and municipalities throughout the Philippines, Camella Homes has built approximately 300,000 homes.

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism later referred to him as "the dean of the (Philippine) real estate industry" due to his extensive real estate experience.

Additionally, he serves as the chairman of All Home Corporation, All Day Convenience Stores, Inc., and Starmalls, Inc., all of which are publicly traded companies. His family also engages in the water, energy, and mining industries as part of his continuous efforts to diversify his business holdings.

From 2001 to June 2013, Mr. Villar served as a senator for the Philippines. In addition, he was a member of Congress from 1992 to 2001. He is the first public figure from the post-World War II era to hold the positions of Senate President (2006–2008) and Speaker of the House of Representatives (1998–2000). In addition, he serves as President of the largest political party in the Philippines, the Nacionalista Party.

Manny Villar's personal drive to improve the lives of Filipinos is interwoven with his political and business pursuits. Thus, he established and chaired the Villar Foundation with his family, which also functions as Vista Land's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) division. In addition, he serves as the Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villager SIPAG) Chairman.

A number of national honors have been bestowed upon Mr. Villar, including the Philippine Jaycees' Ten Outstanding Young Men Award (1986), the Agora Award for Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Management (1989), the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Most Outstanding CPA (1990), the Most Outstanding UP Alumnus (1991), and the Most Distinguished UP Alumnus (2004).

Manuel Villar: Personal Life

Manuel Villar and his family
Manuel Villar and his family

He has three children, Paolo, Mark, and Camille, from his marriage to Senator Cynthia A. Villar. He has a reputation for being philanthropic and has contributed to many worthy causes, such as healthcare and education.

Manuel Villar's Net Worth

In Forbes' World's Billionaires List this year, Mr. Villar was the highest-ranking Filipino tycoon at position 190. In addition, he was the only Filipino to place among the top 200.

From $8.6 billion in 2023, when he was ranked 232nd on the list, to $11 billion this year, Mr. Villar's net worth increased by 28%.

The 10 Richest Billionaires in the Philippines 2024

1. Manuel Villar - $11 billion

2. Enrique Razon - $10 billion

3. Ramon Ang - $3.5 billion

4. Hans Sy - $2.6 billion

5. Henry Sy, Jr., Herbert Sy, and Lucio Tan - $2.5 billion

6. Harley Sy - $2.4 billion

7. Teresita Sy-Coson - $2.3 billion

8. Elizabeth Sy - $2.1 billion

9. Andrew Tan - $2 billion

10. Tony Tan Caktiong - $1.4 billion

Manuel Villar Quick Facts

• Villar is the first public servant to lead the Senate and the House of Representatives following World War II.

• In November 2008, he announced his resignation as Senate President over disagreements over a road extension project in C5.

• Under the Nacionalista Party, Villar entered the 2010 presidential race but was defeated by Benigno Aquino III.

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