Cynthia A. Villar earned her degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines, which recently recognized her as one of its Distinguished Alumnus. She completed her Masters in Business Administration at the New York University.
She practiced as a financial analyst and college professor until she married Former House Speaker and now Senate President Manny Villar in 1975. She then helped her husband in various entrepreneurial ventures, eventually making C & P Homes the biggest homebuilder in the Philippines.
In 1989 they acquired Capitol Development Bank. She served as Treasurer for a year and then as President until 1998. In less than a decade, she propelled Capitol Bank to become the biggest private development bank in the country.
Villar’s social and civic concerns are wide and varied. In 1992, she founded and has chaired the Villar Foundation, which has won various awards for its tree-planting program “Pagtatanim Para sa Kinabukasan” (Planting for the Future), “Sagip Bukas” (Save the Future) a school based movement for a drug-free Las Piñas, and “Manpower on Wheels,” a mobile livelihood program which provides training in employable skills to curb unemployment.
From 1998-2000, she was President and Chairperson of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, which under her leadership, opened eleven (11) Regional Centers for women. These centers serve as half-way houses fro women who have fallen victim to domestic violence, rape and other crimes against women.
She has held and continues to hold key posts in various socio-civic organizations, such as the Philippine National Red Cross Las Piñas & Rizal Chapter, Epheta Foundation for the Blind Inc., Children’s Museum Library Inc. Foundation, Zonta Club Las Piñas and the Rizal Youth Development Foundation. Presently she serves as the Chairperson of the National Fund Campaign of the Veterans Foundation or FILVETS.
The year 2001 marked another milestone in Cynthia Villar’s career with her landslide victory as Representative of Las Piñas. She became president of the Lady Legislators of the 12th and 13th Congress, initiating activities aimed at advancing and protecting the welfare of women, children and family.
A staunch advocate for environmental conversation and preservation, she launched the “Sagip Ilog” (Save the River) Program 2002 – aimed at bringing back to life the once vibrant Las Piñas and Zapote Rivers. Dredging of the river and bamboo tree-planting are on-going as well as the training of riverbank residents on waste management and values formation.
With her outstanding performance as a first-time Representative of the lone district of Las Piñas, Congresswoman Villar ran for re-election in May 2004 and overwhelmingly won a second term. She is currently the Chairperson of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Higher and Technical Education of the 13th Congress; and, once again, unanimously elected as the President of the Lady Legislators of the 13th Congress. Concurrently, she serves as president of the Senate Spouses Foundation Inc. which building homes for the elderly around the country and rehabilitating wards at the Philippine General Hospital.
With all her achievements and awards, she still considers her family her most cherished treasure and her well-raised children as her glory: Paolo and Mark are both graduates of the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School of Finance, while only-daughter Camille is a Business Management graduate at the Ateneo de Manila University. All her children are now building and operating their own businesses putting into practice the value of hard work with which they were raised.