Manny Villar is now the richest man in the Philippines

MANILA – The Philippines’ newest richest man is business tycoon Manny Villar, Forbes Magazine announced Tuesday.

Manny Villar is Philippines' richest man!
Manny Villar is Philippines' richest man!

Villar topped Forbes Magazine’s annual list of “richest man” in the Philippines. He ranked 317th worldwide with net worth now at $5.5 billion, from last year's $5 billion.

The former senator is the chairman of Starmalls, one of Philippines' largest mall operators. He is also the founder and chairman of Vista and Landscapes, the largest homebuilder in the country.

The businessman also ventured into public service and was a Senator from 2001 to 2013. He started as a congressman and President of the House of Representatives from 1998 - 2000. He was President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines from 2001-2002.

Villar is a family man to his wife Senator Cynthia Villar and three children, Manuel Paolo Villar III, Mark Villar and Camille Linda Villar.

Villar's humble beginnings started in a poor district in Tondo, Manila. Born to an impoverished family, Villar became an “iskolar ng bayan” and graduated at the University of the Philippines. He first worked as an accountant and financial analyst and hit gold mine when he launched a real estate business.

This is the first time that Villar held the top spot. He succeeded the late Henry Sy, Sr., who was the richest man in the Philippines for 11 years in a row. Sy passed away last January 19, at the age of 94.

Forbes’ annual list of billionaires ranked the following as the top 10 richest individuals in the Philippines:

1. Manny Villar ($5.5 billion)
2. John Gokongwei Jr ($5.1 billion)
3. Enrique Razon Jr. ($4.8 billion)
4. Lucio Tan ($4.4 billion)
5. Tony Tan Caktiong and family ($3.9 billion)
6. Ramon Ang ($2.9 billion)
7. Andrew Tan ($.27 billion)
8. Hans Sy and Robert Sy ($2.4 billion)
9. Harley Sy, Henry Sy Jr., and Teresita Sy-Coson ($2.2 billion)
10. Elizabeth Sy ($1.9 billion)

World's richest

Forbes still ranked Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world's richest man with a net worth of $131 billion. Following Bezos are Bill Gates ($96.5 billion), Warren Buffet ($82.5 billion), Bernard Arnault ($76 billion) and Carlos Slim Helu ($64 billion).

— Sally, The Summit Express

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