Manny Villar's Best Quotes on Leadership, Perseverance, and More

Here are life lessons and words of wisdom from the chairman of Villar Group., as well as the former Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Read Manny Villar's greatest quotes here.

On leadership.

"Do not assume that if you are poor, you cannot be a leader. Just show sincerity, do your work well and your peers will see it and elect you as a leader."

On achievements.

"Achievements are not end posts rather they are guideposts to your next accomplishments. So, after building the most houses for our people I decided to expand that dream, building what I call communities."

On entrepreneurship.

"I think we could have grown faster if our citizens had been entrepreneurs. The bulk of the population is working—they’re not entrepreneurial. I’m of the firm belief that poverty can only be reduced through business. Wealth creation is the way forward. We’re not entrepreneurial enough. I think this is the reason for the gap."

On simple beginnings.

"When there is a downturn, that’s when the tough remain. In a way, it was good that I started with simple beginnings. Because when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. When I was starting, I would keep saying to myself, 'it doesn’t bother me that I'm small.'"

On perseverance.

"I’m not a quitter—totoo ‘yung linyang 'sipag at tiyaga.' Even though it seems like it, it’s not a marketing line."

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On living a simple life.

"I’ve always lived simply. I’ve taught my children to live simply."

On growth.

"Growth is meaningless. In the end, we all die. The winner of the rat a rat."


On poverty.

"I didn’t know I could be a leader. I just wanted to get out of poverty, get my sisters to school, help my mother. But I realized that in all the organizations I joined, I ended up the leader. Then I was elected."

On success.

"Success can be redefined. Sometimes you shift arenas. And working on a non-government organization is one area I haven’t led. I haven’t decided really which I will focus on more, business, philanthropy or politics."

On money.

"Huwag mo masyado mamahalin ‘yung pera if you want to be a successful entrepreneur... kapag masyado mong minahal ‘yung pera hindi ka magsu-succeed."

On finding true motivation.

"To be truly wealthy, you need to have a motivation bigger than just making money."

On what it's like to be wealthy.

"There’s nothing here. It’s empty. It never ends, you know, what they call ‘the climb?’ There is no ‘top,’ you’ll never reach the end of it. There really is nothing here at the ‘top’ that’s different. The most expensive things aren’t necessarily the most beautiful."

On growing up in Tondo.

"Yung pagpapayaman kasi, hindi naman yan yung goal ko. At first it was to survive, yes, when I was growing up in Tondo, but after awhile it was about the challenge to create. Kasi kung yung goal mo eh dumami lang ang pera, hindi ka yayaman. You’ll never get to this level of wealth kasi you’ll be afraid to let go of money, you’ll be afraid to take risks, you’ll be afraid to lose."

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