Mark Villar Celebrates His Birthday After Recovering from COVID-19

IMAGE Courtesy of Emmeline Aglipay Villar

Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar is celebrating his birthday today, August 14. And it was good to see him up and about with his wife, Emmeline Aglipay Villar, and their daughter, Emma.

Villar, now 42, announced he was positive for COVID-19 on July 15,  the third cabinet secretary to test positive for the virus, after DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

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Only a few days earlier, Villar had been named chief isolation czar by President Rodrigo Duterte, and tasked to complete more quarantine facilities and upgrade government facilities to quarantine centers.         

“Happy lockdown birthday my dearest husband, Mark! What a joy it has been to be stuck with you 24/7 for the past five months,” his wife, Emmeline, said in a Facebook post. “Sweet pillow talks, long sunset walks, marathon Netflix binges, hearty belly laughs, intense calorie burning workouts, fighting COVID together, hundreds of cups of tea and coffee, thousands of hugs and kisses, and hundreds of thousands of memories.”


A beautiful birthday cake with fresh strawberries, gummies, and gold chocolate balls, was customized by Monica Guevara dela Cruz. She said Emmeline had asked her to make it "simply fun and childlike" since Emma had been so excited about it. Dela Cruz called the cake “Gumball Machine.”

Photo by Monica Guevara Dela Cruz.

“I am so proud of the person you have become not only because of your leadership and determination in your work that has produced unprecedented developments in our public infrastructure but more importantly because I have witnessed how much you have grown in mental, emotional and spiritual strength—becoming more patient, more giving, more thoughtful and honest, letting go of pride and fear, tearing down your walls, and finding strength in vulnerability,” said Emmeline in her post.

“I love you more and more and more. Nothing compares to you.”

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Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez has written over a dozen books. Previously, she was editor in chief of Esquire Philippines and Town&Country Philippines.
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