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Manny Villar speaks at UPV’s 39th Commencement Exercises

“If there is one lesson I want to impart to you as you embark on your own journey, it is this: embrace challenges and erase the idea of giving up in your DNA,” so said former Senate President Manuel Villar as he addressed the 840 graduates of the University of the Philippine Visayas during it 39th Commencement Exercises held at the UPV Miagao campus in Miagao, Iloilo.

He recounts his life as a student in UP, “The years I spent in UP was a turning point in my life as it gave me the opportunity to dream big…UP gave me the confidence to think that I can change the world. UP gave me the confidence to think that I can change the world. It was my encounter with the best in the country that allowed me to dream big. Sure, I still wanted to give my family a better life but I realized that as I work on this, I can also fight for better lives for my neighbors, my community, my country.

Villar also underscored the importance of entrepreneurship, “Entrepreneurship provides opportunities for our people. It helps in the formation of capital. It facilitates the creation of employment opportunities not only for owners and their family members, but also for other people. Entrepreneurship, therefore, directly leads to more business, more job opportunities and better quality of life for the Filipinos.”

Villar has always emphasized his belief that entrepreneurship is the key to both personal and national progress. “Despite many success stories, our society is still designated to train our young people to work as employees. We need to push for a radical change in the way our people, especially the youth, view wealth creation and progress,” he added.

He convinced the graduates to build something from the ground up with blood, sweat and tears. “When you can put up something that can provide you profit, give other people jobs and help in building our nation… In other words, where you are now, whatever difficulties and challenges you face, do not determine where you are going. Armed with the values and principles you learned from your parents and strengthened at school, you can make your life better. And as UP has taught us, let us also make sure that we uplift the condition of our neighbor and our communities.”

Villar, is Chairman of the Board of Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc., one of the leading integrated property developer of the country consisting of six subsidiaries namely: Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella, Communities Philippines, Vista Residences and Starmalls.

He was Senator of the Philippines from 2001 to June 2013. He also served as a Congressman from 1992 to 2001. He holds the distinction of being the only post-war public official who became Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Philippine Senate.

For the year 2018, UP Visayas produced a lone summa cum laude, Ma. Sheena Escordial; 14 magna cum laude graduates, and 192 cum laude graduates.

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