In her acceptance speech, Villar said the recognition is ‘extra special’ since it was given by a state university in Bataan, the home province of Senator Manny Villar’s mother, Curita Bamba Villar or Nanay Curing, who hailed from Orani.
“I am honored and happy to receive the honoris causa from Bataan Peninsula State University and to be invited as their commencement speaker. I always look forward to interacting with the youth and in my own way, give them inspiration and guidance as they start a new phase in their lives,” said Villar.
Villar, in her commencement speech, urged the more than 1,200 graduates of the Bataan Peninsula State University not to be discouraged by the unemployment and underemployment problems in the country but rather consider entrepreneurship as an option to merely seeking employment after graduation.
“There is always the option to go into entrepreneurship—to be an entrepreneur, to employ people instead of getting employed. In fact, I hope, many of you will aim to go the entrepreneurial way,” Villar told the graduates from the main campus of BPSU in Balanga City and branches in the towns of Abucay, Dinalupihan and Orani.
As an active advocate of entrepreneurship, Villar narrated to the graduates the success story of her family’s real estate business, which started as a small gravel and sand company. She cited that capital is not everything in business.
“When (Senator) Manny and I started our business in the 1970s, we only had P10,000. So we had to borrow P70,000 from a bank to buy two second-hand trucks that we used in delivering sand and gravel to construction companies. Then, Manny saw the potential of building small houses. We pursued our dream with hard work and persistence,” she added, citing entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty.
Villar was awarded by Go Negosyo as among the ‘The Women Entrepreneur Icons and Filipina Entrepreneurs of 2013’ during the 5th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit last month. As a congresswoman, Villar led the passage of bills that benefited entrepreneurs, among which was the Magna Carta of Micro-Enterprises and Republic Act 9178 or the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act.