Asian Tropical Design changes Manny Villar's Family Home

Filipino artworks and indigenous materials abound in the Villar family home

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Jervy Santiago, Melo Balingit and Eduard Guinto Styling: Gabby Villegas Interior Designer: Ivy and Cynthia Almario

Renovating a huge property can be a daunting task, and real-estate magnate turned politician Manny Villar knows this should only be handled by professionals. Thus, his family hired renowned interior designers Cynthia and Ivy Almario to give their old house a new look. The eight-month renovation was worth it, giving way to a tropical Asian haven full of bright, airy spaces and Filipino works of art.

While the Villars have the money to spare, their family home reflects their low-key profile, with functional and subtle pieces of furniture, and a tasteful art collection. A relaxing and comfortable vibe is evident throughout the mansion.     

Original article by Coni Tejada. Captions by Hannah Dormido and Romy Antonette Pena. Photographed by Jervy Santiago, Melo Balingit, and Eduard Guinto. Styling by Gabby Villegas. Hair and makeup by Chabeng Flores. Produced by Anna Pingol. Assisted by Analyn Alcala. 

Read the original article in YES! Celebrity Homes Special 2010 issue. To download a digital copy of YES!, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Room

The area in the house which used to be the terrace is now the living room. High ceilings and an open layout give the space a sense of airiness. Sliding glass doors (not seen in photo) give an unobstructed view of the garden outside. A noticeable design in the house is the thatched anahaw ceiling, a unique element that reinforces the home’s tropical Asian feel.


Because the Villar family often entertains guests, they have a sizeable kitchen with an array of high-end appliances. A Fisher and Paykel stainless steel refrigetor, a Smeg ceramic cooktop, and a Delonghi Magnifica Pronto cappuccino espresso machine serve the Villars and their visitors well. A long kitchen island doubles as a buffet counter, and holds dinnerware from Noritake and Shinepakur.


Mark, the second child of the family, wanted a simple and masculine room. This was achieved by decorating the space using a neutral color palette of creams and browns, with an Olen Ventura painting adding a welcome pop of color. While his father collects the works of Filipino masters, Mark is also building his art collection of younger artists.

Pavilion Façade

A grand pavilion inside the sprawling property is surrounded by lush trees and beautiful plants. This venue is where the Villars welcome their constituents and visitors, some of whom come from faraway provinces.

Pavilion Interior

The pavilion’s majestic alcove ceiling is thatched with anahaw leaves, protected by a sheer canopy. Three chandeliers with mini-lamps and a statement wall on one side add to the room’s grandeur. Long glass tables with wooden base and wooden cushioned chairs are assembled when the family has visitors.


Traditional capiz lanterns illuminate the lush garden.

Wooden Walkway

This walkway made of wooden planks lead to the outdoor seating area.


The Villars’ well-manicured lawn makes one forget he is in Metro Manila. A pathway leading to the swimming pool is made of stone tiles that pop out of the grass.

Outdoor Seating Area

A flooring with a rough finish provides more texture to the area, and also serves a safety purpose: it keeps guests from slipping. Religious paintings and statues are displayed throughout the outdoor sala.

Outdoor Seating Area

An open-air seating area, with different types of furniture, is filled with colors inspired by nature. Fallen tree trunks repurposed as posts highlight the tropical feel of the house.


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