Skip to main content

By Leony R. Garcia

As a private citizen and way before she became chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Cynthia A. Villar has been very busy and active in implementing her own environmental programs (through Villar SIPAG or Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) in her hometown, Las Piñas City.
Her livelihood projects have environmental component since all of them use wastes as raw materials: the waterlily basket-weaving enterprise and the handmade paper factory; coconut husks for the coconet weaving enterprise and the charcoal-making factory; kitchen and garden wastes for the organic composting facility; and plastic wastes for the plastic recycling factory that produces school chairs.
For the record, everything started in the lady senator’s hometown, Las Piñas, and now it’s all over the Philippines giving small businesses to many of our kababayans while helping many cities in their zero-waste goals.
For 13 years now, Villar gives credit to the once pesky water lilies that used to clog the Prinza River of Las Piñas and the community which continues to benefit from the livelihood program through the Water Lily Festival held every July 27 annually.  
For two years now, Villar also commends the youth sector’s participants in the festival by coming up with unique and innovative solutions and undertakings to address poverty in impoverished communities.
“This makes the festival different from the past. More and more youth are joining the fight against poverty. I am grateful to all the participants for sharing their ideas with us.  Villar SIPAG will never waiver from its commitment to work with the youth for the betterment of our country,” Villar, Director of Villar SIPAG, told the BusinessMirror.
Yearly, the  senator also spearheads The Las Piñas Food Festival in her quest to find a particular food which will surely best represent her city. On its 5th year, the festival is composed of culinary workshops and baranggay-wide annual cooking competition on May 18.
A non-stock, non-profit organization, Villar SIPAG gets its funding from the income it generates from the lessees in its commercial property which houses the Mushroom Burger, Jollibee, Coffee Project, All Day Supermarket, Hotel Mi Vida and others.  In April this year, Villar personally opened her latest business venture -- the Havana Club, a bar, restaurant and event place -- within the area.

With the various developments and festivals in the city now attracting nearby cities, municipalities and provinces, the city which is known for its world-famous Bamboo Organ is surely stepping closer to achieving its dream of becoming tourism/culinary destinations and home of innovative ideas in this side of the country.



High School students joined in the 13th Las Pinas Waterlily Festival showing their waterlily costumes and waterlily-made handicrafts.

Ms. Las Pinas Waterliliy Festival 2018. Senator Cynthia Villar posed with the winners of Ms.Las Pinas Waterlily 2018, from left: 2nd Runner Up Rojielen Autencio of Pulang Lupa 1, Ms.Las Pinas Waterliliy 2018 Arlyn Claire Sangab of Pamplona 1, 1st Runner Up Rebecca Kirsten Lopez of Talon 4 and People’s Choice awardee Patricia Mariel Veasquez of Talon 3 during the awarding ceremonies held at Villar Sipag Hall. For 13 years now, Villar gives credit to the once pesky water lilies that used to clog the Prinza River of Las Piñas and the men and women who continue to benefit from turning the Water Lily weaving project into a livelihood program producing hampers, tissue holders, baskets, picture frames and even kikay bags, among others. July 27 every year is being celebrated as Water Lily Festival highlighted by street dance competition by students from various high school in Las Piñas, a beauty pageant where lovely contestants wear gowns made of waterlily as executed by the local designers or community workers.

Sen. Villar with guests Senators JV Ejercito and Nancy Binay during the 5th Las Piñas Food Festival 


Popular posts from this blog

PAFI’s ASTIG Program Empowers Communities Affected by Mindoro Oil Spill

Pioneer Adhesives Foundation Inc. (PAFI) has recently taken a significant step towards uplifting the lives of communities through the pilot launch of the Angat Sining Tibay at Galing (ASTIG) program in communities affected by the oil spill incident in Oriental Mindoro. This CSR initiative of Pioneer Adhesives aims to deliver practical and sustainable alternate livelihoods to affected local fishermen who have been banned from fishing since the oil spill in February. ASTIG graduates from the Municipality of Pola with Hon. Mayor Jennifer M. Cruz and PAFI Executive Director Janie Alfonso Held from August 28 to September 3, 2023, local fisher folks in the municipalities of Pola and Pinamalayan in Oriental Mindoro -- two of several communities gravely affected by the oil spill -- underwent various trainings on the essential construction skills covering masonry, tiling, roofing, and waterproofing. They were also given comprehensive training sessions on the proper usage of Pioneer product

Janah Zaplan: 2023 PPop Best New Solo Artist of the Year!

  After finishing her academics for the course Bachelor of Science and Aviation Major in Flying (“flying hours na lang ang kulang to become a full-fledged pilot!”) and having won as PH Pop Best New Solo Artist of the Year from the 8th Philippine Pop (PPOP) Awards, which all took place in November 2023, Janah Zaplan launches her Christmas single, “Pasko’y Nagbabalik.” Yes, everything is coming up roses for the Millennial Pop Princess whom we met when she was 17 and was just starting her singing career. And look at her now! Her years of hard work and dedication to her studies and craft paid off. Janah with mediacon hosts Rommel and Mildred of the PMPC Over the years, Janah has won over many fans throughout the nation with her contagious energy and deep vocals. R&B, soul, electronic, and other genres are blended in her music to provide a unique and contemporary sound. Her songs are entertaining and deep, with lyrics that discuss relationships, love, and self-discovery. The gifted sing

Building a robust national ICT infrastructure

The opportunities from digital innovations were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic as limitations on mobility prompted citizens to accelerate migration to digital spaces. In the Philippines, these changes are evident in the growth of digital payment systems, online meeting platforms, electronic health services, online retail, direct delivery services, and many others. However, with increasing connectivity comes increasing cyber threats. That’s why efficient solutions and infrastructure are essential in combating cyber threats and ensuring business survival. Individually, Filipinos are susceptible to data breaches and privacy violations online. On a societal level, cyberattacks by state or non-state actors on critical infrastructure can undermine national security and impact economic activity. While cyber threats originate online, their consequences can manifest beyond the digital space into our physical lives. These kinds of attacks also have direct economic costs. In fact, f