Press Release
January 30, 2011

From squatter to homeowner
Villar Donates Home Units

Three contestants, one an informal settler, became instant homeowners during last week's episode of television show "Willing-Willie" courtesy of Sen. Manny Villar who was special guest during the birthday celebration of TV comedian-host Willie Revillame.

The new homeowners are Clarita Santos of Balasan, Iloilo; Remedios Cuevas of Tanza, Rizal; and Patricio Santos of Sta. Maria, Bulacan who won the house and lot units from Villar's housing company Camella.

The three winners were chosen to participate in one of the games of the TV show wherein they have to unlock a door by looking for the right key among the many keys laid on the table. The prize waiting behind the door were three two-bedroom house and lot units from Villar's housing company.

Revillame supported the presidential bid of Villar in the last elections.

Clarita Santos was the first one to open the door and win the house and lot grand prize. Patricio Santos, not related to Clarita, won the second house and lot unit at his second try at the door. Cuevas, who sold her dilapidated bed just to have money to get to the Novaliches studio of the show, was unsuccessful in opening any of the three closed doors.

But what made her win was her touching story. She said she and her family once squatted inside a subdivision owned by Villar's housing firm in Rizal.

When the lot was finally turned-over the new owner, they were left with no choice but to leave and squat elsewhere.

Cuevas narrated to Villar and Revillame that she sold her bed for P500 and used this as fare in going back and forth to the Willing-Willie's studio in Novaliches, Quezon City for at least a week until her name was chosen as studio contestant.

This prompted Villar to just award the remaining house and lot unit to Cuevas so that she and her family will have a permanent home they can call their own.

And as a bonus, Villar made sure that Cuevas family would get their house and lot from the same subdivision that they used to squat on.

"Bibigyan na lang natin ng bahay sa Carissa kasi umalis pa, doon na lang sa dati. Tamang tama makakabalik ka na doon," Villar said.

The 50-year old squatter from Rizal could not hide her happiness and profusely thanked Villar and the show's host.

Villar also took the occasion to greet Revillame and thanked him for giving him a deeper understanding of the problems of the Filipino people through his TV program and the millions that watch the show almost everyday.

"Isang bagay ang naituro ni Willie talaga, lalo niyang pinalakas ang pagmamahal ko sa mga kababayan natin, mahal ko ang mga mahihirap pero nang makilala ko siya, lalong naging makulay at madiin ang magpamamahal ko sa mga mahirap," the senator told the studio audience. Revillame said his respect to Villar only grew deeper during the last election when the former presidential candidate avoided bad mouthing his rivals.

"Tinanong ko siya, senador ano balak mo sa Pilipinas pag nanalo? Sabi nya, wala lang gusto lang niyang makatulong sa mahihirap dun siya nanggaling... Hindi na niya kailangang magnakaw para yumaman dahil made na siya, kaya hanggang ngayon kasama ko siya, simpleng tao," the TV host said.

Revillame said despite the wealth and power of the Villars, he never found them as show-off - just living simple lives like true ordinary families.

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