LAWYER and educator, Mariano B. Villanueva was twice acting governor of Cavite, the first time in 1949 and the second in 1952, during the administrator of Governor Camerino. Previous to this, Villanueva had been member of the provincial board three times, 1946 to 1955.
Born in Maragondon, Cavite, on August 15, 1909, Villanueva obtained his LL.B. degree from the University of Manila in 1936, and passed the bar examinations the following year. He had been engaged in law practice for about ten years when he decided to go back to college, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from the University of the Philippines in March 1947. In 1952 he was awarded the title of Master of Laws by the University of Manila.
On July 16, 1946 then President Manuel A. Roxas appointed Villanueva member of the provincial board of Cavite. In the national elections of 1947 he ran for the same position and won. He was reelected in 1951.
Villanueva was the personal representative of Governor Luis Ferrer, Jr. in the concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac, his task being to take care of all prisoners of war from Cavite. On June 1, 1942, two months after the Fall of Bataan, Villanueva organized the Liberators, a guerilla force in Cavite.
A pioneer and leader of education in Cavite after World War II, Villanueva established the first private high school in Naik, named Western Cavite Institute, on June 2, 1945. The following year he opened the College of Education and the Junior Normal Course in the same institute, which became the nucleus of what is now known as the Western Colleges and Sister Schools of Cavite. Included in this aggrupation of education of institutions are the following:
Maragondon Western Cavite Institute, Amadeo Western Cavite Institute, Bailen Western Cavite Institute, Magallanes Western Cavite Institute, Indang Western Cavite Institute, General Trias Western Cavite Institute, Ternate Western Cavite Institute, Calumpang Lejos Western Cavite Institute, Capipisa Western Cavite Institute, Daine Western Cavite Institute, and Malainen Western Cavite Institute.
In addition, Villanueva opened the College of Business Administration, followed by the Secretarial Course, the College of Engineering, and finally the Graduate School offering the degree of Master of Arts in Education in the Western Colleges of Naik. He also founded the Cavite Association of Private Schools in 1952.
An active civic leader, Villanueva is a member of the Cavite Boy and Girl Scouts Councils, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, the Provincial Sports Council, and the Cavite Socio-Economic Development Council under former Governor Delfin Montano. He was past president of the Parents-Teachers Federation of Naik, and is an active director of the Cavite Historical Society, Inc.
[Source: Biodata furnished by Atty. Mariano B. Villanueva.]