I’ve met quite a few Filipino and Filipina people in my life and the one thing they all have in common is how they value family more than anything else. You’ll notice that by reading this list that family and traditional values is something all of these people have in common. Here is the list of the richest people in the Philippines.
Richest Filipino / Filipina Celebrities – 2017 List
#10 – Vice Ganda (Net Worth: Philippine peso 75 Million)
Jose Marie Borja Viceral, better known by his stage name Vice Ganda is an actor, comedian, singer and television host. He is one of the first and one of the few openly homosexual Filipino celebrities. Numerous studies have shown that the funniest of people are often times the most depressed. That may seem partially true for Vice as when he was very young his father was murdered and his mother left him and his five older siblings so she could study abroad. Though he had a knack for political science and ended up studying at Far Eastern University, Vice eventually became a singer as being on stage was his true passion. He would then spend several years developing material to become a stand-up comedian. Vice wound up landing television appearances where he’d perform his routine in front of a live audience. Although he is a very well-known comedian, he has been the center of controversy several times for his crude jokes towards Filipino culture and human sexuality.
It may not seem like being a comedian would make much money but that’s where his acting comes in. Vice has starred in some of the most popular television sitcoms over the past decade and has even landed a supporting role in a drama series titled Maging Sino Man: Ang Pagbabalik. He is also a judge on the popular talent search show Showtime and on top of that he has his own Sunday talk show which is always highly rated. What’s even more impressive is his film career. Since 2009 he has gone on to appear in several movies, five of which are the highest grossing films in the Philippines. Alongside many high-profile actors, Vice has starred in hits like Praybeyt Benjamin, This Guy’s In Love With U Mare!, and Beauty and the Bestie.
#9 – Bong Revilla (Net Worth: Philippine peso 100 Million)
Jose Marie Mortel Bautista is a Filipino actor and politician. Born in 1966 to parents Jose Acuna Bautista and Azucena Mortel, Jose would end up attending school in Los Angeles, California. It is there where Jose, who legally changed his name to Bong Revilla in 2009, would fall in love with performing. After he finished his studies in America, Bong returned home to the Philippines and began starring in some of the most popular action movies of the ‘80s. He also starred alongside his father in a movie titled Dugong Buhay which ended up being a major hit. After the movie was finished, Bong’s father would start getting involved in politics and ended up being elected as a Senator of the Philippines.
Bong’s acting career would die down and he ended up being the running mate of someone who was running for Governor of the city Cavite. They won and Bong was made vice governor but would soon take over as the man he ran for office with received a promotion. He became such a popular figure that he easily won the re-election but unfortunately when he ran for another term in 2001, he didn’t make it. But that didn’t stop Bong as, much like his father, Bong decided to run for Senator. When the time came he easily won, receiving the second highest number of electoral votes in Philippians history. Although he has been involved with a lot of controversy, Bong is still involved in politics and is a front runner for the 2016 Philippians presidential campaign.
#8 – Lucy Torres (Net Worth: Philippine peso 100 Million)
Lucy Marie Torres y Martinez is a Filipina actress and model. She was born in 1974 to parents Manuel Torres Jr. and Julie Martinez. Her father was into business as they owned several acres of land and it would inspire Lucy to attend school at the University of the Philippines Cebu, where she would end up graduating with a degree in Business Management. Lucy’s career choice would eventually change as someone recommended she become a model. She gave it a shot and wound up starring alongside future husband Richard Gomez in a shampoo commercial. The two had such amazing chemistry that they were cast in a sitcom together called Richard Loves Lucy. Kind of reminds you of I Love Lucy, doesn’t it? After the show ended, Lucy would continue her acting career by starring in other shows like Shall We Dance?, All About You and The Sweet Life. She also continued modeling as a side career, being involved with the clothing brands Bench and Kashieca.
In 2010, Lucy’s husband, Richard Gomez, was disqualified from his position at the Commission of Elections for failure of establishing his residency. Lucy would step in to take his place and her political career would begin to unfold. She began making propositions and sponsoring amendments that would enter into law. Richard was never able to become an elected official again but Lucy enjoyed her position so much that she decided to run again when she was up for re-election. The odds were stacked against her as she had a pending Supreme Court ruling against her but that didn’t stop her from winning the bid against the other candidates.
#7 – Kris Aquino (Net Worth: Philippine peso 120 Million)
Kris Bernadette Conjuangco Aquino is highly regarded as one of the most popular television hosts in Philippians history. Dubbed “Queen of all Media”, Kris was born in 1971 to Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino Jr., who at the time was a Senator. Kris grew up in a very wealthy family as her parents are very political; she is the cousin of famous actress Mikee Cojuangco and the niece of Jose Cojuangco, the President of the Philippine Olympic Committee. Although her luck wouldn’t last long as her father would go to prison and Kris and her mother and siblings would be exiled to the United States. After five years they would return home, but under devastating circumstances as her father was assassinated. When Kris returned she would attend rallies which supported the removal of the current Philippine President. This would help spark her television career as she began getting offers to appear on talk shows and television dramas.
Kris’ career began to shift towards film. She appeared in a number of blockbuster hits, including: Pido Dida and The Fatima Buen Story. She received an insane amount of praise and media attention from these roles and even earned a new nickname called “Massacre Queen”. Her movie career wouldn’t last long though as she would soon figure out her hosting skills attracted more attention. She went on to star in two super popular talk shows called Today with Kris Aquino and Morning Girls with Kris and Korina. These shows ended up lasting for several years, making Kris one of the most popular television stars and earning her lots of wealth. Outside of talk shows, Kris enjoyed being the host of popular gaming shows. Deal or No Deal and Wheel of Fortune were two shows from the United States that she really enjoyed and would go on to host her own Philippian version throughout 2007.
These days she isn’t that much of a television host and spends most of her time with her son and working on other business avenues. She owns several major businesses including restaurants, flower shops and even her own film studio.
#6 – Vic Sotto (Net Worth: Philippine peso 150 Million)
Marvic Castelo Sotto was born in 1954 to parents Marcelino Ojeda-Sotto Sr. and Dr. Hermina Castelo. Growing up, Vic loved to sing and play pranks on people. He began learning how to play the guitar at a young age and would listen to his parents’ records. He received an education at Colegio de San Juan Letran and went on to continue playing music. He ended up starting a disco-funk band called VST & Company with a few of his friends. They performed all around the Manila area, writing some of the most popular songs around the area from his time, such as: Rock Baby, Rock and Kung Sakali. He then went on to form a comedy trio with his brother Tito and another person they met named Joey de Leon. The three called themselves TVJ which stands for both their first initials and TeleVision Jesters. The three saw enormous success with their comedy tours and went on to appear on some of the most popular television networks in the Philippians. Vic personally is one of the pioneer hosts of the incredibly popular noon-time variety show Eat Bulaga! For the past several decades he has hosted this show as well as appeared on numerous other television comedies, making him one of the richest comedy artists in the Philippines.
#5 – Ricky Reyes (Net Worth: Philippine peso 200 Million)
Ricardo Enriquez Reyes Jr. is the definition of someone who started from the bottom and worked their way to the very top. Born in April on the year 1950, Ricky started his career when he was sixteen years old and did whatever he could to make money; mainly sweeping floors and cleaning up after people. Often called “Mother Ricky” for his hospitality, he began saving money from his career as a janitor until he was finally able to afford his own beauty parlor. From his single business he was able to turn a profit rather quickly and would use that money to expand his franchise and create more beauty parlors all around the Philippines. To this day he owns more than 40 branches of beauty parlors.
After about a decade of business, Ricky decided to get into philanthropy. Spending money is a great way to earn money as his contributions to society has earned him the privilege of being one of Forbes’ 48 Greatest Heroes of Philanthropy in the Asia-Pacific region. His endeavors began with the “Isang Gunting Isang Suklay” program which literally means “one scissor, one comb”. This program offered salon-styled haircuts for either low or no cost to the consumer. After the program became successful he began the Ricky Reyes Learning Institute which offered free education in a variety of subjects, including cosmetology.
#4 – Vilma Santos (Net Worth: Philippine peso 500 Million)
Vilma Santos or more commonly known as Ate Vi is an actress, dancer, singer and politician who resides in the province of Batangas, Philippines. She began her acting career when she was 13 years of age when she auditioned for a role in the film Trudis Liit. The producers of the movie immediately offered Vilma the part when they had her cry on cue, something that impressed them very much. She would end up winning a FAMAS Award for Best Child Performer for her part in the film. She has gone on to star in dozens of other films throughout her career and has won nearly 100 awards over the span of the past four decades. Some of her more popular work includes the films: Dekada ’70, In My Life, Palimos ng Pagibig and most recently the 2016 movie Everything About Her.
1998 would be a huge year for Vilma as she decided to run for mayor in Lipa City, Batangas. She of course won and became the first female mayor of that town. After serving as mayor for Lipa City for a number of terms, Vilma would end up being elected governor of Batangas and she would move into office in May of 2007. Since 2007 she has remained governor and is currently in her final term. Her husband is currently a Senator so being a politician clearly runs in the family. It’s unknown what Vilma will do after her term expires but with how much support she has I’m sure she will continue her political career.
#3 – Willie Revillame (Net Worth: Philippine peso 600 Million)
Wilfredo Buendia is no stranger to controversy as he is constantly getting himself into trouble in the media. Born in July of the year 1961, Willie’s career began in the early ‘80s when he and his friend Randy Santiago began co-hosting the show Lunch Date together on GMA Network. After six years of hosting the successful show, Willie would begin to appear in movies. He had the tendency of appearing in films alongside some pretty big name action stars of the time, often times as the sidekick character. Some of those movies include: Hector, Ikaw Pa Eh Love Kita!, Go Johnny Go and Abrakadabra.
His movie career pretty much died down in 1998. He was more drawn to being on television so he started hosting a show on the ABS-CBN Network called Sang Linggo Napo Sila. The show would shortly be cancelled and he would go on to appear in two more shows called Richard Loves Lucy and Magandang Tanghali Bayan which would end up being his big break. He made appearances on those two shows simultaneously over the course of three years. Since then he has been able to create any type of show that he wants and these days he tends to include his own name in the titles of his shows. Some examples being: Wowowillie, Willing Willie and Willingly Yours.
Outside of his television performances Willie makes money from his many business avenues, which is where he has acquired the majority of his vast wealth. He owns a restaurant called Wil Steak Town, a bar called W Bar and he even has his own mall called Wil Tower Mall. He is obviously an intelligent business man to know that naming buildings and shows after yourself is a great way to get people to remember your name.
#2 – Sharon Cuneta (Net Worth: Philippine peso 1 Billion)
Sharon Gamboa Cuneta-Pangilinan is the richest woman in Philippine history. Sharon was born in 1966 to parents Pablo Cuneta and Elaine Gamboa and even at an early age she had a knack for singing around the house while her father played his record collection. At the age of nine she began getting roles in films and even had offers from music producers to record albums, although the initial songs she began singing weren’t very popular. It wasn’t until her song Mr. D.J. was released in 1978 that she would get any sort of recognition. Although she was only twelve years old at the time, the song would become an instant success and even landed her a role in a television show called C.U.T.E. (Call Us Two for Entertainment).
With her singing, television and film career on the rise, she began receiving offers from several networks from around the country. To date, she has starred in over 50 movies, recorded 40 albums and has been the host of a whopping 10 television shows, many of which have went on for years at a time. Her main television network and source of income was ABS-CBN which was her “home” network for more than twenty years. But in November of 2011 she departed the network to start her show Sharon: Kasama Mo, Kapatid which aired on TV5. The show would only last a few years but she was rumored to have received close to $1 billion Philippine Peso.
Sharon is an endorser of several different hugely profitable businesses, including: McDonalds, SuperFerry and Coca Cola. She also owns multiple town houses which she rents out and recently began her own magazine called Sharon at Home which offers home life advice and tips.
#1 – Manny Pacquiao (Net Worth: Philippine peso 9 Billion)
We’re finally here at the number one spot with none other than Manny Pacquiao, also known as Pac Man. No one here should be at all surprised by Manny being at the top of this list and why would they? He is one of the world’s most renowned boxers and even people who don’t follow the sport recognize him. But where can we even begin with someone like him?
Manny was born in 1978 and while he isn’t even forty years old yet, he has been able to cement himself as not only the richest person living in the Philippines but is also the second highest paid athlete in the world. When Manny was fourteen he dropped out of school due to his family being extremely poor. His mother was a single parent and she has six children to feed, including Manny. He decided to drop out and get a high school equivalent so that he could attend college for business at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University. Throughout his childhood Manny was a pretty serious boxer which really helped when he was living in the streets. In 1995 his career choice shifted to becoming a professional boxer after the death of his close friend who had the same dream. At the time he was only 16 and weighed just shy of 100 pounds but that didn’t stop him from entering the ring. The loss of a friend is a terrible tragedy to go through but Manny has done right by his friend by honoring his memory. He has gone on to win tons of athletic awards, including Fighter of the Decade (2000) and Best Asian Fighter by Boxing Writers Association of America.
The list of Manny’s accomplishments is just astounding. Throughout his career as a boxer he has won dozens upon dozens of matches. And if that wasn’t enough he also joined the Philippine army where he was able to reach the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
These days Manny is more concerned with his political career. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 and just recently he announced his candidacy for Senator. Despite his recent offensive remarks against the LGBT community, Manny is leading the polls so it won’t be a surprise to anyone if he wins.
And that is it for the list of the richest people living in the Philippines. The nice thing about this list is how each candidate really comes from a different background. Not all of them are just born into money, which is the case for a lot of people. Rather, the list is filled with people who really worked their way to the top, even if they started on the bottom.
Who is your favorite celebrity from the Philippines? Let me know in the comments below!