Ignacio B. Villamor

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Ignacio B. Villamor (1 February 1863-23 May 1933) was a Filipino justice, educator, and writer. He was the first Filipino president of the University of the Philippines. His term lasted from 1915 to 1920. At that time, UP was based in Padre Faura, Manila. He instituted a Filipinization policy to foster more Filipino participation in the university. He was succeeded by an American, Guy Potter Benton.

Early life and education

He was born on 1 February 1863 in Bangued, Abra to Florencio Villamor and Wenceslawa Borbon. He had to work at an early age to support his studies and to help support his family. With the help of his uncle, Escolastico Borbon, his mother was able to send him at a public school under Mariano Torrijos in their town. He also studied under Juan Valera for two years. He was then sent to a seminary in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to continue his studies.

He finished his Bachelor of Arts at San Juan de Letran in 1885 and his Masters of Law at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in 1893.


Villamor was a prosecutor in Pangasinan in 1901. He was appointed as judge of the Sixth Judicial District in 1902; Solicitor General from 1906 to 1908; Attorney General in 1907; and Chief of the Executive Bureau.

He served as UP President from 7 June 1915 to 1920. He succeeded the first UP president, Murray Bartlett. It was during his presidency that UP Cebu was established. It was also during his term that UP became a distinct public university and center of education in the Philippines.

In 1908, he served as director of the Bureau of Census. Upon leaving UP, he was appointed as associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

Villamor established Colegio de San Antonio de Padua and Liceo de Manila. He was also one of the founders of Universidad Literaria de Filipinas.


  • Criminality in the Philippine Islands
  • Commentaries on the Election Law, Election Frauds and Their Remedies
  • Japan's Educational Development
  • Slavery in the Philippines
  • Industrious Men
  • Ancient Filipino Writing
  • University of Santo Tomas in Her Third Centennary

Awards and recognition

Villamor was recognized in the Philippines and in other countries for his contributions in the field of legal scholarship and in the humane philosophy of law. He became a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Legislature and Jurisprudence. He was the first Filipino justice who was acknowledged by the said organization.

Personal life

Villamor married Mariquita Flores. They are parents to Ace Pilot and World War II hero, Jesus Antonio Villamor, and three other children.

Pilot Villamor, who had the rank of colonel, was the leader of the 6th Pursuit Squadron. He was awarded the Medal of Valor by President Ramon Magsaysay for his services during the war as pilot and intelligence officer. The Nichols Field, which was named after Captain Taylor Nichols of the Philippine Scouts, was renamed after Colonel Jesus Antonio Villamor.


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