Vicente Madrigal was one of the most distinguished businessmen, industrialist and politician of the Philippines. He served as Senator in 1942-1946 and 1950-1953.He was born in Ligao, Albay. He married Susana Paterno. Their daughter was Senator Pacita Madrigal-Gonzales who also a senator during the Quezon and Magsaysay administrations and the first administrator of the Social Welfare Administration, the predecessor of today's Department for Social. Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Vicente Madrigal entreneurship led to the establishment of businesses in in coal, oil, sugar, cement, shipping, and real estate. Susana his wife was equally industrious, establishing a dress and jewelry shop while dabbling also in real estate. Before the war he acquired 11,000 hectare hacienda in Canlubang, Laguna. Mrs Madrigal was equally adept and she recognized the possibilities of Alabang. Today its mango trees are her visible legacies in the mini-city.
During the Commonwealth years. Mr. Madrigal ventured into newspaper publishing, acquiring a chain of newspapers for People's Press: Debate, Mabuhay, Philippine Herald, and Monday Mail. Collectively known as DMHM, these newspapers strongly influenced public opinion. He was an early exponent of industrialization in the Philippines and labored to bring new technologies into Philippine industry.
When his wife died, he ran for his first term as a Senator in the election of 1941. ALthough he also felt that he was more industrialist than a public official, he ran upon the insistence of President Manuel L. Quezon. After World War II, Senantor Madrigal, along with Senators Antonio de las Alas, Quintin Paredes, Claro M. Recto, Eulogio Rodriguez, Proceso E. Sebastian, Emiliano Tria Tirona and Jose Yulo were arrested by the US Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) because they had worked in capacity in the Japanese-sponsored Government. They had been part of Japanese-sponsored President Jose P. Laurel's Cabinet.
The post-war years saw the rebuilding of his business empire. From his office in Escolta, Manila, he ran the shipping lines, coal-trading operation, oil mills in Manila and Cebu; logging concessions in Surigao; a gold mine in Masbate; a cement plant in Rizal; a cotton factory in Tondo; and the Jai Alai fronton on Taft Avenue, Manila.
In real estate he and his wife acquired vast tracts of land in emerging New Manila, and in various parts of the country: Bicol, Canlubang sugar hacienda, and Alabang, which became the new city of Ayala Alabang.
Don Vicente and Doña Susana had seven children: Macaria, Pacita, Josefina, Antonio, Jose, Consuelo Alejandra, and Maria Luisa. He refused to coddle them and insisted that they work to be self-sufficient and to help others less fortunate. He assigned each of them business assignments. Antonio was told to take care of the shipping lines. Jose was told to develop the real estate holdings. Consuelowas given Rizal Cement to steer.
Upon his death Vicente Madrigal distributed his properties equally to his seven children. The lots and buildings were equally divided through drawing 7 lots. For example the Madrigal Building in Ayala Avenue has one floor assigned to each sibling, even though a holding company manages the whole property.