MANILA, Philippines - Just when they thought they’d be “single” for the rest of their lives, this couple is now experiencing the truth behind what a wise woman had succinctly written in a note attached to a wedding gift: “Married is better.”
This is more than the usual love story. This is a story of how, more than 36 years after their paths first crossed at the age of four, a man and a woman finally recognized who the other person was to them — one another’s soul mate.
Teddy Kalaw and Bunny Villarosa were both precocious young kids who more often enjoyed reading different genres of literature, rather than playing with dolls, toy guns or balls. Very early, they appreciated the world of words, and recognized its power. Long before local air carriers advertised “Every Juan can fly,” Teddy and Bunny already knew the secret of traveling to
different places and cultures. Early on in life, they quietly recognized that they were different from most other kids.
After 1976, the next time they met was as freshmen at the Ateneo. Though from different academic disciplines (she in social sciences, he in management), they became fast friends and often shared a blue bench at the college quadrangle in between classes. Those years in university were spent testing and spreading their (academic and social) “wings.” They shared one organization throughout those four years, AIESEC — where, funnily enough, cohorts would often encourage them to go for one another.
To date, Bunny has a master’s in business management (Asian Institute of Management, 1998), as well as a master’s in public management as a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow (MPM 2010, jointly from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore, and the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University). Teddy received his master of laws degree from Harvard Law School, his Juris Doctor (second honors) from Ateneo Law School, his master’s in public administration (meriting the Dean’s Medal for a
near-perfect grade average) from the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines, and his master’s in business administration degree with a joint Executive Master of Business Administration Program of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School. Their individual experiences in the public sector also saw
Teddy and Bunny attaining career executive service eligibility (CESE).
While Bunny had early exposure in corporate finance and treasury starting in 1994, she later entered the public sector in 1998 as the chief of staff of her mother in Congress. Teddy engaged in the practice of law starting 1998. He is not only a member of the Philippine bar, but also that of the
State of New York, and the United States Supreme Court. Prior to co-founding the law firm Kalaw Sy Selva & Campos in March 2005, Teddy served as a court attorney to Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza of the Supreme
Court, and was later a senior associate at the intellectual property and information technology practice of the Quisumbing Torres Law Firm (Manila associate firm of Baker & McKenzie International).
By April of 2004, Bunny took a break from Congress to write a book, as a thanksgiving to God. Thirteen months after, she launched her book, Little Book of Miracles and Answered Prayers. The book was featured in several television magazine shows, and other print media. The following year, her
work was a finalist for Best Special Feature in the 2006 Catholic Mass Media Awards. Praying for guidance as to what to do next, a serendipitous intervention by her Ninang Gina and mother saw Bunny consulting for her former AIM professor, Romy Neri, at the Department of Budget and Management.
Within a year after she first consulted for the DBM Secretary, Bunny was appointed Assistant Secretary with Information Technology and Communications as her direct responsibility area. She was also, concurrently, a Commissioner (DBM Representative) at the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (now known as the Philippine Commission on Women). By the end of 2009, she received an appointment to the Presidential Management Staff office under President Gloria Arroyo. Before going on leave in 2010 for graduate
studies, Bunny left the DBM with several more notches in her belt, including a brand-new data center; an eBudgeting system rolled out from the national office to all
regional offices; the establishment of a nationwide wide-area network, (WAN) by the end of 2006; and she’s also worked with foreign grant agencies to ensure the GOP meets its identified Millennium Challenge goals. She led project teams at the DBM that worked with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to develop procurement documents, and with USAID for funding of her original
research project proposal under former Sec. Neri (for the development and roll-out of an electronic lump-sum fund releasing system for discretionary funds like PDAF, DPWH, and the DEPED School Building Program) which became a
solid reality and was rolled out in 2009 (the system has since been renamed).
One of the first and youngest fellows as well as an incumbent trustee of the Institute of Corporate Directors of the Philippines and chair of its Family-Owned or Controlled Corporations Circle since 2007, Teddy is also a
graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, from which he obtained his Company Directors Course diploma in 2010. He is the only
Filipino diplomate in international commercial arbitration of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) of the United Kingdom and is one of only three Filipino CIArb Fellows. He is currently the executive vice president of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIArb) and is the chapter warden of the Philippine Chapter of the CIArb East Asia Branch headquartered in Hong Kong. He is among the youngest to be elected a Fellow of CIArb, PIArb, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, and the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators.
Bunny is currently completing her Juris Doctor degree at the Ateneo Law School, where Teddy serves on the faculty and teaches Corporate Governance for the J.D. Program and Intellectual Property Management for the school’s
pioneering LL.M. Program in intellectual property jointly sponsored by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. Teddy also teaches graduate courses on the Philippine Judicial System and Negotiation & Dispute
Resolution in the Public Sector at the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines and was the Philippine delegate to the 2011 Colloquium for Teachers of Intellectual Property jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization
and World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Teddy was a submissions editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and his own articles have been published in both local and international academic journals such as the Philippine Journal of Public Administration and the Asia Business Law Review. He was a teaching fellow of the Program on
Internet & Society of the Harvard Law School Berkman Center in Boston, US in 2001 and Singapore in 2002.
Teddy is the son of the late Olympian and national shooting record-holder Teodoro Kalaw III and Ma. Trinidad Yujuico-Kalaw, the first female chair of the Philippine Stock Exchange. Bunny is the eldest daughter of Mayor Jose
Villarosa of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro and House Representative and former Deputy Speaker Ma. Amelita Calimbas-Villarosa of the Lone District of Occidental Mindoro.
Bunny enjoys spending time with her daughter Eli, whom Teddy is in the process of adopting.