HENRY C. MANAYAN, ESQ.
Henry C. Manayan is the former Mayor of the City of Milpitas, California, in America’s renowned Silicon Valley. Mr. Manayan was born in New York City. His father, Dr. Henry Aguda Manayan, a New York and Harvard-trained surgeon, was from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, in the Philippines. His mother, Lorraine, was a nurse anesthetist, born to Chinese-American parents in Honolulu, Hawaii, where the family later moved.
On his father’s side, Henry’s grandfather, Enrique Manayan, who hailed from San Nicolas, Pangasinan, settled in Ilocos Norte after marrying Valentina Aguda from Pasuquin. They had a total of 8 children, with two who died in their youth. He was the first Manayan to come to America, having served in the U.S. Army in Hawaii. In the Army, Enrique was a Sharpshooter and part of the Military Police detail; he also was the camp bugler. At the start of World War II in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Enrique helped save many lives as he blew his bugle early throughout his barracks to awaken his sleeping comrades while bombs began to fall. Back in the Philippines, Enrique’s 3 oldest children joined the U.S. Army Forces Far East to fight the enemy through to victory in 1945.
After the war, with assistance from the G.I. Bill, the 3 eldest came to the U.S. and finished their medical education, becoming doctors, starting with Cora, and followed by Enrique Jr. (who changed his name to Henry), and Ben. The other 3 remaining siblings, Fred, Belen & Lorna followed subsequently.
On his mother’s side, immigration to America started earlier with Henry’s maternal Great-grandfather being the first to arrive from China and open a business in Honolulu. His son, Kam Yee Chang, immigrated and settled in Hawaii after marrying Lily Chang of Honolulu. They had seven children with one who died young: Frances, Evelyn (d.), Lorraine, Margaret, Loretta, Richard and Merton.
Education was of prime importance in the Manayan households. Following graduation from St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Henry received his Bachelor’s Degree at Syracuse University in New York, where he was President of the Speaker’s Union and Captain of the Debate Team. He was further educated at Oxford University in Great Britain, Santa Clara University School of Law in California, Golden Gate University Graduate School of Banking and Finance in San Francisco, the London Business School in England and Harvard University in Massachusetts. He received his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University’s School of Law.
His professional career extends from being a college professor, to real estate development and private equity. With service on numerous Boards, Mr. Manayan is the Chairman of the Transpacific Companies, a financial group, with business in the United States and Asia. He also served as the President of U.S. Operations for Culturecom Holdings, Limited, a publicly-listed company based in Hong Kong. He recently worked in management positions as the Executive Vice President of the American Private Equity Fund and Chief Operating Officer for Discovery Holdings Corporation.
Public service was taught to the Manayan children at an early age. It was common for the family to volunteer for charitable organizations and causes. Mr. Manayan started his career in public service as a community volunteer serving on the Boards of many charities and civic organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary International, the world’s largest service organization, where he served as Club President. Other Boards include the Silicon Valley Arts Council, YMCA, San Jose Museum of Art, Asian-Americans for Community Involvement, Villa Montalvo, Sustainability Institute, Community Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, and Save The Bay.
In California, following law school, Mr. Manayan settled in the City of Milpitas. He was first appointed to the City of Milpitas’ Community Advisory Commission. Following, he received appointments to the City’s Planning Commission, and the Mobile Home Rent Review Board, which he chaired. Mr. Manayan also was appointed by the County Board of Supervisors to the Santa Clara County Transportation Commission.
In 1994, Mr. Manayan ran for his first elected position and won a seat on the Milpitas City Council. In 1996, he ran for the position of Mayor and won. This established a historic first for Filipino-Americans, as Mayor Manayan was the first directly-elected Mayor of Filipino ancestry in a major metropolitan area within the Continental United States. He ran again for re-election in 1998 and 2000 and won by landslides. In December 2002, due to term limits, Mayor Manayan completed his final term on the Milpitas City Council.
With public works projects, Mayor Manayan is credited for building the new Milpitas City Hall, the Milpitas Sports Center and improving infrastructure by enhancing road improvements and surrounding the City’s facilities with fiber optics which accelerated internet connectivity and improved city-wide communications. During his term, Mayor Manayan spearheaded numerous transportation improvements such as bringing Light Rail to the City of Milpitas and building the large freeway interchange at Highways 237 and 880, which won a Putnam Award for Excellence from the California League of Cities.
During his term as Mayor, he is best known for his focus on economic development. With companies like Cisco, LSI Logic, Solectron, Quantum, Lucent, Linear Technology, Creative Labs, Polycom, KLA/Tencor, Sun Microsystems, Seagate, Applied Materials, and Lifescan, Milpitas is now known as having one of the highest concentrations of high technology companies per capita in the world. Mayor Manayan was also instrumental in the re-development of the Great Mall of the Bay Area, the largest discount outlet in the Western U.S., and Milpitas Square, the largest Asian Mall in Northern California. Upon leaving public service, Mayor Manayan left City Hall with a multimillion dollar surplus.
Several highlights in Mayor Manayan’s political career include being appointed to a White House Advisory Group on Asian-Pacific Affairs by President Bill Clinton. He was also appointed by President Clinton to be in a delegation representing the United States on a trade mission to the Republic of the Philippines led by U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Platt of New York.
After leaving office, Henry Manayan continued his volunteer work having served as Manager of the San Jose campaign office for Hillary Clinton for President in 2008, and the Chairman of the State Filipino-American Democratic Caucus under the California Democratic Party. He currently serves as the Chairman for the Friends of the Filipino-American Community Political Action Committee, which supports & nurtures Fil-Am candidates for public office.