By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star)

ILOILO , Philippines -- The Villar Group plans to expand its Starmalls from five to 22 in the next few years, former senator  Manuel Villar Jr. told The STAR yesterday.

Villar said he is focusing on handling the family business with the end of his term as senator.

"As we continue to expand Camella Homes all over the country, we are also building more Starmalls nationwide," said Villar, who went to Iloilo last weekend to lead the Light of Peace that aimed to get the Guinness World Record for having lighted the most number of candles for world peace.

As a matter of procedure, Starmalls Inc -- being a publicly listed company -- has notified the Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE) about the plans.

Starmall continues to expand its mall chain, with four more new shopping centers slated for opening in the next few months.  

These branches are those in Taguig City, Imus and Molino in Cavite and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

There will also be re-development projects at existing Starmalls in EDSA-Shaw, Alabang in Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.

The Starmalls project is different from Vistamalls known as Evia which is home to a range of newly built residential estates and growing commercial hubs.

Evia caters to the high-end, European inspired Portofino by Brittany, to mid-range Ponticelli by Crown Asia, and affordable Camella Cerritos, the opportunity of home ownership in a master-planned urban setting is open and accessible to various lifestyle choices.