HANS ANDERSEN AWARD NOMINEE
For his pioneering contribution in local children's literature through prolific and consistently emanative stories for young and teen readers; Villanueva was nominated by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), Philippine-chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People, to the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Children's Writer, the most prestigious international recognition in the field of writing for children. He was the first Filipino writer to have been nominated for the award.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
For his lifetime achievement and contributions in drama, children's literature, and children's television, Villanueva has been honored by several public and private institutions, including:
CARLOS PALANCA HALL OF FAME
The Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the country's most prestigious literary contest since 1953, decided in 1992 to grant a Hall of Fame award to its winners who have garner a total of five first prizes. Villanueva was included in the first set of "Palanca Hall of Famers," having garnered, at that time, a total of nine first prizes, in several categories.
Gawad CCP Para sa Telebisyon, 1987 to 1992
As Head writer for the long-running children's television program, Batibot, and other TV and video projects under his supervision, the programs received numerous international recognitions including, for "Batibot". The program was consistently honored as among the ten best TV programs in the country.
1987 Screen Play, "Gabi Na, Kumander,"
His screen play won the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 1987.
1991 One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM)
He was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines for drama and children's literature in 1991.
1993 One of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP)
He was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines for his cultural achievement, from the International Jaycees in Hong Kong.
2004 Gawad CCP Para sa Sining (Literatura)
2006 Pinakamahusay na Tsi sa Antas Gradwado
Ang Malikhaing Kamalayan at Walaong Dulang Panradyo UP Diliman, Quezon City, 2006