Strike Bautista Revilla (aka Edwin Mortel Bautista), 45, comes from a family of actors and politicians.
His father, Jose Acuña Bautista, is the venerable movie entrepreneur and former senator Ramon Revilla Sr. Strike’s elder brother, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., is a hugely popular incumbent senator of the land. Immensely popular, he topped the senatorial elections in 2010.
This year, Bong could have been running for either president or vice president and given his rivals, not exactly an ideal batch, a run for their money, but President Benigno S. Aquino III had him arrested on trumped-up charges of corruption.
Strike has walked under huge shadows. Yet, he has managed, magnificently, to capture his own place in the sun. After serving for three consecutive three-year terms (from 2007 to 2016), Strike is now considered by many as the best mayor Bacoor City ever had.
He is not done yet. He is running for congressman in Bacoor’s lone congressional district, to replace his sister-in-law, Lani Mercado Revilla, who intends to succeed him as mayor.
“A Congress seat gives you a national perspective,” explains Mayor Strike. There, the politics is actually national, not local.” He intends to pursue environmental laws or climate change reform. “If you make a law that for instance, bans tricycles on national roads, usually your constituents in Cavite will complain, but not when it is for the good of the country,” he explains. He sees possibilities on legislation concerning education, health, and the environment.
Mayor Strike’s biggest achievement is in the field of infrastructure. In nine years, the city’s hizzoner spent more than P800 million on infra, an average of P100 million per year.
The feat is epitomized by the iconic new Bacoor City Government Center. Mayor Strike actually has three major achievements: one, the Bacoor Government Center; two, nurturing the old historic town into a city on July 25, 2011; and his STRIKE program. “I achieved all my goals under the STRIKE program,” he asserts.
STRIKE stands for: S – social housing and health services; T- traffic and peace and order; R – Responsible and accountable governance; I – Industry and economic growth; K – Knowledge, education, sports and youth development; and E – Eco-agro tourism and environmental protection and development.
Bacoor will be missing Mayor Strike. The Constitution has a three-strike rule for local officials like city mayors and provincial governors and congressmen. They can serve for only three consecutive terms.
So Mayor Strike must pause and try legislation again, at the national level. Legislation is not new to him. He used to be a member of the Bacoor legislative council as a councilor, and Cavite’s provincial legislative council as a provincial board member.
Strike’s spanking new Bacoor Government Center has eight buildings including a brand new City Hall, SBR Health Center, Barangay Affairs Center and terminal, a Command Center Bldg. that houses the police and fire stations, DepEd Bldg., the air-conditioned Strike Gymnasium cum Fitness Center Building, the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs and Persons with Disabilities Center, and National Agencies Center building.
Aside from being the new seat of the city government, BGC also is home to satellite offices of various national agencies (such as National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Trade and Industry, National Statistics Office, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, and Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration.
Says Mayor Strike of his BGC: “Every father dreams of providing a decent and comfortable home for his family. Bilang ama ng Lungsod ng Bacoor, it has been my fervent wish to give our fellow Bacooreños a home we truly deserve, one which will become instrumental as we continue to deliver quality and efficient services to our constituents.”
Additionally, Mayor Strike built the Bacoor District Hospital, and an Intel Clubhouse Computer Center, as well as a number of elementary and high schools and day care centers.
So good was the mayor that Bacoor has been awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping (Good Governance) by the Department of Interior and Local Government, not once but thrice. Bacoor is the only LGU in the whole Cavite province to win the coveted plum three times.
Managing Bacoor is no mean feat. Strike has been equal to the challenge. He combines his popularity (He was the No. 1 councilor when he first entered politics), leadership (he headed the Cavite mayors’ league and was national league of municipalities and national president of league of provincial board members), and management expertise.
Revilla went to a Catholic school for elementary schooling, to California for his high school, and to La Salle Manila for his commerce degree. He finished courses in MBA and has a doctorate degree, honoris causa, from the Cavite State University. Before entering politics at age 25 and early into his political career, Strike was managing the family business, mainly movie-making.
Bacoor is larger in population (510,000 in 2010) than all the cities and towns of Metro Manila, the national capital region, after Quezon City (2.761 million in 2010), Manila (1.652 million), and Kaloocan (1.378 million). Bacoor, in fact, is the Philippines’ 17th largest city (in population) and the second largest component city (cities attached to a province when voting).
Nationwide though, Bacoor is the fastest-growing major city (cities with population of 400,000 and above). Bacoor’s population is exploding exponentially, to use a cliché, expanding at a mind-boggling 17.9 percent per year, meaning every five and a half years, the number of its residents doubles.
Today, Mayor Strike estimates, “Bacoor has now more than one million people.” In growth potential, the city’s future is bright. Its land area, 46.17 square kilometers, is more than double that of Makati, 21.57 sq. km., the Philippines’ business district, and is almost the same size as Taguig (45.21 sq km), the country’s emerging business center.
Mayor Strike thus must cope both with a challenge (Bacoor’s rapidly expanding population) and an opportunity (the city’s emergence business hub just outside the national capital.
Bacoor is strategically located at the gateway to Metro Manila. A major suburb, the city is located 15 kilometers southwest of Manila, on the southeastern shore of Manila Bay, at the northwest portion of the province. On the east is Las Piñas and Muntinlupa, to the south is Dasmariñas, to the west is Kawit and Imus, and to the north is Bacoor Bay an inlet of Manila Bay.
Bacoor is surrounded by large tracts of industrial estates housing major multinational locators.