Making Masbate Competitive
Masbate Vice Governor Jo Kristine ‘Kaye’ Celera-Revil is determined to stomp out poverty and violence and uphold peace, progress, and positivity
BY MARIDOL RANOA-BISMARK
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SILVERMOON STUDIO
There’s something about an esteemed ancestor that makes you want to level up. Masbate Vice Governor Jo Kristine “Kaye” Celera-Revil didn’t get to meet her paternal grandfather, Adolfo Celera Sr., a lawyer- politician who worked as a Provincial Board Member and Land Transportation Office Chief. Unfortunately,
he was assassinated in their home province a year before Revil, his first grandchild, was born.
Revil, who’d rather be called VG (which stands for “Very Good,” how she wants people to see her), grew up hearing stories about how well-loved her grandfather was. In order to live up to his honor, she tries her
best to lead as he would have led had he been alive.
Revil followed in the footsteps of her lolo and continued his legacy. She took up Law from Ateneo de Manila University and passed the Bar. Like her grandfather, she’s determined to make life better for her
It’s been an uphill climb. But she chose to continue down this path as she sees it her duty to inspire greater good as a public servant. “I’m a Masbateña, raised and studied in Masbate from pre-school to high school, I love my province. I know of its many issues and I feel it’s my calling to help come up with
BY MARIDOL RANOA-BISMARK PHOTOGRAPHS BY SILVERMOON STUDIO Masbate Vice Governor Jo Kristine ‘Kaye’ Celera-Revil is determined to stomp out poverty and violence and uphold peace, progress, and positivity solutions, and work for its peace, progress, and development,” she declares.
Masbate’s previous reputation as a province, which lacked clean water, paved roads, and jobs due to corruption didn’t help. Almost 10 years ago, it ranked eighth on the list of the country’s poorest provinces.
Given this condition, Vice Governor Revil immediately set out to take on the herculean task in front of her. “I put a lot of effort toward instilling in the people’s minds that we’re not less than the others, that we’re neither pathetic nor poor. I tried to reverse the image (of Masbate) as a violent place,” says Revil.
She did her best to change this victimmentality into something positive by telling Masbateños that they have three Ks— Karapatan (right), Kagandahan (beauty), and Kabutihan (goodness).
ECONOMIC BOOSTRevil, also a BS Tourism graduate from the University of the Philippines, knows how
important tourism is to her work as Masbate’s chief ambassador of goodwill. She’s made it a point to join all expos, and create a lot of videos to promote Masbate.
When Cebu Pacific introduced a new plane and asked the public where they wanted to fly, Revil seized the moment. She mobilized the youth and asked them to post beautiful pictures of Masbate on their social media accounts. Thanks to the youth’s frequent posts, Masbate trended on Twitter, and Cebu
Revil then pitched the idea of introducing Cebu Pacific flights to Masbate to the Gokongweis. “I showed all my efforts to promote Masbate, while Cebu Pacific did its own market research,” recalls Revil.
The result: the airline company launched two flights a day to Masbate. Needless to say, it was a big boost for local tourism, with new resorts opening and bringing job opportunities for the people.
Revil again tapped the power of social media when she gathered Masbateños for a makeover and asked them to pose for photos with the province’s tourist destinations as backdrop. The Masbateños were only too glad to post photos of their new look on their social media accounts.
Revil repeated this technique of hitting two birds with one stone by holding volleyball tournaments in various Masbate tourist spots, and asking people to upload the photos on social media. She reached out to print and online media and showed them the beauty of Masbate. “Good publicity erased the province’s negative image. It boosted the people’s morale and sense of pride and belonging,” says Revil.
More jobs stimulated the economy and fueled the engine of progress. So Revil tied up with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and held a job fair for her
constituents. She also tapped her wide network to launch capacity-building projects that gave
livelihood training to the people. Revil’s office partnered with TESDA (The Technical Education and Skills Authority), which offered courses in plumbing, weaving, and others.
She also launched the Kusog Masbate Province Card that gives discounts and privileges to Masbateño taxpayers, encouraging many business establishments to warm up to the idea.