Cebu sports will dance with Ed Hayco

Michael Lopez Rama, our Cebu City mayor, is correct. So is Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young. Same with yesterday’s assessment by my editor, Mike Limpag.

The choice of Edward Hayco as Chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) is outstanding. Tasked to uplift sports among our one-million-strong city residents, Mr. Hayco has the necessary tools—and perfect dance steps—to boogie and waltz our way to gold with Cebu sports. Here’s why Ed is the right pick:

First, experience. The sport that Ed Hayco drumbeats—Dancesport—has become the pride of Cebu. For over 10 years now since he started training a handful of neophytes, the Dancesport Team Cebu City (DTCC) has reaped awards numbering hundreds, pocketed gold medals at the SEA Games, swayed foreign competitors to visit our land. Today, dancesport is hugely popular—in the barangays, at the Waterfront Cebu City Ballroom, among international dancers who rave about this city called “Cebu”—thanks to one man and his wife, Eleanor. Ed Hayco has the proven track record. He’s done it. His formula for success in dance he can duplicate in other sports. Our city, believe me, will strut to the beat of Mambo No. 5.

Two, grassroots. The often-overused term, what does this really mean? Said Ed in an interview I conducted with him last year: “Our goal (with dancesport) was to go down to the grassroots level,” he said. “And so, starting in 2003, we went to the barangays. Instead of the children coming to us at our preferred venue, we went to them. We started with a few, then we added more. We began holding free dance workshops during summer. As more children joined, summer was not enough. And so we expanded… and now include the out-of-school youth.” That’s grassroots. I’ve seen this myself. Last year, I visited the Hipodromo Sports Complex and witnessed girls and boys as young as eight years old swaying to the beat of the Chachacha, dancing the Jive. Some borrowed leather shoes, others rented skimpy dresses—all for the love of sport.

In “Dancing with Ed and Eleanor Hayco,” an article I wrote last September, I said, “For this is the open secret of Ed and Eleanor and why thousands of our youth—especially those in the inner barangays—now dance. It’s called charity. It’s called selflessness, helpfulness, generosity.”

Third, Ed is close to Mike Rama, Joy Young and is the favorite sportsman of Rep. Tommy Osmeña. This is important. For in sports, like in business, ideas are good… but become no good if funding is absent. Sports projects need pesos—thousands, millions. And, with his excellent relationships with our leaders, proposing champion sports projects—and getting funding for them—will be a cinch.

Fourth, Mr. Hayco himself is a success in business. A 51-year-old multimillionaire with entrepreneurial triumphs in the furniture industry, in food and restaurants, among many others, his connections to tap the support of the private sector—plus, his doling-out his own to help projects—are crucial.

Fifth, Ed is a terrific person. It’s hard to find a Cebuano who is more respectful, who forever-smiles, who listens, who’s humble. This is Edward Hayco. And because of this, it’s easy to see why he’s a success; why he’s able to convince company CEOs to help and to motivate the out-of-school youth to dance—because he’s a good person.

Sixth—and above all—having known him for many, many Augusts, the quality that makes Ed stand out tallest is not found in his resume of accomplishments—from having organized the 7,770-strong dancers who achieved for Cebu the Guinness World Record, or to his being the “Sportsman of the Year” of the 28th Cebu Sports Awards held last March.

His success comes from within. It’s called passion. Whatever endeavor confronts him—business, civic or sports-related—Ed Hayco doesn’t just extend a handshake to tackle the challenge. He embraces them.

Congratulations—and good luck—to our new sports chairman.

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