Dancing our way to a Guinness World Record

While before, when the question is asked, “What’s in Cebu?” we often answer with the usual “sweet mangoes” and “Magellan’s Cross” and “white-sand beaches” and “SM and Ayala shopping,” after this weekend, we’ll have to add another description: “world-record holders.”

For what a brilliant idea from a brilliant man whose passion for dance is incomparable. Think of all the benefits a “World Record” will shower upon Cebu. There’s the publicity. This is major, major news. An act that should be trumpeted not only in our native province but, just as well, in our nation’s 7,107 islands.


From Sun.Star Cebu

A “Guinness World Record” means that, since time immemorial dating back to thousands of years ago when man first roamed this planet, this gargantuan act had never been accomplished before. And it will be, this Sunday at 1 p.m., when thousands will overcrowd the Cebu City Sports Center (Abellana) grounds to boogie, sway hips, hold hands, cha-cha, and shimmy to the tune of four songs including Dandin Ranillo’s “Cebu.”

It will be a sight to dumbfound our eyes. A clapping and revelry that will deafen our eardrums. A memory that we’ll never forget. It will be a Herculean effort, nearly 10,000 Cebuanos who can lay claim and brag to their relatives in California by saying, “I was part of that world record!”

Yes. All thanks to Edward Hayco. Also, to his immensely talented wife, Eleanor, who will lead the jive dancing three days from now. “It (the practice last Sunday) was an awesome sight to behold,” said the almost-shy but perennially-smiling Ed, quoted by ace writer Marian Baring. “It was both electric and overwhelming. No amount of words can describe how this moment feels for all of us here in DTCC and for the city of Cebu.”

Since dancesport strutted to stardom beginning 2003, our Cebu City has reaped thousands of this most precious metal called gold. They’ve invaded America. They’ve penetrated our barangays and conducted lessons and competitions. They’ve attracted the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to Cebu last 2005 and, as expected, we harvested a truckload of medals.

Now, this. A World Record. Is this Cebu’s first-ever Guinness WR? I researched Google and found one other in—guess what—the same act of dancing. Exactly two years ago this month, 1,558 inmates from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) set two world records: for “most inmates dancing simultaneously in the same place” and for the “most number of individuals dancing to ‘Thriller’ at the same time and in the same location.”

We know what happened next. Wisely uploaded to YouTube by Byron Garcia, our governor’s brother, the Thriller video now has 23.4 million hits…

Three days from now? While it will be hard to match the CPDRC numbers, I’m sure after the video is uploaded to YouTube, it will be a hit. I can imagine thousands, possibly tens of thousands, who’ll watch this “largest dance class” record. Our friends and relatives, spanning Dubai to Hong Kong to Makati, would love to watch this amazing feat of the feet.

Apart from popularizing Cebu, this Mambo No. 5 act will further popularize the already sport of dancing. Take my personal observation. Last February, I visited the Hipodromo basketball gym and saw hundreds of girls and boys swirling and twisting and prancing to the tune of Mambo No. 5. In all, the Dancesport Team Cebu City has infiltrated all the barangays and made dance converts of the multitude of our youth.

This world record? It further hypes the sport. It glorifies dancing. Think of the thousands who’ll join this weekend: do you think that, after joining such a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they’ll stop? They’ll press pause and discontinue the music? No, no. They’ll dance like non-stop disco dancing.

What can we, fellow Cebuanos, do? Plenty. Come Sunday at 1 p.m., let’s go to Abellana. If it’s not too late to join… join. Or watch from the bleachers. When the YouTube video is up, let’s email all our friends world-wide. Let’s be part of history with this Cebu story.

Categorized as Dancesport
John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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