The first 77 days of Edward Hayco

Ed (2nd from right) with Mars Alison, Mike Limpag, Girlie Garces, Hidelito Pascual and John P.

He is always dancing his feet, go-go-go, a man of action, restless, on the move. Just-turned-50, Ed Hayco started his stint as Cebu City Sports Commission chief last August 5—less than P-Noy’s recent 100 Days speech—yet he’s achieved plenty. In text messages, e-mail, and phone conversations the past 44 hours, here’s Chairman Ed….

Your projects and goals? “We’ve started free boxing clinics, now on its 8th week. From six kids it has grown to almost a hundred. Boxing is under Commissioner Lorenzo Chao Sy. He personally oversees and trains the kids. The kids overwhelm you with their raw talent and enthusiasm. You can see in their eyes the excitement and the energy that awes you to no end.

“The free taekwondo classes under Commissioner Tony del Prado started last Saturday and had 30 kids. Tony oversees the training and the response was very positive. These programs were promoted in a grassroots approach. The enthusiasm of the kids was overwhelming. They want the training daily. But we need to take things slowly as the volunteer program might just be too sudden. You have to take note it took Dancesport years to create the culture of volunteerism and dedication the team possesses today. The free boxing and taekwondo sessions are at the Sports Institute–the former San Nicholas Sports Complex–every Sat. from 2 to 4 p.m.

“We also started the barangay Wellness Program with Aerobics now on its fourth weekend at the I. T. Park every Saturday at 6 a.m. This is chaired by Emi Alfonso and Ema together with Brgy. Capt. Ramil of Apas. Hopefully we can duplicate this with other barangays soon since this program is sponsored by Bgry. Councilor Dong-dong and the Brgy. Councilors League Cebu Chapter. We need to train more aerobic teachers as well.

“A monthly chess competition is planned… A barangay fun run will be up and running in a month, chaired by Tony del Prado. There will be fun runs along barangay areas (hills and trails)—not main thoroughfares.

“We also plan to focus on specific sports in certain areas; like Sepak Takraw is strong in Inayawan, boxing in San Nicholas, Pasil, Duljo area. We’re not sure which program will take root. But if it does, the Institute of Sports should institutionalize the programs so it will be continuing for the next 10 years.

“We started the used-sports gears donation program, a brainchild of Comm. Nimrod Quiñones. Right now we have three boxes of rubber shoes donated by Cambridge and other schools. Some people donated their time like Dr. Tony San Juan who offered three hours a week to train our athletes regarding sports medicine and body mechanics.”

“We finished our Strategic Planning last August which is our road map for the next three years (short term) and 10 years, long term. Namely: 1) Value-laden sports program, chaired by Comm. Rengelle Pelayo. 2) Talent and Coach Identification program, chaired by Nimrod Quiñones. 3) Palaro 2013 championship, chaired by Comm. Ryan Aznar. 4) Link public-private sectors, coaches and patrons, chaired by Lorenzo Chao Sy. 5) Athlete prioritization to bring the gold, chaired by Tony del Prado. 6) Emerging sports and sports tourism chaired by Comm. Brian Lim. 7) Cebu Sports Museum, chaired by John Pages. 8) Sports Institute.

That’s plenty. How does managing Dancesport compare to running the CCSC? “Gosh! It’s a gigantic whale of a difference. That’s why I was very hesitant about the role I have to play in the CCSC. I’m asked to duplicate what we did in dancesport.

“We only have three years to work on 17 sports. The CCSC’s role is to be the catalyst. To make the athletes believe they can. As what Mayor Mike said, ‘Together we can make it happen.’

“I know I’ll be consumed by challenges. But hey, life begins at 50. I’ll try to do just baby steps. One small step at a time. If we make a difference in the lives of others, no matter how small, the Sports Commission would have done its job.”

The Sportsman

His name and photo were permanent fixtures of these back pages. He was the chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission. He shot basketballs, birdied golf holes, flicked his wrist in badminton, swung tennis backhands, and even donned bathing trunks to swim, pedal and run in triathlon.

Sportsman? Check. Politician? Check. Businessman? Cheque. His empire spans not only our city but nationwide. He has outlets and herbal medicine in just about every corner drugstore of our 7,107-island archipelago. And with money, he not only has the luxury of acquiring a sleek, white Jaguar XJ or owning several homes in Cebu, but, best of all, he shares.

During his four-year reign as Cebu sports’ Team Captain, he often turned his right hand backwards to pull out his wallet. He’s generous. Very generous. Athletes, sports teams, tournaments—they always flocked to him and he rarely said “I’m sorry.”

He is—of course you know him—Jonathan Guardo.

Guardo (right) with world boxing champ Nonito Donaire

Finally, it’s here! War! It’s Mexico vs. RP

I live in Talamban. Veco says that we’ll experience power interruption starting 10 last night until 9 this morning. I hope they turn on the switch at 9 or earlier today. I don’t want to miss the World Cup. Who wants to? Nobody. I know that this morning, traffic will halt. Streets will stand deserted. Cars parked. Engines asleep. Cebuanos will be facing the flat screen to cheer, clap, slam the table if our own is KO’d, stand and touch the ceiling if a Mexican is twisted and mangled like a taco. Go, RP!

SISO. Did you watch Star Sports last Thursday at 10 p.m.? I hope you did. Me? I got teary-eyed. The story of the three Siso children—Nino, Sally Dine, Sally Mae—of how they were tutored and nurtured by their late father Dino (who passed away last year to cancer), is both heart-breaking and inspiring. Asked if they’ve given up hope in tennis now that their father is gone, the Siso siblings replied, “No. Because dad was happiest when we’re playing.” (In case you missed it, e-mail me at [email protected] I’ll send you a DVD copy.)

FOOTBALL season is back. Next weekend, it’s the annual San Roque Football Festival. On August 25, it’s by Mizuno. This is excellent news. Football today, among children, is more popular than basketball. Not to criticize the game with the orange Spalding ball and 10-foot-tall ring. I played elementary basketball varsity at La Salle Bacolod and recall those moments as some of my life’s most memorable. But football is better for Filipinos. Why? Because while we cried and lost in Tokushima, Japan, on the football world scene, we have a chance. Not as an RP team. But as individuals. For you don’t need to be 6-foot-8 like LeBron James to be a star. Look at Maradona. He stood 5-foot-5.

Siso siblings on Star Sports tonight!

Sally Mae and Bernardine Siso with coaches Butch Bacani (at the back, right) and Mike Mora

You’ve read their three names. Clapped at their trophies. Saw her photo receiving the Outstanding Cebuana award from Mayor Tommy Osmena. Last year, we wept upon hearing of the shocking death of their 40-year-old father, Dino.

Tonight, if you have cable TV, I urge you to tune in to Star Sports at 10 p.m. The show is called “ACE by Sony Ericsson.” It’s no ABS-CBN or GMA-7 production. It’s a weekly tennis show aired all over Asia. Maria Sharapova? James Blake? They’re often featured there. Whose turn is it tonight?

Bernardine, Sally Dine and Sally Mae Siso. It all began four months ago when Mikel Ugarte called to say that Anthony Suntay, the famous TV host, wanted to video a short documentary on the Sisos. I called Anthony, made arrangements for us to meet two Saturdays later at the Casino Espanol and, next thing we knew, the Sisos were being interviewed by Anthony. And so tonight, finally, it’s here: Star Sports, 10 p.m.

Cebu City Sports Commission

THE VERY FIRST MEETING of the new Cebu City Sports Commission: (from right) Dr. Danny Villadolid, Gene Faelnar, Rolly Diorico, Alex Pacquiao, John Pages, Councilor Yayoy Alcoseba, Nimrod Quinones, Councilor Jack Jakosalem, Councilor Gerry Carillo, Dennis Reyes, and a representative of Councilor Joey Daluz.

We talked about Barangay sports. We tackled the resurfacing problem at the Cebu City Sports Center. We vowed to organize a September 9 Half-Marathon Run. We ate the sumptuous feast offered by Yayoy’s Grill. We smiled. We agreed to hold a planning session to map out the city’s sports development for the next three years. We’re all bound by the same love and passion: CEBU SPORTS.

Read these articles by Marian Baring of Sun.Star Cebu: “Sports Commission targets ‘P30 million repair’ for track oval in Cebu’s only stadium” and “CCSC eyes Boston Marathon for Cebu.”