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.”

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.

Categorized as Dancesport

Dancing with Ed and Eleanor Hayco

Three nights ago, the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel glittered. Inside the vast hall tiptoed dancers. Sexy, long-legged, with nothing on their legs but four-inch-tall high heels, their backs stood erect, their smiles ear-to-ear, their poise and stature, exquisite.

They arrived in Cebu to compete. Bulgarians. Vietnamese. Russians. Hong Kongers. Slovenians. Germans. They came to showcase their curvaceous bodies. To wow the judges with their twists and bends and turns and spirals. Wearing sparkling silver or glowering gold or blazing blue, they boogied. Skipped. Whirled. They danced the Rumba, Jive, Chachacha, the Viennese Waltz and, my favorite because it elicited the most noise and frenzy, the Paso Doble.

Last Saturday evening, when participants from 15 nations joined the competition called the 4th Dancesport sa Sugbo and IDSF Dancesport Open, it was an eye-popping experience. When the competition started and the dance pairs were called to the giant wooden dancefloor that slept at the middle of the ballroom, I made sure to stay close. And so I sat on the carpet, just meters away.

Categorized as Dancesport

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

Categorized as Dancesport

Because of Edward Hayco, this sport dances

They started with 200. Then, 400. The year after, 600. Next, the number reached 1,000. Each year, when the Dancesport Team Cebu City held their free summer workshop to teach children how to ballroom-dance, they assumed the growing number would stop.

“We thought the numbers couldn’t grow higher,” said Ed Hayco, the team leader of Cebu Dancesport. “When we reached a thousand, then, a year later, 2,000 participants, we told ourselves, ‘Wow, this is big. We’ve reached full capacity.’ But then, the number grows even bigger.”

In 2008, guess how many children—some as young as five years old—have joined the sport of dancing?

Categorized as Dancesport

Hipodromo’s jive is Mambo No. 5

Ask me to strut my feet, rock my legs, twist my hips and whirl my arms—ask me to dance—and, like I declared in a column two years back, I’d best resemble a bunch of cartoon characters: The Transformers. You see, my body is stiff, my movement rigid and my art of gracefulness is, well…… graceless.

The opposite of last Saturday. What did my eyes witness? Girls as tiny as six years old spun their weaving arms and shimmied their bellies. Boys, plenty aged 8 and 10 and 14, skipped, hopped, waltzed. One dozen, two dozen, six dozen and more of them all stepped front and back to the tune of the Cha-Cha and did the jive to “Mambo No. 5.”

Oh, Mambo No. 5. Who doesn’t know the tune? Who doesn’t, when the music plays and the words “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mambo No.5” explode off the loud speakers and the beat pulsates, “One… two… three… four… five,” who doesn’t stomp his feet and rock his head?

Categorized as Dancesport

Dance on Fire!

I don’t know how to dance. My version of the Cha-Cha is like Optimus Prime of the Transformers moving two steps forward then sliding two steps backward. I’m stiff. My bones act like chopsticks. They’re not flexible like spaghetti.But this I do know: I love watching dancers strut. To be more precise, I love watching our DanceSport Team Cebu City performers dance.

Two years ago at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held at the Waterfront, I stood on a high chair and gazed at our Cebuano dancers tap, skip, foxtrot and waltz their way to gold medals. Wasn’t that a proud moment?

Categorized as Dancesport