Celso Dayrit

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To read this article in Filipino, see Celso Dayrit.

Celso "Cito" Limjuco Dayrit (11 December 1951 – 28 April 2021[1]) was a Filipino fencer, sports executive, and banker. After his competitive fencing career, he served as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Fencing Confederation of Asia.

Early life and education

Celso Dayrit was born on 11 December 1951 in Manila. He was 6 years old when he began to receive fencing training from his father, Francisco Dayrit Sr., who is considered to be the father of Philippine fencing. He obtained a bachelor's degree in business management from De La Salle University in 1973 and a masters degree in business administration from La Salle Business School in 1978.[2]



Dayrit started his career in the banking industry after graduating from college. In 1973, he joined the Philippine Commercial & Industrial Bank. He would go on to become vice president of the BPI Credit Corporation when credit cards were still being introduced in the Philippines.[2]


Dayrit eventually took up fencing as a competitive sport. He participated in national and international competitions, using all three weapons in the sport, epée. foil, and sabre. From 1979 to 1988, he represented the country in international competitions. He bagged a bronze medal at the 1987 Southeast Asian Games.[2]

As a sports executive

From 1997 to 2008, Dayrit was the head of the Philippine Fencing Association. From 1993 to 1998, he served as commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission, playing an important role in the founding of the Philippine National Games in 1994.[2][3]

From 1999 to 2004, he was the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee. He vied for the same position in 2004 but later withdrew his candidacy, with Peping Cojuango succeeding him.[4] [5]

Dayrit became president of the Fencing Confederation of Asia in 2005, serving in this capacity until his death in 2021. He was the organization's head for five terms.[4]

Dayrit was the only Filipino to receive accreditation as an international course director of the Olympic Solidarity Itinerant Administration School for sports leaders, given by the International Olympic Committee.[6]

He was the founder of the Philippine Olympic Academy and the Philippine Olympians Association[7] and was part of the executive committee of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) from 2004 to 2020.[2]

Dayrit was the chairman of the Southeast Asian Games Federation[4] when the Philippines was preparing to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. He resigned from this role in October 2019, less than two months before the kickoff of the games.[8]


Dayrit published The Olympic Movement in the Philippines in 2003, a book for national sports association officials.[9]


Dayrit died on 27 April 2021 due to complications from COVID-19.[10]


  1. Celso "Cito" Limjuco Dayrit 1951-2021. Fencing Confederation of Asia.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Celso L. Dayrit (MH, PHI). International Fencing Federation.
  3. "Former POC president Dayrit passes away", BusinessMirror, 30 April 2021. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Sporting leader Celso Dayrit dies of COVID-19", ESPN.com, 29 April 2021. (in en) 
  5. "Dayrit, sports pillar, dies", Daily Tribune, 29 April 2021. 
  6. "Rest in peace, former POC president and fencing chief Celso Dayrit", Sports Interactive Network Philippines, 29 April 2021. (in en) 
  7. "Former POC chief Celso Dayrit passes away", 29 April 2021. (in en) 
  8. "Dayrit quits Phisgoc post", Daily Tribune, 30 September 2019. 
  9. "Dayrit, former POC president, dies at 69", INQUIRER.net, 30 April 2021. (in en) 
  10. "Longtime PH sports leader Celso Dayrit dies of COVID-19", Rappler, 29 April 2021. (in en)