Khok: Lessons in kikiam

Ober Khok

REMEMBER the American entertainer Steve Harvey and the Miss Universe 2015 announcement of the winner? You know the story.

The family learned that the first (?) breakfast offered to the SEA Games athletes consisted of kikiam, rice and boiled egg. We are now having a Steve Harvey moment with kikiam. We have received flak. We do not like it.

Some people say it is just kikiam. But to trivialize it is not to face the real problem. Since kikiam is a kind of food, the family decided to discuss it along with other matters.

Me: Hey guys! Last Thursday, GMA7 reported it was not kikiam but chicken sausage.

“There was a lively discussion on GMA7’s radio-TV program Super Radyo ‘Anong Say Mo’ on whether we should stop talking about our lapses in hosting the SEA Games. Ninety-three percent said ‘stop talking about it’ and only seven percent felt it should go on,” said Peetong, Dona’s husband.

“The program host Joel Reyes-Zobel said that glitches happen,” Illustracio said.

“Correct. Olympics, Sydney, 2000: The hydraulic lift for the cauldron got stalled, thus stalling the ceremony. FIFA, 2014, World Cup in Brazil. There was bad logistics and civil unrest. Winter Olympics, Sochi, 2014, cost $50B to upgrade the stadiums and all. The 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi received negative press. The stadiums were hardly ready and the quarters for the athletes were said to be dirty and poorly built,” Uncle Gustave said.

“Kikiam is delicious. I think the caterer wanted the foreign athletes to taste what a typical Pinoy breakfast is,” my niece Krystalle said.

“They could have offered it as a snack, barrio fiesta style. I think the caterer has adjusted the menu to consider food restrictions,” my Aunt Tita Blitte said.

“People are now comparing our hosting to the Fyre Festival. It was a fake luxury gig. The scam offered luxury hotel stay but the attendees stayed in tents. The gourmet food turned out to be just sandwiches,” said Polonggoy, the son of Dona and Peetong.

“It is an unfair comparison. Our hosting is not fraudulent,” my precocious nephew Pannon said.

LESSONS. Reyes-Zobel offered two lessons: The situation shows how we view sports.

My uncle agrees.

“We need to seriously support our athletes, especially in individual events, where we win most. We have to improve our sports facilities even when we are not hosting anything.”

Lesson 2: Reyes-Zobel noted that to stop discussing the errors would hinder progress. However, we can stop the bashing. Show host Arnold Clavio agreed but said “stop the corruption also.”

Lesson 3: When we embark on something, let not pride lead us. Pride goes before the fall. It is better to undertake hosting with visions of respect to special needs, time, functional stadiums, among others.

Lesson 4: We cannot escape flak. The Steve Harvey Moment also means making real amends. The SEA Games is not yet over. We can recover and do better as a nation.