WHAT do you think would have happened if we had students design the 2019 SEA Games cauldron?

Imagine the talent we could have been celebrating.

Imagine the wonderful designs we could have seen.

Imagine how proud we could have been as a nation celebrating young talent.

There is just so much talent in this country that we could have placed on a pedestal and bragged about on a global level.

Instead, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games has just been placed in bad light with its highly questionable choices and budgets.

The last time I had a mild interest in cauldrons was when I read the Harry Potter books.

Imagine my surprise that after many (many, many) years later, I’d be interested in a cauldron again. And it’s not even a magical cauldron we’re talking about--but it might just as well be, considering the hefty price tag that came with it.

I wonder what kind of potions you can brew with that “fancy boi.”

I forgot we were hosting the SEA Games up until news of the pricey cauldron blew up on social media. People started calling it a really expensive kaldero, which just makes it all the more alarming. We’re kind of burning this thing--is the hefty price tag necessary?

I wonder what it would have been like if we had come up with a public design challenge and asked for a smarter, cost-efficient design? Would things be different?

Could we have perhaps partnered with students and universities in designing the 2019 SEA Games cauldron? I imagine it would have been an excellent design challenge and learning experience for students and young designers. Designers could have found opportunities of growth.

It would have been awesome for us as a nation to promote young talent and brag about how talented young Filipino designers are on a global level.

There is just so much talent in this country. We could have taken this chance to celebrate it.

I feel like we sometimes neglect that of which is so close to us. The young designers, our students, start-ups and budding talent that just needs a little bit more support and a quick tap on the back. In the same way, as the preparations of the 2019 SEA Games seems to focus on the excess – things that don’t seem to be all too important – we forget our own talented athletes and the support they need to power through the games.

We need to support and celebrate the talent that is around us. And there is just so much of it going around--so much! A little more support really goes a long way.

Here’s to supporting budding talents more and our strong athletes as they go for Gold and bring home the bacon that we can later cook in our very fancy kaldero.