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Filipinos may view American society as sick because of the Colorado and Connecticut massacres, but something akin to these tragedies happened here last New Year’s Eve. According to the Philippine National Police and the Department of Health, while the number of firecracker accidents during the yearend revelry decreased, the number of stray-bullet victims increased. As of this writing, 41 have been reported nationwide.
By Rina Jimenez-David
It was the hubby’s “brilliant” idea. For years, we had heard stories about the view from atop the hills of Antipolo, where one could espy on New Year’s Eve the entire metropolis lit up in festive lights and exploding in a riot of colors when the clock struck midnight.
By Neal H. Cruz
Happy New Year! I hope you still have all your fingers. On New Year’s Eve, I enjoyed watching and listening to all the pyrotechnic devices exploding and swishing up into the air. I listened to the crackle of powerful firecrackers, watched the rockets shoot up into the air and explode in a kaleidoscope of colors to light up the night sky, and I had a very enjoyable time until early morning, but I still have all my fingers. And I didn’t have to spend a single peso on the fireworks.
By Juan L. Mercado
“Today, is the first blank page of a 365 page book,” we’re told on New Year’s Day. “Write it well.” How many will skid instead into what the Economist calls “New-Year Irresolution.”
By Cielito F. Habito
A peaceful, blessed and bountiful 2013 to all of us! As always, we start the new year full of hope for an even better year ahead. On the domestic economic front, there is good basis for such optimism even as major economies of the world continue to struggle with threats and uncertainties. In particular, the United States and key European economies are saddled with problems on government finances that threaten their overall economic outlooks. In contrast, the outlook here at home is generally upbeat.
Why are New Year resolutions mostly unfulfilled? Because people sorely lack determination or the firmness of purpose even as they wallow in life’s negativities—e.g., hatred, envy, jealousy, greed, pride. Yet fulfilled New Year resolutions guarantee a vibrant life through the year and the years to come.
Tonight, young and old will again put their lives on the line to mark the passing of the old year and usher in the new. Expect the infuriating scenario of merrymakers, almost always male, brought to hospital emergency rooms yowling or grimacing, and bleeding to within an inch of their lives. Their fingers and other protuberances may have been blown off or “merely” mangled, their face a mess of tissue and bone, an eyeball shafted by a piece of firecracker for good measure, all in the course of carrying out an insane practice touted as tradition or, more to the point, a “manly” rite of passage: bombing the bejesus out of the neighborhood—and burning a tidy sum while at it. So uncool, dudes.
By Neal H. Cruz
As this is being written, there are already 164 persons, most of them children, who have been injured by firecrackers. Three percent of them required amputation of the limbs. There is already one victim of a stray bullet fired into the air by an irresponsible gun owner. And New Year is still two days away. I am sure that by the time the New Year’s Eve revelry is over, there will be many, many more victims, dead and injured from firecracker blasts, stray bullets and fires.
What do I wish for our country this New Year 2013? I prayerfully wish for the following:
By Fr. Jerry M. Orbos
The story is told about a teacher who asked his students: “If K9 refers to the family or offspring of dogs, what family or offspring does K10 refer to?” One student stood up and said: “K10? Cats, ma’am!”
By Nichole Ballesteros
Happy Holidays! It is the time of the year to be our merriest and loudest. Christmas is here, and sooner than later we will welcome 2013 with sparkling lights and positive vibes (we better do, to attract good fortune!). How many of your 2012 resolutions have been met? Well, we still have a few days [...]
The numbers are in, and they are not pretty. Before the onset of the New Year spree, health officials had expressed hope that fewer people would be injured this year due to firecrackers, stray bullets and firecracker ingestion. The figures, in fact, are higher—by 20 cases more, or 2.2 percent, compared to figures from the [...]