New Year’s Eve celebration: The better way | Inquirer Opinion

New Year’s Eve celebration: The better way

/ 05:18 AM December 29, 2017

This is a rehash of our humble suggestion to local government executives last year to reinvent the senseless practice in this country of exploding firecrackers, bombs if you please, that kill and maim people every New Year’s Eve. Countdown to midnight of Dec. 31 in other countries is also noisy — loud music, boisterous laughing and screaming of champagne and wine-drinking celebrators, paper trumpets, etc. but no super lolo, plapla, crying bading, piccolo, roman candle, goodbye Philippines, sinturon ni Hudas, trompillo and other ear-splitting firecrackers; a veteran Special Forces soldier from New Zealand we know while in Manila one New Year’s Eve was so astounded by the continuous explosions and exclaimed, “Wow this is Iraq 10 times over…!”; in more conservative countries, community midnight snacks are served and prayer sessions are observed for Heaven’s blessings for the coming year.

We celebrate New Year’s Eve differently—the only one of its kind in the whole world. On Jan. 1 every year, pilots usually divert their planes to other airports because of zero visibility at Naia due to thick and toxic smoke from thousands of tons of firecrackers exploded all over the Metro the night before. Bad habits and stupidity die hard. Every year thousands are treated for mutilated hands, and lacerated and burned faces for not obeying government’s admonition against the use of firecrackers; reports of death are also numerous.


Our suggestion to the mayors (let’s start it in Metro Manila): proclaim a “Grand Pyrotechnics” contest in the plaza or in any suitable area for such an event. Invite show-biz personalities from the place to grace the occasion with musical numbers and open-air dancing; free media noche for everyone courtesy of the local government and donated food and drinks by prominent citizens and generous business establishments of the city. The people shall be encouraged to attend the revelry saving them from spending needlessly their hard-earned money to buy firecrackers to be exploded on the streets; they shall enjoy more in a safe and more enjoyable celebration which can also open doors for acquaintances, promote friendship and camaraderie among the people in the community.

The Metro Manila Development Authority can sponsor a contest with attractive prizes for “The Most Colorful and Artistic,” “The Most Attended,” “The Most Imaginative” production, and covered by media. We’ll show the whole world that we are not really insane or stupid. Let’s “delete” senseless and meaningless traditions. Happy New Year, Mayor!


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Eddie Ilarde is a former senator, freelance writer and independent radio-TV host and producer; Lifetime Achievement awardee for radio and television. He is the founding president-chair of Golden Eagles Society for Seniors and Maharlika Movement. He is heard every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in “Kahapon Lamang” over dzBB 594 kHz AM radio.

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TAGS: Eddie Ilarde, Firecrackers, Inquirer Commentary, New Year 2018, New Year's Eve, pyrotechnics contest
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