The New Year's Celebration in the Philippines, as expected, was sadly greeted with firecrackers-related accidents, injuries or death as reported in the media. Not new to us. Many of the victims were children. Although the authorities were glad because the number had gone down as compared to the past celebrations, there remains a need for a drastic change in the way we celebrate the new year - a good way to start a new year. One is a total ban for all types of fireworks and firecrackers. And hopefully, it will be done soon.
I wrote this post, days before New Year.
For a long time, firecrackers were a part of tradition as far as Christmas and New Year's celebrations in the Philippines were concerned. I was five years old when I tried a small firecracker my uncle tied on the tip of a stick. It was so small that the explosion could not scare me as a tot. A candle on the ground was used to burn the wick. We called that explosive "libintador" so small that my uncle would explode it in his finger tips.
When I grew up, I became more acquainted with all types of firecrackers. From the lowly libintador, firecracker makers cameup with versions more menacing than what we used to have as small kids. The stronger version was called triangle although we could manage to explode it by holding it in the tips of our fingers. The explosion could have ripped off our nails if it was loaded more than enough. Versions later were even more menacing. We had Superlolo, Goodbye Philippines, Judas Belt, to name a few, which alarmed the authorities because of firecracker-related incidents every Christmas season and New Year's Eve celebration. Injuries could range from minor to full mayhem on the part of the victims who would cut off their fingers, whacked hands, blasted eyes, etc. During these times, hospitals would be prepared to serve the would-be victims.
I don't know with other local government units, but perhaps it was Davao City only that first implemented the total ban of firecrackers. As a result, despite violations of some hard-headed residents who would be penalized if caught by the way, Davao City would have zero firecracker-related incident. This is often cited by the media when reporting about the ban for firecrackers.
The government is introducing measures to improve the situation during celebration like providing warning to the people. But that is not a surefire to preventing injuries, for instance. Which is why many sectors are calling for the total ban of firecrackers.
Nevertheless, let me say, happy new year and hopefully 2013 is a good year for you and me. I would like to thank you also for coming to visit this blog despite inconsistency of posts. Till next issue!