Sunday, January 02, 2011

Sinturon

You hear fireworks and I hear money crackling in the fire, hehe.

It was in December 2009 when I forbid the family from buying fireworks. Prior to that, we were big on fountains and Roman candles, or basically fireworks that light up but do not explode. It was more than a year ago when, as the designated fireworks guy in the family (as in I'm the one who lights all our stuff up until midnight), I... just got tired of it: I hated having to go outside the house because I dread the death sentence of a stray bullet, as well as the myriad of casualty possibilities from fireworks that could go haywire; and I hated having powder on my hands and having to wash and scrub it to death before I could sit down for the family's New Year's Eve meal.

Last Friday, I expected our home to be the only one in the block that had no smoke coming out of its gates, except that it was already 10 minutes to midnight and our street was still no war zone. There were no explosions, not even karaoke (BEST NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION EVER!!!), and all I could hear were the children and their toy horns. Then the clock stroke midnight and our street was still, indeed, no war zone; it was awesome.

Twenty minutes into the new year, while the family was having a nice meal, the electricity went out, lol. There was a collective howling of protest from the entire neighborhood but as for the family, we smiled in resignation (and laughed at the protesters; they were pretty funny, lol) and enjoyed what is now one of our most memorable dinners together.

Ma would've probably presented those cupcakes better if the brownout didn't kill her hosting buzz, lol.

I figured the pattern would've been the same for the rest of (I realized we live in the province, lol) Manila, but as the Inquirer reported, fireworks-related injuries are up 7 percent in 2010.

Were Filipinos only in recession in the past years?

Here's Inquirer's editorial on New Year's Eve. I hope it proves useful for when you plan your celebrations for 2012:
It is not true, for example, that the use of firecrackers and other explosives will be essentially harmless if care is taken and safety precautions are observed. The level of noise alone will be injurious, perhaps even traumatic, to those with sensitive hearing, such as human infants and pet animals.

It is not true, either, that abominably loud noise will drive out the bad spirits of the previous year and usher in an era of prosperity; we challenge any businessman to prove that the volume of gunpowder he ignited had a direct impact on his business’ bottom line. And we certainly indulged ourselves in the usual explosive merry-making at the beginning of 1984, and 1997, and 2008—but why did all that violence fail to protect us from economic distress?

It is not true, above all, that “these things” (meaning fireworks-related injuries) “happen only to other people.” That’s what we say too about ferry sinkings and bus collisions and other such all-too-common accidents—proof, if more proof were needed, that we Filipinos are still insufficiently safety-conscious. We ride motorcycles without wearing helmets, we board boats and ferries without a sufficient number of life vests, we let safety belts in cars go unused, as though risk were simply a matter of luck. Luck is involved too, of course (note the randomness of stray bullets), but risk is also a matter of prudent conduct.

Senseless, Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 31, 2010




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