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HONORING MY MOTHER | No fireworks no problem

FOR so many years since I was a young boy, it has always been disheartening to listen to the morning news right after the revelry of New Year celebration the night before. Mostly shocking news that reported about people with dismembered limbs as though it were some kind of gory tradition in the Philippines. Some newspapers, perhaps for the sick shock value, even show bloody pics of missing digits in the guise of discouraging people from handling fireworks and firecrackers on the eve of every new year. However, with each new year that had passed and with every fresh photo that they have published, one knows deeply that tactic to discourage us from playing with fire never really works.

Truth is, I have yet to hear of any country where the big news right after New Year’s Eve is always about the number of people suffering from injuries caused by firecrackers and other pyrotechnics. It’s only here in our country. I guess that makes us special in the most dubious way, if not the most stupid. Why else not, if this happens year after year, what else could be the reason for such?

At least in our city, we had not allowed the use of fireworks for all kinds of celebrations, especially when welcoming the new year. It had been this way since 2002, and other cities had not been as fortunate. Yes, you read it right, fortunate: no typo there.

A few days ago, during our tiny family’s celebration of New Year’s Eve, we thought up of a new gimmick. After suddenly missing the sight of fireworks during the many New Year’s Eve that had passed us by, why not celebrate our own countdown this time, with YouTube’s coverage of all the famous New Year’s fireworks display from all over the world?

Of course, as we did just that, we also had a few minutes outside the house to spend, greeting our neighbors as the Television in the living room played at full, while the celebratory sounds from other major cities from all over the globe screamed happy new year.

When we finally went back indoors, we replayed Sydney, South Korea, Taipei, Japan and then later, New York. All their firework displays and celebrations that is, while our family had our dinner (or was it a very early morning brekkie?). Now imagine. if this were replicated all over, then we could broadcast after every new year celebration that, “no limbs were lost in the making of this new year.” Wouldn’t that be grand indeed?

As a postscript, I’ve had this article read by a few of my friends and two out of three, their critique of the whole article had relatively been the same: my perspective had been that of a kill-joy’s. They had reminded me that the smell of firecrackers at new year’s is something that reminds one of those innocent days of one’s childhood. I said perhaps, unless you were already someone with fingers missing.







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