New Year

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Filipinos, in culture and nature, are very festive and jolly. No occasion passes without a loud bang. Celebrations are ten times bigger and louder on the eve of New Year. Almost every family buys a couple of different firecrackers. When the New Year strikes, these bangers are set off one after the other. The louder, the better. The more, the merrier as the famous quotation says. However, all is not well that does not end well.

Just a couple of days ago, the Department of Health, or DOH, proposed that all firecrackers should be banned for next year’s celebration. It was reported by Inquirer that 874 civilians were severely injured by these firecrackers. Although, without intending to speak of it harshly, it was not a surprise that people ended up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. The more alarming matter was that three people died from these injuries, as reported. DOH said that this was the first time this happened in their 18 months of keen monitoring. According to the report, the three casualties were a 7- year old, a 46- year old, and a 28- year old. They died from brain injuries and severe burns. DOH concluded that this year’s celebration earned more victims than last year did.

Firecrackers are the focal points during New Year. They are believed to whisk away the evil spirits with its evil deeds. Firing off these pyrotechnics became popular during the Chinese New Year. Eventually, Filipinos adapted this tradition. However, the aforementioned incident brought about the stronger intensity of DOH’s campaign to ban all firecrackers.

If this plan actually pushes through, how, then, will Filipinos- the merry Filipinos- ring in  New Year? Can we make it through the New Year’s celebration without a super loud bang? This effort of DOH is surely interesting when you look at both ends. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what will happen on the last few minutes of December 31, 2010.


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