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|Get loud on the new year: Taking a crack at firecrackers|
|Written by apocarthinic|
|Friday, 28 December 2012 00:57|
Playing with fire has always been a no-no.
But at this time of year, standards scrape rock bottom as people willfully take a crack at firecrackers and everyone seems not to mind.
Even with a reported 180 cases of firecracker caused injuries in 2011, exploding such and making a lot of noise is still an in-thing in the Philippines as a method of revelry on new year’s eve.
A scare campaign by the Department of Health did little to persuade as much people to get rid of the explosives, Health Secretary Enrique Ona admits.
Firecrackers in the Philippines seemingly are inseparable with new years, as real as getting a quick fix is to sate a year-long travail.
The quick tripping however is never a smooth cruise as proven by bruises, blood and burnt egos that litter along the way.
A law in the Philippines, Republic Act No. 7183 aims to regulate and control the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices consistent with, and in furtherance of, public safety, order and national security, as well as the enhancement of the cultural traditions.
Firecrackers that may be manufactured and sold according to law are:
1.Baby rocket - A firecracker with a stick so constructed that lighting of the wick will propel the whole thing to lift a few meters before exploding. The firecracker is about 1 ½ inches in length by 3/8 inch in diameter while the stick is about a foot in length;
2.Bawang - A firecracker larger than a triangulo with 1/3 teaspoon of powder packed intied around with abaca strings and wrapped in shape of garlic;
3.Triangle (Small triangulo) - A firecracker shaped like a triangle with powder content less than bawang and usually wrapped in brown paper measuring ¾ inch length in its longest side;
4.Pulling of strings - A firecracker consisting of a small tube about an inch in length and less than ¼ of an inch in diameter with strings on each end. Pulling both strings will cause the firecracker to explode;
5.Paper caps - Minute amount of black powder spread in either small strips of paper on a small sheet used for children’s toy guns;
6.El diablo - Firecrackers tubular in shape about 1 ¼ inches in length and less than ¼ inch in diameter with a wick; also known as labintador;
7.Watusi - Usually reddish in color about 1 ½ inches in length and 1/10 inch in width usually ignited by friction to produce a dancing movement and a crackling sound;
8.Judah’s belt - A string of firecrackers consisting of either diablos or small triangulos that can number up to a hundred or thereabout and culminating in large firecracker usually a bawang;
9.Sky rocket (kwitis from Spanish cohetes) - A large version of a baby rocket designed to be propelled to a height of forty (40) to fifty (50) feet before exploding;
10.Other types equivalent to the foregoing in explosive content.
In the Philippines where laws are best honored on the breach, dangerous firecrackers have also been manufactured to produce the loudest boom, one that ascertains it scares the devil out of the world.
And since a loud explosion almost always means destruction to nearby glass windows, or major injury to the usually groggy reveler who ignited the firecracker wick, these have been banned. The ban however puts them on the most sought after list.
Bought for their notorious roles as noisemakers to scare evil spirits and bad luck for the new year, firecrackers in the Philippines are sales trends in the holidays, as if the holiday spending has never been that enough.
New Year’s Eve is such a big bang in the Philippines in the same intensity the Americans enjoy Fourth of July.
A tradition carried over from decades of Chinese and Spanish occupation, lighting of firecrackers and getting loud in the new year has been a pre-occupation of most Filipinos.
The quest for the loudest seemingly has become a barometer of one’s bold statement; hey we got this, what have you?
Recently, ABS-CBN.com lists some of today's in-demand but banned firecrackers:
1. Pacquiao - named after Manny Pacquiao. It comes in the form of thick, black phosphorus sticks and is bigger and more powerful than the piccolo, another type of firecracker.
2. Goodbye Gloria - named after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Its packaging is emblazoned with the former President's face, and is said to be able to shut off street lamps and shatter glass windows.
3. Ampatuan - named after the Ampatuan clan, whose members have been accused of being behind the country's worst election-related violence, the Maguindanao massacre. It is described as more powerful than pla-pla, a triangle-shaped firecracker.
4. Trillanes - named after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. It is a 16-inch long cylindrical explosive.
5. Bin Laden - named after the late Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda. It is described as a powerful baby dynamite.
6. Goodbye Philippines - a giant triangular firecracker which can reportedly shatter a wall.
7. Goodbye Earth - a triangular firecracker that is triple the size of an ordinary five-star.
8. Goodbye Universe - a firecracker as large as a bucket of chicken sold in fast food chains.
In the previous years, police authorities imposed regulations on the sale of other noise-making explosives.
On the regulated list are super lolo (grandfather), kwitis, bawang (“garlic”), airwolf and other large firecrackers.
The idea is to make some noise, clarifies a police officer, so anything harmless is on.
For this, and consistent with the tradition, expect cars, trucks and motorcycles vroomed and revved, horns tooted on the eve of the new year, to cause as much noise as possible.
Revving and vrooming engines are done in the belief that it causes engines to last longer.
To hit two birds in one stone, motorists drag empty cans all around town, while some blow whistles.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 21 July 2013 23:53|