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Dancing in the Moonlight


“It’s such a fine and natural sight.”(Photo by Santino del Castillo)

The frenzy created by the media every New Year‘s celebration is one thing that most people look forward to. The figures of how many have been injured by the blast of fireworks keep us glued to the TV screen just to find out what year tops the statistics.

Like any child, I had this chapter in my childhood where I used to cry when my uncle lights the quitis on New Year’s Eve. I hated the sound of explosion, as the deafening roars like thunder make my heart beat so fast. I wonder if kids these days, ages 4+, already appreciate the crackles of firecrackers? Do they run and cling to their mommies for comfort? Do they cry too, or wail rather, so loud that they almost lose their breaths? Do they wish for New Year’s Eve to skip and just live the day of January 1st right away?

I used to.

I used to run and hide behind my mom just to shy away myself from all the noise I hear. I used to scream and shout feelings of discomfort until silence embrace our neighborhood. I used to pray for December 31 not to come anymore, and just skip to January 1 instead, but it never happened. December 31 is my grandmother’s birthday.

I used to be that kid… but not anymore.


Because I now say that fireworks are one of the best things man has ever invented.


The 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition

What supposed to be an ordinary visit to MOA for my Special Education meeting turned out to be very extraordinary, as a matter of fact.

With my sister, cousins and some friends, we were able to witness the culminating activity of the 2nd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition. This annual event held in the seaside of Manila Bay facing SM Mall of Asia features out-of-this-world fireworks display by the participating countries. In this competition, explosions were attuned to the beautiful harmonies of various contemporary musical pieces. This is the 2nd year of the Philippines as the host country of this battle of lights and colors. That night, Australia (being the defending champion) showcased what they had for the audience; Philippines as host gave an orgasmic (C’mon. It really was.) fireworks exhibition.

So my meeting ended around 4pm, and this meant that I had a lot of time to look for the ticket-selling area. Since the show would start at 7pm, I was really complacent that we would be getting pretty good spots to enjoy the show. I bought seven tickets worth P200 each, checked the site map for easy access to the venue, then suited myself beside one of National Bookstore‘s bookshelf.

Then came 5:00 pm, and I was with my cousins already. Katrina and AG arrived shortly, and we were practically good to go! πŸ™‚

But to make theΒ  long story (which is really not a good one) short, it was only me, Kat and AG who went to the venue and watched the show together. We lost contact with my cousins because of the poooooooooooooooooor (and I mean it) signal reception of mobile networks that night.


Ignite the Light and Let it Shine

"It's a supernatural delight." (Photo by Santino del Castillo)

No, what you see in the picture is not the view from where we were situated.

We were holders of the GOLD ticket, and our site was not that photographer-friendly. (No offense meant to those who held out their DSLRs in the Silver and Gold areas) but there were just too many of us who had our cellphones, digicams and videocams waving high up in the air to settle for whatever images our devices could capture. Most pictures taken at our place show a foreground of a sea of people whose necks and legs were extremely sore and painful. Another thing, the zipline was also blocking our view. When light strikes our way, we could see how the ziplines obstruct the scenery. Ahem. Being law-abiding citizens we were, we did not quarrel or made arrangements with anyone with regard to upgrading our tickets.

What I had with me were my cellphone and a borrowed digicam from Ate Nikki. Too bad Jiggy was not able to join us that night – he would have definitely loved the dancing lights.

Australia’s fireworks display amused the audience, but this was already expected. Being the champion for two years, people already knew from the start that Australia will be putting on a show that is worthy enough for another championship title. Then again, it is only my first time to watch such show, so I really would not be able to compare their performance with the previous year.

This country is best known also for the spectacular fireworks it displays when welcoming the New Year. Sydney‘s Harbour Bridge is a household image in televisions as news feature how other countries celebrate the coming of a new year. Sydney has indeed become a great part of the evolution of fireworks, as this is one of the first cities in the world to throw feasts every December 31.

The crowd went wild as different colors started to appear in the sky. Australia’s fireworks were able to shine and bring life to the pitch black heavens in MOA that night.

Just own the night.

It felt like there was another People Power that evening, judging by how many people in the venue were. One of the main reasons why people flocked to the mall was because of the fireworks exhibition which followed Australia’s bet. As the host country, Philippines did not have any entry in the competition.

To be frank, I really underestimated the country’s fireworks exhibition at first. My sister and I were actually discussing some “what ifs?”: What if something goes wrong during the exhibition? What if the music and the firework explosion are not in sync? What if people would not appreciate it? What if the fireworks exhibition would be regarded a failure, as a whole?

So many what ifs. I am pretty sure there are others out there who thought of the same thing.

The countdown to the exhibition began, and what I saw next made my jaw drop. Extreme amazement, you may call it.


"Everybody's feeling warm and bright." (Photo by Santino del Castillo)

I felt goosebumps all over while watching Philippines own the night. Shouts of joy and pride started to echo from one person to another – proof that all of us could not believe the sight of beauty before our eyes.


“Boom, boom, boom…

...even brighter than the moon, moon, moon."

Colors of different hues. Sizes of all sorts. The exhibition of fireworks presented by the Philippines was fortified with happiness and sheer bliss!
From our venue, we saw fireworks coming from all over the place. We twisted our necks from one side to another, because lights and explosions kept on shooting across the sky. Luckily, I have a friend who was there too to capture the magical moments of these flickering lights. (And yeah, whom I also think is more than willing to share his photos. Haha! ) Wise people they were – he and his co-members of the Quezon City Photography Club opted not to shoot from the venue per se. Instead, they found their perfect little spot in a place which I don’t think I’m allowed to reveal. Finders keepers, losers weepers. πŸ˜‰
The fireworks lit by PI were just so massive! The crowd went wild from time to time, but especially when Katy Perry’s “Firework” was played. It’s as if the exhibition screamed of the saying “Go ahead. Eat your hearts out!”

After watching the fireworks exhibition by the Philippines, I somehow felt guilty. Seriously. Ashamed as well, for underestimating what our people can do.
The program ended shortly after the exhibition, but the spirit it left in the hearts of the audience did not die down easily. Some may even be “high” until now, thanks to awe and wonder brought about by the firecrackers’ sparkles.

Despite all the hustles, bustles and hassle we greatly felt after watching the show (the “patok” bus, loss of signal, hide and seek ), I think I could still allow myself a chance to watch this event next year.




After all, it’s not everyday when you see yourself wearing a big, wide grin courtesy of the dancers in the moonlight. πŸ™‚




Watching this event made me realize two things:
1. That I badly need a decent camera. I cannot forever settle with my “top-of-the-line” (>_<) camera features of my mobile phone.

2. And that sometimes, it’s really hard when you don’t have the height to tower over people. Good thing Bimby was kind enough to record the entire fireworks exhibition. πŸ™‚ Q Bimby! *Piolo dance* haha!


“Photo is the root word of many other words.”

pyro shots: epic.

super tyvm to: santino del castillo πŸ˜‰




About halfblotprincess

i teach: kids with special needs. i write: 3 things - for fun, for living, fo sho! =)) i read: whatever i can find in the library and at home. if nothing interests me, there's always the bookstore to satisfy my needs. =) i am a: certified crammer. i will: give this blog a shot and see where it takes me.


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