Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Years View from My Tower; Not Bad...

What a show! I knew it was going to be loud, but the level of snap, crack, pow, boom, bang, pop, whistle, whizzz, and crump was even more than I expected.

I'm trying to upload the first video I've ever tried to load to my blog. Once I get it loaded, if I do, if you watch the three minutes of it you'll hear more of what's going on than see it. The sheer volume of fireworks going off at once for miles around was stunning. We must have seen tens of millions of pesos worth of "kaboom boom" go off tonight. Incredible! There are definitely some folks around here with some disposable income. I'll watch 'em fire it off, but I'll be danged if I'm going to spend my money on that stuff. (Ok, got it on YouTube; click on the pic or right here and watch and HEAR the Angeles City 2009 "New Years firefight").

I grabbed a drink and headed up into the tree tops a little after 11 pm. Fireworks had been going off sporadically since before sundown; heck, even throughout the day for that matter.

I don't know, I outgrew my fascination for blowing things up with firecrackers sometime back, when I was about 12. I don't think anyone outgrows it out here; they absolutely adore the booms, whistles, cracks and bangs. I'm told its a Chinese tradition where all the noise and flash is supposed to frighten off evil spirits. Of course I don't buy any of that malarkey, and I don't think anybody else around here does either. Nope, they just like the racket. For the last ten days I've been wishing that they liked it ONLY for the hour or two leading up to New Years, but alas, that is definitely NOT the case. Even now, at almost 2 am I can still hear the occasional crack and distant boom. I suppose they figure they bought the stuff, so they darn well are going to fire it all off. From past experience I know they'll be setting it off every so often from now through the first week of January or so. Oh joy!

By 1130 pm the time between explosions big and small was pretty much nonexistent. There was no let up from then all the way past midnight, and for more than a half hour after that.

I made a quick visit downstairs to tell the girls to come on up to get ready for "the show." At street level I noticed that the noise level was much less down there than what I was exposed to from 50 feet up. Interesting phenomena that, the fact that much of the explosive sound is apparently blocked by houses and trees. From up above though, we got the full effect!

By 1140 the sky was no longer clear enough to see anything past a half mile. Thousands of individual explosions, from sparklers to Roman candles, all the way up to the full fledged fireworks displays, had filled the air with a pall of whitish smoke. When I'd first gone up I could see bottle rockets going up from many miles away, but no more. Only the exceptionally big "boom booms" were visible now from more than a mile away. By midnight the smoke was so thick that visibility was less than 500 meters. The fireworks fog doesn't really show up on the video I notice.

Being the anal fellow that I can be I could not help but to think of all those "pyrotechnic amateurs" out there firing off some very large and dangerous pyrotechnics. I wondered the number of fingers mangled, hands burned, and eyes blown out tonight. Surely there were casualties.

At midnight, explosions of all types and sizes were steady and deafening. It looked something like Baghdad in 1991 when Hussein's boys fired all those anti-aircraft tracers skyward. With hundreds of bottle rockets and fireworks of every persuasion going up nonstop in every direction you would easily believe that a war was going on right here. It was loud to the point of deafening, but this year, with that fantastic 360 degree view, I actually enjoyed myself. Here's the YouTube site of my video.


Marie & Barry said...

i am still a sucker for fireworks!! I heard some last night but only the occassional pop here and there...not sure if they are illegal here!

And I am glad you enjoyed yourself...but sorry that it brought a memory up that would make me cringe!!

Love you pops and Happy New Year!! I hope this year we get to see and hear from you more often!!

All my love....Marie

Ed said...

Having experienced a new year in the RP, it was just as I remembered it. I was going to make a comment on how it looked similar to the first Gulf War opening salvo but you beat me to it.

Your voice wasn't what I expected. I was expecting more military gruffness to it.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. Just loved it!
Happy New Year to you and all you love, darlin'!

PhilippinesPhil said...

I can make my voice as Marine-like as I want to in a heartbeat, along with the hate and discontent in the face, but with my girls, no way. They've all got me wrapped around their little fingers, and THEY know it!

You too Hope!