Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goodbye Earth

Fireworks and firecrackers are indispensable part of the Filipino New Year. No matter what the Government and the DOH will do, they will always fail time and again to get rid of this hundred-year old tradition (except probably if you live in Bancal, Makati, which due to the gas-leak, has already become a three kilometer-wide nuclear fallout waiting to happen). It’s like the turkey to the Americans’ Thanksgiving, or the tomatoes in the La Tomatina Tomato of the Valencians, or in the Catalans (people of Catalonia, Spain)'s case, the defecating Caganer in the Nativity scene.

Yes, they do have a pooping shepherd.
And as a part of that, we toured the rustic and untamed (and potentially life-threatening) land of Bocaue, Bulacan, which is like the Mordor of Metro Manila, for our Annual Fireworks Shopping Spree. There we saw the most unusual and the most terrifying names for firecrackers. Some of which are “Bin Laden”, “Granada” (grenade), “Gunaw” (doomsday), and the “Tuna", only to find out that their names we're not all labeling. They really pack some powder and power.

"This thing on my left can make you cease to exist."

But the one, singular, horrifying portent that we saw made a lasting impression on us. This firecracker they creatively named “GOODBYE EARTH”. The name sent a chill down to our previously-fearless spines. The way the vendor say its name has no sliver of joking or exaggeration , but with gravity and utter humility. And when she finally came out with the aforementioned firecracker, we knew she’s not just talking some shit.

Not shown in the picture: bombproof gear worn by vendor .
See, one could almost be mistaken them for fountains, given their cylindrical shape, tall appearance, and colorful packaging. They look like as if they're ready to splash their lights and color for our eyes to behold. Hell, they're almost designed to disguise as fountains! 


But the similarity ends there. Fountains give colorful fireworks and dazzling shows of light, which will provide any three-year-old the innocent happiness and awesomeness of celebrating New Year. They are almost an essential piece to any family New Year merriment, acting as the grand finale that wraps up the 2-hour jovial festivity of lights and colors. 

The GOODBYE EARTH, on the other hand, does not do that. No show of light. No astonishing and colorful dazzles. None of those. And what does this 12-inch tall, 3-feet wide explosive power-filled containers do?

It just fucking explodes.

And hell, who knows what city-leveling explosion it can do? Just look at that thing. Just a spoonful more of explosive powder and you already need blasting caps for these firecrackers. And probably utilize them to blow up mountains on mining operations.  

Which made us think of the numerous and dismal possibilities if ever we fell to the vendor’s frightening sales talk, and made us buy this thing that borders between New Year entertainment and weapon of mass destruction.

And here goes the list!


1) will  need a Barangay clearance before you light this up.  
"I hereby request to scare the shit out of our peaceful neighborhood...."

2) ... there should be paramedics standing by.

"...flying limbs and fingers will be searched for as well!"

3)... you need a bunker (or any bombproof shelter) to house the entire family.

In case grandma pooped inside, then you're up against a different bomb. 

4)... you can substitute it for a nautical mine.

Not shown in the picture: sunken ships.

5) ... there will be a mushroom cloud.

J. Robert Oppenheimer will not like this deja vu.

6)  ... blasted windows can be expected.

"At least we have 16 panes less to clean!"

 7)... the explosion can be seen from space.

 "Houston, did we just nuked North Korea?"

8) ... there will be a crater.

"I just saw Satan peeked from below."

 9) ... you'll wake up your sleeping friend from two cities away.

"Hey Harold! It's New Year! Thought you could use a wake up call, so..."

And the infinite possibilities go on and on.

Just recently the DOH already put a ban on GOODBYE EARTH possibly due to the potential hazards hiding in it's cylindrical, explosive-powder packed innards. At least the people from Bancal can sleep tight without worrying of the possibility of a guy from Mandaluyong detonating this half-firecracker, half-dynamite thingy. 

Be careful and be safe. It's always best to welcome the new year with a complete set of limbs.