Latest Stories

DOH anticracker drive launched Gangnam style


Dr. Eric Tayag is doing the Oppa Gangnam Style dance moves in place of pushing the health department’s customary antifirecracker campaign.

The assistant health secretary and director of the National Epidemiology Center is cashing in on the phenomenal Korean horse-riding dance craze, which he believes is more “explosive” than illegal firecrackers such as the “Pla-Pla,” “Super Lolo” and “Goodbye Philippines.”

But should Tayag not stamp and twirl to the watusi—a solo dance that enjoyed brief popularity during the early 1960s—which was actually what inspired the firework’s name?

The seemingly harmless traditional fireworks, brightly colored long sticks that produce sparks and noise when rubbed against the ground, have taken the lives of adults and children alike each year.

Efforts to ban the small firecracker, however, have proved futile.

But of course the watusi dance is almost stationary, compared to the hop-on-the-horse Gangnam Style that would definitely draw more attention from the young generation.

Which was probably why the Department of Health (DOH) launched its annual antifirecracker campaign yesterday with Tayag leading employees in gyrating and pivoting to South Korean pop artist Psy’s hit song “Gangnam Style” as the agency launched “Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction, (APIR) Iwas Paputok” in a bid to reduce injuries and prevent deaths resulting from firecracker or fireworks use during the Christmas and New Year revelries.

Focus on children

According to Tayag, they are using the popular dance craze not only to entertain people, but more importantly to entice them, especially the children, to look for safer means of merrymaking.

“This (dancing) is much more fun than using firecrackers to celebrate the season,” the DOH official said, as he urged people to join street parties or participate in community fireworks display.

He said this year’s campaign will focus on children aged 6-10 as statistics show that this age group is usually the most affected.

In 2011, a total of 274 children in this age group became victims of firecracker use.

From Dec. 21, 2011, to Jan. 5, 2012, there were a total of 1,021 injuries recorded. Of this number, 987 were due to fireworks, 29 were due to stray bullets and five due to firecracker ingestion. There were also four deaths reported—three due to fireworks and one due to a stray bullet.

The DOH advised children not to use or play with firecrackers/fireworks or pick used or lighted firecrackers/fireworks to avoid injuries.

It also cautioned parents and caregivers against giving children easy access to firecrackers, which are readily available in neighborhood stores.


The DOH added that the piccolo, a small tubular whistling firecracker that is considered illegal, has remained the top injury-causing firecracker, followed by legal fireworks such as kwitis and luces, among others.

Apart from joining street parties or watching community fireworks display, the health department likewise urged the public to use alternative noisemakers like car horns, cans, pots and pans and radio music.

“They can also download for free the sound effects of various firecrackers such as 5 star, super lolo, Juda’s belt, watusi, whistle bomb, kwitis, luces, trompillo and fireworks symphony, which we uploaded in our website last year,” the DOH said.

“Most of all, use the time to reflect on the lessons of the past year and make resolutions for a better 2013,” it added.

Campaign boost

But for those who cannot stop the urge to light fireworks, the DOH advised them to seek immediate medical treatment, once injured, to prevent infections which may lead to death.

The DOH has lately been using popular tunes to boost its various campaigns. Last June, Tayag also led a group of men and women in a flash mob activity in Makati City to promote exercise as a main component to healthy living.

The mob dance was designed to advance exercise as part of the Filipino lifestyle to combat top killer noncommunicable diseases such as strokes, cancer and heart attacks.

Last year, Tayag also spiced up the Quezon City government’s antidengue campaign when he topped his speech with a performance of Shakira’s “Waka-waka,” a popular song-and-dance number.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Antifirecracker Drive , DoH , Dr. Eric Tayag , Oppa Gangnam Style , Public Health

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace