Countdown revelries to 2013 goes nationwide for the first time

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KILLER FIRECRACKER Former PNP Chief Nicanor Bartolome holds up this pyrotechnic, called “Goodbye Philippines,” which is 16 X 16 inches, much bigger than the ordinary firecracker (circled at left). Exploding this big one may well mean literally bidding adieu not only to the country but also to the world as it kills. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

For the first time, the New Year countdown celebrations have become a truly nationwide affair in the country, with street parties, live performances and fireworks displays laid out for New Year’s Eve revelers from Baguio City in the north to Tagum in typhoon-ravaged Mindanao.

The celebrations will literally start in the heart of the capital city at Luneta, or Rizal Park, where Kilometer Zero marks the starting point for measuring distances to any point in the Philippines.

An open-air concert featuring OPM bands, a street party and fireworks display are being lined up for Manila’s New Year countdown extravaganza, billed “Paskong Pinoy 2012: A Joyous Rock in the Park.”

The Bloomfields, Barbie Almalbis, Mocha Girls, Johnoy Danao and Rocksteddy are some of the featured artists.

The Manila New Year’s Eve celebrations this year are being sponsored by Asia Brewery, which is marking its 30th anniversary, with the City of Manila, the Department of Tourism and the National Parks Development Committee.

GMA 7 live telecast

Further up the road from the Luneta, the GMA 7 television network holds its New Year Countdown Party at Seaside Boulevard of SM Mall of Asia, with a live telecast at 10:30 p.m.

With the theme “Win na Win sa 2013,” the network’s New Year countdown will feature the latest in laser light displays and “Kapuso” stars gracing the event, and Kuya Germs and actor Mark Anthony Fernandez as hosts. The whole thing is to be capped by a 15-minute pyrotechnic display at the stroke of midnight.

The performers include, among others, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Chynna Ortaleza, Diva Montelaba, Down To Mars, Julian Trono, Kristoffer Martin, Vaness del Moral, Sexbomb Dancers, Mayton Eugenio, Andrea Torres, Rocco Nacino, Glaiza de Castro and “Sosy Problems” star Bianca King with singers Frencheska Farr, Kris Lawrence, Gian Magdangal, Julie Anne San Jose, Protégé grand winner Krizza Neri, Mark Bautista, La Diva, Janno Gibbs and Jaya.

Rock band Kamikazee will be performing and the audience will be able to dance the night away in a special flash mob, “Gangnam style.”

 

All-night Makati party

A big, all-night street party at the intersection of Ayala and Makati Avenues will mark Makati’s countdown to 2013 on the theme of “One World, One Makati,” and featuring live band performances, a P1-million game and a 15- minute fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said the city government and its private sector partners, notably Ayala Land and Makati Commercial Estate Association, had made elaborate preparations to make this year’s countdown celebrations “different and more exciting.”

The featured bands include The Dawn, Silk Band, Sabor Latino, Hotdog,  Go Girls Asian Dance Revue, Makati Countdown Big Band and others.

Revelers will be treated to futuristic laser dance and a one-minute game for a chance to win P1 million.

Fee-paying revelers may join Rockwell’s disco-inspired party “31 to 1 Rockwell New Year party” at Rockwell Tent. Some of Metro Manila’s top DJs, like DJ Cao, DJ Bad Boy Jeff, DJ Funk Avy, DJ David Ardiente and DJ Bing Reyes, will be performing live. Tickets are sold at P600 (preselling) and P800 (door charge) each, inclusive of drinks.

QC fireworks

To wean residents away from traditional firecracker-laced celebrations, the Quezon City government is hosting for the first time a New Year’s Eve countdown at Quezon Memorial Circle that promises to “wow” them with a 25-minute fireworks spectacle.

“I would suggest that residents prepare for [stiff necks],” Mayor Herbert Bautista’s chief of staff Aldrin Cuña said jokingly.  “We are going to have nice fireworks with a good vantage point at the circle.”

Cuña said Quezon City fully supported the health department’s “Iwas Paputok” campaign and it is hoped the countdown spectacle will discourage revelers from using firecrackers.

The fireworks display, to be staged by the group responsible for putting up the regular pyrotechnic musical shows at SM Mall of Asia, will cap a countdown concert featuring seven of the country’s top musical artists, which will start at 5 p.m.

Also in Quezon City, Eastwood City aims to replicate the traditional New York City Times Square ball drop to usher in the new year with its own star drop, to be capped by a grand 10-minute fireworks display.

The Eastwood City new year countdown will feature foreign reggae hiphop artist Iyaz as well as local acts—Ely Buendia, Up Dharma Down, Urbanation, General Luna, and Mark Mabasa.

The event, to be hosted by Sam YG and Slick Rick of Boys Night Out and VJ Joyce Pring, will start at 6 p.m. at the mall’s open park. Concierge Eva Mendoza said Eastwood’s the pyrotechnic spectacle will feature new designs and will be considerably longer than other fireworks displays.

San Juan treat for fire victims

The victims of the Christmas Day fire in San Juan are in for a party treat from the city government on New Year’s Eve.

Mayor Guia Gomez said this year’s New Year’s Eve festivities will be different because they will be brought closer to the fire victims.

“Unlike the previous year’s celebration centered at the Tanghalan ng Masa, we will extend the colorful celebrations to the evacuation centers to somehow ease their pain,” Gomez said.

Grace Cortes-Pardines, city information officer, said the New Year’s Eve festivities will be held at the Pinaglabanan Shrine, which is just a stone’s throw away from the site of the blaze on Marne Street.

The fire victims will be treated to a dinner at around 6 p.m., to be followed by a Mass an hour later. The city government will also sponsor a “media noche” for the victims at around midnight and a “colorful” fireworks display.

A total of 1,585 families, or 7,492 individuals, lost their houses in the fire which started at dawn of Christmas day and razed over 500 homes in the area.

Some of the Metro Manila hotels are also offering their premises as the best way to watch the pyrotechnics display from a safe distance. Variations of dinner-and-a-show are on offer at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Acacia Alabang, InterContinental Manila, Resort World Manila, Ortigas Discovery Suites, the Peninsula Manila and the Dusit Thani hotels.

First Lucena countdown

Lucena City residents will witness for the first time a community countdown to welcome the coming of the New Year, the city public information officer said.

Danny Maaño said the new Lucena City Mayor Rhoderick Alcala is initiating the staging of a New Year’s Eve countdown with live band, singing/dance contest and 30 minutes of computerized fireworks display in the vicinity of the City Hall.

“It will be the first kind of New Year’s event in the city,” Maaño said.

To avoid a repeat of the deadly firecracker-induced fire that occurred on New Year’s Eve in 2004, the city government has herded all vendors of firecrackers and pyrotechnics into an unused public cemetery located outside the city.

The police and village security manned the entrance to the common selling area and strictly enforced the “no smoking” order inside the premises.

Pangasinan, Baguio, Subic

In Pangasinan, the provincial government will usher in the New Year with a Mass at the capitol plaza in Lingayen at 10 p.m. Monday. This will be followed by a short concert by the provincial band at the Lingayen beach at the back of the capitol. The concert will be capped by a New Year countdown led by Gov. Amado Espino Jr. and a grand fireworks display at midnight.

In Baguio City, the city government has co-sponsored a New Year countdown concert at the Melvin Jones Grandstand at Burnham Park, featuring local bands.

The summer capital is beset by New Year frenzy. On Sunday, Burnham Park was filled with vendors selling fruits, trinkets and noisemakers.

Vendors also occupied portions of downtown Baguio’s major streets, along with display stands put up by stores which are out to clear most of their 2012 merchandise before 2013 begins.

Since the Christmas holidays began, traders selling used clothes have been allowed to sell on sidewalks at night, many of them taking over a section of Harrison Road fronting Burnham Park.

At the Subic Bay Freeport, the countdown to 2013 will also be celebrated with a concert and fireworks display at the Moonbay Marina complex.

Every year, revelers from Olongapo City, free port residents and tourists assemble at the free port’s boardwalk to watch the fireworks display.

Bacolod, Iloilo, too

In Bacolod City, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson will lead city officials again in welcoming the New Year with a fireworks display at the government center grounds.

The event, “31 to 1 Bacolod’s New Year Party,” is spearheaded by the city government, in cooperation with ABS-CBN, Panasiatic Call Center and the Association of Barangay Captains.

Eli Tajanlangit, event coordinator, said the organizers are converting the government center grounds into a giant picnic area for the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. event. It will have fun games, live bands and MassKara dancers. A first-time New Year fantasy costume competition has attracted 20 entries.

In Iloilo City, traffic will be closed to vehicles on the evening of Dec. 31, from the foot of Quirino Lopez Bridge to Muelle Loney for the yearly New Year’s countdown celebration, which will feature a fireworks display.

In Cebu City, as 1,000 followers of suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday staged a Mass and rally for her, which rival acting Gov. Agnes Magpale dismissed as “mob rule,” the rest of Cebuanos are focused on welcoming the New Year tonight through countdowns and fireworks displays in various hotels, including Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Crown Regency Hotels and Towers and Cebu Parklane International Hotel.

The New Year’s countdown packages include dinner and entertainment with prizes to be raffled off in one hotel.

In Tagum City, Davao del Norte, a New Year’s countdown will be held on a vacant lot fronting the Gaisano Mall, said Mayor Rey Uy.

The city government has allocated P300,000 for a 30-minute fireworks display to welcome 2013.

Uy said the event had been planned two months before Typhoon “Pablo” struck the neighboring province of Compostela Valley on Dec. 4.

The mayor said they decided to continue with the fireworks display to “drive away evil vibes” brought by Pablo. Reports from Erika Sauler,  Jeannette I. Andrade, Noli A. Ermitanio, Noli A. Alcantara and Nathaniel R. Melican, in Metro Manila; Gabriel Cardinoza and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon;  Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon;  Carmel Loise Matus, Carla Gomez and Karen Bermejo, Inquirer Visayas; and Frinston Lim, Inquirer Mindanao

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • andresa igbac

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!! (WITH MATCHING LOUD SIGAW AND KALEMBANG OF POTS AND PANS)

  • imongredneck

    Thank you PNP for the great commercial, this product ( Goodbye Phlippines) is sold out. Now prepare to start the body count.

    • Loggnat

      That firecracker in the photo is not a firecracker anymore. It can be classified as dangerous explosive like a dynamite or other highly destructive and dangerous explosives that needs a specific license, highly controlled means of transporting and storing them, plus a special permit to possess them. Any individual in possession of these explosives should be immediately arrested for illegal possession and exposing the public and building/structures to unnecessary danger and/or damage destruction). How in the world did it even existed without a challenge from the law enforcement authorities who knows well enough what an explosive this big can do? Seriously clueless, sleeping in the job or worst, incurable incompetency of the law enforcement culture in the country. Unthinkable would be that somebody from the law enforcement was paid to ignore it’s existence and put the lives, and limbs of the public in harm’s way.

      • imongredneck

        Isn’t it interesting that the same questions can be asked about methamphetamine and other illegals drugs in our streets?

      • batangpaslit

        kung makamatay man, sana, ang nagsindi lang ang madisgrasya

  • $53950194

    sana naman i report ng ating mamamayan ang mga iligal na pagawaan dahil hindi lang sa ito’y health risk, baka pati mga mahal nila sa buhay ay madadamay pa.

  • To_Be_Continued

    This charade of the PNP and government officials declaring the banning of firecrackers is always expected yearly. Nothing is new. Come 11pm, 1 hour before midnight, almost everyone will be popping firecrackers–including the police and relatives of Malacanang officials. Who wants to bet I’m wrong…

    • batangpaslit

      hehehe….panalo ka na Bro

  • $23257130

    infer, susyal na ang pilipinas ha, may new years new years  countdown pang nalalaman. dati pa kwitis kwitis lang. bwahahahaha

  • Practicalandconcerned

    I think if they are a really going to ban firecrackers that is fine as it is done unsafely 100% at a time but they should do it like other countries; wherein “every city government” are going to host fireworks event for free to the public for the people to enjoy. People will have a place to go to see and again it’s free then you can claim a real ban except for sparklers.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/55XNXOYBNF6BG3EWOM5V4YMWXM Pedro

    THE  BEST  OPTION  IS  TOTAL  BAN  ON  FIRECRACKERS !   I  AM SUGGESTING  THE APPOINTMENT  OF  FORMER  DAVAO CITY  MAYOR   RODRIGO  DUTERTE  AS  OVER-ALL  COMMANDER  OF THE TASK  FORCE  WHICH  WILL ENFORCE THE TOTAL  BAN  ON  FIRECRACKERS  NATIONWIDE !    SUBUKAN  NAMAN  NATIN  SI  DUTERTE, THE FEARLESS  FORMER MAYOR  WHO  WAS  ABLE TO  SUCCESSFULLY BAN  FIRECRACKERS  IN DAVAO  CITY. .  LET US START IN MM. MAKE  THE  METRO MANILA  MAYORS   AND THE PNP WORK UNDER  HIS  COMMAND  DURING  THESE  HOLIDAYS. . .. . ANYWAY, HELPLESS NAMAN TALAGA ANG MGA MM MAYORS AT PULIS PARA MAPIGILAN ANG MGA INJURIES DUE TO FIRECRACKERS EVERY NEW YEAR CELEBRATION . . . BAKIT KAYANG MAG- ENFORCE NG FIRECRACKERS BAN SI DUTERTE, PERO ANG LAHAT NA NG MAYORS AY HINDI KAYA ?. . .

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WTIRTIXLBR5X47RMVKB3T43SWA charles

      I’m from Davao, and we’ve had clear skies and fresh air every new year’s eve for more than a decade already…..new year’s in Metro Manila, and the rest of the country sucks..it’s like a war zone…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002207384387 Andrei Mendoza

        like a war zone? di ba sa davao, the air stink due to death squad? di bale sa metro manila, during new year lang parang war zone, sa davao yata eh laging may war zone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002207384387 Andrei Mendoza

    DON’T BAN THE FIRECRACKERS

    let there be more bastards get injured or killed, it’s a good way to use the government’s health facilities and funds once in a year! let the population reduced in a massive count because of people’s stupidity! I’d say, let the fvcking abusive police fire dozen of bullets in the air to help reduce stupid people in the pines preferably near the cbcp or bishop’s residences.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/B2N5LYDQKDPK632VWJOM4FHQE4 ann

      ignorance has somehow manifested itself in every fiber of your existence,….ignominiuos comment

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002207384387 Andrei Mendoza

        do you know what a diatribe is? so STFU and educate yourself.

      • julymorning

         NYU YIR NA, ABNOY AT MONGOLOID PA DIN UTAK MO!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EWXXREJHW6KUZVV4BB4GHFUC5I Antonio

    Long live noise pollution during New Year’s Eve!

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