Seven years ago, I spent Christmases with pitiful eardrums. From 2002-2005, I was in Cebu and boy, Christmas was a huge party there, decibel-wise. What’s worse, we lived in a village where houses were so close to each other so there really was a huge number of noisy households in such a small place. Imagine this: row houses, with no gardens or parking spaces. That was how cramped that village was. Sometimes I don’t understand why that thing was even called a “subdivision”.
Anyway, come 2005, I transferred to Davao again and my Christmases were quiet. Yesterday, Christmas just passed by like a thief in the night. Aurally, I mean.
It was very different; and for a moment, I re-thought my stand on firecrackers. I remembered the beautiful fireworks show at the Ayala Cebu every holiday season and I remembered how magical it always felt catching the fireworks at Star City or Ocean Park whenever I swing by Manila. Then I thought: fireworks are different from merely firecrackers. If the lights show is just what I’m after, then we don’t need the additional risks, really. Maybe I could just go to SM Lanang and catch their amazing fountain lights show once in a while.
Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a status message on Facebook that there were 6 adults detained and awaiting charges and 26 minors waiting to be picked up by their parents at police stations. And yes, you guessed it: all were violators of the firecracker ban.
The firecracker ban in Davao city started around 2001. Mayor Rody Duterte (mayor that time) prohibited the use, sale and distribution of pyrotechnics or firecrackers. He was firm in saying that his principle was simple: they were dangerous, so like guns, they should also be banned come Christmas and New Year season. Despite his iron fist, more than a decade after, some people still wanted firecrackers. In fact, I bet the people living at least 25 kilometers from downtown are still using them. Trust me, I know, I experienced snippets of Toril fireworks for the last couple of years. I think that we should apply a keener ban on this. I am pretty sure that those 6 adults and 26 minors could still have caused exponential harm. And the people living beyond the 25-kilometer-from-downtown radius, you better shape up dudes.
Now enjoying a peaceful Christmas-after, I still say the firecracker ban was worth it. I always hated watching those gory and disgusting Magandang Gabi Bayan features on firecracker-induced wounds. But let me tell you this strange story…last night, some of our neighbors were screaming like they’re possessed or in the middle of a massacre. Nothing happened to them, thank God. They just said that was their alternative for firecrackers.