Monday, January 2, 2017

Simple celebrations for the New Year

We celebrated the arrival of the New Year without much of the more festive atmosphere that included the food and drinks at the dinner table for what was supposed to be traditional media noche. Instead, we decided to have a simple dinner and had some sandwiches and slices of cheese to tide us by while we waited for midnight and the turn of the year. Our daughter made an effort to stay awake and she did follow our advice to take a nap during the early afternoon so she won't be sleepy at night. Her almost 2-hour 'siesta' was enough and we played and read with her so she won't get bored.

Towards midnight, we already made the observation that there seemed to be less of the initial revelry that usually ushered in the New Year. We thought perhaps it was because of the rains that day that may have been a deterrent for some who didn't want to risk spoiling their firecrackers by getting them wet. We also thought that maybe more people have become aware of the risks and costs of fireworks and have come to appreciate the fireworks displays that cities and municipalities have organized usually in partnership with the private sector. Those celebrations I think can become a tradition and help build stronger communities. And the benefits are definitely worth it as you get less noise, less garbage (from the exploded fireworks) and even much less air pollution from the smoke generated by fireworks.

And so we celebrated the coming of 2017 on the balcony of our home, enjoying the view of aerial fireworks care of our neighbors and those residing in the villages around us. We heard few of the sinturon ni hudas (Judas' belt) and sawas (snakes or pythons) and definitely of the other conventional paputok (usually ground-based fireworks) like the trianggulo, 'five star', fountain and other lusis. People probably now understand how costly it would be to quite literally blow your money on such things just for the sake of generating noise to drive away the bad luck. That's one pamahiin (superstition) that we certainly like to phase out.

Happy New Year to all!


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