But this New Year's Eve of 2008/2009, thank God for the rain that fell over most of Metro Manila (where most of the Philippines' pyrotechnics seem to be fired off). There was a rainshower earlier in the day (actually even days before New Year's Eve), which continued till early evening. Just before midnight and after midnight, the rain became a bit stronger. There was therefore less pyrotechnics, and less pollution. And even the better news, the health and police authorities say that injuries were at an all-time low for the country. Although the news still carried some grim items like the young boy who lost a hand while handling an lit up but unexploded cracker, and the young girl who face got burned by the hot sparks from the a "fountain" that fell flat to the ground (facing her) from its standing position while spewing out its gunpowder and stuff.
What the authorities fail to do every year, that is, dissuade Filipinos from firing up those sometimes dangerous crackers, the rain was able to do so. Well, now, two days after the first day of the year, I can still hear loud explosions of leftover crackers around the city, as the rain has abated somehow. And the hospitals are still on heightened alert nowadays for some cracker injuries. The merrymaking goes on!!!