Colorful Manila skies

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By Adrian Bobe


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ALL eyes are glued with cheer and wonder. For half an hour, thousands of folks are treated to a display of shades that only international topnotch artists can put on. Across me is a family freely expressing their amazement with merriment that delights the eyes. Behind where I am standing, children of varied ages, cheers with loud voices. For once I thought, I can no longer count the number of times I have heard “Wow,” exclaimed consecutively.

The love for seeing vivid colors painting the sky excites me to witness, year after year, the biggest fireworks spectacle in the country- The annual Philippine International Pyromusical Competition in Pasay City. It is during these times, whether airfares are discounted or not, we find time to seek enjoyment that only the lights show in Manila Bay can offer.

And so, I find myself in the middle of a multitude: lovers embracing with marvel, children clapping their hands relentlessly, and old people having a good time. Others are seated in outdoor lazy seats in the famous seafood strip. While some, like in my case, are standing without any complaints. While it the crowd is thick, the audience cared less just to get a good view of the show. As for me, I am concentrating on the vast skies colored with heart-shaped illuminations and beams of fountains that spring side by side.


The spectator in me continues to throb in my heart; an uplift to the spirit drained by the confusions of the Metro buzz. What a blast to see the Manila skies artistically dyed with fire rockets and sparklers of varied shapes and sizes.

Without any doubt, it is the promise brought by fireworks that entices me to watch it unfold in the skies. The resolution is simple: live life with a blast. It is with these unpretentious choices that I aspire and live more. As colors blast after blast and flares come in sync with classical and rock jingles, I am in awe of this visual sensation I am witnessing.

The world-class spectacle of lights and colors staged by some of the world’s leading pyrotechnic groups transformed the grey Manila skies to a flamboyant masterpiece of colors. The heavens danced along with the musical demonstration of lights and sounds.

For more than a month, weekends are literally brighter in this side of the Metropolitan. Now on its 5th year, it is drawing thousands of city dwellers to witness pyrotechnics experts battle for the top spot.

The hype of pyrotechnical groups from Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Canada are alluring. Worth noting, the fireworks extravaganza prepared by Team Philippines is improving year after year.

For a third-world country to host an international competition is already worth praising. Our hospitality and ingenuity is highlighted in skills demonstrations like this. The country may have not succeeded in stealing the top spot from either Australia or UK over the years, but the variety of experiments it has showcased is laudable.

Last year, it was timely to witness Australia and Germany. This time, after hearing good things about the popular Liuyang New Year Fireworks of China, I am more than willing to spend good bucks to see its promise of “pyromusical extravaganza that will change the course of history” unfold in the Metro skies.

China placed runner up last year and was more than eager to take home the sought-after title. Teaming up with China for that night was the “vulcanic” presentation of Germany courtesy of Vulcan Europe fireworks.

The scenic Manila bay attested to the never-before-seen spectacle of colors that converged in the night sky and sea. It was a showcase of powerhouse artistry and evolving sophistication of European and Asian fireworks technology.

My bet, however, landed first runner-up again. Canada’s Royal Pyrotechnie emerged as grand champion; China’s Liuyang New Year Fireworks as first runner-up, and United Kingdom’s Jubilee Fireworks as second runner-up. Performing the night’s finale is Sarah Geronimo singing this year’s anthem “Star Life.”

Fireworks are my guilty-pleasures. The fact that it is so closely associated with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations lures me to witness it conceal the dark heavens. In times like these, I could not help but celebrate the goodness of life -- New Year or not -- after all, Life is a festivity worth applauding every day.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 01, 2014.


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