Welcoming a new decade

CELEBRATING New Year has been a long live tradition. For Filipinos, it should be welcomed with a bang.

Welcoming the year, for most Filipinos, won’t be complete without fireworks and pyrotechnics.

As influenced by Chinese, Filipinos believe that loud noises could drive away bad luck.

But instead of bringing luck for some, it has, in fact, brought casualty for the users and those nearby.

To avoid further casualties, Davao City had led a landmark measure to ban the selling and using of firecrackers in its jurisdiction of the city, through an ordinance, since 2002.

Since then, Dabawenyos had gotten used to celebrating the New Year safe and merrier, without the usage of these explosives.

Torotots or party horns has since replaced the lucrative and hazardous firecrackers as sound makers during New Year.

More than 10 years after the city successfully implemented the ban, the city held its first Torotot Festival in New Year’s Eve of December 31, 2013.

The first celebration of the annual festival was also an attempt to break Japan’s world record for the most people simultaneously blowing party horns.

Event organizers expected 10,000 attendees to gather for the festival. However, Guinness Book of World Records officials only tallied a total number of 7,568 people, only a few hundreds short from the record of 6,900 people set by Japan.

Nevertheless, what the city had boasted for the longest time, is that it continues to have a zero firecracker incident casualties were recorded in Davao City during the celebration of New Year for the past 18 years, since the ban took effect.

Despite the failed attempt, organizers continued to celebrate the annual festival, making it a highlight event of the city’s Pasko Fiesta celebration.

Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson said that the festival has since been a gathering, not to set any record, but as a show ofsupport the local government’s advocacy on zero causality, no fire cracker and no smoking ordinance.

Tagum City

Tagumenyos joined the rest of the world as they welcome the start of a new decade with a show of music, laughs, and lights at the New City Hall Grounds during the city’s Year Start Countdown celebration organized by the City Government of Tagum.

The local government unit (LGU), through the City Tourism Office, invited local bands to perform during the countdown celebration. Included in the line-up were battle of the band champions Pencil Case and Cuello Supplement Band and veteran performer Music Seven Band.

Tagumenyos were also entertained by Lyndon Almodiel aka “Petmalu” by sharing good vibes through his comedy skits.

Bracing themselves for the most anticipated event of the night, thousands of Tagumenyos witnessed a magnificent burst of lights from the fireworks display.

The year start countdown reflects the direction where the local government unit of Tagum is heading for this year – a path that would allow the LGU to create its own luck by pushing for its goals and aspirations for all Tagumenyos.

New York

Fireworks burst and confetti fell as throngs of revelers cheered the start of 2020 in New York City’s Times Square.

In one of the globe’s most-watched New Year’s Eve spectacles, the crowd counted down the last seconds of 2019 as a luminescent crystal ball descended down a pole.

About 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) of confetti showered the sea of attendees, many of whom were also briefly rained on earlier in the evening as they waited in security pens for performances by stars including rap-pop star Post Malone, K-pop group BTS, country singer Sam Hunt, and singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette.

The crowds packed into the heart of Manhattan mouthed lyrics and waved yellow and purple balloons in a frenzy as midnight approached.

“It was a dream, I wanted to do it so this year a lot of people helped me to get here so I’m here, and I’m thankful for that,” said Mariemma Mejias, 48, who flew to New York for the festivities from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The fun was evident, but some important global issues were driven home as well.

Spotlighting efforts to combat climate change, high school science teachers and students pressed the button that begins the famous 60-second ball drop and countdown to the New Year.


More than a million people descended on a hazy Sydney Harbour and surrounding areas to ring in the New Year despite the ongoing wildfire crisis ravaging New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state.

The 9 p.m. fireworks over Sydney’s iconic landmarks was briefly delayed due to strong winds, but revelers clearly enjoyed themselves in a desperately needed tonic for the state.

New South Wales has borne the brunt of the wildfire damage that razed more than 1,000 homes nationwide and killed 12 people in the past few months.


People flocked to temples and shrines in Japan, offering incense with their prayers to celebrate the passing of a year and the first New Year of the Reiwa era.

Under Japan’s old-style calendar, linked to emperors’ rules, Reiwa started in May, after Emperor Akihito stepped down and his son Naruhito became emperor.

Although Reiwa is entering its second year with 2020, January 1 still marks Reiwa’s first New Year’s, the most important holiday in Japan.

Stalls at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo sold sweet rice wine, fried noodles and candied apples, as well as little amulets in the shape of mice, the zodiac animal for 2020. Since the Year of the Mouse starts off the Asian zodiac, it’s associated with starting anew.

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, an event that is creating much anticipation for the entire nation. (With reports from CIO Tagum, AP)


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