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Celebrating New Year in the Philippines

Updated on February 4, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

my.latimes.com
my.latimes.com

The New Year's rush

It’s no ordinary thing in the Christian world. Everybody are busy preparing welcoming the coming year, whatever your status in life is. New Year’s celebration in the Philippines is what I consider the most noisiest day in my life. I tell you why.

All Roads to Bocaue, Bulacan

Filipinos from the three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao cannot celebrate the New Year without having the noises of firecrackers. The place to go for wholesale buying of different kinds of firecrackers is Bocaue, Bulacan.

The residents of the town of Bocaue mainly get their earnings through the production of firecrackers. Businessmen and residents from Visayas and Mindanao flock the factories in the said town to buy firecrackers and sell it to their places.

History told us that the methods of manufacturing firecrackers comes from China way back the dynasty time. Chinese New Year is often celebrated around the first week of February based from their own calendar. Chinese citizen make various kinds of noises to drive away evil spirits and bad things of the past year. Filipinos are influenced mostly the our Chinese ancestors and friends who decided to stay here in the country before the Spanish colonization during the 15th century.

Amid the warnings of local police authorities, many people frequent hospitals and clinics due to firecracker’s burns and explosion. Oftentimes they suffered from burnt hands and loose fingers. Even some foreigners who celebrate new year here are victimize by the handling of firecrackers. I don’t want to be one of the casualties, so I enjoy the fireworks display and sparklers and flares that are safer than explosive ones that can also cause fire in the vicinity.

What’s on the Dinner Table?

Different kinds of twelve round fruits should be put on the table. These fruits ranges from apples, oranges, grapes, and other round fruits. Foreign influences coated this practice to put round fruits on the table to bring prosperity for the coming year.

My Chinese friends often invited me to eat special colored sticky rice called tikoy during New Year. They often prepared lotus pie, too. You can also buy and order this kind of pie from Chinese restaurants. Eating these festive foods will be more delightful if the family share it on the dining table together.

Other New Year Practices

Wear red shirts or dress with white dots on it called polka dots. Old folks will say it will bring you luck the whole year round ahead. You can also jump at twelve midnight with the firm belief that you will grow an inch taller or so. If you are in the past 30s, don’t bother.

Eating and Drinking

The best about celebration, like New Year’s, is the food and drinks. Lechon or roasted pig is often the main attraction on the table. The drinks varied from fruit juices, punch (mixture of fruit juice and gin spirit), beer, wine and hard drinks (vodka, brandy, whisky, etc.).

Let us not forget the Good Provider, God Almighty for bringing blessings and guidance even we also suffered the wraths of nature (storm, floods, climate change) for the year that passed.

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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Better be careful when New Year comes. There are dangers lurking outside the streets when firecrackers explode while you celebrate. Happy New Year, too, bacville.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 

      8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I just spent listening the loud sounds of the firecrackers outside our home in the city. Happy New Year, travel_man1971.

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