I was jumpy as a kid and I'm more jumpy now that I'm regressing into childhood. Which was why I have not been fond of firecrackers and the noise of New Year. Yeah, yeah, the noise is supposed to ward off bad luck---tell that to those who got maimed handling these mini explosives!
In 1992, then Department of Health Secretary Juan Flavier did a very effective campaign by showcasing firecracker related injuries on TV. The message was clear, "If you don't want to end up like this---don't do firecrackers." That did the job and statistics would show that a significant decrease in firecracker related incidents. However, after Flavier's term as DOH Secretary ended in 1995 this campaign also came to its end and the "courageous" Pinoys started going back to their firecracker trip.
In 2002, I got diagnosed with asthma and my anti-firecracker sentiment got even more pronounced. Every year as if like clockwork I'd be down with asthma the first week of January. This prompted me to buy a heavy duty gas mask to protect me from the smoke-filled merry making. Of course, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and my four boys inherited my lung disease---QUADRUPLE DARN!!
Firecrackers still persist today and I can only pray that those who decide to play with this menace survive the festivities with all appendages intact. Me, I'm doing my own kind of noise. I'm putting my speakers on maximum volume and playing my favorite rock and roll classics! On New Year's Eve I'm joining the firecracker noise with my recording of firecracker sound effects which I just downloaded. It's safe, smoke-free, and can be put in a loop!