01 Jan2011


A quiet dinner at home for the three of us on New Year’s Eve. But wait, where is the big bang that typically welcomes the New Year? The neighborhood seemed unusually mellow, few parties getting underway, no visible display of fireworks in the offing… I actually do not support the concept of individuals and fireworks — too much maiming, fires, a waste of money, pollution, pain in the ears for pets, animals and foliage, black boogers, etc. :) I would much rather contribute my share and have 3-5 different enormous and professionally planned pyrotechnical displays around the city instead of the mayhem that Manila seems to turn into every new year’s eve. But that’s just me. And despite it theoretically being ILLEGAL to make, sell or use fireworks, you could buy them in the center of the Greenhills shopping mall yesterday, outside groceries, etc. So why battle the tide? I figure we could just enjoy everyone else burning up their hard earned cash… So after dinner, we joined several friends in their apartment on nearly the 30th floor of one of the buildings in the photo up top, and while munching on appetizers and having a drink or two, we watched as the early birds started letting off fireworks as early as 9pm in the evening…


Towards 11pm, we left to join the Teen’s friends and their families on the top of a building on Ayala Avenue. From the helipad, we had a wonderful view of the fireworks being let off from Ortigas to Paranaque and everywhere in between. At about 11:15pm, the skies over Manila were a relatively clear black backdrop for the occasional firework being sent up into the sky. By about 1145pm, the fireworks started in earnest and from as far away as Sucat and possibly Alabang, you could see one spectacular burst of light after another. A jumbo took off after 1130pm and I suspect the passengers looking down would have enjoyed a spectacular panorama of colorful explosives…


We were positioned just across from the Makati Shangrila hotel, with a great view of several villages in the area, malls, parks, etc. from where fireworks were being used by the thousands of pesos per second I suppose. But the surprise started when some fireworks from the Shangrila garden just meters away started off at 5 minutes to midnight and suddenly, we were in the middle of a proverbial battlefield of gunpowder and smoke. From just the edge of the helipad, most of us moved back a little as the volume of fireworks increased…


…then almost exactly at midnight, I managed to click this shot of a massive barrage of fireworks that literally lit up the evening sky! Talk about big bangs to welcome the New Year! :)


For roughly 20 minutes the city was just an amazing and spectacular sight, from near and far, as fireworks went off in an uncoordinated mayhem that ultimately was a proxy for life in Manila…


Most folks don’t get the opportunity to see this display from high above the city, but now having done this a couple of times, we highly recommend it if you can find a vantage point from a tall apartment or office building…


We didn’t bring a tripod so most of my pictures are completely hand held, without breathing as I tried to capture some of the visuals with a second long exposure on the camera. Suffice it to say the photos don’t really do the evening justice.


So thank you to all the thousands of folks who blew a wad of money on fireworks last night. We appreciated it very much as spectators. :)


At 1230am, the city was blanketed in a thick cloud of smoke. A huge difference from just an hour earlier. I hope the winds blow strong today to clear the much away.


Happy New Year to all!



  1. isabel says:

    happy new year, MM and family!!! had almost the same view here at one of the condos near shopwise makati… 26th floor… the panoramic makati skyline was ablaze!!!

    Jan 1, 2011 | 3:11 pm


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  3. chloe says:

    Happy New Year MM, Mrs. MM and the Teen and to everybody!

    Jan 1, 2011 | 3:30 pm

  4. Mars says:

    Hi MM, HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MORE GREAT BLOGS! just started reading your blogs and I find your insights very interesting. Glad to have seen the same view last night while working on GY shift in the office. Great display of fireworks as early as 9pm in the skyline. :)

    Jan 1, 2011 | 5:11 pm

  5. Nicole says:

    Happy New year!!!

    Jan 1, 2011 | 5:23 pm

  6. sc says:

    happy new year, mm and to your family!

    Jan 1, 2011 | 5:35 pm

  7. denise says:

    MM, Happy New Year to you and your family and crew!

    I had a semi-good view of the Burj Khalifa’s 10-minute display, as well as some other areas here in Dubai :D

    and about smoke clearing after the fireworks/crackers…my friends have a video of driving thru Marcos Highway from Santolan LRT station till Robinson’s MetroEast, this was around 2am, it was almost zero visibility, and they were coughing the entire time, even with windows up!

    Jan 1, 2011 | 6:12 pm

  8. richy says:

    Happy new Year !
    My 1st new year experience in this lovely country, and it was unbelievable. I though I was in Baghgdad under siege. Non-stop fireworks from 8pm until 2am…. I am living in Makati and enjoy a great view, it was just amazing.

    Jan 1, 2011 | 7:00 pm

  9. Fred says:

    The Pinoy tradition of having Metro Manila pretend to be a warzone in the 1st 30 minutes of the year. Maybe it scares the aliens observing in orbit, this yearly show of mock armaments. :D Happy New Year MM! Have a great year ahead.

    Jan 1, 2011 | 7:19 pm

  10. marilen says:

    Awesome, fearsome display!! I would love to experience that day one – from that vantage!

    Jan 1, 2011 | 9:05 pm

  11. Eileen says:

    MM, we had almost the same view from the roofdeck of our condo, which is just a few buildings away from where you were… Happy New Year! :)

    Jan 1, 2011 | 9:32 pm

  12. chrisb says:

    Happy new year MM! The view from one of the buildings in Ortigas was spectacular as well. Wackwack residents put on a really good show. Was just wondering about the black buggers… I’m sure by that you mean dried nasal mucus and not a “bugger” of specific ethnicity?

    Jan 1, 2011 | 11:05 pm

  13. millet says:

    woohoo! as i said earlier, davao city was sooo peaceful and quiet. i love the strict implementation of the firecrackers ban here, but like you, i hope the city government sets up a couple of professionally-manafed fireworks displays each new year’s eve. there’s a whole generation of davaoenos that does not know what fireworks/firecrackers are, and do not know what all the warnings on tv are all about.

    Jan 1, 2011 | 11:23 pm

  14. Wisdom tooth says:

    Pictures are amazing. It’s in contrast with what we have here. Salamat MM at naka reminisce ng kahit na konti. Manigong Bagong Taon sa lahat

    Jan 2, 2011 | 12:41 am

  15. bearhug0127 says:

    Miss all the noise and the chaos from the new year celebrations! Here, we have what you call a professionally managed fireworks display for about 20 minutes by the tourist bureau but my my younger kids do not know how firecrackers sound. Happy New Year to all!

    Jan 2, 2011 | 4:43 am

  16. Marketman says:

    chrisb, hahaha, sorry, maybe I should have spelled that as ‘boogers” instead. Will edit post… :)

    Jan 2, 2011 | 6:29 am

  17. KUMAGCOW says:

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Jan 2, 2011 | 7:03 am

  18. bagito says:

    Happy New Year, MM and family (and Crew)!

    Jan 2, 2011 | 10:20 am

  19. Mila says:

    Belated Happy New Year! In the land that made firecrackers, it was relatively quiet here, but drinks with friends makes a big difference. We made our own noise, and blasted music for several hours after.
    Hope everyone has a splendid 2011.

    Jan 2, 2011 | 11:01 am

  20. Alisa says:

    Happy 2011 MM! I can just imagine how wonderful (and scary) the view is from up there.

    Jan 2, 2011 | 12:35 pm

  21. Kate says:

    Happy New Year, MM and family! Looking forward to more great posts from you :)

    Jan 2, 2011 | 1:10 pm

  22. James says:

    We brought a professional in from Cebu for a fireworks show here in Brgy Marasbaras, Tacloban City. We had a blast. Split the cost with my father. I’ve dreamt of having putting on a show of my own each year since I was a child. Now I can do it!

    Jan 2, 2011 | 1:37 pm

  23. Junb says:

    Happy new year to all !!!

    Jan 2, 2011 | 7:26 pm

  24. joey says:

    Happy New Year MM and family!!! All the best to you in 2011!

    Jan 2, 2011 | 8:49 pm

  25. natie says:

    nothing like New Year in the Phil—lovely!!

    Jan 3, 2011 | 9:19 pm

  26. Susan says:

    I experienced this a couple years ago. The longest fireworks show I’ve seen is 30 min. so you could imagine how surprised I was when the fireworks in this same area started at around 8 pm and ended around 1 am…or maybe longer since I decided to finally go to bed.
    Happy New Year MM and family!

    Jan 4, 2011 | 3:54 pm

  27. Francis says:

    Belated Happy New Year All

    @JAMES from Tacloban
    How much did it cost you to hire a professional from cebu?..i am also a fireworks fanatics and always do backyard show using my firing system..im from Palo by the way..

    Jan 15, 2011 | 7:16 pm


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