Annoying New Year

It is hard to describe New Year's Eve in the Philippines. It is loud and obnoxious with music blaring late into the night--our windows sometime shake with the bass notes. It is also loud because of the fireworks. There are no real restrictions on fireworks here, so anyone can buy and set off whatever fireworks they want, from the pyrotechnics you find at stadium events and theme parks, to sticks of dynomite, it is all for sale to anyone and set off the evening of December 31st.

This year our New Year's Eve was also annoying. At the stroke of midnight we welcomed 2008 with a power outage. The whole city was plunged into darkness. About two hours later the power came back on for about thirty seconds, and then shut off for another hour or so, came back on for about five minutes, and eventually stayed on for good around 2:30 AM.

The funny thing about midnight celebrations here is that everyone's watch is set to different times. Showing up on time for meetings and such is not a big concern here. So people started shouting "Happy New Year" around 11:15 or 11:30. The fireworks really start to go off around 11:00 and they usually last until 3:00 AM. Somehow Danny slept through it all.

Happy New Year.