DAGUPAN CITY — New year celebration in Dagupan does not always end at past 12 midnight of Jan.1,

It’s true. It is because the people in Barangay Grands have a tradition to hold a bigger ending of their New Year revelry at 12 noon of January 1 attended by almost everyone in the community, young and adult alike, and even tourists and balikbayan.

Noon of January 1 is like a fiesta to us, confessed George Galvan, village chief of Pogo Grande since 2007, adding that at 12 noon today , there were 110,000 firecrakers, small, medium and big and of differenf makes that were exploded.

“We have all kinds of firecrackers, we have the “super lolo”, whistle bomb and the bigger firecrackers all made in Povo Grands,” said Galvan.

These were carefully tied together and hanged near cables of the PLDT in zigzag fashion for about five hours somthat when one lights one end, the firecracker explodes one by one, creating ear-splitting explosions.

Mayor Belen Fernandez did the honor foe the first time of making the ceremonial lighting of the firecrackers at the invitation of Galvan and this year’s host Mr. and Mrs, Rudy Ramos.

Galvan said since the noon-day tradition started, seldom were people in the village being hurt. Those being hurt, he added, are visitors like last year as when an ice cream vendor from Calasiao was hit by a flying exploded firecracker because he got near the explosion site.

He said every noon-day revelry was coordinated with the police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine Red Cross which sent a mobile unit, a fire engine and one ambulance for the occasion,

He said when he became barangay captain, he had to continue the tradition being observed by the village ever since of exploding any more firecracker they have left to create louder and more deafening sounds at noon of Jan. 1.

But he explained that these are not leftover pyrotechnics, saved the night before, but were ordered by more affluent members of the community from small-time manufacturers of firecrackers in their village just to help them earn a little.

He admitted that there are families in the village that had made the making of firecrackers a seasonal livelihood ever since. These families, he said, are doing this industry at a capitalization of just Php 5,000 each.-

Days before new year, these families would approach affluent members of their communities and make them order their products to help them recover their investments. The one who buys the most is usually designated hermano mayor and usually hosts a feast for the guests

Galvan said the noon-day firecracker explosions, aside feom driving away the evil spirit, could usher in prosperity and good health of the people in tne barangay. PNA/