Monday, December 23, 2013

BFP urge parents: keep kids
off firecrackers, accidents
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, December 20, 2013 (PIA) – Fire fighters urge parents to make sure they oversee their kids playing with noisemakers, especially those that use fire. 

Alarmed at the current kiddie craze of using improvised fire ignited alcohol noisemakers (boga), gas cannons which are the modern version of the bamboo cannons, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) warn, better safe than sorry. 

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA while raising asking parents to keep their kids from firecrackers and pyrotechnics during the Christmas and New Year’s revelry, Provincial Fire Marshall Nepumoceno Dangoy and City Fire Marshal Manases Bautista suggest the use of harmless noisemakers instead. 

Christmas and New Year celebrations in the Philippines can hardly be separated from fireworks, firecrackers and pyrotechnics, which have also been largely the source of accidents, several involving minors and those who had alcohol during the celebrations. 

In Bohol, even tots have been seen toting improvised gas cannons, milk cans taped on ends, PVV pipes, soda cans or paint cans with lighter igniters and using denatured alcohol or lighter fluids, or compressed gas as fuel. 

“The greater risk is that children also take aim with the cannons, bringing their eyes close to the igniters,” Fire Superintendent Dangoy shared to listeners of the weekly government radio program aired live over DyTR. 

Alcohol is already flammable, and when you increase the atmospheric pressure of the cannon chamber, you will have ignition, but when you have a flimsy cannon bottom or an oversized chambers, the higher is the risk that it explodes in your face, Dangoy warns. 

Kids get excited with firecrackers, but it is the role of parents to supervise the merrymaking, the provincial fire marshal reminds.

Also, Fire inspector Manases Bautista asked people who love to celebrate and those who could not refrain from playing with firecrackers to make sure that these are the legal types of explosive noisemakers. 

The BFP has in its website the list of banned firecrackers, many of which have caused deaths or injuries due to experimental sizes by manufacturers to create the loudest boom. 

Among the newest most notoriously produced firecrackers are Yolanda, Santi (named after super typhoons) Napoles, Bin Laden, plapla, superlolo, watusi, piccolo, atomic bomb, trianggulo, Lolo Thunder, Mother Rocket (as opposed to Baby Rocket), bawang, kwitis and other odd names like goodbye Philippines. 

These often find their way via transient vendors who carry their wares, obviously to skip getting permits. 

In the event that exploding firecrackers can’t be stopped, at least parents can explain to their kids tips in handling firecrackers, Bautista said.

First, kids should not be allowed to handle firecrackers, parents must be responsible for their kids, Bautista read from a tip list. 

Other than that, he also warned against groggy individuals from handling firecrackers and explosives, to avert accidents. Alcohol and fireworks is a dangerous combination, he said. 

Do not use firecrackers in cramped spaces, a clear and open place is ideal, while keeping a ready pail of water to control fires is a necessity, according to BFP authorities. 

Inspector Bautista also shared that selling of explosive firecrackers are regulated, only those who have acquired the proper permits from the City Mayor’s Office are allowed to sell them. 

He said the Mayor’s Office will seek the BFP clearance before it allows business establishments to operate. 

But Buatista clearly pointed out that apart from the mainstream pyrotechnics dealers, there has not been any establishment in the city permitted to sell firecrackers.

Locals hang chimes of hope 
As Bohol on the rise, sound 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, December 20, 2013 (PIA) – Boholanos and visiting artists who joined Bohol in its anguish after the twin calamities hang their hopes for a better future, a gesture made symbolic by using bamboo tube chimes set high up in a bamboo tower in Abatan. 

It maybe recalled that a fatal earthquake shook most of Bohol October 15, and left a swath of collapsed destruction, wrecking vital public and private establishments and installations, knocking down utilities and leaving several portions of Bohol isolated. 

At the height of relief operations to bring food to those affected communities, a super typhoon completed the threat of destruction, toppling down what the earthquake left standing. 

The over-all effect was that people lost their houses, a very vital source of inspiration in the Boholano life, explains local historian Marianito Luspo. 

For this, many people sulked, several refusing to work and get up, seemingly defeated, and still several others left to venture out a way to cope and make the healing process start. 

Now, Boholanos have slowly risen up, affirmed Governor Edgar Chatto, who was insistent in urging the communities to work out ways for people to get back into the groove. 

The hanging of the bamboo chimes of hope is a sure sign that people are now empowered to make it out, anew, local artist Lutgardo Labad said. 

Bamboo tube chimes, or popularly called “tingko” is a native instrument crafted out from a bamboo node. 

A stripped portion taken out of the node becomes a sounding stick, that when you hit it to the hollow tube, it produces a sound.

Used in the olden times as an alarm or to easily notify communities of impending disaster or anything worth preparing, the tingko, has become a symbol of hope which participants at a recent arts therapy in Bohol’s three hard hit towns painted using colors of hope and aspiration. 

Set up high up the ledges of a bamboo tower installation overlooking Abatan River, the bamboo instruments act like chimes as they hit each other when the wind causes them to swing. 

The setting up of the colorful chimes of home was a culminating activity during the two-day Dayaw Bohol, an arts therapy organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Sub Committee on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts, held December 14-15. 

During the activity, participants were led to a bamboo installation by the river and were asked to paint their hopes on small bamboo tube chimes. These tubes were brought to the bamboo tower and here hung on the bamboo ledges, recounts Labad, Bohol cultural icon and one of the organizers of the Dayaw Bohol. 

A bamboo installation was earlier mounted by Boholano visual artists, and it became a visual metaphor, an image and symbol for the assembly as a watchtower symbolizing a new structure of the future where hangs visions and dreams of a better Bohol, the multi-awarded Boholano artist Labad added in his facebook account. 

What is moving is that most of those who painted were Boholano youths. Thus they are the future new generation of Boholano leaders foisting their cherished dreams for a Bohol that is safe, more peaceful, more abundant, more in touch with its inner core of positive values and deep spirituality, he summed.

Indigenous healing rituals 
For Bohol at Galing Sining 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, December 20, 2013 (PIA) – Boholanos witnessed at least three indigenous healing rituals, all from tribal leaders who came in to Bohol to help mend the broken land and re-establish the islands bounty after two devastating calamities reduced some areas of Bohol to a pile of sorry debris. 

In Sagbayan town, where the ground rupture showed its most devastating fury, a tribal leader from Talakag Bukidnon Datu Linggian Modesto Pocol awed a modest crown of participants in an arts for healing therapy, while the native spiritual leader summoned the spirits of the land and tried to appease them with a blood offering dripping out from a red native cock, to heal it. 

A few hours later, Tboli tribal leader and cultural worker Reden Ulo’s chants wafted over Abatan River Main Village Center as he offered another red cock amid burning incense, to the diwatas of the place, to ask for their forgiveness and for them to restore the land shaken by a strong earthquake. 

Ulo also led the arts for healing participants joining the Galing Sining, a feature in the Dayaw Bohol, in a ceremonial procession of participants to enter the performances halls of Abatan. 

To peak it all, Panay Bukidnon babaylan Leopoldo Caballero and his daughter led a ritual of offering gifts to the diwatas of the land and coast, bringing to them supplications to heal our devastated province and restore bounty and well being to Bohol communities. 

Caballero, chanting in a mixture of ilonggo-hiligaynon-kinaray-a and visayan dialect also asked the participants to put in symbolic offerings, which he set in a banana raft for the tides to carry. 

The offering was mounted on a raft made of banana stalks that is brought to sail on the Abatan river. 

The day before, Roman Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Val Pinlac also led the Dayaw facilitators and organizers in another healing ritual through a prayer, inside the Conference Hall of the Mansion. 

The rituals, important elements of the Philippine Culture were part of the Dayaw Bohol, arts for healing which the National Commission for Culture and the Arts brought to Bohol an d nine other areas in the Philippines, said former NCCA commissioner and Dayaw consultant Romeo dela Cruz. 

"A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life, states a quote from the Wisdom of Joseph Campbell in a radio interview. 

"I think ritual is terribly important," Campbell said.

NCCAs Dayaw brings in 
Survivors’ arts therapy 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, December 19, 2013 (PIA) – The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) sub Committee on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts brings to Bohol “Dayaw,” its annual celebration of culture as its fitting venue, not just of unifying the country’s diverse communities, but as a platform for psycho-social intervention to calamity stricken communities. 

Dayaw is part of the NCCA’s Sining na may Kasingkasing, explains Gardy Labad, Bohol cultural icon and NCCA drama Committee, also among the Bohol event organizers. 

Set as a traveling festival celebrating cultural communities and traditional arts, Dayaw this year is set, not just in a single location like the previous ones, but is set in ten different locations all over the country, says former Commissioner Romeo “Toto” dela Cruz, briefing Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto about the project. 

A double whammy of two succeeding calamities recently stirred Boholanos to the core. Some people in affected communities are still sulking in trauma, incapacitated and unsure of what to do to pick up the broken pieces after the October mega-quake and the November super typhoon which left a scattering of debris in several parts of Bohol. 

“The ultimate goal is to use arts and culture as a tool for healing and empowerment of communities, using perhaps the indigenous culturally appropriate, culturally-based psycho-social interventions which can lead people and communities to achieve the ginhawa we aspire, dela Cruz said. 

The Dayaw, also a festival of festivals came to Poblacion Sagbayan, Santo Rosario Antequera and Poblacion Maribojoc before its culminating activity at the Abatan Main Village Center in Salvador Cortes for the peace and healing rituals performed by Tala-andigs and a shaman from a Negros tribe. 

Earthquake survivors from children to adults avidly responded to arts therapies including visual, literary and stage arts while recounting their experiences during the mega quake. 

Artists counselors and indigenous healing experts including traditional medicine men took turns in debriefing survivors processing the experiences into some foothold for rising again through the empowering arts therapies. 

Filipinos might come from different cultural tribes, but we have one umbilical cord, said Sulu native Al-Anwar Anzar, NCCA head of the Southern Cultural Minorities who came to Bohol with artists and tribal leaders from Luzon, Visayas and mountains of Bukidnon. 

Originally planned as a traveling festival of cultures, the recent calamities in the country pushed authorities to break Dayaw and bring it to ten other sites in 2013, dela Cruz explained to the governor during a project orientation at the Mansion. 

In 2013, instead of visiting Tacloban as scheduled, Dayaw was also set in Guian, Samar, Cebu, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Ilo-ilo, Palawan and Zamboanga, NCCA said.

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