Bringing in 2014, Manila style

We are led to believe that, most years, there is a big fireworks display in Makati to mark the end of one year and the start of another.  This year it was cancelled, and the money saved was being donated to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.  We weren’t sure, then, what to expect in terms of NYE celebrations.

Mr H and I didn’t have big plans for New Year’s Eve, but I’d read that the 50th floor Sky Deck on our neighbouring apartment block would be open for the evening.  But before that, we decided to go and see if there was any action in the bars in Greenbelt (the shopping mall area right next to where we live), but it was decidedly quiet.  A number of restaurants were closed too.  I guess lots of people spend the evening at private parties with friends and family.  So we came back to the apartment and rode the lift to the Sky Deck.

En route, we met a Filipina lady and her Australian partner.  They had been out celebrating the early part of New Year’s Eve with their daughter in Alabang, but were persuaded to come up to the Sky Deck too.  They brought wine later which went down very well with Mr H!

It was one of those nights, where you don’t expect much, but end up being wowed.  Fireworks had been going off around the city since it got dark.  It didn’t seem that there were many organised displays; these were families who put on their own shows.  There is a custom, passed down from the many Chinese families in the Philippines, that the more noise the better for chasing away evil spirits at the start of a new year.  There was certainly a lot of noise as the fireworks wheezed and banged.  The fireworks continued throughout the evening reaching their crescendo around midnight.

I say ‘around midnight’.  I came across an article recently in which the Filipino government urged Filipinos to sync their watches for the start of the New Year.  Being on time is not a national strength.

We had a fantastic view, being so high up.  There were fireworks going off every which way you turned – bright colours and loud bangs.  It was like nothing we’d ever seen before.  Sadly, my still photos didn’t catch the fireworks and for some reason I couldn’t upload the videos.  Anyhow, some great views of the Metro…

Photo of Manila looking towards Manila Bay
Looking towards Manila Bay


Photo of Manila looking towards Rockwell
Looking towards Rockwell

A great way to see in 2014.  Happy New Year everyone!

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