For our New Year celebration, we wanted to teach RD the value of taking care of the earth and himself. Throughout the month of December, the Department of Health of the Philippines launched a no firecracker campaign with Assistant Secretary, Dr. Eric Tayag, who introduced dancing Psy’s Oppa Gangnam Style as an alternative to meeting the new year. He did this by dancing to the song on tv himself! Apart from dancing the popular Korean song, Dr. Tayag also favored using horns and other harmless noisemakers, rather than using firecrackers and fireworks.
Dr. Tayag’s introduction of these safer methods of celebrating the coming New Year, prompted us to teach RD about the harmful effects and results of using firecrackers and fireworks. We watched local news reports where people, whose hands or fingers had been injured or blown to bits by firecrackers, were featured and we also went on the internet and researched how harmful firecrackers and fireworks are to the lungs and the environment.
Having celebrated new year’s eve with crackles and bangs for years since he was a baby, a silent new year celebration was a “foreign” thing for RD. He gazed longingly at firecrackers and fireworks that were for sale, lined up along the side streets remembering how fun it was to light them up and hear the loud bangs, crackles or whistles, and oohing and aahing over the wonderful colors emitted by the fireworks was something that he had always looked forward to.
However, this new information has brought a new awareness to RD about what it takes to keep the air clean and how we can keep ourselves safe from undue harm.