It’s eleven days till Christmas, I can sense our videoke-loving neighbors gearing up for the celebrations ahead. I don’t think I’ve encountered any other place where Extreme Magic-singing is taken very seriously. I mean, how else would you explain doing karaoke at high noon? While the singing may not be that bad (we even find ourselves singing along to some tunes from time to time), some of the oft-repeated songs are just grating to the nerves.

Ushering the new year with “singing” however, may seem to be a safer alternative. But sans a firecracker ban in Quezon City, karaoke and firecrackers are air and noise pollution at their worst. I remember close to midnight last New Year’s eve, some guy turned the darn videoke machine full blast and kept shouting “Boom tarat tarat!” over and over, his “song” and the barrage of firecrackers (something else our neighbors take very seriously) turning into a horrible crescendo. While it did drive away the evil spirits, the living nightmares are still around to haunt us this coming holidays.

I told Curlytop, if ever I pulled something like that, I wouldn’t know how to face anybody afterwards.

The other night, both of us dreading what would be in store for us come New Year’s eve, we started to consider holing up in a hotel room where the kids could watch some fireworks display from a safe distance (if going out of town wouldn’t push through). Seems a bit anti-social no? Unfortunately, I don’t know how turning this relatively peaceful neighborhood into a war zone come New Year’s eve could be a (welcome) community event.

How I envy Davao City residents who can stay in their homes and welcome the new year in peace.