Bocaue fireworks industry ends 2023 with a huge bang

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BOCAUE, Bulacan—The new year last minute “sell like hot cake” tradition of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in this considered fireworks capital of the country records a huge bang this year as buyers flock the stalls just a few hours before the new year revelry.

Until Sunday morning and on Saturday night, just like the previous years, Turo Pyro Zones went to MacArthur highway and Sta. Maria clogged in traffic as hundreds of last minute buyers from different places in and out of Bulacan rushed in to bring home packs and pieces of what they will light in welcoming 2024.

Fifty five year old Nelson Managuelod from Angadanan, Isabela stopped in a fireworks stall in Bocaue on Friday and bought P1,500 worth of pyrotechnics (pailaw) like luces, fountains for his grandchildren in Manila. On Saturday, when he and his family will head back home to Isabela, he will have volume of aerial shots and pailaw for their family in the province to welcome the new year.

“Tradisyon na natin itong mga Filipino tuwing bagong taon, kahit mahal ang bilihin, ito ang masaya nating pansalubong sa bagong taon,” (It is already our tradition as Filipinos every new year even though prices of basic commodities are high. This is our way of joyfully welcoming the new year), he told NEWS CORE.

Michael Relucio, 36, from City of San Jose del Monte had P2,600 worth of pailaw as his “yearly panata””.  “Since I was 15 years old, I always see to it that we will light these pyrotechnics in welcoming the new year,” he said.

John Tapiador, a wood curving worker in Calumpit town bought P1,500 pieces of pailaw for his family in Betis, Pampanga. “I came here to buy these products for our family just before I go home to our place in Betis. Every year, I spent this much for the pyrotechnics. I really spare this amount to light our welcoming of the new year,” he told NEWS CORE.

For horn-shaped trumphet (torotot) seller in Turo  Bocaue Pyrozone, fifty year old  Lorelyn Ardiente, sales of fireworks is brisk every year. This year, she said, she noticed the same buyers from Ilocos, Quezon and mostly from Metro Manila came to buy volumes of fireworks.

“Malakas ang benta nila dito, halos taun-taon naman, malakas basta pang bagong taon malakas kaya nga nagtitinda kami ng torotot dito dahil sa dami ng tao, baka mapansin din ang produkto namin,” she said.

Joven Ong, president of Philippine Fireworks Association and president and CEO of Dragon Fireworks, manufacturer of different types of pyrotechnics (pailaw) particularly aerial shots reminded everyone not to patronize illegal firecrackers and look only for products with Philippine Standard (PS) mark for quality brands that have been known for years.

Ong said there is a 40 percent drop in the sales of fireworks this year due enough supply.

Sales of firecracker and pyrotechnics have been round the clock or 24 hours since on Christmas Day or seven days before the new year celebration as buyers from different places in the country particularly from Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Cavite, Ilocos, Pangasinan rushed to the stalls here for volume of purchase.

Compared to last year, Lea Alapide president of Philippine Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers Inc. (PPMDAI) explained, there is enough supply of chemicals and other materials needed for the production this year which assures a similarly high volume of available market supply.

The regular aerial shots pyrotechnic or “pailaw” dropped to its original 2021 price of P1,300-1.500 compared to 2,500-P3,000 prices last year.

According to Farinas, they now see an over-supply in fireworks products due to the volume of produce brought by the ease in the importation of the chemicals.

In 2022, because of the continued pandemic restrictions, there was no ample supply of imported chemicals used in the manufacture of fireworks products.

The 16 shots aerial fireworks priced at P3,500 last year are only at P1,500 today. The kwitis at P12.00 per piece last year is only P6.00 per piece today.  The P1,000 worth 1,000 rounds of sawa last year is only at P550 this year. The P10,000 worth 10,000 rounds last year is now only P5,000.

Farinas just like any other stores began round the clock 24 hours sales starting on Dec. 25 Christmas Day where they expect the New Year revelry sales to kick off.

Based on tradition, volume of sales starts on Christmas Day and or Dec. 26, just the day following the Christmas Day itself where the people are already done celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and are already focused on celebrating the coming new year.

”The sales has been slow these past few days. People were focused on buying food. But we expect the high volume to begin today and or tomorrow. This year, manufacturers produced enough supply. It assured the public of stable supply and low to regular prices and not with commanding high prices similar to last year,” Farinas told Inquirer at her stall on Monday, Dec. 26.

However, she said, because there will be no high demand, the amount of prices are regulated and dealers cannot sell commanding high prices.

But for Teresa Diocson, 19, from City of San Jose del Monte, store attendant at Alba Mendoza Majik Fireworks also in Turo, their sales have been good already since December 10 and that not all  the prices of the fireworks products dropped.

She said the mini aerial which was sold last year at P800 is now priced at P1,000.

The fountains she said, particularly “Batibot”at P35.00 each today increased to P10.00 from P25.00 last year while other fountains did not increase and remained at P60.00.

The kwitis last year however at P900.00 per 100 pieces bundle is now P800.

According to Alapide, they expect a high volume of sales until the last minute or until Dec. 31.

Except during the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 when there were slump in sales, the welcoming of the new year is the once a year spotlight for the Bocaue fireworks industry where nearly a hundred stalls operate and sell the finished products from manufacturers in Sta. Maria, Baliwag, San Ildefonso, San Rafael and Norzagaray.

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