Last year’s most dangerous firecracker

With firecrackers with names like Judas’ Belt, Super Lolo Thunder (Super Grandfather Thunder,) Whistle Bomb and Crying Cow, one can’t be blamed for thinking that Filipinos have a hard on for explosives (or a penchant for random word combinations.)

Which might explain the 346 firecracker-related injuries recorded by the Department of Health during the New Year revelry last night. Except most of those injuries were caused by a firecracker that was about as loud as a capgun. Gunpowder came into it, sure, but as with many things, it’s not the the size of the payload, but how you use it.

Initially imported or smuggled from Europe, Piccolos are now being made by the Bulacan firecracker industry, with as much quality control and safety-firstness as that implies.
The DOH reports that most firecracker-related injuries during the holiday season involved Piccolos.

Basically, they’re self-lighting (with your help and encouragement) firecrackers. You strike them against the box and the phosphorus (I guess) ignites to light the fuse. Piccolos are marketed as toys, much like giving a monkey a loaded gun, but on a smaller, less-cute scale.

They’re not very loud, and are more a novelty item than an actual effort to ward off bad luck. And they were safe, back when they were shipped in from Europe. The local versions, though, have shown a tendency to explode  (pop, anyway) in your hand and shoot out your eye. A fact that is proudly proclaimed by their one-armed, one-eyed mascot in a rare case of truth in advertising.

At least they're honest about it

At least they're honest about it

When they don’t explode in your hand, they’re fun little toys to throw at random things like  unsuspecting pedestrians and stalls selling firecrackers.


  1. Hello Philippines !

    Happy New Year !! I missed the sound of firecrackers during the last

    minute of a passing year. Firecrackers originated from China centuries

    ago. Europeans borrowed the idea and improved it; Pilipinos further

    improved it with a bigger bang. That is classic Pinoy “ingenuity”.

    I was six years old when I experienced the explosive power of a small

    firecracker called “triangle”. I donot know if you still have the “triangle”.

    (I suffered a first degree burn in my hand. )It was painful but a learning

    experience, respect and care for anything “explosive”.

    Except, for the New York New Year experience (without firecrackers),

    America celebrate the New Year without the real “Bang!”. You can hear

    more firecrackers during the 4th of July celebration (Independence Day of

    1776) in America.

    Delpilar Bonnifacio

  2. I’m not big on the firecracker thing. Me with four fingers? Not a very enticing thought. I do find the images of crying imbeciles with shredded fingers incredibly funny, though.

    Happy 2009!

  3. Every bisperas ng bagong taon I’m tormented by the possibility that the whole neighborhood will burn because of fireworks.
    They should bring back VP Noli de Castro to resurrect Magandang Gabi Bayan’s new year gorefest specials where they show how carelessness can turn hands into giniling. Hey that was an effective deterrent back then. People need to be reminded every single goshdarn year.

  4. Go to General Hospital in Manila, they have a wonderful collection of kids and adults shredded hands photos ready to show you. Sometimes, one finger left on one hand is telling you “come on morron, ruin your life with a fucking 10Pesos Bulacan exploding shit”…

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