‘Homophobic, sexist’: Pinoys question some names of banned fireworks

December 29, 2023 - 12:35 PM
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Banned fireworks
Banned fireworks presented to the media by the police in a surprise inspection at Bocaue, Bulacan on Dec. 28, 2023 (The STAR/Miguel de Guzman)

After the authorities released the list of banned firecrackers and fireworks for the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration, some Filipinos questioned the perceived problematic names of the pyrotechnic devices.

The Philippine National Police‘s Firearms and Explosive Office (PNP FEO) previously reminded the public of various prohibited firecrackers and fireworks that are illegal to be manufactured, sold, distributed and used.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Al Abanales of the PNP FEO said that those who violate Republic Act 7183 or the firecrackers law could be penalized by around P20,000 to P30,000 and/or face jail time for six months to one year or both.

The following are the banned firecrackers and fireworks in the country:

  • Watusi
  • Poppop
  • Five Star
  • Pla-Pla
  • Piccolo
  • Giant Bawang
  • Goodbye Bading
  • Goodbye Philippines
  • Atomic Bomb
  • Super Lolo
  • Hello Colombia
  • Judas’ Belt
  • Giant Whistle Bomb
  • Atomic Triangle
  • Mother Rocket
  • Goodbye Delima
  • Goodbye Napoles
  • Goodbye Earth
  • Coke-in-can
  • Super Yolanda
  • Pillbox Star
  • Kabasi
  • Hamas
  • Lolo Thunder
  • Boga
  • Kwiton
  • Bin Laden

ALSO READ: PNP releases list of prohibited firecrackers ahead of Christmas, New Year

The PNP FEO said that fireworks should only have a maximum of 0.3 grams or 1/3 teaspoon of gunpowder. The fuse should also not be too short or too long.

The pyrotechnics or “pailaw” that are allowed to be used during New Year’s Eve, on the other hand, are the butterfly, fountain, jumbo regular and special, luces, mabuhay, roman candle, sparklers, trompillo, whistle device and other similar types of “pailaw.”

‘Problematic’ names

Meanwhile, the list of banned fireworks and firecrackers caught some online users’ attention as they thought that some names sounded “problematic.”

“There’s something fundamentally wrong with the names of some of these firecrackers,” a lawyer commented.

“Homophobia, sexism, hatred (the use of names, regardless if you like the person), trauma-inducing (like typhoons and a terror group), etc. Is this how you want to welcome the new year?” he added.

“Ah yes, homophobia and sexism as fireworks names,” another user commented on the X (formerly Twitter) platform.

Some of the firework names they are referring to pertain to gays like “Goodbye Bading.” Others are related to female personalities like former senator Leila de Lima and pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

“Sa lahat ng mga puwedeng ipangalan na paputok, Hamas pa talaga? May Hello Colombia rin,” commented a different Pinoy.

“WTH there’s a banned firecracker named after Hamas, of all things,” wrote another user.

“Hamas” refers to a terrorist-designated group in Palestine that describes its armed activities as resistance against Israeli occupation.

“Hello Colombia,” on the other hand, could refer to Miss Universe 2015 first runner-up Ariadna Gutiérrez who was mistakenly announced by Steve Harvey as the winner of the pageant. It was won by Pia Wurtzbach, who was hailed Miss Universe 2015.

As of Friday, the Department of Health (DOH) said that it had logged 96 fireworks-related injuries, with three out of every ten cases coming from Metro Manila.

Ninety-six percent (96%) happened at home and on the streets, mostly by males with active involvement.

The DOH identified the top fireworks that caused at least seven out of every ten fireworks-related injuries as the boga, five star, kwitis, piccolo, pla-pla, whistle Bomb, and luces.

It added that illegal fireworks are to blame for about six out of every ten cases (57, 60%).