When the Skies Dance: The 5th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition

There are things that, in this lifetime, our finite minds will never fully grasp. Time’s ability to heal broken hearts, music’s ability to move, and of course, the biggest enigma of all – fireworks’ ability to mesmerize. 
Legend has it that “long ago, in ancient China, the peacocks ruled over Guangming City. They brought great joy and prosperity to the city, for they had invented the fireworks.”  This history lesson I learned from … Kung Fu Panda 2.

What is it with fireworks that we stop dead in our tracks to gawk at the sky? That makes us collectively say “Oohh”? That we step out onto the Manila streets on New Year ’s Eve despite the risk of getting hit by a stray bullet?

Till Saturday, I didn’t realize that something could be awesome-r than fireworks. Fireworks with music. Till Saturday, I didn’t realize that there’s an art to lighting up fireworks. Till Saturday, I didn’t realize that firework display is an evolving discipline. Till Saturday, I didn’t realize that it takes about two hours for me to get to the Mall of Asia from our place. 

These epiphanies were courtesy of the 5th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition. The show on February 15 included the opening exhibition of the Philippines’ Platinum Fireworks and the display of the first competitor, Australia’s Howard and Sons Fireworks.

Platinum Fireworks did not disappoint. They showcased their firework prowess in a post-Valentine presentation called “Love Is In The Air.” And man, was love in the air! They played several songs that went really well with their repertoire, but the only song I remember now is Alicia Keys’s “Girl on Fire.” I forget not because the performance was forgettable; I forget the individual parts because everything just came together beautifully. Their display told a story – a coherent one at that. 

Platinum Fireworks’s performance was a tough act to follow, which might have been why Harvard and Sons’ “Billabong Dreaming,” which was supposed to tell the mythical day-to-day journey of an Australian Billabong, failed to impress me as much. They too painted beautiful images in the sky, but how they scored the display just didn’t work for me.

Every year, the Pyromusical Competition creates a buzz. And seriously, it’s a buzz you shouldn’t ignore. Go. Watch. And understand why the peacocks ruled over Guangming City.

And oh, bring someone to hold hands with, to hug, to tickle; whatever floats your boat. Just bring someone – you’ll need her or him to melt with, to share the moment with, or just to tickle. ‘Cause y’know, fireworks are romantic.

I will definitely be back to see what stories the delegates of the other countries have to tell and how they tell it.

Catch the show every Saturday at 7:00 P.M. until March 22, 2014 at the SM Mall of Asia. You can buy your tickets at any SM ticket booth, Ticketnet and Ticketworld outlets. Tickets are priced at P100 (Silver), P300 (Gold), P500 (VIP), and P1,500 (Patron -Inclusive of dinner). 

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