It’s been going on almost every year in the shores of Manila bay for nearly a decade. It started as the “Pyrolympics”, a competition among pyrotechnics producers from various countries – each one trying to put the best display of fireworks in the night sky. It evolved into the “International Pyromusical Competion” five years ago, as music and “choreography” were added into the show, and it still never fails to draw a crowd. Every February and March, roads leading to the “Bay City”, where the event is held every year choke up with traffic every weekend evening, as spectators flock to see the explosions of colors over the bay.
Each show by each country lasts only a few minutes, but for many in the country it’s the best fireworks display they will see in their lifetime. And it can indeed be a bit spectacular. The amount of pyrotechnics burning over the bay within that span of a few minutes makes every weekend within those months look like the fourth of July. There’s a fee if one wants get close to the shore and hear the music that goes with the show (and it can be quite hefty), but most people are happy to just sit in the sidewalks and open spaces and see the fireworks for free minus the music. Some even make it a family picnic, bringing their own food from home and dining under the colorful skies.
And who actually wins in the competition? I honestly don’t know, and nor does it matter to me anyway. All I know is that for a few weekends every year, the skies over Manila Bay light up, and the smiles in the spectators’ faces light up with it too.
*Photos taken last March 2014, using an Olympus EPM-2 with M.Zuiko 14-42mm IIR.