Pinoys break tradition, join public countdown

Posted at 01/01/13 2:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Many Filipinos decided to try something new, breaking from the family tradition of welcoming the New Year at home.

Friends and families joined other revelers at Eastwood City, Rizal Park, Resorts World, and at the Quezon City Memorial Circle for the countdown to 2013.

"First time ko itong mag New Year sa labas ng bahay namin kasi usually kapag New Year kasama pamilya, nasa bahay," said beauty queen and TV host Venus Raj.

Raj was at Eastwood with boyfriend and Umagang Kay Ganda co-host Andrei Felix.

Among the performers at Eastwood were rock bands Up Dharma Down, Urbanation and X-Factor finalist Mark Mabasa.

Also, couples present there kissed at the stroke of midnight, an activity similar to what is being done in the countdown in New York.

"For us, mas masaya dito kasi mas maraming tao, sa bahay kaming dalawa lang," one reveler said.

"Masarap kasi dito parang mas fresh yung lugar kaya we preferred to spend New Year dito together with our family," said another.

In Quezon City, an estimated 10,000 people gathered at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. Many set up tents while enjoying the free entertainment.

“Gusto ko namang salubungin ang 2013 ng masaya. Pantangal ng pagod. Masaya dito dahil maraming libangan,” said Lito Lagarde who came there with his family.

After the free concert, a 25-minute fireworks display wowed the crowd.

Children and adults meanwhile took advantage of the cheap rides like the octopus, ferris wheel, and carousel in the park.

And like those in Quezon City, New Year revelers in Luneta, numbering to about 800,000, brought their own food and picnic blankets while enjoying the free concert.

“Most of the time nagwo-work kayo pareho wala kayong time to spend quality time with your family. Pag ganito, natural parang iba talaga. Napaka rewarding,” said Bernadette Marcelo.

Park administration urged people to dispose of their garbage properly and clean the area after the party.

“Yung ating mga sweeper dito sa park 24/7 para mag linis. 24/7 ang hakot ng mga basura doon sa atin mga trash bins,” said Kenneth Montegrande of the Rizal Park Development Committee.

“Ang mga basura po natin ilagay natin sa tamang lalagyan,” said park sweeper Luz Palabrica.