BY SILVER BALANZA
The Davao City 2014 Torotot Festival was expected to lure more than 10,000 people to a New Year revelry of horn blowing in a street party as an alternative to exploding deadly firecrackers.
The Davao City Police is deploying about 180 cops, backed by emergency medical teams of 911 Central, to ensure security of participants in the kilometer-long Roxas Avenue in the city’s down town business district. The street party starts at 2PM December 31, peaks with the horn blowing by midnight and will stretch up to early morning.
On its second edition, the year-end festival also being sold as a tourist attraction, is strongly promoted by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as City Hall aims this year for zero casualty in firecracker-related injuries on New Year.
A total ban on explosion and sale of firecrackers has been in effect since 2002 imposed by the Anti-Firecrackers Ordinance inspired by Duterte.
Last year, the festival was joined by more than 7,500 Dabawenyos and tourists breaking a Guinness record of 6,900 people blowing horns in a New Year street party held by Japan.
Duterte, who graced the 2013 holding of the Torotot Festival, is hoping the horn-blowing revelry would become a tradition with firecracker explosions on Christmas and New Year effectively silenced by the total ban on pyrotechnics.