Getting Close to the Sparks, the Pyromusical Competition in Manila Bay!

February 12, 2011 (Saturday)

Closeup is a major sponsor for this year's Pyromusical Competition at the Manila Bay (with a very appropriate tagline I must say). Getting close to the sparks is definitely an experience to remember. Just get ready to flash that smile =D


My Different Pyromusical Experience This Year 2011 – What Else to Do Included


The difference started with being a V.I.P. where there is more crowd control and more action.  


I forgot all the essentials though except for the cameras so it is still possible to have a great time. (For a list of essentials for this event, click here.)


The torture is short (2 to 3 hours tops if you arrive on time) and the people will stand anyway once the show starts. (Note: There is also a V.I.P. with Dinner Section.)

Cultural Experience
There was a performance representing the participants before the fireworks start per country. The stage was set in front of the V.I.P. section last Saturday for a hyperactive Korean violinist and the poised Clara Ramona Group dancing to the tune of the Spanish flamenco. 


I believe these cultural performances helped set the mood, at least for me, and actually had me looking forward to the next four Saturdays. 


It was hard to capture an audience though in a very big but barricaded space with poor quality audio systems in place.

Pyromusical Korean-Style


We headed towards the darker and quiet part of the V.I.P. section. The faint music accompanied the magnificent display of the first fireworks from Korea. 


The fireworks all came from a big barge sitting in the bay, probably a few kilometers from our position. I captured the show in video. 


One consequence if you’re filming the show is that you’ll be distracted to see the whole show unless you have a tripod and a full view in place. I am reluctant to post that video here because I was going from portrait to landscape just to remove the people beside me and to catch the whole scale of the performance. It got difficult when I couldn’t tower over people with the limited height. 


I didn’t miss the few heart-shaped lights in the sky though and the other creative firework shapes from this team that I’ve never seen before in tune with the music. 


Some things could go wrong like the first ever display for last year’s show from the Philippines (the music was already playing and suddenly no fireworks, they had to repeat the whole thing). Let's hope they've upped their game this year as the final contender. 

Everything was perfect for this year’s launch of the Pyromusical Competition. 


The Korean pyro show fit right into the accompanying music. 


Timing is an important criteria for winning the contest.

Close Even to the Half-Time Concert Scene!
The Korean team was done with the display in around 20 minutes. Behind our location was another stage set up for popular Filipino band Spongecola.


I believe the front view of the stage was for the Closeup Gold or Silver ticket holders but there was a side access for the V.I.P. section. We could also see the “backstage” in action. The crowd was into the Closeup songs and other Filipino classic love songs. 


It was near Valentine’s Day anyway so we might as well sing with one of our favorite local bands for the occasion. I believe the Philippines just made the Pyromusical Competition more Filipino with this part. The 1-hour wait for the next contender just became more interesting and shorter if you have access to this part of the night.  

Pyromusical Spanish-Style


Another criteria for winning the Pyromusical Competition was color. 


For me, Spain’s pyro show was fun to watch because it painted Manila’s skies with vibrant colors of green, red, gold, pink and purple. 


I stopped shooting just to enjoy being there. 


Sometime in between the performance, I started posing to get myself photographed with the rare sparks in the sky. 


The thought of having a souvenir I can take with me for this sweet event was very inviting. 


Good thing I was with Jeff who wanted to practice shooting the night scene with a GF1. 


Sometimes, you can miss that great shot when you turn around to see it. It's really a dilemma.


The Closeup team also caught up with us as they were shooting couples having a great time with the sparks in the sky. I'll post the image if they send it to us.


Farewell Concert
The show was over at around 9:30 p.m. Some people stayed to catch another popular local band Sugarfree in the Half-Time Closeup Concert Stage. They witnessed the last Sugarfree big finale performance. It’s pretty rare to be up close before they would formally disband.

More About the 2nd Pyromusical Competition 2011
Here's a list of the schedule of contenders this 2011:
February 12, 2011 - Korea & Spain
February 19, 2011 - Portugal & United Kingdom
February 26, 2011 - China & France
March 5, 2011 - Japan & Canada
March 12, 2011 - Australia & Philippines

Ticket prices are as follows:
V.I.P. with dinner - P1500
V.I.P. - P500
Gold - P200
Silver - P100
Free Tickets from Closeup by Unilever - Click here.
Website -

The Pyromusical Experience
The Pyromusical Series for 2011 had just started with a big and impressive bang. 


This means that there are more chances to see more sparks flying in the next weeks and in the next coming years. Being there and getting close is more than just an experience of love. 


It’s also an experience of traditional culture, popular culture, competition, music and fireworks all rolled into one spectacular night in Manila. It’s so close and inviting that you wouldn’t want to miss it every year. The competition component assures that it would be a different experience every time.

Let the sparks fly high in the Manila Sky!