REPOST: Don’t do this at home
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I’m reposting this due to the recent incidents of fire caused by sky lanterns.
Please be aware that these are banned in countries such as Singapore, Australia and the UK.
There is even a UK website dedicated to letting people know of its dangers.

Yesterday, 12 fire incidents were reported around Metro Manila on New Year’s eve, some which have been linked to sky lanters.
“In one incident in Quezon City, a sky lantern was suspected of having caused a fire along Commonwealth Avenue. The fire developed along Pag-ibig Street, affecting 15 houses and destroying an estimated. P300,000 worth of property destroyed. According to investigators, residents reported seeing at least 10 sky lanterns landing on their roofs before the fire started past 1 AM. No injuries were reported.” Source

The following entry was originally posted last January 31, 2012.
Please read and be aware that while fire lanterns may be pretty, they probably belong in a beach resort and not a crowded town or village.

* * *

I’ve been quiet for a while due to something horrible that recently happened at home.
It started on the evening of Chinese New Year. Jeroen and I were doing our nightly stroll around the village when we spotted some Chinese neighbors in red, launching a paper lanter in front of their home. I had never seen anything so pretty. I asked where they got it.
“Regina’s, Greenhills,” the man said.
On January 25th, I bought two of each color at Regina’s. Only 49 pesos each! I thought that launching a bunch of them from our green roof on Jeroen’s birthday dinner would be a great idea, sort of like this.

After a wonderful, casual dinner with friends, about 20 of us went up to the roof garden, excited to be out on that cold night.
Patrick, a Xavier alum, was assigned to light them up with Jeroen.

Chinese lantern

It was a windy night, certainly not a good time to launch them as we found out later

Chinese lantern

The first one went up nicely into the sky

Chinese lantern

The second one went up just as a strong wind came and blew it down to the neighbor’s roof, which was right next to our bamboo trees!
For the next few (extremely long) seconds, panic ensued. We were screaming, jumping, yelling for water and hoses, hugging each other, and finally praying out loud (that was me by the way shouting, “God PLEASE! Help us NOW!!!”) when suddenly I heard some of my friends say, “It’s going up!”
At that moment the wind calmed down, the hot air pushed the red lantern safely up into the sky.
Patrick launched a third one as it was already being lighted when trouble happened. After that I told the maids to throw everything away.
Do NOT do this at home I tell you. It is extremely dangerous, bad for the environment, and illegal in some countries due to incidents of fire.

When that was over, we all went down to heave a general sigh of relief. We hugged, drank, ate more food and told stories until the last two guests left at 4 AM.
The following day I had another answered prayer: Naumi Hotel responded positively to my request for a discount on my no-show fee.
Just when I had given up hope and left everything to God, He saved me.
I was back in Church on Sunday.

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