Davao City set to break world record for horn blowers

Photo by Karlos Manlupig/Rappler

Photo by Karlos Manlupig/Rappler

By Karlos Manlupig/rappler.com – Davao City is set to grab a world record for gathering the most number of party horn blowers to celebrate the New Year.

As the clock neared midnight, thousands of party horns were raised and simultaneously blown by at least 7,568 residents in Davao City as they welcomed 2014 without firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

Davao City is vying to set a new Guinness World record. Japan presently holds the record with 6,961 party horn blowers.

The city government of Davao and Smart Communications led the event known as the Torotot Festival. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was among those who participated.

Tourism Assistant Secretary Art Boncato Jr said Davao’s attempt is still subject to validation by the Guinness World Records.

Regardless of the validation, the Torotot Festival already grabbed the country’s attention, Boncato said.

“Branding na ‘yun,” Boncato said. (That’s already branding for the city.)

“It shows the whole world that local governance is effective with implementation of ordinances that promote the right kind of lifestyle. It shows that [Davao] is a city with a strong sense of community among residents,” he added.

If sustained, the Torotot Festival will help in drawing more tourists to the region, the Department of Tourism said.

“The festival can attract markets that seek some quiet time during the year-end holidays, away from the traditional revelry. We will be promoting Davao as a place for year-end respite. A visit to Davao promises a rejuvenating experience during the holidays with the fresh air in the mountains, fresh fruits from orchards, fresh seafood and the like,” Boncato said.

Boncato said that DOT will mobilize its networks to further improve the festival.

“We can input parallel activities that would address needs of locals and travelers. One netizen even suggested a ball drop countdown,” Boncato said.

Davao City has been banning firecrackers for more than a decade. With fireworks and firecrackers causing injuries during the holiday festivities, Davao passed a 2001 ordinance banning their use, a first in the country.

Known for his strict law implementation, Duterte repeatedly warns traders and buyers that they will spend the New Year in jail if caught violating the ban.

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