Thomasian-led pyrotechnics team wins international fireworks competition

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Photo grabbed from Carl Desjardin and Ben Leroux

TWO THOMASIANS clinched the grand prize in the 34th L’International des Feux Loto-Québec 2018 in Montreal, Canada.

Their show, titled “Of Games and Thrones,” took on a mixture of game and royalty inspired by the popular TV series “Game of Thrones,” the musical “The Greatest Showman” and the video game “Mortal Kombat.”

Fine Arts alumni Don Miguel Villarosa and John Oliver Zeng, part of the fireworks company Dragon Fireworks, Inc., led the team in the competition on July 21 at the La Ronde amusement park.

“We are really proud of this achievement, especially because the jury and locals said that it was one of the best shows they’d seen in the competition’s 34 years,” Villarosa, the show designer, told the Varsitarian.

Dubbed as the “Olympic games” of pyrotechnics, L’International des Feux Loto-Québec is the world’s largest fireworks competition.

For their choice of music and synchronization, the team also won the Best in Soundtrack trophy.

With a total of 9,525 cues (the number of signals a computer sends to create a firing sequence) across its 30-minute duration, the production was Dragon Fireworks’s most complex performance to date, according to Villarosa.

Before the feat, however, the team’s victory was nearly derailed when a shipment problem forced them to redesign their show. It took the assistance of some of the other teams to help them get back on track, Villarosa narrated.

Dragon Fireworks was the first Southeast Asian team to enter the competition, and the first Asian country to win the Gold Jupiter Trophy since China in 1992.

Dragon Fireworks bested four other pyrotechnic companies in the competition, including steyrFire from Austria, Apogée from Canada, Dancing Fireworks Group from China and Pyrotecnico from USA.

Villarosa and Zeng, who finished advertising arts in 2009, were fresh graduates when they were recruited by Dragon Fireworks, Inc.

They manage the University’s pyromusical events, which have become an annual Thomasian spectacle since their introduction during the University’s Quadricentennial Celebration in 2011.

They have received awards such as the Gold Trophy and People’s Choice Award at the 2013 Pyronale World Fireworks Championship in Berlin and the Gold Trophy at the 2015 Flammende Sterne (Flaming Star) International Fireworks Competition in Ostfildern.

Dragon Fireworks is gearing up for competition at the Festival D’Art Pyrotechnique Cannes, Europe’s biggest international fireworks competition, on Aug 24.

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