MUSIC brings the traditional snap, crackle and pop of fireworks display even more alive and exciting.

Fireworks has become an important instrument for Filipinos in celebrating grand events such as New Year’s Eve and milestone anniversaries.

For the Thomasian community, it has become a trademark in such events as Paskuhan and Baccalaureate Mass.

In 2010, the country witnessed a new kind of pyrotechnic show, integrating music to form what is now known as a “pyromusical.” This was the first Philippine International Pyromusical Competition.

Since then, pyromusical shows have become popular.

During the Quadricentennial festivities in 2011, Thomasians witnessed a multi-site pyro-musical fireworks display at the Grandstand, Main Bldg, Santissimo Rosario Parish Church. and Arch of the Centuries. It was the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Designed by Fine Arts alumni John Oliver Zeng and Don Miguel Villarosa, the display was mounted by Dragon Fireworks, Inc., which has since become the official pyrotechnic partner of the University.

“You can really see the evolution of fireworks in the Philippines. Back then, you need to do it manually through igniting the fireworks one by one. They actually used lucis,” said Zeng.

Zeng explained the process of mounting pyromusical displays to Engineering students in a brief talk called “Fireworks Ignition Systems," part of the Mechatronics and Robotics Exposition organized by the UST Mechatronics and Robotics Circle.

The Advertising Arts alumnus said he and Villarosa work together to make sure that the set-up of the fireworks fully coordinates with the “time sheet” they set up, complete with the codes and the type of firecracker that should be launched.

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Villarosa and Zeng were both featured in the Varsitarian’s Neo-Centennial supplement “Toward 500” as the people behind the magnificent pyro-musical, “Chariots of Fire,” in 2012.

“Unlike other companies, Dragon Fireworks has been using an old firing system with wires that could signal sounds from meters away,” said Zeng,.

He also explained that Dragon Fireworks has been producing pyrotechnic shows for the University since 2007.

“It was a big break for us (Villarosa and Zeng) since we just graduated in 2009,” Zeng said.

Dragon Fireworks is the first and only ISO-certified firework manufacturer in Southeast Asia.

It represented the Philippines in the 2013 World Pyronale Fireworks Competition in Germany, defeating big-time firework manufacturers from China, Greece and Spain.

“It was the first time Filipinos joined a pyromusical championship, and winning it put the cherry on top of the cake. This win raised the quality of the country’s skills in producing pyrotechnic displays against others,” Zeng said.

Using CGI simulation, Zeng and Villarosa visualized the outcome of the display before the actual set-up.

"With producing pyro-musicals, the choice of music is up to the clients, and then we work our magic on the choreography to produce a knock-out show,” Zeng said.

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