In a few hours, we will all welcome another New Year here in the Philippines. By virtue of our location, the Philippines will be one of the first countries to greet 2009. If I'm not mistaken, it's still the Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati that will be the very first nation to celebrate the coming of 2009. Hmm, I wonder what it feels to be there and be able to be ahead of everbody else into the new year. Perhaps, one day I'll know.
In fact, by this time, it's already three hours into 2009 in Kiribati. This island nation was followed by the Chathams Islands (New Zealand). Then, Auckland (New Zealand); Nukualofa (Tonga); Wellington (New Zealand); Christchurch (New Zealand); and Rawaki (Kiribati - Phoenix Islands) followed almost an hour after.
Next to greet the new year are the cities of Suva (Fiji), Anadyr (Russia), Kamchatka (Russia), Majuro (Marshall Islands), Yaren (Nauru), Funafuti (Tuvalu), and Tarawa (Kiribati).
Then, Kingston (Australia - Norfolk Island);
Then, Sydney (Australia - New South Wales), Melbourne (Australia - Victoria), Canberra (Australia - Australian Capital Territory), Hobart (Australia - Tasmania), Port Vila (Vanuatu), Honiara (Solomon Islands), Palikir (Micronesia - Ponape), Noumea (France - New Caledonia), Lord Howe Island (Australia - Lord Howe Island);
Then, Adelaide (Australia);
The cities of Brisbane (Australia - Queensland), Vladivostok (Russia), Guam (U.S.A. - Mariana Islands), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Saipan (U.S.A. - Northern Mariana Islands), Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Russia) are 26 minutes away from 2009;
Darwin (Australia) is a few minutes behind;
On the other hand, Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (South Korea), Perth (Australia - Western Australia), Dili (Timor-Leste), Jayapura (Indonesia - Papua), Koror (Palau), Osaka (Japan), Yokohama (Japan), Sapporo (Japan), Nagoya (Japan), Kobe (Japan), Kyoto (Japan), Pyongyang (North Korea), Taegu (South Korea), Pusan (South Korea), Kitakyushu (Japan), Kawasaki (Japan), Incheon (South Korea), Fukuoka (Japan), Hiroshima (Japan), Ternate (Indonesia - Halmahera) and other nearby countries follow suit. They are an hour and half away from starting their celebration.
Back here in the Pearl of the Orient Seas, major cities led by Makati, Taguig, and Quezon cities are now all geared up for their own countdowns patterned to their more famous counterparts all over the world. AND WE ARE JUST TWO HOURS & A HALF AWAY FROM DOING SO. I know my home-city of Naga in CamSur is also ready for its own countdown, albeit more modest perhaps than the cities above.
Joining us are the people from Beijing (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Shanghai (China), Singapore (Singapore), Hong Kong (China), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Denpasar (Indonesia - Bali), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Manado (Indonesia - Sulawesi), Balikpapan (Indonesia - Kalimantan), Shenzhen (China), Zibo (China), Zhengzhou (China), Wuhan (China), Tsingtao (China), Tianjin (China), Tangshan (China), Taiyuan (China), and Sian (China).
On to the major cities around the world. Jakarta, Hanoi, and Bangkok are 3 hours away. Yangon is almost 4 hours away. New Delhi is almost 5 hours away. Dubai is 6 hours away. Moscow is 7 hours away. Cairo, Bucharest, Athens, and Johannesburg are 8 hours away. Brussels, Rome, Madrid, Paris, Geneva, and Budapest are 9 hours away. London is 10 hours away. Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro are half a day away. Washington, New York, Havana, Detroit, and Toronto are 15 hours away. Most American and Canadian cities, like Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver, are just a few hours behind the Big Apple and the Capital.
US President-elect Barack Obama and his family who are in Hawaii right now will be able to celebrate the changing of the year almost a day after most of us had already done so. Hmm, who says those who finish last are losers? :)
Then, at the end of the line are the cities of Alofi (Niue), Apia (Samoa), and Pago Pago (U.S.A. - American Samoa).
There you go. Feel free to add your own city not mentioned here though.
AT ANY RATE, WHEREVER YOU ARE NOW, MAY I, TOGETHER WITH MY FAMILY, GREET YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
ALL THE BEST & CHEERS!
PROSPERITY AND PEACE TO ALL MANKIND!
By the way, here are some of the videos we took last year:
2008 Happy New Year Manila: 20 Mins to Midnight
2008 Happy New Year Manila: Pasay & Manila bay area Part 0
2008 Happy New Year Manila: Manila bay area Part 1