Boga (noisemaker)

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A boga made of tin cans with igniter attached

The boga or PVC cannon is a noisemaker popular during New Year celebrations in the Philippines. Use of the device has been banned by the Philippine government since 2006.[1]

Originating from the province of Cavite,[2] the device is made from a length of pipe of substantial diameter mated to a toy gun. Denatured alcohol (sometimes paint thinner or acetone) is squirted or sprayed into the pipe's breech end and ignited by the toy gun's trigger mechanism which is connected to a piezo igniter or by putting small fire.[3] The combination of air and flammable fuel in the pipe's enclosed space when ignited by a spark from the trigger mechanism or by small fire causes the fuel-air mixture to combust, resulting in a loud, booming sound.

The first prototype is made from segmented tin cans connected with packaging tapes or electrical tapes and cut PET bottles (which is still used) and later design is made of PVC pipes. Other modifications of boga are introduced such as firing round projectiles which can be used as a weapon and pet bottles as breech end.

Ban and injuries[edit]

The Department of Health has repeatedly warned against use of the noisemaker, which they deem to be dangerous as its use carries a risk of blast or burn injury. A ban was ordered on 27 December 2005 against the use of the devices for the impending New Year celebrations. Officials cited a variety of possible injuries from use of the device, mostly involving delayed explosions to the facial region resulting in eye injury, among others. Post-traumatic conjunctivitis was cited as one of the noted effects.[3]

Users of the device mostly are children and teenage boys, tend to prematurely open the boga whenever it fails to fire, causing any delayed blasts to fire upon the unsuspecting user's face. Of 178 firecracker-related injuries recorded for the 2006 season (as of December 28) so far, eighteen percent were confirmed to have been caused by use of boga.[4] In December 2007, health department officials maintained the ban on the devices, reminding the public with press releases, flyers and awareness campaigns.[1][3]

The PVC cannon is a prohibited weapon in the Australian state of New South Wales, along with other devices which are designed to propel or launch a bomb, grenade, rocket or missile by any means other than an explosive.[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b ""Bawal ang Boga", DOH says this holiday season". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  2. ^ "Pinoys find another way to welcome the New Year". Manila Bulletin Online. 2005-12-31. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b c Santos, Tina (2006-12-27). "'Boga' may be in, but beware of consequences". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  4. ^ Crisostomo, Shiela (2006-12-29). "Metro Police Chief Orders Ban on PVC Cannons". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  5. ^ WEAPONS PROHIBITION ACT 1998 (NSW) Sched 1, s.2(3).