Filipinos polled the Happiest

I am subscribed to ebalita where I receive daily Philippine news on my e-mail to keep me slightly updated on what's going on in our country (& where I haven't sent any single donation to help maintain the site). Slightly because I seldom read the real issues on politics (normally leaning on the bad news) & there's this one article that I found interesting on last week's updates. The Filipinos ranked no. 6 on the world's happiest people!

According to a recent poll covering 50 countries from World Values Survey, the Filipinos are in the top ten world's happiest people & the happiest Asians. Top on the poll is Venezuela, followed by Nigeria, Ireland, Iceland, Netherlands, Philippines ranking 6th, Australia, USA, Turkey & Switzerland. Read more here on the article "Are we the happiest?"

It didn't really make me wonder so much but found it a little surprising. Despite of the whirlwind of crisis the Philippines is now facing, the study shows that "Filipinos are very happy about their lifestyle." When I really thought about it, it is amazingly true that the Philippines, although sourrounded with poverty, a political mess & an economy constantly on the edge, the Filipinos still do remain happy people. Naturally, we still feel a heavy atmosphere of struggle but it seems that it does not get in the way of their being happy & a smile always forming on their lips. Then, I thought of the things that personally made me a happy Filipino.

For one thing, Filipinos are very spiritual by nature & I strongly believe that this spirituality is one of the many reasons that keeps the burden lighter in our day to day living. There is that faith of knowing that there is somebody bigger out there & it saves us the stress of trying to control everything. This same faith that results to optimism & gratitude for what we have. I noticed that there are a few religious people here in France, and even fewer in spirituality. Somehow, it go figures why a lot of them are stressed & unsatisfied. Not that I have to convince them to join the spiritual club, but it is probably the stress of controlling everything & being unhappy when they can't.

Another thing that triggers happiness to Filipinos would be the circle of family & friends. They are our support group. Just knowing that we are not alone already eases the burden. We are so family oriented that having them is one of our greatest teasures. And what about friends to help you forget for one moment the harsh realities of life? To enjoy a hard day's work (or maybe not so hard) with a drink on a mid-week break while we let the traffic pass?

And there's also culture. Our bahala na si batman is one attitude that really stands out. It is good & bad at the same time because professionally, it's a little difficult to work with somebody having this attitude but it is something that also doesn't get in the way of living. We pounce to circumstances with this attitude to just get over something, or because we just really don't know what to do and apparently, we always do have fun along the way. But are Filipinos always responsible for the outcome of this risky attitude? Of course! They have an innate ability to always worm they way out of anything. All Saint's Day can be one of the portaits of Filipino's relation to life: a day to celebrate living.

But in the end, there's acceptance. Acceptance that is more on hopelessness. With the rate the Philippines is going, how accurate is this survey? A country where the middle class has disappeared & the rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer, consistently being corrupted by government officials, terrorists threatening one of our biggest profits on foreign investments & tourism, increasing unemployment rate & where the salary never compliments the increasing standard of living. Where there are more & more Filipinos striving to get out of the country which apparently turned out to be now one of our country's biggest profit.

Are Filipinos really happy? In the Philippines, happiness is relative & subjective.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.

1 comment:

  1. Hello.

    Glad to know that you are an eBalita subscriber! Hope you are getting your daily dose of eBalita. If not, please re-subscribe by going to the website.

    Also, can you do me a favor and put a link to eBalita on your blog?

    Maraming salamat!