(Updated 5:26 p.m.) Poverty, pollution, natural calamities, corrupt politicians, armed unrest in certain areas—Filipinos deal with all of these and yet have come out near the top of a worldwide poll on happiness.
According to US-based poll takers Gallup, Filipinos have some of the highest positive emotions worldwide, with a score of 80 on its Positive Experience Index.
Gallup conducted the survey in 143 countries last year, holding telephone or face-to-face interviews with around 1,000 individuals for each country. To compile the Index, Gallup asked the respondents the following questions:
Did you feel well-rested yesterday?
Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?
Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?
Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?
Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? What about enjoyment?
The company compiled the “yes” answers to create the Positive Index Score for each country. According to Gallup, the index score for the world is 71.
Latin American countries dominated the list. Paraguay is at the top with a score of 89 points, followed by Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala (84 points each); Honduras, Panama and Venezuela (82); Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua (81); and the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay with 80 points each.
The Philippines also got 80 points in 2013.
Asked to comment on the poll, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, “Siyempre po dapat nating ikagalak ang nabatid nating balita hinggil diyan, dahil sa pagitan naman siguro ng kagalakan at kalungkutan, mas marami ang pipili palagi ‘nung kagalakan at pagiging masaya.”
Noting that the countries at the top of the list are not the world’s wealthiest, Gallup said that its Positive Experience Index “is designed to measure the things GDP [Gross Domestic Product] was not intended to measure”, such as “respect, laughing and smiling a lot, and learning or doing something interesting—some of the key drivers of positive emotions are things such as freedom, social capital and charitable giving—all things that make a life worth living.” — Barbara Marchadesch with a report by Kathryn Mae P. Tubadeza/LBG, GMA News
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