What Make Filipinos Happy?

According to the recent Happiness Index and Positive Experience Index (2015), Filipinos are considered one of the happiest in the world. There are many empirical evidence supporting this, including the magnitude of resilence and effectiveness of Filipinos in coping with several calamities and personal challenges. There are ofcourse scepticism on these researches, given that happiness could not even be measured objectively, and even more difficult to be compared. Happiness is indeed subjective, such that it is experienced differently among various persons with unique backgrounds and histories. Therefore, it is a challenge to make a summary or list of what makes one happy for a certain group of people, such as Filipinos. However, there are similarities among Filipinos that one could deduce effectively to answer what makes Filipinos happy. This is the focus of this blogpost.

Family counts first.

Family is most powerful source of motivation and happiness for Filipinos. More importantly,  it makes people sacrifice for the common good of the entire family. It is therefore comprehensible that Filipinos are coping well and have a great resilience whenever challenges and problems come, due to the large size of each Filipino family. The larger the family, the better for Filipinos, because there is so much strength to draw from. This eventually provides one the happiness one thinks is necessary to continue and even survive. Interestingly, most of the countries, who are the happiest in the world share with Filipinos in this aspect. This is ofcourse not a general rule because there are other factors that need to considered as well.

Economic stability is a great factor.

It is not unusual that almost ten percent of the Filipino population work and live outside the Philippines to seek for greener pasture. Many would sacrifice to achieve economic stability not just for oneself but primarily of the family one belongs. Working conditions may not necessarily be ideal, as long as the work yields the salary and some benefits, one considers reasonable to justify the hardwork and stress. Money is not a primary driving force, but gaining something concrete and explainable as a result of an action is a must for Filipinos. One aspect of Filipinos, which could be admirable is that Filipinos never give up, not until they achieve the economic improvement they expect they deserve.

Freedom to do what one thinks is right and necessary.

This includes many things such as religion or ability to express oneself. There is so much freedom that everyone wants, such that sometimes chaos results. People want to do anything what they believe is right and necessary. This becomes complicated when some do not know how to respect differences of each other. Many believe that if one thing is right, so others must also do the same. Because of this, for the sake of unimaginable reasons, people persuade others to act in a manner others could not understand. That is just it in the Filipino society. If you believe on something, say and make others do the same.

Recreation and time with others add spice.

Free time in the Philippines flies faster than time itself. Anyone could do something with another. Talking is almost limitless. It is therefore than Filipino men are almost equally talkative with Filipino women. Drinking and eating is part of socialization. Anything could happen, which forms part of the memories of one person. Some of those who could afford travel do this as often alone or with others. The best part of it is not just the experience but also the way Filipinos share this experience even after the event or situation with others.

To leave a mark for oneself and others.

Personal achievements are the driving force of every Filipino. Every small progress in any one's life is celebrated by in any way. Birthdays, semestral end, after passing an exam, or even the first month of life or relationship are celebrated. More important is the confidence one gains after fulfilling a goal for oneself or for others. Even in the most impoverished areas, in the homes of families, one could see a glimpse of the best of a family member has achieved hanged or displayed for others to see.

There are many things not included in this list ofcourse. There are things that are more important for others and are not for some. The needs and wants of each Filipino varies as well. It is a difficult task after all to make this list. This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Personally, given that I presently live in Norway, there are things that I appreciate more today than before, to the point it may not be typical for the majority of Filipinos to care about. Lastly, I could say that what makes a race in general happy are the same things that define the Filipino society. Those are the things that make the Filipino nation unique, happier and more resilient than others.


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