13 October 2007

What Makes Filipinos Happy?

Family, health and religion - and not sex - make Filipinos most happy, according to a new Philippine Happiness Index (PHI). The index was crafted by Dr. Romulo A. Virola, Secretary General of the National Statistical Coordination Board, and co-written with Jessamyn O. Encarnacion. The data supporting these findings were generated from a nonrandom poll of 167 respondents conducted during the National Convention on Statistics held on 1-2 October 2007. According to Virola, the PHI is likewise based on the premise that economic progress and happiness are not synonymous. But along with standard statistical queries, the index factored in friends, love life and sex life.

Below is a summary of what the nonrandom respondents tell us…


Interestingly, politics was found to be the least important source of happiness. Other unimportant domains are cultural activities, community and volunteer work and government. Leisure and sports - also surprisingly - is the 6th least important domain.

Other findings: many consider the enjoyment of sex not bad. Six out of 10 respondents think that progress is synonymous with happiness. Women are happier than men. And happiness rises with income.

A similar study - What Makes People Happy? - was conducted on the Nature of Happiness Among America's Young People from 16-23 April 2007 through the collaborative efforts of the Associated Press and MTV.

Guess what?

The survey which included 1,280 people aged 13 to 24 reveled that spending time with family was the top answer.

When asked what one thing makes them most happy, 20 percent mentioned spending time with family - more than anything else. About three-quarters - 73 percent - said their relationship with their parents makes them happy. After family, it was relationships with friends that people mentioned most.

These two studies clearly show that people, even from different cultures, find family, more than anything else on earth, as the ultimate source of happiness.

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