public surveys

93% of Filipinos entering 2022 with hope – SWS

Michelle Abad
93% of Filipinos entering 2022 with hope – SWS

NEW YEAR'S EVE. Fireworks light up Rizal Park in Manila to welcome 2020.


According to a Social Weather Stations survey held from December 12 to 16, 7% of Filipinos are entering 2022 with fear

MANILA, Philippines – Around 9 in 10 Filipinos are entering the year 2022 with hope rather than fear, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found.

The Fourth Quarter 2021 Social Weather Survey conducted from December 12 to 16 found that 93% of adult Filipinos had more hope than fear entering the new year – a small increase from 2020’s 91%.

The SWS said that the 2% increase from 2020 to 2021 was “not statistically significant.” Both figures are still lower than 2019’s 96% – the last new year season before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Meanwhile, 7% of Filipinos will enter 2022 with fear – unchanged from 2020.

Chart from SWS

In the tail-end of 2021, COVID-19 cases began to drop to early pandemic levels, and as such, the economy started to open up.

Still, some anxieties returned as Filipinos braced themselves for the entry of the Omicron variant that has been driving fresh surges in cases in several countries. As of December 27, the Philippines detected four cases of the reportedly more infectious variant of concern.

‘Happier’ Christmas

The December 2021 survey also found that 65% of Filipinos expected a “happy” Christmas, 8% expected a “sad” Christmas, and 22% expected it to be neither happy or sad.

Almost all, or 98% of those expecting a happy Christmas are entering the new year hopeful.

In 2020, only half of adult Filipinos were expecting a happy Christmas. The 8% is also a decrease from the 15% of Filipinos who expected a sad holiday season in the previous year.

This time in 2020, the Philippines had not embarked on its vaccination campaign. The Philippine Statistics Authority had also recorded the Philippine economy’s worst contraction since World War II, falling by 9.5% in 2020.

Where hope didn’t rise

In Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, and the Visayas, the SWS found that hope had increased from 2020 to 2021.

Mindanao’s hopefuls, however, stagnated in the two years.

  • Metro Manila: 95% hopeful in 2021 (from 90% in 2020)
  • Balance Luzon: 93% hopeful in 2021 (from 92% in 2020)
  • Visayas: 90% hopeful in 2021 (from 88% in 2020)
  • Mindanao: 93% hopeful in 2021 (unchanged from 93% in 2020)
Chart from SWS

During the survey period, Typhoon Odette began to ravage at least 38 provinces mostly in the Visayas, and Mindanao, affecting more than 1.4 million families and damaging more than 500,000 houses. Odette’s first of at least nine landfalls was on December 16 – the last day of the SWS survey.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council estimated more than P5.3 billion in damage to agriculture. (READ: IN NUMBERS: The aftermath of Typhoon Odette)

Some choose to spend blue Christmas helping fellow islanders on Siargao

Some choose to spend blue Christmas helping fellow islanders on Siargao

As for educational groups, all had increased their hope for the new year, except for non-elementary graduates.

2022 is also the year Filipinos will elect new leaders, including a new president.

The non-commissioned Fourth Quarter 2021 Social Weather Survey – conducted among 1,440 adults or 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao – has sampling error margins of ±2.6% for national percentages, and ±5.2% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

SWS said that the area estimates were weighted by the Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2021 to obtain the national estimates. –

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer with the investigative unit of Rappler. She also covers overseas Filipinos and the rights of women and children.