MANILA, Philippines – Despite the tourism department’s promotional tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” Rappler’s editor-at-large Marites Vitug says a United Nations report suggests otherwise.
Here’s her video blog.
Gusto ko, happy ka! That was Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s campaign slogan.
Enrile actually latched on to an important buzzword: happiness. A happiness index is fast catching the global imagination.
In the first ever World Happiness Report launched at the UN in April, more than 200 countries were ranked.
The happiest were all developed countries, most of them with bitter winters: Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands.
The saddest? They’re all poor countries: Togo, Benin, Central African Republic, and Sierra Leone.
The Report assures us, however, that over time, as living standards rise, happiness increases. The caveat is: this does not apply to all countries.
And where is the Philippines? We’re at the lower end of the pole, number 153, making us an unhappy country.
The Report says that “it’s not just wealth that makes people happy. It’s also political freedom, absence of corruption, and strong social networks.”
Our Southeast Asian neighbors are well ahead of us. Singapore ranks 33rd, Malaysia and Thailand 51st and 52nd, Vietnam is 65th, Myanmar is 75th and Indonesia 84th.
This is not very comforting.
Before we get depressed by this news, it may be good to know that our giant neighbor, China, is below us at number 162. At least, we’re happier than the bully.
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