Filipino People: Looking Forward with a Smile
Filipino people are considered one of the happiest people in the planet. Despite being a developing country, with an economy rising by a less than 5% per year, for some weird reason, it is common to see everyone give you a warm smile.
I guess it might be because Filipinos are naturally positive people. They have this natural ability to look past problems and troubles and see the good in everything. Parents bring up their children with the natural thinking that “things would go better”.
Filipino people are a celebrating people. For Filipinos, there’s always a reason to celebrate. We not only celebrate birthdays and normal holidays like Christmas, Easter and New Year, we celebrate school graduations (even moving-up to a higher grade level), getting accepted at a job, getting a promotion, leaving the country to work in another, arriving in the country after a long time of working abroad, winning a contest, placing 8th place in a contest (seriously), passing an exam, and the list goes on forever. Some people also prepare a special meal just because a friend or family member will be visiting.
Because Filipinos love celebration, it is not surprising that we can be a pretty cheerful bunch. We see each success as something important and something worth celebrated. It is like looking at every milestone in life as important, no matter how small or big it is. Filipinos also love week-long or month-long celebrations. We usually have the Christmas spirit by the time the month has a –ber at the end (September, October, November, and December). We usually start decorations and carols around this time, and everyone seems to be extra cheerful. Many plan reunions with past classmates and relatives, especially those who do not live close by together.
It is heart-warming to see normal people smile in the Philippines. Filipino people, despite hardships during the day will not need any reason to smile at you. There had been many instances in my life that I had been helped by a smile. It might be that street food vendor asking you about your day, or that bus operator telling you that you might be able to finally sit down at the next bus stop. It could be the fast food cashier who you asked extra ketchup from or the police officer gracefully dancing in the middle of the street as he signals the cars on their way.
Because the Philippines is such in a bad state, Filipino people learned to appreciate good times that come their way. We do not only experience great economic adversity, but we are yearly devastated with floods, earthquakes and typhoons. Even in the face of difficulty and misfortune, we can find a bright smile. It seems like the Filipino spirit is strong enough to withstand all these calamities.
This is not to say that Filipinos do not feel depression. Of course we do. Even at the best of times, there is something bound to ruin your day. Filipinos are happy-go-lucky though, and many try to shrug off their problems by staying positive and smiling. If I can be proud of one trait that the Filipino people has, it is the ability to stay positive. I myself had been in touch with the bad cases in life, but if you trust that things would be better tomorrow, a smile would really not be that impossible to produce.