INNATELY, we Filipinos in general are happy and buoyant people because of the way we view life. A survey showed that despite poverty, 86 percent of Filipinos are more content with their lives than other Asians. Why are we, Filipinos happier than those from Asian neighbors? Well, Dr. Ly Sycip, one of the well known psychologists from UP Department of Psychology explained some reasons.

In the past, Sycip says, many people assume that economics is the be-all of existence. "Psychologists like Abraham Maslow (Hierarchy of needs theory) believed that you have to fulfill certain level of needs before you can move on to the next point.

Post your reaction to the Manila hostage crisis

Now that, of course, is being questioned in the Philippine context kasi karamihan sa ating Pinoy ay mahihirap. Kung tingnan natin pati yung mga basic needs nila kagaya ng need of shelter at ang mga nilalaman nito are not met," she says. Then if you follow Maslow's theory, sasabihin natin na ang taong ito ay hindi na capable to experience fulfillment or the need for social relationships. Pero pag tinitingnan natin ang kapwa Pinoy, this is not true." Sycip says that it may be true that Pinoys are happy despite being poor because Filipinos can really do away with material things. Pinoys are not really materialistic, although, sometimes our desire to have material things is there. Pero, kung wala, okey lang. Pinoys are used to simple life.

If we can recall how our former First Lady Imelda Marcos described us, "Filipinos are happy people. If you look around you, you will see them laughing and they are all smiling" she quotes.

In terms of positive affect, masasaya ang mga tao noon. And even Filipinos now, if you look at yung mga kaganapan sa atin ngayon - despite of so many problems, walang tubig, yong nakaraang dalawang bagyo and so many things get damaged and died, mga car accidents, maraming namatay, sa katatapos na hostage drama, despite sa maraming namatay na dayuhan, mayroon pa rin nangyaring kodakan sa gitna ng karumaldumal na kaganapan, and...still if you look around, marami ka pa ring makikitang nakatawa at nakangiti...

Filipinos have that strong faith in God. We look toward God to help them come by. We even leave everything to Him when things come to worse...We often hear these words from people around us...."bahala na ang Diyos sa kanila". We believe that there is the Almighty who will, in the end, decide for us. So in a way we don't have to worry so much.

We also have the family and circle of friends whom we rely and draw lots of strength in times of trouble and in times of need. Filipinos have that feeling that you are not the only one responsible for yourself. We can turn to friends for help. Pinoys have strong kinship ties and a high sense of pakikisama. This is one mechanism for Filipinos to get fulfillment in life.

One thing that makes Pinoys happier, we are high on interpersonal bonds or camaraderie. Interpersonal relationships give us the chance to connect ourselves with the rest of the world, regardless of race and color.

Whatever other peoples and the foreign media call us, whether we are "unggoy" or we have a "shattered culture," Pinoys will remain happy because we value happiness or joviality more than anything else. Where else you can see people who always complain, but they also are always smiling.... OF COURSE ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES! Have a happy weekend, parents!