The series of disasters that shook the county in 2013 were described as “successive and overlapping” and left billions of dollars in damages and thousands of families grieving because of the loss of loved ones.
Typhoon Yolanda, easily the most disastrous calamity of the year, may go down in history as the worst natural disaster and the strongest typhoon in history to make a landfall has left devastations that will take years to recover from and billions of pesos to return victims to normalcy, if it were ever possible. The losses left deep emotional wounds that would take years to heal.
Typhoon Santi might have already escaped the memories of many ranks second which “tore into the country’s northeast east in the last quarter of last years and left its mark”. It was not as widely reported as Typhoon Yolanda because the earthquake that hit the province of Bohol, the number 5 on the list, overshadowed it. Then came Labuyo, which was overshadowed by Typhoon Maring , the fourth on the list, which wreaked havoc on the country’s already devastated agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
Earthquakes are nothing new in the Philippines and certainly the Bohol earthquake was the most devastating in living memory to have damaged dozens of ancient heritage structures and not sparing even the famous Chocolate Hills.
Then there was Typhoons Odette, the second most devastating next to Yolanda and Typhoon Vinta which battered Northern Luzon “just as the Filipinos everywhere were preparing for all Soul’s Day.”
Despite the multiple whammies, the Filipinos true to their nature whose pliancy is compared to the bamboo, bent with the disastrous devastations but did not break. Being pliant is only one of the sterling attributes of the Filipino race. They are certainly more anchored to the ground because of what many say “their deeply seated ability to exhibit unexplainable optimism in facing catastrophes”.
The Philippines is among the happiest countries in the world – Gallup Survey
Despite the calamities of 2013, a Gallup poll of 138 countries ranked the Philippines as among “the happiest countries in the world” scoring 80 in the pollster’s “Positive Experience Index” sharing the honors with its Asian neighbors Indonesia and Thailand.
This is in spite of super Tyhoon Yolanda and other calamities that ravaged the country that claimed over 6,000 lives.
Gallup asked thousands of those polled in each participating country “whether they experienced positive emotion the previous day”.
Joining the list of top happiest countries are Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, Venezuela, and El Salvador with Paraguay leading the poll three years in a row.
The least happy country is Syria which is in the midst of a civil war.
Seven in 10 adults worldwide, according to the report, “experienced “lots of enjoyment, laughing or smiling a lot, feeling well-rested, and being treated with respect” and majority (at 51 percent) saying “they learned or did something interesting the day before”.
The United Nations ranks the Philippines 92nd of 156 countries in its happiness index from 2010 to 2012. Norway is the happiest county listed with the United States in the 12th position.