More than half of adult Filipinos are expecting a happier Christmas this year compared to 2020, according to the latest results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Friday, Dec. 24.
The nationwide survey done face-to-face among 1,440 respondents from December 12-16, 2021 found that 65 percent of adult Filipinos expect Christmas to be happy, 8 percent expect it to be sad while 22 expect it to be neither happy nor sad.
SWS said that the 65 percent who are expecting a happy Christmas is 15 points above the record low of 50 percent in 2020.
However, 42 percent believe that Christmas is not as happy now compared to pre-pandemic times.
"The survey found 42 percent saying Christmas is not as happy now as before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, 25 percent saying it is the same now as before, and 26 percent saying Christmas is happier now than before," SWS stated.
It explained that the expectation of a happy Christmas was a record-high at 82 percent when first surveyed in 2002 and declined to 77 percent in 2003 and to a 62 to 69 percent range from 2004 to 2013 before it improved to 71 percent in 2014 and 79 percent in 2019. It dropped to a record-low 50 percent in 2020 before rising to 65 percent this year.
Meanwhile, SWS said that the 8 percent that expect a sad Christmas is 7 points below the record-high 15 percent in 2020.
"The expectation of a sad Christmas was customarily at single-digits, ranging from 2 percent to 9 percent. It reached double-digits only in 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2020, ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent," SWS said.
The 22 percent expecting Christmas to be neither happy nor sad is 11 points below the record-high 33 percent in 2020.
SWS also noted that the percentage of those expecting a happy Christmas rose to majorities in all areas: it is highest in the Visayas at 68 percent, followed by Balance Luzon at 67 percent, Metro Manila at 61 percent, and Mindanao at 60 percent.
It added that the expectation of a happy Christmas rose in the Visayas, from a record-low 57 percent in 2020 to 68 percent in 2021.It also rose in Balance Luzon, from a record-low 42 percent in 2020 to 67 percent in 2021. While in Metro Manila, it went from a record-low 36 percent in 2020 to 61 percent in 2021. Meanwhile, it fell in Mindanao, from 65 percent in 2020 to 60 percent in 2021.
The survey also found 51 percent prefer not to attend in-person gatherings with family and friends from other homes, and 46 percent said that they will be doing so.