Filipinos still have high hopes for 2010, SWS survey says

Filipinos, notwithstanding bad predictions for the coming year, remain hopeful for 2010. (Photo from http://www.sha.swisscham.org/sha/images/tigerchinese.gif)

Antipolo City, Philippines—“Happy, Happy New Year Sa U! 2010 na. Mag-move on na tayo sa lahat ng depressions/frustrations last year. Fresh start! Faiths, hopes, and love for a bigger, better, brighter 2010! (Happy New Year to you! It is 2010 now! Let’s move on from our depressions/frustrations. [It will be a] fresh start! Faith, hope and love for a bigger, better, brighter 2010),” messaged a good friend, Ma. Jemimah Peñaranda before the year 2009 ends.

It is not only Mimah, as her friends call her, who has a positive outlook for the year 2010. According to the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, 89 percent of Filipinos are hopeful that their lives will be better in the Year of the Tiger.

The survey that was conducted from December 5 to 10, 2009 shows that Filipinos in Luzon and the Visayas, includin Muslim-dominated Mindanao, share a sense of high hopes for this year.

Though it was 2 and 3 points lower than the results of the years 2006-2007 and 2008 respectively, it is still much higher, by 2 and 1 point respectively, than the years 2000 and 2001.

The SWS said that in December 2002, “New Year hope” reached record-high of 95 percent before declining to 90 percent in December 2003 and slumping to 81 percent by the end of December 2004. It rebounded to 85 percent in 2005 and to 91 percent in 2006.

Hope with the “Tiger”

Though Chinese astrologers predict Year 2010 as a tougher and more chaotic year than the year of the Ox, the SWS survey shows that hopes for the New Year are high in all areas – 90 percent in Luzon, 88 percent in Visayas, and 87 percent in both Metro Manila and Mindanao.

Comparing the results from last year, the New Year hope of the residents of Metro Manila hardly changed, from 89 to 87 percent, as well as in Balance Luzon, from 92 to 90 percent.

Meanwhile, in the Visayas and in Mindanao, New Year hope is slightly down from last year as fear for the coming New Year increased stated the SWS survey.

Hopefulness about the coming year is six points down from 94 percent in 2008, to 88 percent in 2009 in the Visayas, while in Mindanao it is five points less—from 92 percent in 2008 to 87 in 2009.

Muslims are more fearful for the year to come

Apparently, Islamic communities are more fearful for the coming New Year, compared to other religions. It is said that 31 percent of the Muslims surveyed who said that they will enter 2010 with fear rather than with hope. It is higher than of the 10 percent among both Roman Catholics and other Christians who are also entering the New Year with fear.

Hope based on social status

In terms of class or social status, hope for the New Year is slightly higher among middle-to-upper classes ABC (91npercent) than among masa class D (89 percent) and very poor class E (87 percent).

The survey shows that the 91 percent among classes ABC, who are hopeful for the New Year, is similar to the 92 percent posted in 2008.

Those who belong to classes D and E had declined by 2 and 3 points, respectively.

Nevertheless, those who expressed fear in entering the New Year slightly increased in 2009, up four points to 11percent from 7-8 percent from 2006 to 2008.

Among class, E, New Year hope is also three points down from 90 percent in 2008 to 87 percent in 2009. (Dateline Philippines; another report can be read at CBCP News)