Opinion

Hope amid crisis

Hope amid crisis

Into the ninth month of coronavirus restrictions, and with at least half a year more of pandemic suffering ahead, 50 percent of Filipinos declared last month that they expected their Christmas to be “masaya” or happy.

It was a record low since pollster Social Weather Stations started taking nationwide surveys in 2002 on Filipinos’ outlook for Christmas. The previous low – 62 percent – was first recorded in 2005 and then in 2006, and again in 2013. The latest SWS poll, taken from Nov. 21 to 25 using face-to-face interviews with 1,500 respondents, also showed the percentage of respondents seeing a “sad” Christmas rising to a record high 15 percent.

The SWS earlier announced that in response to another question, 62 percent of Filipinos also believed that their quality of life got worse in the last 12 months.

While the outlook for today’s special occasion is grim for millions who have suffered sickness and death of loved ones and have lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic, Filipinos continue to hope for better times ahead. This is indicated by another survey taken by Pulse Asia from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2, which showed 91 percent of Filipinos facing the New Year with hope.

The figure is slightly lower than the 93 percent recorded by Pulse Asia in December 2019, but the same as in 2018. Since polling started in this country, Filipinos have consistently expressed high hopes for better times ahead at the end of each year.

Around the world, this year has been one of unprecedented crisis. But darkness always gives way to light. Today, families will gather again, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and spread the message of love and hope.

A blessed Christmas to all!