A GALLUP International’s 41st annual global year-end poll showed the Philippines still perched in the third spot with a +84 net happiness score in the top 10 happiest countries of 2017.

The same poll showed a five-point increase and for the Philippines, which recorded a +79 net happiness score in the year 2016.

Likewise, the Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey conducted on December 8-16, 2017 posted a record high 96% of adult Filipinos saying they are entering 2018 with hope rather than with fear.

It’s not really surprising given that Pinoy’s are known to look at the bright side of things, epitomized by our warm smiles.

In fact just a few years ago, the Embassy Of Chile had organized a unique photo exhibit at the University of Sto. Tomas to celebrate the positive qualities of the Filipino heart through their smiles.

A crew of TV journalists from Finland, who did a documentary in Payatas dumpsite, had noted that it was unique among the poorest areas in the world that they visited: that instead of engaging in a life of crime many of the people are doing something to survive, with smile on their faces.

How we develop that kind of positive outlook may never be fully explained. What is more important is that we remain that way.

It seems that Filipinos know instinctively what deaf-blind author Helen Keller had to say about happiness: “Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

In short, happiness is not something you find outside yourself.

Would you rather stay grumpy or happy? It’s up to you.