, February 08, 2023

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SWS: 73% of Adult Pinoys See a Happy Christmas


  •   10 min reads
SWS: 73% of Adult Pinoys See a Happy Christmas
By Social Weather Station
  • Still below the 2019 pre-pandemic level of 79%
  • 49% say Christmas is happier now than in pre-pandemic times
  • 64% will be attending in-person gatherings, up from 46% in 2021
  • 84% will not be traveling

The national Social Weather Survey of December 10-14, 2022, found 73% of adult Filipinos expecting this coming Christmas to be happy (masaya), 7% expecting it to be sad (malungkot), and 19% expecting it to be neither happy nor sad [Chart 1, Table 1].

The 73% expecting a happy Christmas is 8 points above the 65% in 2021, and 23 points above the record-low 50% in 2020. However, it is still 6 points below the pre-pandemic level of 79% in 2019.

The expectation of a happy Christmas was a record-high 82% when first surveyed by SWS in 2002. It declined to 77% in 2003 and fell to a 62-69% range from 2004 to 2013 before it improved to a 71-79% range from 2014 to 2019. It dropped to a record-low 50% in 2020 before rising to 65% in 2021 and 73% in 2022.

On the other hand, 7% expect a sad Christmas, hardly moving from 8% in 2021. It is 8 points below the record-high 15% in 2020.

The expectation of a sad Christmas was customarily at single-digit levels, ranging from 2% to 9%. It reached double-digits only in 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2020, ranging from 10% to 15%.

49% say Christmas is happier now than in pre-pandemic times

The December 2022 survey found 49% saying Christmas is happier now than before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, 28% saying it is the same now as before, and 21% saying Christmas is not as happy now as before [Chart 2].

Compared to 2021, those saying Christmas is happier now than in pre-pandemic time rose from 26%, while those saying it is not as happy now as before fell sharply from 42%.

61% will be attending in-person gatherings with family and friends from other homes

The survey found 61% saying they will be attending in-person gatherings with family and friends from other homes and 38% saying they will not be doing so [Chart 3].

Compared to 2021, those saying they will be attending in-person gatherings with family and friends from other homes rose from 46%, while those saying they will not be doing so fell from 51%.

84% will not be traveling to visit family and friends

The December 2022 survey also found 84% saying they will not be traveling to visit their family and friends this Christmas and 15% saying they will be doing so [Chart 4].

This is similar to 2021 when 84% said they would not be traveling to visit their family and friends, and 13% said they would be doing so.

Expectation of a happy Christmas is higher among those attending in-person gatherings

The percentage of those who expect a happy Christmas is 80% among those who will be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends from other homes, higher than the 63% among those who will not be doing so [Chart 5].

Compared to 2021, those who expect a happy Christmas hardly changed from 82% among those who said they would be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends from other homes, while it rose from 52% among those who said they would not be doing so.

Expectation of a happy Christmas rises among those who will not be traveling

The percentage of those who expect a happy Christmas is 73%, both among those who will be traveling to visit their family and/or friends, and among those who will not be doing so.

Compared to 2021, those who expect a happy Christmas did not change from 73% among those who would be traveling to visit their family and/or friends, while it rose from 65% among those who would not be doing so.

Those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times are higher among those attending in-person gatherings

The percentage of those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times is 54% among those who will be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends from other homes, higher than 42% among those who will not be doing so [Chart 6].

Compared to 2021, those who said Christmas is happier now than during pre-pandemic times rose from 34% among those who said they would be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends from other homes and from 21% among those who said they would not be doing so.

Those who say Christmas is happier now than during pre-pandemic times rise among both those with plans to travel and those without

The percentage of those who consider Christmas to be happier now than before the COVID-19 pandemic is 50% among those who will be traveling to visit their family and/or friends, similar to the 49% among those who will not be doing so.

Compared to 2021, those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times rose from 34% among those who would be traveling to visit their family and/or friends, and from 26% among those who would not be doing so.

Expectation of a happy Christmas rises in all areas

Those expecting a happy Christmas rose to majorities in all areas: it is highest in the Visayas at 78%, followed by Mindanao at 75%, Balance Luzon at 71%, and Metro Manila at 71% [Chart 7, Table 2].

The expectation of a happy Christmas rose in the Visayas, from 68% in 2021 to 78% in 2022.

It rose in Mindanao, from 60% in 2021 to 75% in 2022.

It rose in Balance Luzon, from 67% in 2021 to 71% in 2022.

It also rose in Metro Manila, from 61% in 2021 to 71% in 2022.

Expectation of a happy Christmas rises in all educational levels

Those expecting a happy Christmas also rose in all educational levels.

The expectation of a happy Christmas rose among non-elementary graduates, from 55% in 2021 to 68% in 2022 [Chart 8].

It rose among elementary graduates, from 64% in 2021 to 73% in 2022.

It rose among junior high school graduates, from 68% in 2021 to 74% in 2022.

It also rose among college graduates, from 66% in 2021 to 74% in 2022.

Pandemic Christmas happiness rises in all areas

The percentage of those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times is highest in the Visayas at 61%, followed by Mindanao at 49%, Balance Luzon at 46%, and Metro Manila at 44% [Chart 9].

Compared to 2021, those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times rose from 32% in the Visayas, 24% in Mindanao, 25% in Balance Luzon, and 25% in Metro Manila.

On the other hand, those who consider Christmas to be not as happy now as the pre-pandemic times are highest in Metro Manila at 30%, followed by Balance Luzon at 24%, Mindanao at 16%, and the Visayas at 15%.

Compared to 2021, those who consider Christmas to be not as happy now as the ones during pre-pandemic times fell from 44% in Metro Manila, 49% in Balance Luzon, 27% in Mindanao, and 43% in the Visayas.

Pandemic Christmas happiness rises in all educational groups

By education, those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times are slightly higher among non-elementary graduates (51%) and elementary graduates (52%), compared to junior high school graduates (48%) and college graduates (45%) [Chart 10].

Compared to 2021, those who consider Christmas to be happier now than during pre-pandemic times rose sharply from 21% among non-elementary graduates, 27% among elementary graduates, 27% among junior high school graduates, and 24% among college graduates.

On the other hand, those who consider Christmas to be not as happy now as the pre-pandemic times fell sharply from 34% in 2021 to 17% in 2022 among non-elementary graduates, from 41% to 20% among elementary graduates, from 44% to 23% among junior high school graduates, and from 49% to 22% among college graduates.

Those planning to attend in-person gatherings this Christmas rise in all areas and education

The percentage of those who will be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends from other homes this Christmas rose in all areas: it is highest in Balance Luzon at 64%, followed by the Visayas at 62%, Mindanao at 57%, and Metro Manila at 56% [Chart 11].

Compared to 2021, those who will be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends rose from 48% in Balance Luzon, 49% in the Visayas, 39% in Mindanao, and 47% in Metro Manila.

On the other hand, those who will not be attending in-person gatherings with families/friends from other homes fell from 53% in 2021 to 44% in 2022 in Metro Manila, from 53% to 36% in Balance Luzon, from 50% to 38% in the Visayas, and from 50% to 41% in Mindanao.

By education, the percentage of those who will be attending in-person gatherings with their family and/or friends from other homes this Christmas rose from 38% in 2021 to 49% in 2022 among non-elementary graduates, from 46% to 57% among elementary graduates, from 48% to 64% among junior high school graduates, and from 46% to 72% among college graduates [Chart 12].

On the other hand, those who will not be attending in-person gatherings with families/friends from other homes fell from 57% in 2021 to 50% in 2022 among non-elementary graduates, from 53% to 43% among elementary graduates, from 50% to 36% among junior high school graduates, and from 50% to 28% among college graduates.

Plans of traveling this Christmas hardly changes from 2021, except in Mindanao

In all areas and educational levels, majorities will not be traveling this Christmas to visit their family and/or friends, ranging from 79-88% [Charts 13 and 14].

Compared to 2021, those who will be traveling this Christmas stayed at 18% in Metro Manila, while it fell slightly from 17% to 14% in Balance Luzon. It stayed at 12% in the Visayas, but rose sharply from 6% to 17% in Mindanao.

By education, the percentage of those who will be traveling this Christmas is higher among those with more formal education: it is highest among college graduates at 23%, followed by junior high school graduates at 16%, elementary graduates at 16%, and non-elementary graduates at 5%.

Compared to 2021, those with plans of traveling on Christmas to visit families and/or friends rose from 21% among college graduates, 13% among junior high school graduates, and 12% among elementary graduates. However, it fell from 10% among non-elementary graduates.

Survey background

The Fourth Quarter 2022 Social Weather Survey was conducted from December 10-14, 2022, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Face-to-face is the standard interviewing method for Social Weather Stations; the only exceptions were early in the pandemic when movement restrictions made face-to-face impossible and mobile phone interviews were conducted. Normal face-to-face field operations resumed in November 2020. The sampling error margins are ±2.5% for national percentages, ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

The area estimates were weighted by the Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2022 to obtain the national estimates.

The survey items reported here are non-commissioned. They are included on SWS’s initiative and released as a public service.

The exact phrasing of the survey questions (the source language is Filipino; English translation included) was:

“Sa pangkalahatan, masasabi po ba ninyo na ang inyong Pasko ngayong taon ay magiging (Read out: Masaya; Malungkot; Hindi masaya at hindi rin malungkot)? [On the whole, would you say that your Christmas this year will be (Read out: Happy; Sad; Not happy and not sad)?]

“Kung ikukumpara ang Pasko ninyo noong bago magsimula ang krisis sa COVID-19, masasabi po ba ninyo na ang inyong pasko ngayon ay… (READ OUT: MAS MASAYA NGAYON KAYSA NOON; KAPAREHO NG DATI; HINDI KASING SAYA NGAYON KAYSA NOON)? [Compared to your Christmas before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, would you say that your Christmas now is… (READ OUT: Happier now than before; Same as before; Not as happy now than before)?]

“Ngayong darating na Pasko, magtitipon po ba kayo ng personal kasama ang inyong mga kaibigan at/o pamillya na hindi nakatira sa inyong bahay, o hindi? (READ OUT: MAGTITIPON KASAMA NG MGA KAIBIGAN AT/O PAMILYA NA HINDI NAKATIRA SA INYO; HINDI MAGTITIPON KASAMA NG MGA KAIBIGAN AT/O PAMILYA NA HINDI NAKATIRA SA INYO) [This coming Christmas, will you be gathering in person with friends and/or family that do not live with you in your house, or not? (READ OUT: Gathering with friends and/or family that do not live with you; Not gathering with friends and/or family that do not live with you)]

“Ngayong darating na Pasko, maglalakbay po ba kayo upang bisitahin ang inyong mga kaibigan at/o pamillya, o hindi? (READ OUT: MAGLALAKBAY; HINDI MAGLALAKBAY) [This coming Christmas, will you be traveling to visit family and/or friends, or not? (READ OUT: Will be traveling; Will not be traveling)]”

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data processing, and analysis and does not outsource any of its survey operations. This report was prepared by Leo S. Laroza.


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