LONDON - The Philippines is the 17th happiest country in the world, according to a study published Wednesday measuring people's wellbeing and their impact on the environment.
The Philippines bested more than 160 countries in the Happy Planet Index including Indonesia (23), China (31), Thailand (32), Malaysia (44), India (62), Iceland (64), The Netherlands (70), Spain (87), Hong Kong (88), Denmark (99), Norway (115), Sweden (119), Finland (123) and Australia (129).
The index, compiled by the British think-tank New Economics Foundation (NEF), combines life satisfaction, life expectancy and environmental footprint -- the amount of land required to sustain the population and absorb its energy consumption.
The index chose the tiny South Pacific Ocean archipelago of Vanuatu as the happiest country on Earth. Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica and Panama complete the top five. (Originally published on the ABS-CBN News web site, July 12, 2006. Click blog title for rest of the story.)
Why are we still happy despite the massive poverty, corrupt government and unstable political situation? All that liquor we drink during the year-round fiestas must be anesthesizing us to the realities we live in. But then anent to my July 1 post, a study does show that money can't buy us happiness.
I still place my bets on San Miguel beer. (Segue Happy, Happy, Joy Joy theme here.)