By Virginia J. Pasalo
WHAT makes you happy? We all have a barometer for what constitutes happiness, in the same manner that the World Happiness Report (WHR) and the Gallup Poll have defined theirs. We are a happy lot, according to the WHR 2018, which ranked the Philippines 71st out of 155 nations, and 3rd in the countries with the highest levels of positive affect (“average of the “day-before” dichotomous variables such as smiled or laughed yesterday, learned something, treated with respect, experience enjoyment and felt well-rested.”)
There is also the Gross National Happiness (GNH), implemented by Bhutan which takes into its equation a holistic approach towards notions of progress, juxtaposed against Gross National Product (GNP) and gives equal importance to sustainable development and non-economic measurements for well-being. The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index of human well-being and environmental impact, which ranks countries based on the level of carbon footprints and other factors.
Others have developed a Gross Personal Happiness (GPH) which is dependent on the “wellness” of the person in various fields: economic, environmental, physical, mental, workplace, social, and political.
I have developed a Personal Happiness Index (PHI), one that is highly subjective and dependent on my own values, context and circumstances. This is a vision of me in my most happy state. You can do a vision for yourself, formulate a strategy to achieve it, and allocate energy and resources to get there.
Akin, agka aki-asawa? (Why did you not marry?)
“Alinguanan ko.” (I forgot.)
“Agi, aman su ag lilinguanan ya ballot! Anggapo’y ibam ya unakulaw.” (Sister, that should not be forgotten at all! You have no one to grow old with.)
“Nen inyanak tayo, anggapo’y iba tayo. No umpatey tayo, unman met.” (When we were born, we were not with any one. In death, we die alone, too.)
“San-aney no wala’y asawam tan anak mo. Maliket!” (It is different when you have a husband and children. It is happy!)
“Sikaton alinguanan ko’y mi-asawa ta maliketak met.” (That is the reason why I forgot to marry, I am happy.)
“Umpateyak no anggapo’y asawak. Sikato su bilay ko.” (I will die without my husband. He is my life.)
“Being alone does not mean I did not have a life, or forgot to love. What I’m saying is, right now, all I want is a garden, and I can garden in a forest, in a public place and on a pot, and in someone’s mind.”
“No! You have to have your own garden!”
“Since when did we actually own anything? A rich friend just passed away, and she left everything, including a beautiful garden. You do not even own your husband.”
“Of course, I own him, he owns me! How can you say I don’t?”
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