4 Reasons That May Explain Why Filipinos Are Generally Happy


4 Reasons That May Explain Why Filipinos Are Generally Happy

4 Reasons That May Explain Why Filipinos Are Generally Happy 


When in Manila, one of the things you will notice is that the people are generally happy and in good spirits. Even through difficult times, Filipinos never seem to lose the ability to smile and remain optimistic.  The Philippines is populated with plenty of sweet and pleasant folks whose positive outlook and patience are not easily exhausted. As a Filipino-American who moved here not too long ago, the Filipino state of mind was something I quickly admired. 

 In 2010, I moved to Metro Manila for school and the experience so far has been a stark contrast from living in the New York Metropolitan area where you are likely to run into miserable and cranky people at any given minute. After seeing how the crowds of Metro Manila are pretty much the opposite from those of New York, I became fascinated in what exactly the people in the Philippines are doing differently that has them in a good mood on a regular basis. What’s behind the light-hearted quality that the majority of the population in the Philippines share?

Unfortunately, I am neither a scientist nor a sociologist. I can, though, be a passionately curious person and so I decided to delve into a bit of research. During my attempt to dig up information, I was actually successful on coming across several plausible reasons. I gathered the ones I thought readers out there might find interesting, but could also possibly provide some valid explanations, here on this post. Hopefully you find them as interesting as I did.


4 Reasons That May Explain Why Filipinos Are Generally Happy


1. Fish and Rice Diet

If you didn’t already know, our bodies have “feel-good” chemicals that can actually enhance our mood and behavior. One of which is called serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our brain that plays a big role in regulating our mood. Our bodies produce serotonin out of essential amino acids called tryptophan, which can be found in protein-rich foods. Although tryptophan can be found in practically all protein-rich food, fish has been regarded to contain higher levels of it. When your digestive system breaks down fish, tryptophan gets in our bloodstream where some of it makes its way to our brain. While in the brain, tryptophan is then turned into serotonin. The more fish we eat, the more serotonin we produce to boost our mood.

4 Reasons Why

But wait, there’s more. Carbohydrates, from food such as rice and vegetables, stimulate a larger uptake of tryptophan from our bloodstream into our brains. With larger amounts of tryptophan entering our brain, even more serotonin can be made that can be used to make us feeling good.

Doctors who treat patients battling depression often encourage this kind of diet as a part of their health plan. Yet, here in the Philippines, fish and rice are regularly consumed all year round. And, since the islands of the Philippines are sitting on rich Pacific waters, fisheries are everywhere providing a wide variety of fish harvest. This makes various local fish very affordable and can be easily prepared into many different types of  delicious dishes. And of course, a Filipino meal is not complete unless it is eaten with rice. So, whether it’s tilapia, bangus or galunggong; customarily eating fish and rice is actually a good contributor to our daily dose of Filipino happiness.



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