happiness data banking

edicio, my partner, wrote about emotional banking while he is in cebu for the electric coop work. am in lucena now for my migration research and learning advocacies. this morning i went to the quezon national statistics office to gather survey data on lucena overseas workers and the city demographics . i met the statistician, connie de torres and she made time to get the data for me. as were were pouring on the NSO books, i asked connie how long she had been working in NSO. “oh, many decades now.” was her reply. excited i asked her about her impressions of the city and migration trends. she told me that many migrants from mindanao have reached talao-talao, lucena like the badjaos or sama sa laot (sea samal) but the sad thing is that they are no longer fishing but begging. she was animated with my question and attention so continued to share that the work in census-taking is tedious. i asked her if there had ever been a survey on happiness, whether people in NSO thought that poverty & misery index should be balanced with well-being and happiness index ? connie was amused and said that was the first time she heard of a happiness survey. briefly i told her of the international survey report on bhutan as having the happiest people on earth and the runner-ups danish, norwegian and swedish people. she said that would be a good survey if she will know how happy filipinos are. but then she said we have so many poor people in the country, so how many happy people could we find? i told her that filipinos have a way of making a poverty situation less wretched : one by making tunganga, a state of mindfulness where one’s inner resources can match difficulties later, similar to an emotional banking state. “ayy”, she replied, ‘that’s seems true.” we laughed as we remembered days when we would make tunganga and how children also do it often.

imagine a national census of happy filipinos here and overseas. my family and relatives who are always positive about the future will enjoy participating in this survey. i can imagine ed making a pitch about his happiness time deposits and ayen withdrawing a lot from these deposits. i also think my two mothers, nene (mine) and nanay adang (ed’s mother) will be the multimillionaires with their emotional bank credits. they have cared for so many people that allowed us to make withdrawals for more than five decades.

seriously, i want to propose to banks to run surveys on social and emotional remittances. there is a service gap in the remittances that they profit from and banks plus the government should learn how to make people happy with their services. there is so much emphasis on the export of our workers and professionals but not enough in making them happy whenever they decide to migrate. how will we learn that being positive, being well, is the key to our nation having a greater future ? buddha said that happiness is the accumulation of good. may i add, happiness is imagining good governance and manifesting it.

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