MANILA — A record-low proportion of Filipinos expect their Christmas this year to be joyous, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said on Thursday, as the traditional celebration faced curbs meant to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of 1,500 adults polled on Nov. 21 to 25, the first to be done by face-to-face interviews since the start of the pandemic, 50 percent said they expected this Christmas to be happy, 15 percent expected it to be sad, and 33 percent said it would be neither happy nor sad.
The 50 percent expecting a happy Christmas "is 12 points below the previous record-low of 62 percent in 2013, 2006, and 2005," said the SWS.
"The expectation of a sad Christmas was customarily at single-digits, ranging from 2 percent to 9 percent. It was only in 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2020 when it reached double-digits, ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent," the pollster said in its website.
"The 33 percent expecting the coming Christmas to be neither happy nor sad is also a new record-high that surpassed the previous record of 29 percent in 2006," SWS added.
The polling firm in November also asked its respondents for the first time their specific plans for celebrating Christmas.
To this, 55 percent answered "prepare Noche Buena with home family only," and 49 percent answered "go to church or attend religious services."
Following the top 2 plans for celebrating Christmas are "prepare Noche Buena with relatives from other homes," 11 percent; "give gifts to family and friends," 11 percent; and "send Christmas greetings online or by text," 10 percent.
The following plans got single-digit percentages, said SWS: visit family and friends, put up decorations like lanterns and Christmas trees, send Christmas greetings through letters or greeting cards, let children visit their godparents, and visit tourist spots that are open.
The Philippines has tallied about 464,000 coronavirus infections. To prevent their spread, the government has urged the public to celebrate Christmas only with their immediate families.
WATCH: From Wuhan, how did COVID-19 spread all over the world? | TV Patrol