A few days before the December 16, 2011 tragedy that struck Cagayan de Oro and several other provinces in Northern Mindanao, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) conducted a survey to determine how many Filipinos are still happy celebrating Christmas.
SWS found out that the percentage of Filipinos expecting a "blue Christmas" rose to its all-time high in several years---from 7% in 2010 to 11% this year. Even the 64% of those who said that they expect a happy xmas this year is five percentage points lower than last year's.
The survey found out that Filipinos' expectations rose only last year and lower expectations went back to its initial levels during former President Arroyo's term.
This pessimism is understandable since food stuffs are really priced extremely high compared several months ago, and there is relief in sight. Worse, government is doing nothing to arrest the continuing price hikes.
President Aquino has just ordered a price freeze in typhoon-stricken provinces in Mindanao. What happened? Well, based on reports, prices of commodities and goods continue to rise. Even in times of distress, profiteers continue their nefarious schemes.
Where is government in all of these?
Government is built on the premise that it will be the people's vehicle for a better life. With oil prices at its astronomical levels (the highest in the world), food prices comparable with those of first world countries and joblessness and economic inactivity persist, what could be a better Christmas than make do of what we now have.