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Philippines among 10 'happiest' countries

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is among the 10 happiest countries in the world, according to a recent survey by a US-based polling firm.

US based polling firm Gallup Inc. said that the nation with "highest positive emotions worldwide" were Panama and Paraguay with 85 percent answering YES to the questions: Did you feel well-respected yesterday? Were you treated with respect all day yesterday? Did you laugh or smile a lot yesterday? Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday? Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about enjoyment?

Next to Panama and Paraguay were El Salvador and Venezuela with 84 percent and on third place were Trinidad and Tobago and Thailand with 83 percent.

The Philippines shared the 4th place with Guatemala, where 82 percent of the surveyed persons answered YES to the six questions.

The last pair on 5th place was Ecuador and Costa Rich, which both got 81 percent.

An Associated Press news article quoted one of the surveyed Filipinos: a 35-year-old security guard named Felicio Sayat.

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Sayat commented in the survey: "Just being with my family makes me happy ... We have fun together as a family. ... We have bonding time and we say prayers together. ... They are my inspiration. As long as we are all healthy, I am happy. There is nothing better than that."

Sayat works as a security guard at a parking lot in Manila.

Gallup Inc. said that the surveys were conducted in 148 countries in 2011.

"Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2011 in 148 countries and areas," it said.

Meanwhile, the polling firm reported that the country with the "lowest positive emotions worldwide" was Singapore, where only 46 percent answered YES to the six questions.

Following Singapore was Armenia with 49 percent; Iraq with 50 percent; Georgia, Yemen and Serbia, with 52 percent; Belarus with 53 percent; Lithuania and Madagascar, both with 54 percent; Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Haiti, Togo and Macedonia with 55 percent.

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