Mindanaoans most optimistic about Christmas, until...

MANILA, Philippines – Mindanaoans were the most optimistic among Filipinos about Christmas 2017, according to a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Up to 84% of the residents in the country's second biggest island expected a "happy" Christmas, even higher than their 78% from 2016. 

The survey, however, was conducted in the middle of December – from the 8th to the 16th – and tragedies had since struck the island.

The death toll from Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) that ravaged Mindanao on Friday, December 22, has topped 200

Flash floods and landslides wiped out communities, especially in Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Norte.

Retrieval operations continued on Christmas eve. 

In Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, up to 37 are feared dead from a fire that engulfed a mall two days before Christmas. 

Duterte himself broke down in tears when he himself visited the site to deliver the tragic news to the relatives of workers trapped inside the mall that the possibility of finding the victims alive was "zero." (READ: Davao City cancels Christmas, New Year feasts to condole with fire, flood victims)

Congress also approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao midway through the survey, which also showed that majority of Mindanao residents disapproved the extension

Mindanaoans are traditionally the most optimistic about Christmas, according to SWS. Nationwide, 77% of Filipinos said they expected a happy Christmas 2017. 

Majority in Metro Manila (69%), Balance Luzon (75%), and the Visayas (80%) also expected a happy Christmas 2017.

Pollsters asked respondents to complete the sentence: "Sa pangkalahatan, masasabi po ba ninyo na ang inyong Pasko ngayong taon ay magiging _______?" (On the whole, would you say that your Christmas this year will be ________?)

They chose from the answers masaya (happy), malungkot (sad), and hindi masaya at hindi rin malungkot (not happy but not sad either) Rappler.com