On Christmas in the Philippines

data philippines news economics dataviz

Christmas festivities in the Philippines are world-renowned. Spectacular light displays, early morning mass, and smiles all around make it hard to be in the island nation during this time of the year and not feel the spirit of Christmas. Let’s take a look at the data and see how we can quantify Christmas in the Philippines.

TJ Palanca https://www.twitter.com/tjpalanca
12-23-2013
The Ayala Triangle light show in Makati City is just one example of how Filipinos celebrate the holidays. (Photo by <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/kameraderie/9491833509/in/photolist-fsL8pT-fsLdWk-ft1JeW-ft2nbL-fsM9KP-fsLQb2-fsLHcT-ft2Ceb-fsLSxi-fsLLZ2-ft2qLw-ft2htj-ft2A53-ft2f2Q-fsLhFM-ft2ykf-dyHwzz-8U79pB-dE8P2d-dyHwnn-dyHw9P-8U79pv-8U79pz-8U79pt-8U79pk/'>kamaraderie/Flickr</a>, <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)

Figure 1: The Ayala Triangle light show in Makati City is just one example of how Filipinos celebrate the holidays. (Photo by kamaraderie/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Philippines seems to be having its fair share of the international limelight nowadays - including with regard to how Filipinos celebrate Christmas. We like to use data to see things from a new perspective here, so let’s take a look at how the numbers celebrate the holidays as well!

Holiday priorities - a time for pleasure

First, we can uncover the key spending items during the Christmas season. What do Filipinos spend most on during the 4th quarter compared to the rest of the year?

The results aren’t that surprising, but they’re nonetheless interesting. Christmas is a time for celebration, and thus households splurge on recreation, food and drink, as well as alcohol and tobacco. What’s a little surprising (and troubling), though, is that we spend 31% more on vices, compared to 26% on food and beverages. Also, necessities like health and transport take the backseat.

Christmas crime wave?

It’s always been common knowledge that crime spikes in the capital in the run-up to the holidays, but is that reflected in the data?