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In our most recent study, “Understanding Filipino Sentiments Toward Health and Critical Illness”, Manulife Philippines found that many Filipinos still face barriers in embracing better financial and lifestyle habits. The Filipinos’ desire to have a healthy lifestyle is driven by concerns for their families’ welfare, particularly in the face of financial burdens caused by critical illnesses, more than their own personal welfare.

The study also found that financial worries have a greater impact on Filipinos’ sentiments toward protecting themselves from critical illness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Download the full study

Perception versus reality


of Filipinos consider health as their top priority

But at least


engage in unhealthy eating habits

Family well-being over personal

Filipinos worry about family members getting sick more than they worry about caring for themselves.

3 out of Filipinos' top 5 fears and worries reflect their concern for their family

  1. Family member being diagnosed with critical illness
  2. Accident
  3. Contracting critical illness
  4. Death of a family member
  5. Becoming a burden to my family when I acquire critical illness

Filipinos feel financially unprepared for critical illness

Majority of Filipinos also believe that the cost of critical illness treatment is more than they can afford. The Health Study also reveals that more than half are not ready to finance health expenditures in case a family member gets sick.


believe that critical illness treatment is too costly


feel that they are not financially ready, in case a family member suffers a critical illness

Top 10 critical illnesses most feared by Filipinos


1. Cancer

Heart attack / cardiac arrest

2. Heart attack/Cardiac arrest

High blood pressure

3. High blood pressure


4. Diabetes

Heart problem/disease

5. Heart problem/disease

6. Stroke
7. Accident
8. Coronavirus
9. Kidney failure
10. Disease with no cure or difficult treatment

New concerns. Same priorities.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos’ priorities for family, health, safety and well-being have become stronger than ever. 


1. Family


2. Health


3. Safety


4. Well-being

5. Home
6. Work
7. Savings
8. Insurance
9. Personal Time
10. Investment

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