People have always talked about how a Filipino can smile even though tragic events are happening around them. Other countries also wonder about that. I don't have the exact answer but one of the things that I think contributes to it lies in the history of the Philippines. Being conquered by a lot of countries, the Filipinos have developed a sense of resiliency towards painful events. They have a deep sense of hope that things will turn out for the better. You can just imagine the horrible stuff those invaders did to our fellow men and yet the Filipinos still forgive them and even turned out to be one of the most hospitable people around.
Another factor is probably the fact that a majority of the Filipino population are Christians and being Christians, we know that a higher being does not ignore our suffering and we can turn to God in times of life's sufferings. I observed in other countries that they don't or maybe they can't really smile about it and yet I observe the local news and somehow... the people there are grinning ear to ear. People who have lost homes. People who have nothing and yet they can still smile. Maybe some may call us fools but during those times, what can you do? It's not like moping around would help.
I think that having a family centered orientation also contributes to this cheerful nature. When a Filipino is lonely, he/she knows that mother (or another relative) is only a phone call away or a shout away. No one can underestimate a Filipino's love for their families or even their fellow men. Even though they can be harsh sometimes (not the abuse kind mind you), it is probably because they think of your future.
History, Faith and Family. These contribute to the smiling Filipino. I'm truly proud to be pinoy.