Every once in a while, I look out the window to see if Armageddon has started. You would too, if you lived here and heard daily predictions that the nation is heading for collapse, violence will erupt and anarchy will rule the streets. Now, anyone trying to drive in Manila would probably say anarchy does already rule the streets, but the vision being pushed here is different: disintegration along the lines of Lebanon or Somalia. Just last week, the Philippines was supposed to 'implode' because of a 'constitutional crisis' over an attempt to unseat the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Actually, nothing happened, but this has not fazed a growing number of dire prophets - newspaper columnists, media commentators and 'concerned citizens' posting on the internet. To them, if the Philippines were a movie, its title would be Apocalypse Now, Or Anytime Real Soon. Their bleak outlook is based on many reasons. Widespread, untameable corruption is the most popular. Public apathy, indifference and ignorance are all close second. They also believe that the divisive politics, the pettiness of the typical politician and the apparent ineptitude and weakness of the current government will lead to a coup, martial law and a repressive junta of warlords. One email I received recently declared: 'Our nation is raped, bankrupt and murdered, morally, spiritually, economically!' It is true that between coup attempts, natural disasters and a profusion of political scandals, life here feels like being on the edge of a volcano. The venality of officeholders, the huge contrast between the rich and poor, and the dominance of a small and selfish oligarchy, have a decadence that recalls pre-revolutionary France and Russia. Yet the dark prophets miss one thing. The country has been like this for years - decades even. Since the 1940s, the Philippines has been in one crisis after another and has emerged from it all, battered and punch drunk, but largely intact. What seems to really irritate those predicting an apocalypse is that nobody is paying attention to their warnings. One columnist recently wrote that the Philippines is 'happy-go-lucky'. But if Filipinos were to panic each time a crisis erupted, they would soon wear themselves down to an exhausted frazzle. Instead, they have learned to focus on each day and get the most they can out of it. During the coup attempt in July, most people in Manila chose to continue going out. Everyone here would probably agree with a remark popular in the Austro-Hungarian empire: 'The situation is desperate, but not serious.' So Filipinos swarm to the shopping centres, not to panic-buy but to eat. Sometimes it seems like it isn't life on the edge of a volcano, but life on the edge of a circus tent. One thing is sure: next month there will be chaos on the streets, with lots of noise and people desperately milling about. But the reason will be the Yuletide, the most important time of the year for Filipinos. Millions of overseas workers will be coming home for the holiday, bringing billions of dollars which will tide over the economy until next year. Apocalypse can impend all it wants, but it will have to wait until after Christmas.