#wRap2013: Top 10 Twitter moments in PH

MANILA, Philippines – Now trending on Twitter.

It's been the social media buzzword for most of the year, especially among Filipinos who in 2013 helped make Twitter the second most visited social networking site in the world with 250 million unique visits every month.

As early as the middle of 2012, the Philippines already had the 10th highest number of Twitter users, according to a study by social media research company Semiocast. Today, Twitter has almost 10 million local users.

Rappler walks you through the 10 most unforgettable topics in the Philippines Trends list for 2013. 

10. #UAAP76finals

The failure of defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to make it to the finals did not stop the Twitter world from buzzing about this year's men's basketball championship finals match-up: the UST Growling Tigers vs the De La Salle Green Archers.

Trending eh: #GrowlForTheWin, Congrats UST , #golasalle, La Salle , Teng vs. Teng , and Tigers pic.twitter.com/F8BOAmZdmd — Cha ✌ (@SuperChaaaaaaa) September 28, 2013

The rivalry between the two schools was spiced up by the Teng brothers, who starred for their respective teams. The elder Jeric Teng was playing his last year for UST while Jeron Teng was in his sophomore year for DLSU. Jeric played spectacular basketball but it was Jeron who prevailed in the end, helping La Salle take the title home.

The same goes for the cheerleading competition when National University made history anew and dethroned the champion, the University of the Philippines.

National University makes history anew! Congratulations #UAAPCDC2013 Champions! http://t.co/bQwIW9JGTs pic.twitter.com/YFzrjALTLM — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) September 15, 2013

But the Most Tweeted Sports Event is the volleyball match between Ateneo and La Salle: #admuvsdlsu. 

9. #ArnoldClavio

Television news anchor Arnold Clavio turned into a trending topic in November 2013 after a controversial interview with lawyer Alfredo Villamor, lawyer of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

Netizens thought he was "#medyorude" (a bit rude) and "#medyobadboy" (a bit of a bad boy) to the lawyer.

Some supporters of Vice Ganda recalled a previous incident when Clavio scolded the famous entertainer for a rape joke that involved his colleague Jessica Soho. “Bakit mo binibiktima ang mga taong seryoso sa trabaho nila? (Why are you victimizing people who are serious about their work?)," he asked Vice Ganda on May 28, 2013.

In 2012, Clavio also trended on Twitter for his anti-Azkal remark.

8. #ViceGanda and #JessicaSoho

The issue may have been buried, but it was one of the hottest Twitter topics this year.

Two prominent TV personalities became the talk of the town when Vice Ganda, during a May 17, 2013 concert, made a "rape joke" involving GMA7 newscaster Jessica Soho.

The comedian from rival channel ABS-CBN got a lot of flak for the joke, prompting him to apologizeSoho accepted the apology.

The issue served as a starting point for a meaningful discussion on the issue of rape as a subject of humor. 

In the middle of the controversy, Vice Ganda also triggered speculation when he suddenly disappeared from his hit show "Showtime." He revealed later that he went through depression because he was missing his family.

All of this contributed to making him this year's Top Influencer on Twitter in the Philippines.

7. #MissWorld2013

Everyone cheered for actress-turned-beauty queen Megan Young, who took home the Miss World 2013 crown on September 28, 2013. She dazzled the online world with her charm and wit, raising expectations in the days leading to pageant day.

#MissWorld2013 : Philippines! FULL STORY: http://t.co/7oAInHbOkX pic.twitter.com/KWwSJMYsZW — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) September 28, 2013

Twitter also rejoiced when Bea Rose Santiago and Mutya Datul brought home the crowns from Miss International and Miss Supranational respectively. 

Mutya Datul is Miss Supranational 2013 http://t.co/YXRyLHd7aO — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) September 7, 2013

Bea Rose Santiago is #MissInternational2013! http://t.co/P2vqR3KioM pic.twitter.com/oHcWXPiTdz — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) December 17, 2013

"As long as we work together, there is hope." Bea Rose Santiago #MissInternational2013 LIVE: http://t.co/9OYsUBknds pic.twitter.com/mFuMnwIBBC — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) December 17, 2013


6. #ZamboCrisis

At least 183 members of the Moro National Liberation Front, 23 government troops, and 12 civilians lost their lives during a bloody standoff in Zamboanga City that lasted 3 weeks in September 2013. 

Rappler got mixed reactions on social media when we released an exclusive report about the surrender of 70-80 armed followers of Misuari on September 12 to police troops in Barangay Sta Barbara, Zamboanga City.

Despite denials from the government, we stood by our story. (READ: Bungled chances in Zamboanga). A few days later, a Zamboanga councilor-reporter involved in the surrender spoke about the incident. The Philippine National Police also admitted in a statement that some MNLF members repeatedly tried to surrender.

5. #PHvote

A lot of Filipinos turned to Twitter to find out more about the Philippines' biggest political event in 2013: the May mid-term elections.

Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar break into top 3 – SWS survey http://t.co/fcog2KZ0at #PHvote pic.twitter.com/szQiRNoioc — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) April 22, 2013

Looks like we won't be expecting results tonight as COMELEC suspendes canvassing until 10 AM tom. What are your thoughts on this? #PHvote — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 13, 2013

Too many hashtags? Try the unified hashtag of Yahoo Philippines, PTV4 and Rappler. Follow #PHvote. — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 13, 2013

4 hours to go until poll closes! Where are you? Have you voted? Time is ticking! http://t.co/eLzg6ffCoU #PHvote pic.twitter.com/rKBZgh1xcZ — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 13, 2013

Have you voted yet? #PHvote http://t.co/PmtclDNYlk pic.twitter.com/B7GOLkYqoE — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) October 28, 2013

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) embraced online and social media when it gave Rappler access to real-time data on the results of the polls.

Rappler's #PHvote coverage is the first long-running web-based election coverage in the Philippines. 

Looking forward to this evening in The Rappler war room, watch it live on Rappler's homepage. https://t.co/Ci0WPRRO3v #PHvote — Tony La Viña (@tonylavs) May 13, 2013

Here's a wider view of the #PHvote war room. Our LIVE coverage to start in 20mins. Tune in to http://t.co/dd8gyXNvTj! pic.twitter.com/Zgyl7aTsSx — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 12, 2013

You can watch our election coverage through the following links:

4. #KathNiel

KathNiel is the tandem brand of young actors Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.  


FANDOM. The KathNiel craze on cyberspace


The KathNiel craze on cyberspace

Fans of the teen stars do everything they can to make sure their idols trend almost every night.

Much like what every fan club experiences, the KathNiel team finds itself defending its fandom to some Twitter users who think these kids should be exerting effort to do "more important things."

Of course we all know there's no stopping an avid fan – especially when they have each other's backs. 

3. #Napoles

Among the biggest newsmakers this year in the Philippines are Janet Lim Napoles and her daughter Jeane.

The daughter

Jeane, 23, used social media to blog about her lavish lifestyle

SPARKLES. Janet Lim-Napoles' daughter Jeane fancies expensive shoes like this pair she posted on her blog. Photo from Jeane Napoles' blog

SPARKLES. Janet Lim-Napoles' daughter Jeane fancies expensive shoes like this pair she posted on her blog.

Photo from Jeane Napoles' blog

She deactivated her accounts shortly after her mother Janet was accused of leading a multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam. But she failed to remove posts from her Tumblr account, which allowed netizens and journalists to scrutinize her and use her posts as tips that led to more exposés about the family's unexplained wealth.

At 22 – while still a student – Jeane bought a luxurious Los Angeles apartment worth $1.85 million (around P80 million), according to online records of the Office of the Assessor of Los Angeles County and official records of the Recorder's Office

Twitter erupted with various reactions to the Rappler story.

Rappler then asked netizens: "What did you own #at22?" The Twitter conversation, which trended, made more people aware of the issues and personalities surrounding the pork scam.

The mother

After attempts to stop her from appearing, Janet Lim Napoles finally had no choice but to attend a televised Senate #PorkProbe that was looking into allegations she masterminded a massive scam involving lawmakers, fake non-governmental organizations and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

But to the dismay of viewers, Mrs Napoles was stingy with words. "Hindi ko alam (I don't know)," she repeatedly said in response to senators' questions.

Netizens could not help but tweet their disappointment, saying her Senate appearance was a "waste of time" for everybody. 

2. #MillionPeopleMarch

Social media mentions about the Philippines’ first social media-organized protest held on August 26, 2013 grew almost 1,000% in just over 24 hours, gathering at least 140,000 social media mentions and gaining almost 5 tweets per second from 10-11 am on the day of the protest. 

The movement was launched on Facebook, but the hashtag dominated on Twitter

1. #YolandaPH

Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) took at least 6,000 lives when it struck central Philippines on November 8, 2013.

Filipinos on social media immediately used #YolandaPH to map critical reports and spread useful information

The hashtag came from the unified formula – hashtag + name of typhoon/storm + PH (abbreviation for the Philippines) – that is implemented each time a tropical storm enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Once the unified hashtag is activated, it is used for relief operations (#reliefPH), rescue missions (#rescuePH), identifying areas heavily flooded (#floodPH), finding missing loved ones, and sharing survival stories, by groups, organizations and citizens who believe in the power of social media in disaster response.

Below is a screenshot of Twitter's interactive map on how the world responded to the typhoon on Twitter. 

VISUALIZED. How the world responded to Haiyan on Twitter. Screenshot from Twitter Data

VISUALIZED. How the world responded to Haiyan on Twitter.

Screenshot from Twitter Data

Even international celebrities expressed sympathy for the victims through Twitter. 

Golden Tweet of the Year is Pope Francis' tweet asking the world to join him in prayer for the victims.

I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) November 9, 2013

Twitter was also abuzz when international pop star Justin Bieber flew in unannounced to Tacloban to boost an international relief effort for the victims. 

Flew to the affected areas in the Philippines, please do what you can to help. #givebackphilippines http://t.co/UwO3P38AGB mdash; Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 10, 2013

About to go perform the last #believetour show. The real last one and the most important one of the tour. #GiveBackPhilippines — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 10, 2013

. @JustinBieber, a basketball fan, plays basketball with the Tacloban youth. #GiveBackPhilippines pic.twitter.com/cUBGeR7Sh5 — Smart Communications (@SMARTCares) December 10, 2013

Justin Bieber visits Philippines as part of fundraising effort: http://t.co/8E9mcBlIyY #GiveBackPhilippines pic.twitter.com/lsW27AsHEG" — Mili BalestraJB (@milibalestra) December 14, 2013

Who says my idol @justinbieber is heartless? Look at yourself now! #PrayForThePhilippines #GiveBackPhilippines pic.twitter.com/sRLiE7gz59 — Support Believe 3D ♥ (@StaliceBelieber) December 14, 2013

Our @justinbieber gives hope to 'Yolanda' victims | #GiveBackPhilippines | We Love you alot JB pic.twitter.com/oNiu4jmVBd — I Wish to Meet my JB (@WishtoMeetJB) December 14, 2013

UNICEF's official statement on @justinbieber 's visit to the Phils for #Haiyan #YolandaPH http://t.co/yJzGNDxyuF pic.twitter.com/zAJJu5KOlg — UNICEF Philippines (@unicefphils) December 10, 2013

#MaringPH, the tropical storm (international name Trami) that hit last August 2013, affected 6 regions, killed 27, and left almost P700 million worth of damages in the Philippines, was also one of the most notable storms that was discussed on Twitter this year, but not as much as #YolandaPH.  


Viral through Twitter

If you want to get a message across to Filipinos here and abroad, you can start by using Twitter, where 10% of the population knows a thing or two about tweeting. 

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below or tweet us: @rapplerdotcom

BONUS: Glee actress Lea Michele's tweet thanking her fans for helping her cope with the sudden death of her boyfriend and co-actor Cory Monteith is the most retweeted tweet of 2013.

Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love amp; support. Cory will forever be in my heart. pic.twitter.com/XVlZnh9vOc mdash; Lea Michele (@msleamichele) July 29, 2013 

– Stacy de Jesus/Rappler.com