Top 10 moments on Twitter in 2016 for the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – What moments hooked Filipinos the most on Twitter in 2016?

On Tuesday, December 6, Twitter released its first yearender report on the Philippines. 

In an interview with Rappler, Pratiksha Rao, Head of Media Partnerships for Twitter in Southeast Asia, said the Philippines has been one of Twitter's fastest growing markets in revenue and users in 2016.

Filipinos engage with a variety of topics on Twitter. Twitter's list of the top ten most eventful moments in the country this year ranges from national news to entertainment to sports. Here's the list from the bottom all the way to the most memorable. 

10. Typhoon Lawin

In October, Typhoon Lawin (International name: Haima), one of the year's most powerful typhoons, hit the country and resulted in billions' worth of damage to infrastructure, agriculture and households.

In 2013, Rappler launched the platform Agos encouraging Twitter users to post updates about the typhoon. The platform included information on relief and rescue operations, as well as alerts on work and class suspensions, all using state-endorsed hashtags. 

Volunteerism, encouragement and sometimes memes have become a habit for Filipinos on Twitter during major weather events. Over 440,000 Tweets were sent on the topic with hashtags including #LawinPH, #Haima, #PrayForPH, #rescuePH, #reliefPH, and #walangpasok.

See the #LawinPH conversation here:

9. Marcos Burial

Emotions ran high on November 8 when the Supreme Court (SC) approved the transfer of ousted President Ferdinand Marcos' remains to the Libingan ng Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).

The #MarcosBurial conversation reverberated throughout Twitter after the sudden burial ten days after SC's decision. 

Millennials participated in nationwide protests, sharing their stand with over 500,000 Tweets for the #MarcosNotAHero conversation on Twitter. (READ: November 25 rally, November 30 rally)

WATCH: Millennials lead November 30 anti- #MarcosBurial rally in EDSA. @pattypasion files this video blog — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) November 30, 2016

See the #MarcosBurial conversation here: 

8. Manny Pacquiao

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) had several momentous occasions this year. 

His fans flocked to Twitter after he won over Timothy Bradley on April 9. Over 380,000 tweets were sent as a result of his #PacBradley retirement fight. (HIGHLIGHTS: Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley 3)

The PacMan's popularity grew after he became the first Filipino professional boxer to be elected into the Philippine senate.

Pacquiao returned to the ring for his #PacVargas fight. He beat Las Vegas-native Jessie Vargas, scoring an additional 280,000 Tweets on November 6th. (READ: #PacVargas: 'Charizard vs Charmander')

7. Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach

The homecoming of 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach to the Philippines in January saw a proud nation welcome her home on Twitter. Filipinos expressed pride and support, using #MissUMostBeautifulDay, #PiaTheRoadToTheCrown and #WelcomeHomePia hashtags.

Generating over 430,000 Tweets for #HomecomingQueen, Pia's fans also got a special session with her via the #AskMissUniverse Twitter Q&A party. 

. @ChelleStyles #askmissuniverse — Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@MissUniverse) January 28, 2016

In April, Queen Pia had the honor of crowning the new #BbPilipinas2016 Universe Maria Mika Maxine Medina. It was an event that amassed 340,000 tweets as she took her final walk on stage and gave a very emotional and heartfelt farewell speech.

That's it for #MissUniverse @PiaWurtzbach 's grand homecoming special! Thanks for tuning in! #MostBeautifulDay — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) January 28, 2016

See the #HomecomingQueen conversation here: 

6. University of Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP)

#UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) is the most-awaited annual intercollegiate sports competition in the Philippines. Millennials sent millions of tweets to support their favorite athletes and teams.

Here are some of the highlights of each team's performance at the 2016 UAAP Cheerdance Competition! #UAAPCDC79 — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) November 19, 2016

Top athletes from universities all over the country competed in a number of sports such as basketball, volleyball, and the heart-stopping cheerdancing competition, not only in a bid for the title, but also for school pride. 

As a special treat, fans of #UAAPCheerdance2016 cheered on Twitter for their best pep squad using the McDonald's UAAP cheerdance stickers, the first Promoted Stickers in Southeast Asia. 

5. BTS K-Pop Group

Filipinos showed their love for the Korean boyband Bangtan Boys (better known as BTS) after Twitter held a global contest for the most tweets using the hashtag #loveBTS in May. The Philippines took 6th place worldwide. 

On July 30, fans screamed and danced to their heart's content when BTS performed at their #EpilogueinManila concert.


So proud of them! #BTS #EpilogueInManila #ArtistOfTheYear #MAMA2016 2/2 — Gailpumpkinlee (@gailpumpkinlee) December 3, 2016

Overwhelmed by the support, the band posted a short video on their official account @BTS_twt, thanking every fan who watched their concert. 

4. On The Wings Of Love

The romantic comedy "On the Wings of Love" (OTWOL) is one of 2016's highest rated Philippine teleseryes. It follows the adventures of Clark, played by James Reid (@JayeHanash) and Leah, played by Nadine Lustre (@hellobangsie), who pursue a marriage of convenience in an attempt to circumvent immigration rules in the United States. The actors, popularly known as #JaDine, remains one of the hottest love teams of the moment. 

OTWOL Filipinos marked signficant moments with hashtags such as #OTWOLArrival, #OTWOLMostKiligNight, #OTWOLTheAminanNight and #OTWOLTheLastFlight. The show ended with a happy ending on last February 26 when the characters exchanged their I Do's.

Mr.and Mrs.Medina♡ #OTWOLTheLastFlight — D N G P T♡♡♡ (@annica_vicente) May 21, 2016

See the #OTWOLTheLastFlight conversation here:


3. AlDub

They first broke the Internet in 2015, and continued to dominate conversations in 2016. 

The AlDub love team, Alden Richards (@aldenrichards02) and Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm), from the ‘Kalyeserye’ segment of the popular noon-time TV show Eat Bulaga (@EatBulaga) and their fans continue to be a force on Twitter.

The love team’s road to Twitter stardom continued as AlDub's Valentine’s day campaign #AlDubIsLove amassed over 4.1 million Tweets.


Love is Love.. #ALDUBisLove — Sheena Gamit (@Mayshee_95) February 14, 2016

In July, AlDub celebrated their #AlDub1stAnniversary with 6.6 million Tweets along with a customized Twitter emoji, the first created for a TV show in Southeast Asia.

pwdeng forever n ang emoji s hashtag Thank you @TwitterPH ILY @mainedcm @aldenrichards02 #ALDUB1stAnniversary — JennY  (@seckzi_10) July 16, 2016 Patingin ng happy nicomaine at richard? #ALDUB1stAnniversary — ... (@joweeAnne) July 22, 2016

The pair also had their first movie #AlDubImagineYouAndMe, released this year. It garnered 7.8 million Tweets in its first week.

Eto na! The long wait is over!!! Imagine You and Me now showing in cinemas nationwide! #ALDUBImagineYouAndMe — Julia Only Account (@CapiliJulia) August 16, 2016

When the couple finally tied the knot last October 22, fans sent over 8 million Tweets using the #AlDubWedding hashtag. See the #AldubWedding conversation here:


2. Kids’ Choice Awards

The 2016 Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards nominated four Filipino celebrities for the Favourite Pinoy Personality Award - Maine Mendoza, Kathryn Bernardo (@bernardokath), Enrique Gil (@itsenriquegil), James Reid - as well as Filipino basketball player Jeron Teng for the Favourite Asian Sports Star Award.

On Twitter, fans battled it out to campaign for their favourite nominees by sending millions of Tweets that included #VoteMaineFPP and #VoteKathrynFPP. 

1. Philippine Elections and President Rodrigo Duterte

The national elections in the Philippines was the most talked about, with over 35 million elections-related tweets. 

Twitter worked closely with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on #PiliPinas2016 to inspire Filipinos to engage and discuss via tweets on important topics shaping their voting decisions.

In a bid to help Twitter users show their support for their favorite candidate, Twitter and Rappler released #PHVote emojis. 

Show your support during today's Presidential debate! Tweet the #PHVote candidate hashflag of your choice! — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) March 20, 2016


On election day alone, more than 4 million election-related Tweets were recorded, and 330,000 tweets on Inauguration Day. 

Even after the polls, the conversations on Twitter kept flowing with reactions to elected President Rodrigo Duterte's actions and words. Twitter and Rappler reintroduced the #PHVoteDuterte emoji with a new hashtag: #PresidentDuterte. This is the first time that a special emoji was created for an elected leader of a nation anywhere in the world.

Rappler, Twitter launch #PresidentDuterte emoji — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) July 1, 2016


Filipinos sent over 280,000 Tweets using #SONA2016 responding to Duterte's first State of the Nation Address. 

See the Election Day conversation here: 

Meanwhile, here are viral events, top trending hashtags, and engaging social movements in the Rappler Twitter community this year, in Twitter moments:

2016 Top Twitter Moments

What's in store for 2017

Rao said more live video content was expected in 2017, given the creativity of Filipinos in the use of Twitter.

"Periscope has been integrated fully to the timeline experience this year, that’s an example of bringing more live videos to users," said Dickson Seow, Head of Communications for Twitter in Asia Pacific. 

We should expect to see "a platform for big live conversations and live videos," Rao added. – with reports from Stacy de Jesus/