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Google's Year in Search: Pop culture, elections, and more

by December 15, 2016 General

GOOGLE’S annual list of top trending searches reveals topics that uncover the moments that surprised, captivated, and moved Pinoys.

Filipinos’ love for pop culture is evident as this year’s overall top trending search term is “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber from his fourth album Purpose. Several Filipino artists did a cover of this song including James Reid and Kristel Fulgar, while YouTube creator Mikey Bustos did a parody of the song highlighting what courtship is like in the Philippines.

Following Bieber’s song are game applications and Pokémon Go on the second and third spots, respectively. Filipinos got hooked on catching pocket monsters in different areas of the country when Pokémon Go was made available in August.

Though Pokemon Go surpassed in terms of downloads, Filipinos got more curious about This multiplayer game has a touch of the classic snake game where the player needs to grow the snake by collecting gems and defeating other snakes.

Other pop culture terms earning a spot on the trending search list are the movies Train to Busan and Suicide Squad, as well as chart-toppers “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey and “Secret Love Song” by Little Mix and Jason Derulo.

Elections 2016 lands the top spot for the trending news as Filipinos flocked to the internet to look for information surrounding this year’s elections.

In the same light, the vice presidential debates caught the attention of the Filipino netizens, as it claims the eighth spot in the trending news list. From the campaign period to the debates, Filipinos closely followed news about the progress of the elections as well as the results.

With the continued interest in the elections, President Rodrigo Duterte leads the top male personalities for this year. The former Davao City mayor won by 16 million votes and is the first Mindanaoan to hold the executive office.

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who was crowned Miss Universe in 2015, is this year’s top trending female personality. Wurtzbach is the third Filipina to win Miss Universe, and her story of resilience and her determination to win the coveted crown captured the hearts of Filipinos throughout her reign this 2016.

Filipinos were also in on the hype for the world’s top sports and entertainment events. Dominating this year’s list of top trending events was the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Held on August 5-21 at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the most celebrated sports event of the year also brought pride to the country when 25-year-old weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won a silver medal — the Philippines’ first after 20 years.

When it comes to traveling and leisure, Kalanggaman Island tops the trending local destinations. Found in Leyte, this island is famous for its clear waters, pristine shores, and a long sandbar that stretches from one island to another. Completing the list are other places perfect for a beach getaway.

“From pressing issues, to sports, to entertainment, this year’s list shows that Filipinos continue to take part in different conversations by keeping themselves informed about what’s happening around them, not just locally but also internationally. Year in Search is Google’s way of celebrating the year with the Filipinos with the things they cared about,” said Gail Tan, Google Philippines head of Communications and Public Affairs.

Go to to explore the rest of the 2016 Year in Search stories and top trending charts from the Philippines and around the world.

Overall Top Trending Searches in the Philippines

1. Love Yourself
3. Pokemon Go
4. Train to Busan
5. Closer
6. Comelec
7. Rodrigo Duterte
8. Secret Love Song
9. Olympic Games Rio 2016
10. Suicide Squad

Trending Searches for 2016 by category (Local):


1. Election 2016
2. Brexit
3. Harambe
4. Supermoon
5. Davao bombing
6. Typhoon Lawin
7. Orlando shooting
8. Vice Presidential Debate
9. Panama Papers
10. Japan earthquake

Male Personalities

1. Rodrigo Duterte
2. Song Joong Ki
3. Donald Trump
4. Gong Yoo
5. Tom Hiddleston
6. Alden Richards
7. Jared Leto
8. Charlie Puth
9. Kevin Durant
10. Usain Bolt

Female Personalities

1. Pia Wurtzbach
2. Maine Mendoza
3. Margot Robbie
4. Arci Munoz
5. Hailee Steinfeld
6. Sue Ramirez
7. 4th impact
8. Song Hye Kyo
9. Elisse Joson
10. Leni Robredo


1. Olympic Games Rio 2016
2. Election 2016
3. Pacquiao vs Vargas
4. Pacquiao vs Bradley 3
5. US Election
6. Euro 2016
7. Chinese New Year 2016
8. SONA 2016
9. NBA Playoffs 2016
10. Star Magic Ball 2016
Songs (Lyrics)

1. Love Yourself
2. Closer
3. Secret Love Song
4. Sorry
5. One Call Away
6. Roses
7. 7 Years
8. Kriminal
9. Locked Away
10. Stitches
Local Vacation Destinations

1. Kalanggaman Island
2. Cebu City
3. Boracay Island
4. Iloilo
5. Fortune Island, Batangas
6. Magalawa Island, Zambales
7. Potipot Island, Zambales
8. Camotes Island
9. Bantayan Island
10. Binurong Point, Catanduanes

International Vacation Destinations

1. Barcelona, Spain
2. Ireland
3. Universal Studios Singapore
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
5. Ibiza, Spain
6. Papua New Guinea
7. Florida, USA
8. Grand Canyon, Arizona
9. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
10. Iceland

1. Train to Busan
2. Suicide Squad
3. Deadpool
4. Conjuring 2
5. Captain America Civil War
6. Me Before You
7. The Corpse of Anna Fritz
8. Beauty and the Bestie
9. The Flu
10. Batman v Superman
TV Shows

1. Descendants of the Sun
2. Stranger Things
3. Legend of the Blue Sea
4. Encantadia
5. Dolce Amore
6. Ang Probinsyano
7. Moonlight Drawn by Clouds
8. Born for You
9. Cinderella and Four Knights
10. On the Wings of Love


2. Pokemon Go
3. Google App
4. Clash of Clans
5. Google Street View
6. Google Translate
7. Animal Jam
8. Spotify
9. Messenger

How to…

1. How to log in to your BPI account
2. How to log in to your Metrobankdirect account
3. How to set a DFA appointment
4. How to play Pokemon Go
5. How to cure Psoriasis
6. How to change language in Google Chrome
7. How to use the Hoverboard
8. How to do the Running Man challenge
9. How to play basketball in Messenger
10. How to use Snapchat

What is…?

1. What are the election results?
2. What are the movies in 2016?
3. What does “pak ganern” mean?
4. What are hugot lines?
5. What is the Running Man song?
6. What is knox?
7. What is Zika Virus?
8. What is PPAP?
9. What is Federalism?
10. What is Brexit?

Who is…?

1. Who is Harley Quinn?
2. Who is Aldub?
3. Who is Evan Fournier?
4. Who is Maria Ozawa?
5. Who is Valak?
6. Who is Carrot Man?
7. Who are the Suicide Squad casts?
8. Who is Marion Cotillard?
9. Who is Skusta Clee?
10. Who is Anna Fritz?
Where is…?

1. Where is Taj Mahal?
2. Where is Masungi Georeserve?
3. Where is Palm Beach Resort?
4. Where is The Yard?
5. Where is the Great Barrier Reef?
6. Where is Villa Sylvia Resort?
7. Where is Bato Springs Resort?
8. Where is Camayan Beach Resort?
9. Where is Vitalis Villas?
10. Where is Hidden Sanctuary Hotel and Resort?