November 2015 is a great month for the Philippine Internet

Last month was great for the Philippine Internet.
No, I’m not going to say our Internet speed is finally as fast as Singapore’s. And, no, this isn’t because we trended worldwide again because of a TV show.
I’ve been tracking what has been read, watched and shared most in the Philippines for a year now.  (You can check out my early compilations here).  Last week, I noticed two things that stood out.

What happened in November 2015 that was so important?

There were two things that got my attention:

  1.  For the first time, all the top Philippine searches were not driven by Metro Manila. Or CALABARZON.

    The second most-searched word in the Philippines wasn’t even in Metro Manila’s top 5.

The second-highest search term was driven by Central Luzon, for two whole weeks in November 2015.


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The search phrase that was part of the top Philippine searches, but not in Metro Manila or CALABARZON:
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Yes, Central Luzon looked for Adele’s newest song more than people in or closer to Metro Manila.
Added context:
These were the most searched for phrases in the Philippines that were unique to November 2015 (“Rising keyword searches):

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 6.53.06 PM


And these were the search keywords we Metro Manilans were occupied with:

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It was Central Luzon (and to some extent, the Davao region) that pushed the “hello” searches to the top 2 spot for the month.

On to the second new and special thing.


2.  There are now a significant volume of searches in 7 more regions in the Philippines!



In the past years, there wasn’t a significant enough volume of usage for Google to measure Google searches in other areas.

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Until now.

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When I started collecting search data, Google could only measure the rising search keywords in Metro Manila (e.g. Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan), CALABARZON (e.g. Antipolo, Dasmarinas, Bacoor), Central Visayas (e.g. Cebu City, Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City) and the Davao Region (e.g. Davao City, General Santos City and the City of Tagum).

Now, it can measure rising searches in 13 Philippine regions.

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Why do these two developments make it a great day for the Philippines?

We’ll start to see the real potential of the Internet in our country, versus broadcast media.


For years, the American Internet / Web (please tell me if there’s a better way to phrase that) and particularly news outfits have been talking about “hyperlocal”.
With broadcast media, you can only do so much to make extremely locally relevant (town, municipality or niche community level) news.  You would need to set-up a formal infrastructure, using company resources just to make sure different towns get content that’s relevant to them.
BUT, the Internet changed that in nations with more widespread internet usage – bloggers, podcasts, websites could be written from anywhere and be relevant to niche communities across the country, and not only be driven by formal institutions in capital cities.

Personal choice (Control) and Distributed power (Reach)

In the Philippines, without enough connectivity throughout the country, most of the online buzz was still driven and controlled by Metro Manila, and Cebu City.
But now, finally:  we really get to see how online media differentiates itself from “broadcast” media, in terms of reach and control (personalization, always-on).
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We get to see how the different regions, cities and towns begin to have their own subcultures and patterns and see how it impacts the country’s media tastes.
I did nationwide qualitative research for years, and I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.  The day I’ll start to see the rest of the country have a voice in what gets shared and what is popular, as opposed to just the “key cities”.  Our country is so diverse, and for me, this just means it’s going to be a pretty exciting year for the Philippine Internet.

Check back week-to-week, I’ll do my best to share regular updates.  And if you want to help create something out of data like this, get in touch.



Jaffa Cakes lickable wallpaper and 8 news and trend-hunt blogs that featured it








via Think.BigChief‘s facebook feed.

I like the different angles that the different sites used, in talking about this really odd (successfully viral) promotional idea from Jaffa Cakes – “Spot of Jaffa”.

Putting a lick-friendly surface in a public space.


Geekologie‘s emphasis on the weirdly unhygienic nature of the idea – Spreading Disease: Cookie-Flavored Lickable Wallpaper

Trendhunter‘s slightly nostalgic description, focusing on the Willy Wonka inspiration – Lusk Lick-able Murals

Fairly objective, “corporate goal” slant from Design TaxiWorld’s First ‘Lickable’ Elevator

Focus on consumer and media reaction, from The DrumMcVitie’s set toungues wagging with lickable lift

Casual take on how the office-workers in that building might feel from Foodbeast – The World’s First Lickable Elevator, Wallpaper That Tastes Like Cake

Pretty funny personal comments (on how all things are lickable anyway, and how she’d probably try it because she’s nasty 🙂 ) from Incredible Things contributor, Brittany High – World’s First Lick-able Wallpaper 

Straightforward article with how many Jaffa Cakes, building name and Jaffa’s creative spark from The SunOffice workers set to get a lift from Jaffa cake elevator

Also featured by agencycreative tumblr blog, with interesting stats on how long it took to create the wallpaper and the estimated number of employees: The lickable life

5 New Blogs to Follow: Gamestorming, Grain Edit, Trendwatch, The Morning News and In Over Your Head

I wish I had more of a theme to these things.

1.  Today, I learned a new word: gamestorming, which is a concept Dave Grey and Sunni Brown pioneered (essentially game-type activities used for innovation).

I have a new blog to follow now.  Since it can help me a lot when I facilitate teams for ideating and insight-generation!

Sketch notes by Sunni Brown

2.  Grain Edit, a site about  the 50’s-70’s design aesthetic and the contemporary designers who get inspiration from it.

Excerpt from Anorak Magazine
Excerpt from Anorak Magazine
Illustration by Alain Gree

3.  The Trend Watch by FullSix, compilation of global trends, as recommended by My Life Scoop

Social Media Demographics by Online MBA

4. The Morning News and its This Week’s Headlines theme feature

I like how they look for themes in whatever’s popular for the past week, even if they could just be coincidences.  That’s how trendspotting begins anyway – pattern-finding.

In my eyes, the homepage content is quite a revolutionary way of presenting “news”.  Not that it’s flashy or jazzed-up or animated, but the way that the content is written (especially the headlines ticker) seems very…”social media”-oriented.

They aren’t direct in a traditional sense.  They’re paraphrased to elicit some feeling of suspense.  Given everything I’ve read about web writing and how it has to be meaningful, concise but not bland.  And it is all those things, but not in a CNN or BBC way.  Interesting.

5.  In Over Your Head

Particularly, The Complete Guide To Not Giving A Fuck.

“Fact Number 1.  People are watching you right now…

Fact Number 2. You don’t need everyone to like you…

Fact Number 3. It’s your people that matter…

Fact Number 4. Those who don’t give a fuck change the world.  The rest do not…”

A site about color!


It’s a corporate channel, but I don’t mind — I appreciate how it consolidates color trends and whatnot in an internet location.


Ok, so I initially thought it was an-HP affiliate — Because of which, I was about to congratulate HP on the marketing effort.  But, if it is an HP affiliate, it is a well-concealed one (i.e. pretends to be just HP-sponsored, instead of HP-directed) — because, according to the About page, it’s a site run by the Colourlovers (ChromaOm- “The New Global Colour Autjority”).  It was founded by Darius Monsef, formerly with Microsoft LiveLabs (which I recently read about in Fast Company), who was frustrated after taking up a colour theory class.

Altogether a fun website to look at and get ideas from, especially for design enthusiasts-but-laypersons like me.

My favorite pages:

The Most Powerful Colors in the World
Etsy Store Banners & Creating Complementing Business Identities
Finding Creative Publishing & Distribution Outlets, and 5 Colorful Indie Mags Who've Already Found One
Prague's Colorful Metro Stations
Using Color to Increase Participation