MANILA, Philippines—Two of the country’s celebrated personalities who passed away this year were the top newsmakers of 2012, based on the number of times stories about them on search engine Google.com.
The Silicon Valley giant’s annual Zeitgeist report showed that former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesus “Jesse” Robredo and actor Rodolfo “Dolphy” Vera Quizon, who both died in 2012, dominated the year’s headlines as millions mourned their passing.
“This year’s list also demonstrates Filipinos’ inclination to be involved in and informed of relevant news, whether it is about entertainment, sports or political news,” Google said in a statement Wednesday.
“The extensive use of social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube allowed Pinoys to voice out their opinions and be indirectly involved in the issues and news in the country,” the company said.
Google’s annual search report, the Zeitgeist, is derived from the same German word meaning “spirit of the times.” It is a tally of all terms searched for by a country’s Internet users using Google.com, the world’s largest search engine.
“Pinoys became involved with the various tragedies in the nation, with the death of celebrities or personalities,” Google said.
On the list of most “Googled” headlines, the death of late comedy king Dolphy ranked first, while Robredo’s demise came in at fourth.
The only other person on the list of top headlines was Robert Blair Carabuena, the Philip Morris employee caught on tape assaulting a Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcer following a road altercation. Carabuena was ranked ninth.
Other popular headlines were Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA (second), the Cybercrime Law (third), Hurricane Sandy (fifth), Project Noah (sixth), Scarborough Shoal (seventh), State of the Nation Address 2012 (eighth) and Eat Bulaga Indonesia (10th).
Quizon also topped the list of people in the news, while Robredo came in at eighth. Robredo died at 54 in a plane crash last Aug. 18. Quizon died of multi-organ failure as a result of pulmonary disease last July 10. He was 83.
Other newsmakers were Janelle Manahan (second), Daniel Padilla (third), Manahan’s late celebrity boyfriend Ramgen Revilla (fourth), celebrity host Grace Lee (fifth), late Filipino rock star Karl Roy (sixth), and Filipino Saint Pedro Calungsod (seventh).
Meanwhile, Robredo, a former mayor of Naga City and a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, was at the top of the list of “movers and shakers,” a list of the most-searched politicians. Coming in at second was former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, followed by reelected United States President Barack Obama.