How does one express his or her choice for the Inquirer Filipino of the Year in 140 characters?
Simple. Type out the name of the chosen one with the hashtag #FilipinooftheYear. Press Tweet. Boom! That’s it.
(To those who still don’t have a Twitter account: Go to twitter.com. Set up your account. Enter you name, e-mail and a password. Click “Sign up.” Search for @Team_Inquirer and click “Follow.”)
Gushing is permitted because Twitter is the hub for unbridled emotions.
“He reallyyyyy deserves it,” said @Katelouise0903 of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, her choice for #FilipinooftheYear.
“I vote for Jesse Robredo as Filipino of the year because he is such an inspiration!” exclaimed @AguasMaris.
For the first time since its inception in 1991, the Inquirer’s Filipino of the Year went interactive. The choice was opened to readers online via @inquirerdotnet as well as followers of @Team_Inquirer, the Twitter account of the Philippine Daily Inquirer editors.
It may seem like a small step to take in this digital world, but it was a giant stride for editors and deskmen who have been accustomed to nominating, and then voting the Inquirer Filipino of the Year, in utter secrecy.
As a rule, the nominees are never told about their inclusion in the Inquirer list. And often, the awardee learns about it only a day or two before the announcement is made.
Even the Inquirer editorial staff eagerly await the “white smoke” which signals that the editors have chosen. The smoke starts to billow when the editor in chief sends word to Inquirer Research to prepare the background material for this personality, and for the art department to study a front-page layout for the Inquirer Filipino of the Year issue.
Late night of Jan. 15, the @inquirerdotnet posted the names of 13 personalities who were nominated by the Inquirer editors and assistant editors for the Inquirer Filipino of the Year.
The poll box was closed on Saturday, Jan. 19.
And @Team_Inquirer opened its own poll on the afternoon of Jan. 15. The informal poll ran until Friday, Jan. 18.
Robredo, who died in an airplane crash in August last year, was a runaway favorite among tweeps @nongtsismis @patrickrazo @pjames08 @mommytzie @FHETchay @majean822 @Shamorabon @carlo_bravo @huIslouis23 @johnpblee and @Rdaffon.
“He deserves it more than anyone else,” said users @Rica_Rix and @crabones013.
Other votes for Robredo came from @kikopangilinan, and @bamaquino.
“Boto ko for #FilipinooftheYear ay si Sec. Jesse Robredo dahil naniwala siya na Bida ang Mamamayan, “ said @bamaquino.
President Aquino, standard-bearer of the Liberal Party, was voted Filipino of the Year by @loufer1966 and @Micljag.
“P-Noy for the passage of the #RH and #SinTax. Just wish #FOI was passed also…” said @Micljag.
“Cardinal Tagle” was the choice of @lolichoie.
“NONITO DONAIRE JR! He will KO Pacquiao’s records in boxing. Will bring pride to Pinoys,” said @edikdolotina.
Twitter users @i_am_francis and @primefelix chose two, namely Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire and Miss Universe 1st runner up Janine Tugonon.
Tugonon got a solo thumbs up from @xiaopao8.
“Manny Pacquiao. Through ups and downs he remained the modern day national hero,” said @Jamie_Sunday.
“I nominate Rep. Edcel Lagman … for shepherding the realization of #Rhlaw thru the yrs, “ said @bethangsioco, an advocate of women’s rights.
“My choice for is Tito Sotto, because he literally woke us up,” said @ihatepos.
“Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago,” said @rheacaguete.