DIGOS CITY, Philippines—Makabayan senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño was elated on Friday when the hashtag #TeddyDay made it to the Top 10 Twitter trends for the Philippines, just two notches below tweets about popular TV host and comedian Vice Ganda.
“Even if it was only for a moment, #TeddyDay became at par with tweets about Vice Ganda on the trending list,” Casiño said, although it was not the first time he trended on the web.
Casiño has consistently topped online mentions and mock polls in recent months and is seventh in the Philippine Elections 2013 social media research project.
He also became the most mentioned candidate during the #Harapan2013 live senatorial debate and received 68 percent of the total positive ratings in the #RapplerDebate senatorial debate—the highest among all participants.
In the 7-Eleven online polls, Casiño ranked fifth, while in the University of the Philippines’ Botong Isko online mock polls, he finished fourth.
No easy feat
But Casiño was more visibly excited when the hashtag #TeddyDay became No. 7 on the list of trends for Twitter on Friday because, according to him, “it is no easy feat to break through trending hashtags and keywords.”
The other top hashtags on May 3 were #fihadasuperpower (1), Text Ioera 15 to 211 (2), #Happy2ndMonthsaryPrimeFamily (3), #VICEBOOMKaraKARYLLE (4), Page 2 of JAPSmonth (5), Mancao (6), #VLeagueXQF (8), NBI (9) and Keep Calm and Follow (10).
Tweets about Casiño numbered 2,000 on that day.
Casiño also hit trending topics on other social media sites, such as Facebook and blogs, that day as his supporters held the “online day of action,” or Teddy Day, in a bid to boost his chances of winning the senatorial race.
On Facebook alone, at least 7,000 “stories” discussing Casiño’s platforms and advocacies were posted on May 3.
“I am humbled by the overwhelming support our fellow netizens have displayed on Teddy Day,” Casiño said in a statement.
He said he found it more humbling that his supporters in Bukidnon were not deterred by a 24-hour power outage and got on Twitter as soon as power returned.
“After d 24hr blackout in #Bukidnon, heto sali na ako sa #TeddyDay showing my full support for @teddycasino tungong senado,” Twitter user @jaympascual wrote.
@jaympascual, apparently irked at the power crisis that has been affecting Mindanao for months now, said only Casiño could help ease the people’s problem involving power outages.
“Let’s help @teddycasino push the 1 million solar roof act in the Phil. Senate. This will benefit the people of #Mindanao Go #TeddyDay,” he said, referring to Casiño’s proposed energy program, which would provide incentives to users of small solar energy systems.
Casiño was also among lawmakers pushing for the reforms proposed by the Mindanao Power Summit, including the use of renewable energy sources.
“A vote for @teddycasino is a vote for nationalist economy. He supports Filipino entrepreneurs, authored Buy Pinoy bill. #TeddyDay,” Twitter user @lenolea said.
@erikagab_ortega, a daughter of slain journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega, used Twitter’s long version, Twitlonger, to write what she had in mind. She said that while Casiño is at the forefront of the fight for national interest, “it was sad that only a few people knew him.”
@JunkCybercrime said Casiño’s legislative advocacies for netizens should not be forgotten.
“Free Public Wi-Fi, Junking of Cybercrime Law RT @teddycasino: Complete d sentence – A vote for Teddy Casiño is a vote for..,” @JunkCybercrime added.
Casiño said he was grateful to netizens for supporting him by launching an online campaign to boost his chances of winning.
“From the start, we already knew that social media should be maximized for our campaign because we could not compete with the resources of traditional politicians and parties,” he said.