The official ranking by Google is out
With the stats racked up and officially closed, the who’s who of 2019, in a nutshell, goes something like this: pop music domination, the Miss Universe pageant, very public celebrity feuding, small wins in politics and the demise of several legendary figures (‘60s movie queen Amalia Fuentes, veteran actor Eddie Garcia and business magnate and founder of the SM group Henry Sy were some of the personalities we bade farewell to this year).
A whole slew of viral and trending events may have peppered the last 365 days, but there were only a handful of names at the center of some of them to pique and sustain the country’s collective interest. Who had it in them to launch the nationwide Google search in 2019? Scroll through and see.
The Top Searches for Male Personalities in the Philippines
The most searched man (as it turns out, men): SB19
The moment: When Sejun, Josh, Justin, Ken and Stell formed the first-ever Filipino boy group to train under a Korean entertainment company. Though the pop band went viral upon releasing their single “Go Up,” it was this Twitter video of their dance practice that solidified their mainstream status.
RELATED: Why Do I Still Like K-Pop Anyway?
Most searched man #2: Vico Sotto
The moment: When the then-29-year-old assumed office on June 30 as the mayor of Pasig, ending the 27-year reign of the Eusebio political dynasty. Sotto has been lauded for his refreshing take on governance and public service. Thus far, he has saved the city over P150 million by making the bidding process for goods and service transparent and, in the process, curbing corruption.
Most searched man #3: Gerald Anderson
The moment: When he ghosted his long-time girlfriend Bea Alonzo in July to signal their breakup around the same time that rumors about his romance with Between Maybes co-star Julia Barretto began propping up. (After remaining silent throughout the five-month-long controversy, Anderson attempted to rehabilitate his image by providing breakup advice.)
Most searched man #4: Isko Moreno
The moment: When the actor-turned-politician toppled another dynasty in the Philippines: the Estrada clan in Manila. Since taking up office in June, the new mayor of Manila has continued to appear in news headlines over projects aimed at rehabilitating the city.
Most searched man #5: James Charles
The moment: When the influencer was exposed by former friend and fellow YouTube beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook in May. In a lengthy video entitled “BYE SISTER” (which has since been deleted), Westbrook enumerated the many reasons she was cutting ties with Charles citing alleged predatory behavior and sexual misconduct among other things. This prompted the #jamescharlesisoverparty online and caused Charles to lose almost three million subscribers on YouTube.
Most searched man #6: Joaquin Phoenix
The moments: When the actor gave viewers a glimpse of his portrayal of Joker in late March and again in October when the highly-anticipated DC movie premiered. Joker is now the first R-rated flick to rake in over $1 billion in the box office.
Most searched man #7: Bamboo Mañalac
The moment: When fake news about the musician’s death in a car crash trended in late September. The cruel hoax was published on a fan page of PBB Big Winner Yamyam Gucong and was reposted and retweeted by concerned fans who, at the time, had no means of fact-checking. Bamboo Mañalac today is alive and well.
Most searched man #8: Dante Gulapa
The moment: When he posted a video showcasing his sultry dance moves, which immediately went viral and spurred meme after meme across the internet. Not long after, Gulapa’s endearing life story, having gone from macho dancer to budding entertainment personality, was picked up by GMA Network’s Magpakailanman.
Most searched man #9: Ion Perez
The moment: When he and TV host Vice Ganda went public about their relationship. A former Mr. Universe Tourism winner, Perez first appeared on Vice’s show Gandang Gabi, Vice! as a guest and proceeded with regular appearances on the noontime program, It’s Showtime. This is where Vice Ganda introduced Perez as his life partner in October.
Most searched man #10: Juan Karlos
The moment: When the band’s 2018 single “Buwan” turned out to be a favorite track to cover by contestants on the talent search series Idol Philippines. Fronted by The Voice Kids alum Juan Karlos Labajo, the band went on to drop a second version of the hit, “Buwan (Kundiman)”, and a second single “Kalawakan.”
The Top Google Searches for Female Personalities in the Philippines
The most searched woman: Jane De Leon
The moment: When Star Cinema concluded its search for the next Darna and announced De Leon as the new lead. The actress took to Instagram to express her gratitude, saying: “MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO SA TIWALA! Pangako po na pagtratrabahuhan ko po ito at ibibigay ko ang lahat.” The movie starts filming in 2020.
Most searched woman #2: Gretchen Barretto
The moment: When she reignited her long-time feud with her sister Marjorie…and dragged her niece Julia into the whirlwind of drama, too. This came after an alleged altercation between her other sister Claudine, whom she had already reconciled with, and Marjorie at––of all places––their father’s wake. What followed was an Instagram stories tirade wherein she lashed out at her sister and niece.
Most searched woman #3: Gazini Ganados
The moment: When the Philippines’ Miss Universe bet was crowned by outgoing queen Catriona Gray in June and then again when she did not make it into the top 10 of the Miss Universe 2019 competition in December.
Most searched woman #4: Marjorie Barretto
The moment: When the former actress addressed the aforementioned altercation with sister Claudia by posting her side of the story on Instagram. This, however, only opened the floodgates to more family-on-family drama.
Most searched woman #5: Catriona Gray
The moments: When the beauty queen kicked off her Miss Universe media tour in New York, had her homecoming in February, again when she crowned Binibining Pilipinas 2019 Gazini Ganados in June and finally when she took her final walk as Miss Universe and crowned Miss Universe South Africa Zozibini Tunzi in December.
Most searched woman #6: Julia Barretto
The moment: When the actress tried to distance herself from issues relating to the breakup of fellow actors Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo. She also found herself embroiled in her mother’s family drama (see most searched women #2 and #4).
Most searched woman #7: Billie Eilish
The moments: When the recording artist released her debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and continued to gain momentum with hits like “bad guy,” “i love you” and “when the party’s over.” Eilish also made a sweep in awards shows, going home with the award for New Artist of the Year at the 2019 American Music Awards, Album of the Year at the Apple Music Awards and Female Artist of 2019 at the People’s Choice Awards.
Most searched woman #8: Jelai Andres
The moment: When the internet sensation publicly addressed her split with husband Jon Gutierrez, a member of hip-hop group Ex Battalion, in March.
Most searched woman #9: Brie Larson
The moments: When Captain Marvel, the seventh Marvel film to hit $1 billion at the box office, premiered in early March and again when Avengers: Endgame hit the movie screens in April. Two months later, Larson honored her Captain Marvel stunt doubles at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards by receiving her award for Best Hero with the two women joining her onstage.
Most searched woman #10: Naomi Scott
The moments: When audiences got to witness the actress’ portrayal of Princess Jasmine in the live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin and, later in November, as one of the new recruits of Charles Townsend’s agency of spies in the Charlie’s Angels reboot.
What about the rest that created buzz last year? Click on to read “#Trending: The Year In Search 2019.” To check out Google’s roundup of other things that trended in 2019, tap here.
Art Alexandra Lara