Article: 8 most popular hashtags of 2016

Publication: Manila Bulletin/Manila Bulletin Online

Noticed something about your Facebook page over the past few months? You must have. They were inescapable. As a Buzz Lightyear meme would put it, “Political posts. Political posts everywhere.” With global digital agency WeAreSocial reporting that the Philippines has 48 million active social media users (with 40% of that number on mobile), online platforms amplified, inflamed, and engaged our political passions. And despite all those friendships that have been brought to the endangered list (a moment of silence, please, for all those pals we’ve unfollowed), this undoubtedly became a democratically good thing: the Comelec recorded a historic voter turnout of 84%, according to the Manila Bulletin. That’s 7% higher than the previous elections. Hashtags played a crucial role in shaping the social media electioneering. “The right hashtag unites people, functioning as a ‘rallying cry’ for any campaign,” explains Rica Oquias, head of social media and digital marketing at M2.0 Communications, an agency based in Quezon City. They don’t just have an organizational function, however. “Often, hashtags are also little in-jokes that make them even more memorable.” We’re pretty sure that you won’t be forgetting these 8 hashtags any time soon. #DU30 We start off this list with the hashtag that accompanied Rodrigo Duterte to the top. The 30 doesn’t mean anything special; it’s just a shortcut of his last name. First used to push the Davao mayor to throw his hat in the presidential ring, #Du30 eventually became his signature hashtag—so much that some are even considering using it as the presidential nickname. #OnlyBinay We dare you not to sing along when you see this hashtag. #IpasokSiDick A holdover from the last election, Dick Gordon’s witty hashtag popped up again this year. This time, though, he seems to have gained the thrust—er, sorry, trust of the electorate, coasting his way to a 2016 senatorial win. #HalAllan2016 He may have been disqualified by the Comelec as a serious presidential contender, but Allan Carreon, Ambassador of Intergalactic Earth and dude who talks to aliens, campaigned on in our social media feeds with outlandish promises, like hiring Jedi to solve the laglag-bala problem. Amidst the seriousness of the election, #HalAllan2016 was a breath of fresh, intergalactic air. #RP69FanFic Eye-candy vice-presidential (and presidential) sons! Man-on-man double entendres up the, ahem, ass! Combine the two, shake well, and voila—you’ve got the most salacious hashtag to ever hit your Twitter feed. #DuRiam Digong Duterte. Miriam Defensor Santiago. This is the star-crossed love team that would never be. #SampalanNgPassbook Summer 2016 will be remembered as the time that “Suntukan Sa Ace Hardware” started the trend of crazy, invented Facebook events at random locations. So, of course, when Antonio Trillanes challenged Duterte to open up his bank accounts, netizens naturally created an event page (with accompanying hashtag) just for it: Sampalan Ng Passbook sa BPI Julia Vargas. #DU31 When Duterte won, guess which hashtag briefly popped up on your feeds? #DU31, of course! With social media conversation transforming our discourse, never underestimate the Pinoy penchant for underscoring the great political issues (and personalities) of the day with witty, pithy tags. If, as Thomas Mann said, “Everything in politics,” then brace your Facebook feeds and get ready: #HashtagIsComing.

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