The election scene in the Philippines is as crazy as a Pinoy teleserye—celebrities running for political office, ex-cons pushing their luck, and politicians who basically have never attended any public debate. So, when the initial and unofficial results came on Monday night—which shows Duterte’s allies dominating the midterm polls—some online users immediately took to social media to express how sad and appalled they were.
Disappointed but (definitely) not surprised, Filipino voters have already been talking about moving to another country to start a new life there. In a recent Facebook post, Isaac Reyes of DataSeer posted a series of screenshots from Google Trends that shows a spike in the number of searches for “migrate” and “migrating.”
In the caption, he wrote: “Some people in PH are not liking the preliminary election results so much that they are ready to move! Search terms ‘migrate’ and ‘migrating’ are trending HARD in PH right now.” According to the Google Trends data, Filipinos’ preferred destinations are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Meanwhile, residents of Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and Bicol are the most interested in terms of migrating to a foreign country.
Speaking to InqPOP!, Reyes explained the sudden surge in searches, “Spikes in the search queries can be caused by a number of factors. For example, searches in PH, in general, tend to rise from the early morning onward and fall in the late evening, coinciding with sleep patterns.”
“The spike we saw yesterday was really large though, so it is likely that some external factor caused it. Since the sharp spike in searches occurred in the hours immediately following the release of the preliminary election results, it is likely that the election results caused more PH citizens to search for terms relating to migrating abroad,” he added.
Reyes also shared that his Facebook friend is the main reason why he decided to do the data analysis on the specific keywords.
“I was scrolling FB reading everyone’s reactions to the election results. One of my FB friends posted that she was going to migrate abroad because of the results. I think she was mostly joking, but I decided to grab some data to see just how many people in PH feel this way. The results were much more extreme than I expected!”
Although the initial vote count might have been shocking and disappointing to some, let’s still hope that whoever gets a Senate seat can really make a significant change for the country.
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