Google Trends and the Last Minute Voter


by Giancarlo

What is Google Trends?

From wikipedia: “Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from 2004), and the vertical is how often a term is searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally.”

Why is this interesting?

A survey is scientific but it takes time to do and it takes time to process. It costs a lot and, without releasing all the questions and the data, it is most valuable to the politician who has all the variables. It misleads the common person who is ill equipped to question and dissect the data.

Google Trends is free and it is a public facility so anyone can verify the results. It is almost real time which allows crafty people to use it as a leading indicator.

2004 Elections

First let’s take a look at the weeks prior to the 2004 elections through the lens of Google Trends:


What this shows is that, except for 1 week, FPJ had more searches than GMA until the first week of April and the last week of April when they were tied.  FPJ was ahead until May 2-8 with GMA overtaking FPJ for searches dated May 9-15.

We have to look at the internet population during 2004. The penetration then of the internet were mostly through dial-up and internet shops [Source: “Internet Live Stats“].



We only had 4.5 Million internet users then but, if we remove non voters, I suspect this would be close to 2-3 Million voters. What we can see is that the Internet-Enabled Filipinos were really torn between the two candidates.

2010 Elections: Pnoy vs Erap vs Villar

Fast forward 6 years:


Some observations:

The searches escalated with three distinct parts: October to December | January to April | April to May

October started with Pnoy and Erap neck and neck, and with Manny Villar a distant 3rd. Manny Villar’s campaign was unique because it intelligently used the campaign components of Party, Senatorial Slate and Partylist to promote the Presidential Candidate of the Party. However, Pnoy, riding in the glow of the Aquino name, coasted to high google searches while, curiously, Villar’s and Erap’s search volumes mirrored each other up to the start of January.

From January to April, Manny Villar became the front runner in terms of google searches. I attribute this to two things: (1) Villar’s snappy campaign song was such an ear worm that it drove people to search for him online, and (2) Villar had a decent website and good fluff articles about his rise from poverty. When you see someone with such a compelling narrative, you want to know more about him. This drives more google searches.

January to April was not all roses for Villar because Google Trends are not always positive. The “truth campaign”, or in real terms, the demolition squads of the other campaigns, went full blast. This may also have driven the google searches up.

What we do know from the data is that, by the end of April, Erap and Pnoy were rising and Villar had flat-lined.

May search trends show us that Pnoy had overtaken Erap while Erap had overtaken Villar. This makes me believe that, prior to Facebook, we waited until the last minute to decide who to vote for. When all the ads and all the TV guestings and all the newspaper articles have been read, we hunker down and search for compelling reasons to vote for someone. Yes, there are people like members of the Society of Honor who read everything online and watch every interview, but the majority wait and decide during the last two weeks before the election.

Mar vs Binay


The graph showing Mar Roxas vs Jojo Binay made me think of that “Last Two Weeks conjecture.” That conjecture tells me that the campaign is long and, if I am right, this race is far from over.

Last Two Weeks Conjecture and the Political Narrative

We are biased by how we were trained, our religion, our experiences, our education and status. If people really avoid making the decision till the last two weeks, what does this warn us about how the irresponsible tabloid media will affect the last minute deciders? When you are wanting for time, there is less time for reflection and less time to figure out if people are honest about their intentions. There is less time to figure out if the points in a 20 point agenda contradict each other and there is less time to reflect on the impossibility of a statement like “Ginawa ko sa Makati gagawin ko sa buong Pilipinas” or “Nagawa ko na sa Davao gagawin ko sa Pilipinas”.

People who are politically active have to make a stand. They have to make people care, whoever their candidate is. They have to help people understand why the candidate’s statements are true, that his plans are not drawings in the sand, not motherhood statements, fluff and nothing else.

Read, Watch, Meditate and Reflect. If I have one wish for our voters, that is my wish.


Note from author: “Inspired by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight

134 Responses to “Google Trends and the Last Minute Voter”
  1. andrewlim8 says:

    Congrats on your first piece here, Giancarlo. It’s a previously un-highlighted piece of metric. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that in the critical stretch, the “last two minutes” of the campaign, crucial pieces of incendiary revelations would have had their effect.

    One such “bomb” I would want to see detonated is a drill-down on the list of unsolved assassinations/disappearances in Davao during Duterte’s reign. Pretty sure there are several errors, mis-identification, or collateral damage during that campaign.

    The ongoing appraisal and eventual sale of Marcos jewelry also ought to shut up those Marcos loyalists.

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. Ah, Giancarlo, the interactive graphs are causing me to have vertigo!

    2. Props to you for losing your authorial virginity!

    3. I am not sure that Google trends is an accurate predictor of winnability. Why? I tend to search for mud on the bad guy rather than glitter on the good guy. I already know the good guy.

    4. Ah, you counter, but the thesis is that most of the searching is being done by the undecideds.

    5. Ah, okay, you win, I say.

    6. Well done!

  3. josephivo says:

    I get the feeling that this will be the last “normal” election. Google, Facebook and Twitter must be able to set up better predictors than whatever professional polling station, as they do for several illnesses (sell or as a service?)

    They will find the perfect correlation between the chips you eat, the songs you listen to and the Wiki site you visit combined with a zillion other data they control and unlimited modeling skills they will know who will vote for months before we know ourselves.

    And then… “Why wasting money on elections as Google predictions are 100% accurate?” (“Bad luck Garci and many others” or “Good luck Larry Page, Zuckerberg and co, now you can decide too who will be our President”)

  4. @Gian, congratulations on this excellent article… social media will decide this election IMHO.

    Summarizing stuff will be of extreme importance… if during the Clinton election it was soundbites that mattered, memes and impressions will matter enormously during this election I am sure…

    Miriam is leading IMHO based purely on the impression of many impressionable people that she is “decisive”, which is just total nonsense, but her image of a “strict teacher type” is what they see.

    Ro-Ro will have to learn to communicate the achievements of Daang Matuwid better in a nutshell. The big posting I placed in the previous article is just a prototype that has to be improved more.

    Since I liked Duterte once in the past, I very quickly got his FB statement on the Pope thing… it is very obvious that Du-Cay are very good at harnessing social media… they have top comms guys.

    • Thanks Irineo! I think that the campaigns really have to elevate the social media strategist to the level of direct report to campaign manager. It is that important. It seems the best campaigns so far are from BBM and Duterte/Cayetano group.

  5. Congrats, Gian. You did it!

    WE only have 5 more months, hope that would be enough.

    I almost laughed out loud when a cousin of mine, one of the many beneficiaries of the 4Ps, has innocently remarked that it was Binay they have to thank for that financial incentive for health and educational program of the government. Naturally, I clarified that misconception.

    I need to visit more the people in our place. I need to talk to them face to face. Although most of them know Mar is better then the other candidates, some misconceptions still persist.

    • Marie says:

      Great read and kudos to you Mary Grace.

      Now, this is really turning into a circus.

      1. Duterte admits being molested buba priest.
      2. Grace Poe is disqualified by Comelec.

      • This is Giancarlos maiden article., great, isn’t it….naiiba.

        Hah..a sudden about face by Duterte, the night before quite confrontational and swearing, the next morning in an unrepentant and challenging mode, then faced by the social media furor, apologized insincerely, probably advised by his campaign managers. Now comes the “paawa effect” saying he was a victim of child abuse. Justifications?

        Poe is quite unfazed, despite the disqualification, will still continue her candidacy, or so she says. Let’s wait for the SET and the SC decisions, as well as the Comelec decision on the three other DQ cases…hopefully to be released way before the printing of the official ballots.

        Let us not get tired of trying to convince the still undecided.

        Let us not get tired of trying to change the minds of those who have already picked the one they will vote for but based on misconceptions, and wrong or lack of correct information. In a friendly way, in a non confrontational way.

        Let us try whenever possible and with God’s help, to change the thinking of the youth and the poorest of the poor who were victims of the black propaganda and promises of shares in the loot and ill-gotten wealth of past regimes and those who learned or copied their thieving ways. They truly need our prayers and understanding.

        RORO for continuity of progress and development!

      • edgar lores says:

        Boy, this election is turning out to be a cliffhanger!

        There are more twists and turns than the Kennon Road.

    • Thanks mary 🙂 That is a big misconception. The Onli Binay ads are probably working.

  6. Donna says:

    Thank you Giancarlo for this very enlightening article. A big help to my continuing self-study on the productive use of the digital platforms.

  7. sonny says:

    First came across this type of metric from the book FUTURE SHOCK by Alvin Toeffler (1970). I remember 2 indicators he mentioned: taking note of what headlines newspapers printed & watching how long the topics stayed in the public consciousness; the other was to keep track of practices and fads that came from select states of the US and determine that certain states seem to consistently originate fads and practices for the whole country. California and Florida were the leading states then. It is interesting how we turn to these modern tea leaves to stimulate our speculations for what is in store for us. At my age there appears to be so many ripples in the pond that the net perceptions are still a blur. It must be just me.

  8. karl garcia says:

    Thanks Giancarlo! This is a very good read!

    • Joe America says:

      I played with the tool and learned a lot. First of all, name matters. If you use full name, you get fewer searches. Duterte and Binay drop off because no one uses their first name. On the other hand, when you use the last name only, people may be looking for roxas boulevard or fernando poe, so you get extra padding.

      There are also charts beneath the graph showing “regional interest”. So if you key in the search region as “Philippines” you discover that Duterte’s interest is high in Mindanao but not elsewhere, and Poe is strong everywhere. That kind of thing. There is also a chart showing related searches and trending searches that shed light on the subject.

      But speaking very generally, Duterte and Poe get spikes in interest and Roxas does not. Poe’s seem to come from survey results, and Duterte’s from his various announcements. Binay is dropping off the chart. What that means is that his ads aren’t generating online interest, and he is out of the headlines as Poe and Duterte move in. Roxas is steady-on but generates few spikes of interest. He risks falling off the chart as well.

  9. edgar lores says:

    This then seems to be a measure of media interest more than anything else.

    Again the question is: Should we attach great significance to the results?


    • edgar lores says:


    • Joe America says:

      What you are measuring, I think, is the search interest in the words society and honor more than any thing. If you select the Philippines as the area of interest, and Joe America vs Raissa Robles, you will see that Raissa is an institution and Joe America does not even show up. Our readership is from a word of mouth or link basis, and not search. The Word Press statistics confirm this. We get only a handful of search hits, generally for different terms, joeam, joe america or society of honor.

      I agree with NHererra. This is a very useful tool once you understand how the search terms define the results. There seems to be a cumulative benefit to hitting the headlines, but they can wear down quickly. Roxas is not hitting the headlines and may want to figure out how to match Santiago, Poe and Duterte on this. I also think he has several months before it is important (the two week syndrome). If I were advising the candidate, I know what I would do. But I can’t meddle that directly in campaigns, so readers have to figure that out. 🙂

      • NHerrera says:

        Come on you techie staff of Roxas. Earn your keep. Do the thinking for both Mar and Leni.

        Joe, you titillated my curiosity. See show subjects like this makes me enjoy my coffee early in the morning.

        • Joe America says:

          Ahahaha, well, let people mull it over and see if there are any ideas. I don’t want to do ALL the creative work around here. 🙂 I mean, what would YOU do to make a positive splash for Roxas/Robredo that tantalizes people to look their direction? Hint: don’t ask them to do a lascivious dance or swear at the Pope.

          By the way, here is another interesting one. Now the Marcos name is in the news because of jewelry as well as Bongbong, so factor that in. But, clearly, Marcos is a rising social media force, Escudero is fading, and Robredo got a little bounce when she announced, but is getting little internet interest as she goes around the nation.

          • NHerrera says:

            Joe, not fair; you gave it away.

            HERE’S HOW

            A video of Mar, with a message properly worded and marketed (by the likes of a Joe) — with appropriate mix of TONE of sincerity, “suppressed” anger; and with appropriate settings [PNP people in the background? I don’t know, I am not a marketing guy] — addressing the message to the Pope of the love of the Philippine people to him. No reference at all to THAT BASTARD. (Recall that the Pope specifically thanked Roxas and the PNP for what they have done to make his visit a success that it was.)

            In an accompanying video: Leni Robredo, her children and people from Naga, sing a spiritual song sure to uplift the Filipino spirit — addressing the song to the Pope.

            PLAY THESE VIDEOS several times with perhaps a variation of theme.

            • Joe America says:

              Hey, that’s pretty good. I was thinking of a Roxas Robredo Rock Concert, with Fourth Impact, Jessica Sanchez and Amy Vachal headlining, but, hey, that’s the point, if he gets some creative heads together, he can jack up the popular energy in a number of ways.

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes. And may I emphasize that If the staff of Mar/Leni are not reading this blog and comments/ suggestions here I can honestly say — they are sleeping on the job.

              • Joe America says:

                Sal says there is an 77.43% chance that Mar Roxas himself will read this article and its comments based on a through content analysis of Roxas speeches and interviews and a correlation with the blog highline arguments. He’s hired a couple of college students to record things, do speech to text translation, and run it through a “phrase correlation” software package recently sold to the CIA for e-mail synthesis. Sal gets a spiff for each bad guy bagged and is looking rather rich these days. He says both President Aquino and Mar Roxas have occasional shadows of JoeAm in their thinking.

              • edgar lores says:

                Hasn’t Wilfredo shown the way? All that Mar has to do is — show the love!

                Let Korina and him blitz the Daang Matuwid with soulful gazes into each other’s eyes, soul-stirring holding of hands, and passionate but niminy-piminy embraces. But before that, of course, there must be a barrier between them — a drop curtain, a line of chorus girls or menacing-looking policemen.

                (Nancy (Reagan) used to look at Ron with such concentrated adoration.)

                Or make magic. Let Korina suddenly burst from nowhere, from behind a swathe of cloth, with accompanying fanfare — now you don’t see her, now you do! And then they kiss!

                It will be a bit Ma-Kor-ny, but what the heck. People will love it.

              • NHerrera says:

                Goodness gracious. The description including the percentage number correct to a hundredth of a percent is almost like a description of Einstein’s relativity physics. I and my Magician friend trust Sal, but we do have to check on his San Mig consumption from time to time. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 Wise, for sure. Either that or apply the BS-o-meter.

  10. karl garcia says:

    Before 2009, there was no society of honor blog yet, I think only the professional heckler was around.

  11. NHerrera says:

    I am so enjoying this. Thanks a lot Gian. And Joe and edgar got into the fray using the tool. Thanks for that chart too Joe. Yours too edgar.

    — from a numbers, table and chart man.

    This metric or tool if interpreted well by the players and us social media people can be very helpful. I am pretty sure these political players, or at least their staff, have seen the blog within hours of the posting.

    Like survey methodology that Gian referred to in a link, the dramatic recent failures have prompted re-appraisal and re-formulation of the survey outfits process. The speed and creative ways of the internet may be such that we may have to be careful about how we interpret the results of these tools. Interests as shown in the 2015 charts of Joe MAY BE of a different type than the “dated” but very interesting charts from Gian’s post.

    My point — are the Trump-like interests shown in the interest spikes of Duterte and Santiago translatable into voters preference for the Presidencies or of a kind like titillating stolen video clips of actors-actresses having sex which surely spiked interests. (I haven’t done the research like Gian and Joe/ edgar; lazy me.) There is of course that thesis of Gian — the last two weeks and companion narrative which may be crucial.

    BUT AS OF NOW, I am enjoying this.

  12. bauwow says:

    Hey Giancarlo! Thank you for this article and Congratulations too on your first(?) born! Mag painom ka naman!
    I will probably have to reread this to get the hang of it. I am still recovering yesterday’s news. It was explosions one after the other!

  13. Very interesting article Giancarlo. It makes everyone pour out their creative jucies in the use of social media. I’m just wondering, how hard is it for Mar Roxas to find a good communication guy? I mean, with all the noises so far, it’s hard not to notice. Is his camp being cautious or is it on a careful planning? I would like to believe that it’s more of the latter, formulating a strategy and wait for the right time.

    • Bert says:

      I think he’s waiting for the disqualifications of the other opponents before making his move which I think is a brilliant strategy.

      • Joe America says:

        Pretty soon, Mar is going to be running against himself. I figure Duterte is next to go. Then Binay. Santiago clearly has no energy and may be the last man standing other than Mar, where I use “man” in its broadest, non-gender-specific sense. Perhaps politician or opportunist or whacko would be a better term. He may also be waiting for the campaign period to begin.

        I don’t know what they call the current activities if it is not campaigning.

        • I was also thinking of the campaign period. Maybe he could make a capital out, distinguishing himself as the only one among the lot who’s less campaigning before the period. If these are possibilities, a stratagem must be coming. Hopefully, it should shock and awe.

      • edgar lores says:

        Honing the already sharp scalpel, I see. 🙂

  14. “Google Trends is free and it is a public facility so anyone can verify the results. It is almost real time which allows crafty people to use it as a leading indicator.”

    Thanks, gian. This is the first I’ve heard of Google Trends, I’m trying figure out how to play around with this. Will get back, lemme explore this first.

  15. surfer sison says:

    I read the decision of the Comelec disqualifying Poe on the grounds that she is not a natural born citizen of the Philippines and that she has not met the residency requirement of 10 years.

    One interesting fact that I gathered is that in the 1935 constitution,which is the constitution in effect at the time of her birth, Poe can only be considered a natural-born Filipino if she can prove she had a Filipino father !

    uh , oh !

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, Senator Poe has big problems. I read the COMELEC ruling (from the Second Division), and it was almost brutal in claiming that Poe was trying to mislead the public in her erroneous COC filing for President, which had an earlier “Philippine citizen date” than did her Senate COC. I do believe ambition outstripped the lady’s sense. I have come to look at her as a rather tragic figure. Not for being a foundling. I see nothing punitive in her life about that, and lots of riches arising from her adoption. But tragic for the slow and steady deterioration of the promise of high values and intelligent leadership into a wasted pile of crass opportunism and bad choices.

      • NHerrera says:


        • bauwow says:

          Wow! Where do you get your words and how do you weave them together Manong Joe ? It is like watching the GSW devour their opponents one by one. Beautiful!

          • Joe America says:

            What you do, bauwow, is you read a little Mark Twain for character and slang, a little Jonathan Swift for satire, a little Kafka (The Castle) to have a clear understanding of absurdity, a little Charles Dickens for human pathos, then you set up a blog and write for five years practicing style and rhythm and learning, each day, a little more about your field of interest. Before you know it, the President is putting you on the Big Screen.

            • NHerrera says:

              Aah — The Formula.

              I just love formulas.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, I left out the secret ingredients, that one has to be half-lunatic, restless (flighty?), love word-play, and strive to not go Santiago under stressful conditions.

              • NHerrera, my ingredients are Malcolm Gladwell and Nassim Nicolas Taleb with a pinch of Seneca and Lao Tsu.. and a little bit of Plato, Manuel Quezon and Magsaysay to taste.

                Joe, that stuff about tempered lunacy is very true. Reminds me of an article in our high school paper by one of its best editors, pre-Zafra, titled “Zen Meditations in Manic Depression”. Well, dealing with the absurd comes naturally for us Marcos babies.

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks Irineo, I will add those in “The Formula” and the “pahabol” of Joe. Nice reference all those.

      • caliphman says:

        It was not so much brutal as legally questionable in my opinion. For those who read it, they are aware the logic of the decision is to prove that Poe made a representation on her residency in her 2016 COC that was material, that it is false, and that lastly it was intended to deceive the public. These three elements must be proven to be true in order to render a decision to disqualify. i only have time and space right now to question whether the decision was able to show that Poe’s claim that her residency exceeded 10 years was in fact false. The primary basis for the decision to the claim this was false was to bring up her 2013 Senate COC and presume it was true because it had been uncorrected, and if it was true, then the 2016 claim had to be false. Huh???? Did not these justices recall that famous SC vs. Imelda Marcos case where she mistakenly and inadvertently admits lack of residency in Leyte where she was running for public office and the SC justices ignore her mistake saying her being away in Hawaii did not count because it was her intent to return? Is that not jurisprudence where a prior admission automatically overrides a correcting claim on a COC? Perhaps to bolster their conclusion of falsity, the decision goes on to say that the earliest Poe’s residency could have started xas when she reacquired citizenship in July 2006 when she reacquired citizenship using RA 2006. Nevermind the ton of jurisprudence including 2009 SC vs Tambuting and those cited by exCJ Panganiban and other legal experts specifically ruling that residency and domicile for election law purposes is established and starts independent of citizenship. Nevermind and no mention in the decision that there was substantial documentation submitted by Poe to prove that she and her family established domicile back in 2005 in accordance with her claim in her 2016 COC. Is this not grave abuse of discretion by these justices in not applying settled law in determining what are the most significant facts to consider and how they should be analyzed in determining when residency was started? If anything was outstripped in this process, it was not this lady’s ambition over her good sense, it was the need to rush to judgement over these justices basic competence and fairness in knowing and applying our election laws.

        • Imelda Marcos is natural born Filipino citizen banished in Hawaii by revolting Filipino citizens, so it’s not her choice to leave, her domicile intent is obvious. Poe voluntarily took an oath of allegiance to the USA, was still a foreigner in 2005 so her intended domicile is to the country that she is a citizen of, even if she presented lots of documents to prove her intent. Foreigners who have been here even for 40 years cannot qualify to be government officials.

          The counting done is when she aplied for and awarded dual citizenship (the BI was taken to task here for not carefully scrutinizing her submitted documents) which is available only to NBFCs, hence her misrepresentation that she is the biological child of Filipino citizens FPJ and Susan to qualify for dual citizenship. ..when it is her as well as a public knowledge that she is a foundling and has been claiming now to be the champion of foundlings like her; the point here is the misrepresentation with intent to deceive. She claimed she was NBFC so she can apply for dual citizenship, now she reverted back to claiming she is a foundling because she says she is “fighting for them”. Twisting and turning of matters to suit her purpose of the moment, even to appear to be a victim of the administration, to get the voters’ sympathies.

          • caliphman says:

            I am sorry to say this but the only reaction I have to the profuse legal sounding verbiage you have been mouthing is one of amazement at its uutter stupidity, shallowness, or complete lack of relevant content. There is a good reason I usually dont respond to you aside from that. I happen to have a customized version of WordPress and it has an ignore button…and so with that, au revoire…CLICK

            • Thank you for your insults, caliphman. You revealed yourself so mightily today.

            • Joe, since caliphman had already decided to ignore my next comments from now on, I am writing this comment addressed to interested readers who might wander to this blog, just to be clear. I usually do this for the benefit of other readers not just of trolls in FB who are not in a listening mode, for alternative source of options to listen to in forum discussions.

              Saying sorry before one utters insults like stupid, shallow and lacking in relevant content is such a big contradiction for me. caliphman prefers to agree with the likes of Panganiban, Tan and others who defend Poe and he decreed that it should be the final word on the matter and woe to anyone of lesser learned status than himself, woe to the likes of me and most of the masa voters (that Poe is wooing) who are not lawyers but dared to believe other legal minds like Carpio, Brion, the other SC associate justice member of the SET, Macalintal, and the three Comelec members of the 2nd Division, for they will be branded stupid, shallow and lacking in relevant content. As the desiderata poem says, “even the ignorant has something to say” or words to that effect. If I choose to believe the current sitting SC associate justices because they are prohibited by law to be directors or officers in giant, private companies while they have not retired yet and so have more credibility NOW (my own take) then I believe I can do that without being ridiculed, insulted and addressed “your highness”.

              While I am for waiting for the SC’s final decision on Poe’s DQ cases, I am of the opinion that it does not preclude me from joining in discussions in forums like this where I can learn more.

              And while I respect the decisions of the majority of the SC, it also does not preclude me from discussing among other commentators here and in Raissa’s if I feel that the final decision is not fair, like their decision to free Enrile from hosp[ital detention on humanitarian consideration which was not even what his lawyers are asking for (setting an unfair precedent, in my humble unlearned opinion), or their decision not to rule on Erap running as President (for mootness, because he was defeated anyway) and setting another precedent for a convicted plunderer to be a government official again as mayor just because the “whereas, whereas conditions as promised by Erap” was not placed where they want it to be placed), or their decisions to declare the midnight appointments of former President Arroyo was constitutional even if it runs counter to established jurisprudence set up by the Narvasa led SC, the last one overturned again lately. Even laypersons (those that are not learned lawyers) can do that, can’t they? They have differences of opinions, in the Supreme Court too, but are they branding each other stupid, shallow or irrelevant?

              Why are Poe’s and the other candidates’ enablers and defenders so into criticizing, ridiculing, insulting and as in the case of Gian and Irineo, threatening their critics?

              Joe, if you decide that I am too argumentative to continue posting here, I will abide by whatever you decide. I can always take a sabbatical, though I will certainly miss all of you, guys.

              Thank you.

              • Bert says:


                Don’t go on a sabbatical. You’re not too argumentative, just argumentative, and we will miss that. I’m sure, in time, caliphman will miss that, too. Just in case he did not, he will send you a copy of that customized version of WordPress with an ignore button. Use it and that will even up the playing field, hehehehehehehe.

              • Joe America says:

                I think you are right to present your case, but I think you have to let others have their own opinion without the need to win every voter to your view. Much of what we do is judgment, even after facts are laid out on the table. Grace Poe has her strengths, being new one of them (not trapped by old thinking), being hard-nosed another, and being smart a third. Some people think all candidates are trapos, as they can’t succeed by being otherwise, so associations are just the pragmatics of getting elected. When the argument breaks down into insults, it ought to end. Agree to disagree, then move on. I appreciate your passion, but as I explained to giancarlo, you can’t do it all, can’t drag every voter over. Mar Roxas has to do that, in the main. If he can’t, then maybe that is another reason Grace Poe, or another candidate, should be elected.

                Keep democracy healthy and big enough to accept different views, is my advice.

            • Bert says:


              Please provide Mary Grace P. Gonzales that customized version of WordPress so she as well can ignore your posts. Two birds with one stone, problems solved, :).

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 🙂 🙂 That’s good, Brother Bert. Really good. Critical thinking at its best.

              • hahaha, thanks, Bert.. This is a late response, busy being a keyboard warrior at FB….there is no problem actually as I understand why caliphman is ignoring my posts. I happened to post a comment praising Yvonne’s comments at raissa’s in one of my response to sir NHerrera. and in my other posts. That is a red flag as far as he is concerned. He called Yvonne all kinds of foul names before taking a sabbatical for a time there. Now, Yvonne and I share the rage coming from him. It seems when you are not an expert you should not open your mouth, or so he thinks and says.

                I posted my response for the benefit of new readers who might read his ridicule, insults directed at me. Both sides of a picture, you know.

              • “Keep democracy healthy and big enough to accept different views, is my advice.” – Joe

                Oh, I am all for that. Maybe you should direct that to caliphman who can’t accept different views without insults and letting everyone know how learned he is. You can search for each of my post if I ever insulted anybody, even the Marcos and Duterte trolls, I treat kindly.

                My last post on this thread. I’ll go back to being one of the keyboard warriors for RORO, in between BIR audit, reportorial deadlines and court hearings.

              • Joe America says:

                One of the biggest challenges of this blog, as editor, is to make the space big enough for all who are earnest about their views. I don’t doubt that caliphman is earnest about his views, his main concern that Binay will get elected, and now Duterte. He and I went our rounds at Raissa’s over Poe, so I know the bite, and we both walked away to calm down and return to earnest debate on issues we agree on. Like Customs. No problem. We even joint published a blog here, the first and only time it has been done. I wish he would not go Pinatubo and get personal. I wish MRP would moderate his repetitive blogs. I wish Irineo would not characterize me as a bleeding heart. I wish lots of things. But the blog space has to be big enough to welcome earnest people. Even you are temperamental with your “last post” comment. I wish people who make the blog work would not get angry and leave us.

                But they do.

                No need for tears. I keep writing. People come and go, comment or not. We get past it, move on. My advice is to ignore those who really bug you, or practice calm in the face of insult. It is a powerful positioning. If you give them power by getting angry, it’s their gain.

                Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .

              • Oops, I mean my last post ON THIS THREAD. Meaning on the topic of caliphman….not on your blog site, Joe…I could never stay away even if I try. This is one site that is addictive for its positive note. You alone can decide my fate here, not me.

        • Joe America says:

          I find it mildly amusing that the assessment of a legal panel’s competence usually is determined by whether one likes their ruling or not. At least in this case, Senator Poe does have clear rights of appeal.

          • caliphman says:

            At CPM, my friend Baycas although he’s not a lawyer knows enough to sometimes tell but thats about it from that crowd. But criticism without backup that can be engaged is the variety you are rightly referring to. But just to be fair, Poe’s counsel does not seem to be up to snuff either as they’ve gone zero for six convincing none of the judges to vote for their client. The lines of argumentation for their case are drawn from Panganiban, Macalintal and Tan’s opinions but they just have not presented and argued their positions clearly and credibly at all.

            • Joe America says:

              Interesting points that I had not thought of. It for sure is a case that requires sharp attorneys, like to cite other cases that are relevant. I stopped following the legalities long ago, as I was getting dizzy from spinning around. There are rules and there are judges, and I’ll just wait.

            • Joe America says:

              Interesting points that I had not thought of. It for sure is a case that requires sharp attorneys, like to cite other cases that are relevant. I stopped following the legalities long ago, as I was getting dizzy from spinning around. There are rules and there are judges, and I’ll just wait.

              • caliphman says:

                Its a wise man who holds his tongue when certain topics may lie beyond his ken rather than be the fool who opens his mouth and proves it.

              • Joe America says:

                Ahhh, yes. The blog-writing done here though often takes me past the point where discretion ought to be applied, because it is also there that, if the parties accept ignorance is a natural condition, the discussions are rich and education is passed, one to the other. Sometimes the adage is correct. Sometimes not, and the art is to distinguish which is which. Or at least be able to live with the consequences without getting angry. I’m still trying to master that art, and have a ways to go yet.

    • caliphman says:

      Careful as you tread on a legal minefield there. If it only mentions Filipino father without qualifying it as biological, then a really good lawyer could argue an adoptive one would do as well. if Carpio can claim that the Constitution can and should be read literally, so can that lawyer. Just saying 🙂

  16. chempo says:

    Thanks Gian, this is interesting. As a non-marketing guy (did sales before, but that’s not exactly marketing) this goggle thing looks fun. Joe has a good point in that results pretty much depend of name recall by goggle. Duterte, Binay, Poe have no problems, but Mar is sometimes Mar and sometimes Roxas, so probably there is a split of his percentages. Aquino did great by using Pnoy only – that is a great lesson.

  17. jameboy says:

    If finally disqualified, who will get Grace Poe’s support? That is the sixty-four million dollar question. Will Escudero proceed with his campaign? Will the President court (again!) Sen. Poe to be with him in supporting Mar Roxas? Will Leni Robredo’s previous statements about Grace Poe serve as an obstacle to PNoy and Poe’s ‘reconciliation’?

    Things are moving fast and the phase is getting slippery for some candidates. I’m sure there would be a lot of horse-trading and back-room dealings among the parties/candidates on the recent decision to disqualify Sen. Poe. 😶

    • A nightmare scenario : Duterte and GP is DQ Cayetano bows out and GP chooses Duterte as replacement.

    • Joe America says:

      Who will she support? Duterte or Santiago. She is bitter toward Aquino/Roxas because she has devils in her mind.

      Will Escudero proceed? Yes. He is leading the polls as an independent, and if anyone but Roxas makes President, he has a good shot at making it in 2022 . . . or before.

      The President may do a soft “feeler” but will make no commitments. It is likely futile, as he and Poe seem to be on different wave lengths.

      Yes, Robredo’s statements are a problem. Poe is a very vindictive lady.

      My top of mind opinions in response to your questions . . .

      • Based on the Comelec decision to disqualify Poe, it was her sloppy filing of her senatorial COC which is the source of her problem. Calling it an honest mistake yet she did nothing to rectify it before she filed her Presidential COC. She did not take the Comelec rules and procedures seriously and worse, she considered the residency period which she supplied in her PCOC as implied rectification, nor realizing that the Comelec considered her SCOC as a legal, public document which was what did her in.

        Based on the above, why would she be bitter toward Aquino and Roxas when all the former’s pronouncements were for letting her run and let the people decide? Are the people who filed the DQ cases in the SET and Comelec connected in any way to LP or Pnoy? Isn’t Rizalito David a relative of Gordon who will be the beneficiary if ever she is disqualified by the SET, and isn’t Gordon connected to UNA in the same manner that Tatad, who is one of those who filed the DQ cases at the Comelec, is connected to UNA?

        • Joe America says:

          Right. She has demons in her mind, it seems, and is a far cry from the stateswoman a lot of people expected. Her approach is to stand out by characterizing the current administration as inept. Meanwhile, President Aquino’s trust rating keeps increasing.

          • Demons in her mind being egged on by the Makabayan bloc and Escudero who insist that LP is behind the DQ cases filed against her. Another instance of Poe’s lack of discerning ability, prone to whispers of people around her.

            • jolly cruz says:

              what’s with the continuous bashing. You won. Why continue demonizing her? Its like you are so afraid of her that even if she’s down and out you still have to put her down. Enough of this. If after all your vicious comments against her, Roxas is still lagging behind her, perhaps its no longer POe’s fault but Roxas’.

              • What’s with your continued sensitivity when Poe is being talked about. She knows and accepts that when she decided to enter the public life of a politician, she will be talked about, her actions, her qualifications, her mistakes. That’s the price of being a public figure. When she is no longer that, rest assured, no one will take notice of her or her decisions, except maybe when she enters show business, make movies, star in them, then she will really continue what her adoptive fathers had started.

              • Posted in NETCAB

                Manda Rusa
                4 hrs

                Grace Poe is blaming Roxas and Binay for her Disqualification. Miss Poe whoever is behind it does not matter, you put yourself in that situation, so you have to face all the consequences. The Filipino has the right to know, because you are aiming for the highest post in our country. Just abide by the rule of law and stop blaming anybody. Thank you and God bless our only country!

              • Sharing more:

                Archie Federico Hernandez

                Pinaghihinalaan niya ang LP.e si Bam Aquino, pumabor s kanya sa SET!!! Utak naman Miss Poe, may nilabag ka talagang batas!!! at tama lang yang ginawa ng comelec.wag mo ng lasunin ang utak ng mga mamayan dahil sa sarili mong interes

                Jenny Ranoco

                Malinaw at maliwanag ang paliwanag ng comelec, di mo na meet ang residency requirments mo ikaw mismo ang nagsulat sa coc mo last may 2013, masyado ka ma drama kung gusto mo mag artista ka na lang tutal yun naman gusto mo diba ang sundan yapak ni fpj.

                Tommy Veneracion

                Ang kasabihan kung minsan may katotohanan: “Ang naglalakad ng matulin, kung matinik ay malalim”.

              • NHerrera says:

                Mary, thanks for having the patience to comb through for some gems in the social media. 🙂

              • sir NH

                I’m so into social media these days…my own way of helping RORO. I can’t be in the war zone itself, am just a keyboard warrior..I remember you coining that word. It was you, right? 🙂

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes I did use the phrase “keyboard warrior.” Nice memory you have.

    • NHerrera says:

      Knee-jerk reaction:

      Assuming GPL acts “Huramentado,”

      – and supports Duterte for spite;
      – by this, Binay may see the ups in Duterte diminishing his stock; he may thus hit GPL where it hurts and not just Duterte;
      – Santiago too may hit the Huramentado not to increase her stock, but because Santiago is Santiago and wants to join the fun;
      – if not herself because a Huramentado’s mind may not function anymore, she may be constrained by advisers (her husband?), but goaded by mother Susan, and Rasputin Escudero;
      – the last item being — will she commit a virtual suicide unmindful of future consequences?

      I have not included the moves of Roxas camp.

      I admit too many what ifs. As I said, knee-jerk.

    • Bert says:

      My top of mind opinion at this time. Escudero is now headless and probably has not enough budget to sustain his campaign without Grace. His ratings is bound south already while Bongbomg’s rating is picking up. A disqualified Grace will direct her ire on the COMELEC, perceived to be a lackey of the administration and the LP. She will gravitate towards anyone who can give Mar a good fight probably Miriam if Digong is eliminated by the COMELEC and Binay by the Ombudsman. Miriam is not winnable, but with full support from Grace and Bongbong, and up against an opponent who is not winnable as well, a Miriam presidency cannot just be discounted if all these mentioned scenarios occurred.

      And then we will have a President Miriam and a Vice-President Bongbong after May 2016. But horror of horrors, almost everybody are of the opinion that President Miriam will not last very long. I’m not one of them.

      • Bert,

        So you do not believe that Miriam has stage 4 lung cancer? One of those quips like “I will jump from a plane if…….?

        • Bert says:


          I’m not a religious man but I would not wish anyone ill will so I wish that Miriam have a long life. Well, of course the Marcos loyalists want her to have a short life after they both win the election for obvious reason.

          As to her plan to jump from a plane she said she lied so that sort of like an admission of guilt, an act of contrition if you will, and so I had already forgiven her for that.

          • If it’s true that she indeed has stage 4 lung cancer and that she claims to be healed by a modern drug, I’ll say good for her. I just wish that that modern drug was already available when my late father was diagnosed with the same critical illness. Diagnosed in January, died in December 5. Inoperable, he refused chemo and/or radiation. I asked the doctor what will be the quality of his remaining six months if we go for the twin therapy, and they said, it will be like hell, so we did not try to change my father’s decision. The ones he shared the cancer ward with in the Lung Center died 5-6 months after chemo / radiation with damaged liver, practically skin and bones rattling inside their frail body due to the ultra invasive therapy, their ribs broken and piercing their other organs. The doctors were surprised that he lasted almost a year without anything but herbal meds, fresh air, his favorite food, music and our tender loving care.

            Doctors are doubtful of her claims, and Santiago refuses to make her health bulletin public which, IMHO, the voters she is wooing have a right to know considering she is asking them to vote for her to the highest post of the land.

            • Bert says:

              My sympathy and sadness to what happened to your father. Be careful now, I read that kind of thing can be at times genetic so take precautionary measures, you hear?

              As to Miriam, I think your post would add smiles to the faces of those pesky Marcos loyalists,

              • Thanks, Bert.

                That’s true, something that we are all aware of, my father’s sister and mother died of cancer, too. Same with my mother’s sister who died just a year ago. I had one, got operated on just in time when it’s on a cellular level…no stage yet. Prayers and faith – those are our weapons plus a healthy lifestyle.

                Re your last para, I say, don’t smile yet, you pesky Marcos loyalists, we’ve got five months to prevent a BBM Vice Presidency. Never Again!

  18.–why-dutertes-presidential-bid-is-good-for-democracy – from Walden Bello… and I think he’s right that the troll Duterte will force certain topics to be discussed more. A real, credible competitor to Roxas would have been better though.

  19. chempo says:

    Here’s some good news —
    The 13 million-strong National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) has forged an alliance with the LP and pledged its support for Roxas and Robredo.;_ylt=Arn6FwDhl2reH.WKn5.qm1kSscB_;_ylu=X3oDMTFsNWNzMDY2BG1pdANQSCBHZW5lcmljIFRhYgRwb3MDMTMEc2VjA01lZGlhQkxpc3RNaXhlZExQQ0FUZW1w;_ylg=X3oDMTBhMnJuamU1BGxhbmcDZW4tU0c-;_ylv=3

  20. NHerrera says:


    In any case, election law experts Romulo Macalintal, Beng Sardillo, and Carlo Vistan told GMA News Online that Poe is facing a difficult road to reverse the Comelec division’s ruling.

    The Comelec division composed of Commissioners Al Parreno, Arthur Lim, and Sheriff Abas sided with lawyer Estrella Elamparo’s petition that Poe failed to meet the 10-year residency requirement mandated by the Constitution for a presidential candidate.

    Vistan said it is unlikely that any evidence presented by Poe on the matter will convince the three commissioners who already voted against her. The three commissioners of the Second Division will also be part of deciding on the case once it reaches the en banc.

    “That kind of evidence — statements or admission against one’s own interest — that’s a very good evidence against a person,” he said. “In other words, parang umamin ka o nagsabi ka ng isang bagay na kino-contradict ‘yung sinasabi mo ngayon.”

    Macalintal noted that she faces an uphill climb unless she presents new evidence in her appeals.

    “Mahihirapan rin si Poe kapag wala siyang bagong ebidensya na iniharap sa Comelec, kasi ‘yung findings ng Comelec, ‘yung mga ‘yan, laging sinu-sustain ‘yan ng Korte Suprema, maliban na lang kung merong tinatawag na grave abuse of discretion,” Macalintal told GMA News Online in a telephone interview.

    “Pero dito, kung ‘yun ay suportado ng tatlong mahistrado ng Korte Suprema, paano mo sasabihing nag-abuse ng discretion ang Comelec? So kailangan makumbinsi ni Poe ‘yung walong mahistrado sa Korte Suprema para bumoto sa kaniya. ‘Yun ang mahirap.”

    Sardillo added that if the en banc upholds the division’s decision, Poe will have to seek a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court in order to still make it in the ballot.

    “Absent a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court, the resolution of the en banc becomes final and executory,” she said.

    But a TRO from the High Court would complicate matters. Without a final executory decision, Comelec would be forced to include Poe’s name in the ballot. And if the Supreme Court rules against her, votes for Poe in next year’s elections would be considered stray.

    “Maraming mangyayari. Marami,” Macalintal said. “Depende ‘yan kung babaguhin ng en banc [ang ruling], depende kung anong sasabihin ng Korte Suprema — kung ilalagay ‘yung pangalan niya sa balota. Depende kung magdedesisyon ang Supreme Court before the elections, or kung magdedesisyon after the elections,” he said.

  21. yesnoy46 says:

    Dear Joe,

    The “last man standing” is Mar Roxas. I finally got back to my blog “Back in the Saddle” and wrote up this piece, imitating your and you bookie Sal’s method and I ended with the conclusion that Mar Roxas is “the man”. Please see:

    • NHerrera says:

      yesnoy46, before Joe makes his post, I would like to share this.


      Pagkatapos ng ilang araw na katamaran, naglaglakad ako sa malapit na “Park.” Hindi tumagal at na-kasabay ko and aming kapitbahay. Eto ang kuwento:

      Kapitbahay: Nasan ang kamatis?
      Kasambahay: Hindi ako bumili. Lahat po ng kamatis, Grace Poe.
      Kapitbahay: Ano yun? Me-taniman bang kamatis si Grace?
      Kasambahay: Hinid po. Lahat ng kamatis nila Hilaw.

      PAGPAUMANHIN. Alam ko na sa-dami ng problema ni GL hindi ma-inam etong kuwentong ito. Pero and kuwento na yan ay totoo; hindi inbento.

    • Joe America says:

      Sal thinks the Roxas winning spread will be bigger than you predict. Poe’s votes will likely go elsewhere, and they will not go to Binay. They will likely divide three ways, Duterte, Santiago and Roxas.

      • yesnoy46 says:

        Even better news that the spread will be bigger! Abangan ang bagong SWS at Pulse Asia survey results. That’s in early December for SWS and a week later for Pulse. But if Poe’s votes will go elsewhere and not to Binay, I think they will be more for Miriam/Bongbong than for DuCay. I think Duterte has thrown the gauntlet at the RC and is gambling with INC.

  22. Caliphman says:

    For all you who quietly or loudly gloat in glee that Grace Poe’s campaign for presidency is legally dead in the water, you are right in that it would be a very steep climb to get back in the race. None the less, after reading the 34 page Comelec Division 2 decision twice, I have to say it is filled with legal flaws and oversights lending it vulnerable to a Supreme Court review for grave accuse of discretion. As an example, the decision completely ignores SC vs Tambunting which is very similar in that residency and citizenship issues were involved and Tambunting’s rival filed a Comelec petition accusing him of misrepresentation in his COC and asking for his disqualification. What is ironic is that the Comelec dismissed the petition at the Divisional and en Banc levels. The SC in its review upheld the Comelec stating that Tambunting regained his natural citizenship qualification through RA 9225 which the Comelec Poe decision rejects and more importantly the Court clearly stated that when citizenship is reacquired is not a determining factor when domicile or residency was established or started. If the Comelec or the SC sitting en Banc without the 3 SET Justices will give GP a fair hearing, she has a chance. Curiously, the ponente or the justice who wrote the Tambunting decision was none other than an an associate justice named Antonio Carpio.

    I do not know about you but without Poe running, my bookie says the leading contenders will be Duterte and Binay for president as they are ahead in the most recent polls and they are the most likely to attract Poe’s huge masa following. And if current surveys are any indicator, guess who are the odds on favorites for VP if either of the two are disquaified or taken out of office…none other than Chiz and Bongbong will be waiting in the wings. So gloat now at Poe’s misfortunes but as they say, be careful what you wish for!

    • Joe America says:

      Re. “gloating”. I think Senator Poe makes the bed in which social media make her lie. A president should have respect for laws and due process, and not turn catty when the process turns against her. She can’t cheer one set of processes that favor her, and criticize another that doesn’t, and expect people not to raise a voice. And when the candidate turns catty, she stokes the emotions of those fans who oppose her. Take her relentless front-paging about SET (cheering), foundlings and COMELEC (complaining) and put that side by side with LP that just says “we will live with whatever happens”, and goes around discussing platform ideas. They are only forced to comment when Poe/Escudero make loose accusations.

      I find Poe weird, frankly . . . immature may be a better word . . . like she believed the original halo thrown over her was the way the whole path to the presidency would look, a yellow-brick road, with flowers and bright sunshine and trees with delicious mangoes for snacks. Unfortunately, there are witches and flying monkeys and poison apples in the trees and all kinds of hazards along the way, as that is politics in an open, expressive democracy. I’d like her better if she respected the process and the other players, who are minding their own business, and have a right to pursue due process themselves.

    • Did Tambunting make an “honest mistake” in preparing a previous Certificate of Candidacy which does not match a current CoC like Poe did? That is the estoppel doctrine raised by the Comelec.

      Did he misrepresent some facts in his application for dual citizenship like Poe did when she stated that she is a bilogical child of FPJ and Susan and not a foundling?

    • “Gloating” is such a negative word. We are discussing whether Poe has the tendency to misrepresent facts and create legal short cuts. If she can do that while still a candidate for senator and president, what other misrepresentation and legal shortcut will she do for self interest if she wins?

      Is making sure we understand everything so we can make a rebuttal in every attempt of Poe to shift the blame to LP, Pnoy and Mar for things that she herself had done – gloating? She is now attempting to misrepresent what is happening to her (which are due to her own mistakes) as the fault of the administration, we can see that in the day’s headlines on TV and newsprints. All done to make her appear as victim…paawa effect..fighting the city hall is difficult…hey did this administration the one who filled up her CoC? Is the administration the one who stated in her application for dual citizenship that she is the biological child of the Poes?

      All we want is for our would be executive and legislative members to be truly qualified and are compliant with the fundamental law of the land – the constitution, for that constitution is supreme than international laws which are in contradiction with it.

      Gloating…? We just want to call a spade a spade.

  23. caliphman says:

    Joe, you might prefer Roxas and may dislike many things about Poe, but I would rather take my chances with her than with Duterte or Binay any old day. Its as simple as that.

    • Just because Poe is leading in the surveys? Let’s wait for the next surveys in April or May if and when she is disqualified with finality.

      We are not one to throw in the towel in the middle of the bath..err the battle.

      We dislike the people she chose to associate herself with, it will be like going back to Marcos times.

      As simple as that.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s perfectly fine. I don’t mind people making their own choices as long as they allow me to make mine without making me the villain for seeing it differently.

      • Joe America says:

        ps, I have not gloated. I find hers to be a tragic case, actually.

        • caliphman says:

          Joe, I know you enough by now so I am not one to lump you with that herd of gloating and bleating lifeless and mindless zombies wandering and clawing about for a drop of Grace Poe’s blood. They used to hang out mainly at Raissa’s but some of our regulars must have gotten bit while visiting, because a bunch of them are here now acting as if they were back
          at CPM.

          • Joe America says:

            Right, yes, that’s true, some are in assertive campaign mode. Listening tends to diminish, but they are good people with a passion for their mission. I suppose that when one works a Marcos group for a few days, one gets in a groove. 🙂

            • caliphman says:

              That seems more Raissa and Alan’s doing by choosing antiMarcos articles so that CPM is bashing the right target and not appear hitting Poe even if the judges have her lying on the mat and being counted on. I would like to think it was Raissa’s journalism and not that mob and its character assasination excesses that won the Bloggys for that site.

              • Joe America says:

                The judges were journalists, Raissa has powerful pieces now and then (her interview with President Aquino), and she has a prominent following. This was the first year for a rejuvenated Bloggys award. They started with the solid, safe choice. I think they went more with the blogger than the discussion.

  24. caliphman says:

    Gian, very unique and interesting article! You should really write more.

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