Top Searches in The Philippines in 2021 According to Yahoo Year in Review

Yahoo! has released its Year in Review 2021 for the Philippines, an annual collection of the top searched categories: from personalities, sports, and athletes to cryptocurrencies and other top newsmakers in 2021, compiled using anonymized interest patterns based on what Yahoo users searched for.

“2021 showed a ray of hope with the world slowly reopening alongside the easing of community quarantine restrictions in the Philippines,” Yahoo said. “Online activity in the country continued to remain at an all-time high as netizens sought out their passions like never before.”

After the pandemic first rocked the world in 2020, by no means was 2021 less uneventful, especially in the Philippines: from witnessing the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold to the 2022 election race, users in the Philippines rushed online to look up these headline-defining moments this year.


Athletes and celebrities continued to dominate headlines, while politics and catastrophes remained some of the most-searched topics in 2021.

Yahoo’s Year in Review 2021 

Yahoo recaps the year through top trends, happenings, events, and personalities that Pinoys cared about the most.


  • Local female celebrities remained dominant but the hallyu wave nabbed spots from local male celebrities
  • Politics, sports, tragedies and natural disasters on the minds of users in the Philippines
  • Pinoy pride swells with sports and Olympics
  • Manny Pacquiao top newsmaker and most searched athlete/sportsperson

Top newsmakers of 2021: Sports, politics, and history in the making defined headlines

Boxing legend, senator, and now presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao topped headline searches this year for multiple reasons, beginning from his unanimous decision loss to reigning WBA welterweight champ Yordenis Ugas in August to his decision to run for president in September under the PDP-Laban party.

Politics is clearly on Pinoys’ minds, in light of the upcoming 2022 elections: Filipinos also widely searched for Ferdinand Marcos (3rd) with Bongbong Marcos announcing his own bid for the presidency in 2022. Other political newsmakers include president Rodrigo Duterte (5th) who announced his departure from politics this year; his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio (7th), who is running alongside Marcos Jr. as vice president; and former President Benigno Aquino III (6th), revered for combating corruption and championing economic reforms, who passed away in June this year of renal disease.

COVID aside, Filipinos also concerned themselves with major events: the threat of Taal Volcano (2nd) continued from last year after yet another volcanic unrest was recorded in July this year—prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to place Batangas province under Alert Level 3. Users also searched for updates on Typhoon Maring (9th) after it ravaged parts of northern Luzon; 15 national roads and highways made impassable due to flooding, thousands displaced and affected with around 40 dead and several others missing and injured. Pinoys also kept themselves updated on the tragedy of the Philippine Air Force C-130 (10th) crash in July that took the lives of 53.

Meanwhile, historical events topped searches in 2021: weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was the fourth biggest newsmaker this year after her groundbreaking win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—snatching the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines. Netizens also searched for Rappler CEO and awarded journalist Maria Ressa (8th), who became the first Filipino individual Nobel laureate after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov.

Most searched personalities: Bea Alonzo and Lee Min-ho emerge on top

Pinoy celebrities and Korean stars continued to dominate this year’s searches. Award-winning actress and prized ABS-CBN talent Bea Alonzo was the most-searched female celebrity this year after her transfer to rival network GMA-7 made headlines. Her latest relationship with actor Dominic Roque, following her breakup with Gerald Anderson, also caught the attention of users in the Philippines.

After topping last year’s searches, YouTuber and Kapamilya star Ivana Alawi slid to the second spot. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray (3rd) was still one of the most-searched female stars after hosting this year’s Bb Pilipinas pageant, and news of her online course with the controversial Nas Academy made rounds. Miss Universe 2020 Rabiya Mateo (4th) and actress Angel Locsin (5th) rounded off the top 5. Stars such as Sarah Geronimo (6th)Julia Barretto (7th), TikTok’s Bella Poarch (8th)Ara Mina (9th), and Kathryn Bernardo (10th) completed the list.

The Hallyu wave continues to crash land on Pinoys well into 2021. Beloved K-drama superstar Lee Min-ho topped searches for male celebrities, while Crash Landing on You’s Hyun Bin (3rd) continued to be popular in searches, as well as Ji Chang-wook (7th). However, more Pinoy celebrities made up this year’s list, led by Ang Probinsyano’s Coco Martin (2nd) followed by Robin Padilla (4th). Heartthrobs such as Daniel Padilla (5th)Gerald Anderson (6th)Xian Lim (8th)Paulo Avelino (9th), and Dingdong Dantes (10th) rounded up the list.

Most searched athletes: Pinoy pride swells
Aside from Pacquiao (1st), the Philippines’ impressive run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has seen a spike in searches for Olympians and other athletes making waves globally.

2021 was truly Hidilyn Diaz’s (2nd) year as the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist, who shortly got engaged to boyfriend and coach Julius Naranjo. Basketball fans also followed updates on young star Kai Sotto (3rd) and his budding international career, while billiards legend Efren Bata Reyes (4th) continued to be popular in searches. Sports enthusiasts also kept tabs on Filipino-Japanese golf star Yuka Saso (5th), who won the US Women’s Open this year, and Australian Open titleholder Alex Eala (6th).

Olympians Nesthy Petecio (7th), Carlos Yulo (8th), Carlos Paalam (9th), and Eumir Marcial (10) rounded up sports searches.

The cryptocurrency fever in the Philippines

2021 was also a big year for cryptocurrency in the Philippines, as interest surged in the country. Binance Coin (1st)Bitcoin (2nd)Tether (3rd)Ripple (4th), and Uniswap (5th) topped crypto searches, while “meme coins” Shiba Inu (6th) and Dogecoin (8th) also made the list.

Top Newsy terms/Newsmakers of 2021
1Manny Pacquiao 
2Taal Volcano  
3Ferdinand Marcos
4Hidilyn Diaz  
5Rodrigo Duterte 
6Benigno Aquino III
7Sara Duterte-Carpio
8Maria Ressa     
9Typhoon Maring
10Philippine Air Force C-130 crash


Most searched athlete/sportsperson
1Manny Pacquiao                                               
2Hidilyn Diaz 
3Kai Sotto   
4Efren Bata Reyes  
5Yuka Saso 
6Alex Eala
7Nesthy Petecio
8Carlos Yulo
9Carlo Paalam
10Eumir Marcial


Yahoo Philippines’ most searched male personalities
1Lee Min-ho 
2Coco Martin
3Hyun Bin     
4Robin Padilla     
5Daniel Padilla 
6Gerald Anderson  
7Ji Chang-wook  
8Xian Lim
9Paulo Avelino
10Dingdong Dantes


Yahoo Philippines’ most searched female personalities
1Bea Alonzo  
2Ivana Alawi  
3Catriona Gray 
4Rabiya Mateo
5Angel Locsin
6Sarah Geronimo
7Julia Barretto   
8Bella Poarch
9Ara Mina
10Kathryn Bernardo


The top 10 most-searched Cryptocurrencies in the Philippines
1Binance coin (BNB)  
2Bitcoin (BTC) 
3Tether (USDT)
4Ripple (XRP) 
5Uniswap (UNI)
6Shiba Inu (SHIB)
7Ethereum (ETH)
8Dogecoin (DOGE)
9Polkadot (DOT)
10Cardano (ADA)

For more, take a detailed look at Yahoo’s Year in Review 2021.

Featured image: Rob Hampson via Unsplash