MANILA - Actor Robin Padilla, number 1 in the unofficial vote tallies for Senate contenders in the May 9 polls, had the most interactions on Facebook -- whether on his page or across the social media site -- from the time of the filing of candidacies in 2021 to the eve of elections.
Experts and studies have cited the power of Facebook - now Meta - to inform political decision-making in the Philippines, where most of the more than half of the 110 million population able to connect to the Internet have Facebook accounts.
The size of Padilla's Facebook footprint may surprise many as this is larger than accounts known to have big following such as program host Raffy Tulfo's or those of some political veterans seeking Senate seats. In contrast, Padilla has no experience as an elected official, and this is his first foray into national politics.
Padilla's Facebook page has a total of 31.14 million total interactions (reactions, comments, shares) from Oct. 1, 2021, the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy for elections, to May 7, 2022, the end of the campaign period.
This was from the comparison of Padilla's page with those of other senatorial candidates leading the partial and unofficial tally of votes. ABS-CBN News used CrowdTangle, the Facebook-owned tool that analyzes interactions on the social network.
Interactions arising from from 2,348 posts mentioning Padilla across Facebook, meanwhile, gained 18.82 million interactions for the same period.
These numbers were generated by running Robin Padilla's name and his nickname "Binoe" through the search function of CrowdTangle.
CrowdTangle access is available for Facebook partners who publish original content, such as ABS-CBN News.
The counting of interactions is "agnostic" in the sense that it does not make a distinction between positive or negative sentiment.
Most interactions on Facebook
As an already famous actor years before throwing his hat into the political ring, Padilla had 3.87 million followers on his Facebook page at the start of October. This was small in comparison to the Facebook page Raffy Tulfo in Action page named after the program host, which had 18.46 million at the time.
In terms of interactions on one's page, then Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano had the most reactions, comments, shares at 4.03 million before he was overtaken by Padilla. In November, Cayetano's page interaction numbers started going down. By the end of the campaign period, Cayetano's page was the only one that had reduced following among all Senate candidates topping the unofficial tally.
Padilla's Facebook page had 3.24 million interactions in November. He had 4.71 million last February, then 7.71 million last April, during which he posted an interview video, and a live stream of his speech during a Davao City sortie.
From May 1 to 7, he had 2.44 million interactions.
In terms of interaction rate, Padilla's page gathered the most interactions for a post when he shared a video showing his presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. eating with some colleagues while in Ilocos. It had total views of 8.52 million and around 440,000 interactions.
Conversations about Padilla on FB
Outside of his Facebook page, posts about Padilla peaked May 7, 2022, when the Facebook page of Marcos Jr. shared the live video of the UniTeam miting de avance in Parañaque and tagged Padilla and the other Senate bets in the team ticket.
Marcos' son Sandro also crossposted this live video stream on his page, and this also helped gain interactions for Padilla and the others.
But on his own, the biggest Padilla conversation happened Feb. 10, 2022 when the KAMI page, which identifies itself as media for news and entertainment, posted about Padilla's reaction to a comment against celebrity Tony Gonzaga, who has been criticized for hosting Marcos rallies.
Padilla also got reactions, comments and shares from a post of Atty Chel Diokno who posted a status mentioning the actor on May 7, 2022. This was the fourth top post in terms of interactions about Padilla across Facebook for this period.
Villar, Tulfo, Binay
Meanwhile, former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar has the second most interactions on Facebook after Padilla from Oct. 1, 2021 to May 7, 2022.
Villar's Facebook page had 14.47 million interactions during this period. Across Facebook, 812 posts mentioning Villar generated 7.12 million interactions.
[[INSERT Top 13 total interactions across Facebook_051122.png ]]
Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo's page, Raffy Tulfo in Action, the most followed among pages of Senate contenders topping the unofficial tally, had 18.46 million in October. By the end of the campaign period, this ballooned to 19.3 million followers.
Yet, his page's total interactions from October to the eve of elections was at 6.21 million. This number is not very far from interactions generated by posts about him across Facebook.
The most interactions about Tulfo happened on Nov. 18, 2021, when
341,500 reacted to the live video posted by Sen. Manny Pacquiao mentioning him. Tulfo is part of the the Senate slate of presidential contender Pacquiao.
Former Vice President Jojo Binay, also in the Pacquiao senatorial slate, is currently ranked 13th in the partial and unofficial tally of Halalan 2022 votes.
Binay has the lowest showing in Facebook interactions if compared with the 12 other names in the partial and unofficial count for Senate candidates.
He has 994,029 interactions across Facebook. Meanwhile, his page has 586,300 reactions, comments and shares.