Manolo Quezon is #TheExplainer Newsletter — Issue #41 Notes on the Public and News

Two interesting items: survey results from Pulse Asia giving a snapshot of media consumption and behavior; and some findings by Nielsen. Combined with some older snapshots, and what these pictures suggest.

Print matters, as you’ll see below

Some thoughts

releases its September snapshot of public opinion on news sources, internet use, etc. Interesting slides.

Newspapers sadly are no longer mass media, though still on par with, say, Twitter. National radio has been collapsing. TV may be showing signs of inevitable downturn in numbers as streaming revvs up.

Conclusion as far as campaigns are concerned: TV is still King, so TV ads (repurposeful to YouTube) are main battleground, meaning minute limits matter. Majority are online, many compulsively so; but more with like-minded people than friends or family when it comes to politics.

But as Prof. Jorge Tigno reminds, newspapers get the newscyle going from radio to TV starts with what newspapers have to say at the start of the day.

A colleague says elite media are newspapers and Twitter, Which are coordinated on Viber which is the elite equivalent of FB Messenger. So in that sense, tip of the media iceberg.

What this suggests to me is if any changing of minds will take place, it will be due to TV ads, possibly debates, and coverage in news. But it won’t be in discussions online where we prefer to talk to like- minded people only.

The 2010 onwards lesson: online is the petri dish in which messaging/issues are incubated and then if succesful released into the wider media world.

A colleague: “This is the first election where there is no nationwide television network.” ABS-CBN was assassinated and GMA gave up the ambition. But also: “YouTube is the new TV.”

I’ve long believed the battleground is on YouTube. Final thought: but there was flight from public social media to private chat apps because of toxicity.

Pulse Asia’s Latest

Where people get news, who gets the news, and changes over time

Information on Internet penetration

Opinion on Social Media

Our national political water cooler talk

A word from Nielsen

From Nielsen comes answers our questions: how did pandemic change audience’s viewing habits? What did closure of ABS-CBN mean in terms of audiences? What is ongoing evolution? .

When ECQ was enacted, TV viewing heightened, with 21.2% ratings at the end of March 2020, an over 5-percentage-point increase from the month before. This significant upswing was observed throughout all dayparts and can be attributed in large part to the need for news and “thoughtful programming.” While COVID-19 led to this disruption and led to similar changes globally, the shutdown of ABS-CBN made the Philippines a unique case as the network’s main channel on its own took 33.5% of the total TV audience share in Q1 2020. The shutdown has led to lower total TV viewing levels overall (13.5% for Total Philippines for Q1 2021 compared to 17.0% in Q1 2020), but higher individual ratings for the remaining channels.

With the loss of one of the major players and the necessity of remote working, more people got access to the internet, and the increase in internet penetration was more than 4 million people in urban Philippines alone (from 76% in Q1 2020 to 84% in Q1 2021). It was always common behavior for people who had access to both TV and internet to be using both at the same time, with 92% of TV viewers who are internet users doing both activities simultaneously multiple days a week. While individual channels increased in ratings, the lower ratings for total TV point to a higher incidence of these multi screeners deciding to go purely digital.

All of this is to say that the disruptions have led to a new balance in the media landscape and therefore leads to a higher need for always-on cross-platform measurement. Advertisers need to know which media and channels to allocate their budget and also need to be able to optimize their campaigns with data-driven decisions. Similarly, publishers need to be able to quantify to their advertiser clients what their platforms are able to provide.

A blast from the past

Two slides that have fascinated me since they were released in 2010. See the slides. Look at the first, and gather together the ones that mention “news.” Second slide: see how broad the public’s own interpretation of where news can come from, is. Then look at top sources of news.

Note the role of news.
See what the public defines as sources of news.

Some statistics

Received this as “For those wondering about voter information.” Caveat emptor but seems legit.

Basic Philippine Voter Data:

As of Sept 29, 2021 there are 63.36M registered voters and counting. This might end at 65–68M registered voters once registration period ends on Oct 30. 5M + new voters so far.

Voter turnout was 75% in the 2019 elections

Voter segment

ABC is 13%, D 74% and E 13% .

Urban 49%, Rural 51%

Male 50%, Female 50%


18–24 (15%)

25–34 (20%)

35–44 (20%)

45–54 (20%)

55–64 (15%)

65 and up (10%)

Educational Attainment

No formal edu/ elem (19%)

Some HS (16%)

Completed HS (32%)

Vocational (6%)

Some College (16%)

Completed Coll/Post Grad (11%)

Working (56%)

- govt 4%

- private 11%

- self employed 29%

- farmers/fisherfolk 11%

Not Working (44%)


NCR (14%)

Balance Luzon (45%)

Visayas (19%)

Mindanao (22%)

Overseas Votes:

There were 431k overseas voters in 2016 (0.96%) of total voters. From 2007 to 2019, the five countries with the highest Filipino voter turnout have been consistent: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States


Tagalog 42%

Ilocano 6%

Kapampangan 5%

Bicolano 5%

Ilonggo 9%

Cebuano 21%

Waray 4%

Others 8%


Roman Catholic 83%

INC 3%

Islam 4%

Others 11%

Other info (DICT Survey)

More than 90.0% of surveyed barangays have cellphone signals present in their barangays and more than half of these can access a 4G (LTE) signal

Only about 40.0% of the respondent barangays have TV signals in their area.

Only about 13.0% of population have free public Wi-Fi present in their barangays.

Less than half (47.1%) of the households have communal radios.

Around 82.7% of households have television at home

Only 8.2% of households have their own fixed telephone line

24.0% of households have communal cellphones but only two out of ten have communal computers.

Only 17.7% of households have their own internet access at home, the majority of which use the internet for social media and communication.

The results for the individual survey are as follows:

91.1% of individuals have watched television and that they spend around 3 hours watching TV daily.

79.01% of individuals have used their cellphones while only 33.9% have used a computer in the last three months.

46.88% of individuals have used the internet and many of them have used a cellphone to connect to the internet.

Other data (source: We are Social 2021 report) :

The Philippines tops the world again for time spent using social media, the 6th straight year it has done so. According to the report, Filipinos spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes each day on social media, which is 22 minutes higher than last year’s average of 3 hours and 53 minutes, and 3 minutes higher than 2019’s average of 4 hours and 12 minutes.

The global average for social media usage is 2 hours and 25 minutes, with Japan taking the last spot in the rankings, recording an average of 51 minutes.

The Philippines is also again the highest in internet usage, clocking in close to 11 hours per day at 10 hours and 56 minutes. Brazil comes in at second, with an average of 10 hours and 8 minutes, and Colombia at third, with an average of 10 hours and 7 minutes.

Data sources : Comelec website, Pulse Asia survey, DICT survey and other legitimate online sources.For those wondering about voter information.