DIGOS CITY ,Davao del Sur, Philippines– Makabayan senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño was obviously thrilled when the hashtag #TeddyDay landed on the Top 10 Twitter trends for the Philippines, just two notches below tweets about popular TV host and comedian Vice Ganda.
This prompted the lawmaker to say, albeit in jest, that the #TeddyDay hashtag has become at par with tweets about Vice Ganda, or Jose Marie Viceral in real life.
“Even if it was only for a moment, #TeddyDay became at par with tweets about Vice Ganda in the trending list,” Casiño said, although it was not the first time he trended on the web.
Casiño has consistently topped online mentions and mock polls in recent months and was seventh in the Philippine Elections 2013 social media research project.
He also became the most mentioned candidate during the #Harapan2013 live senatorial debate and received 68 percent of the total positive ratings in the #RapplerDebate senatorial debate – the highest among all participants.
In the 7-Elections online polls, he ranked fifth while he was fourth in University of the Philippines’ Botong Isko online mock polls.
But Casiño was more visibly excited when the hashtag #TeddyDay became the no. 7 in the list of trends for Twitter on May 3 because according to him, “it is no easy feat to break through trending hash tags and keywords.”
The other hashtags, with their corresponding positions, were: #fihadasuperpower (1); Text Ioera 15 to 211 (2); #Happy2ndMonthsaryPrimeFamily (3); #VICEBOOMKaraKARYLLE (4); Page 2 of JAPSmonth (5); Mancao (6); #VLeagueXQF (8); NBI (9); and Keep Calm and Follow (10).
There were over 2,000 tweets about Casiño on May 3.
Casiño also hit trending topics on other social media sites – such as Facebook and blogs – that day as his supporters held the so-called “online day of action” or Teddy Day in a bid to boost the militant lawmaker’s candidacy in the May senatorial elections.
On Facebook alone, at least 7,000 “stories” discussing Casiño’s platforms and advocacies were posted on May 3.
“I am humbled by the overwhelming support our fellow netizens have displayed on Teddy Day,” Casiño said in a statement.
He said supporters in Bukidnon were not deterred by a 24-hour power outage and got on Twitter as soon as power returned.
“After d 24hr blackout in #Bukidnon, heto sali na ako sa #TeddyDay showing my full support for @teddycasino tungong senado,” Twitter user, @jaympascual, wrote.
The micro-blogger @jaympascual, apparently irked at the power crisis that has been affecting Mindanao for months now, said only Casiño could help ease the people’s problem on power outages.
“Let’s help @teddycasino push the 1 million solar roof act in the Phil. Senate. This will benefit the people of #Mindanao Go #TeddyDay,” he said, referring to the lawmaker’s One Million Solar Roofs Act, which would provide incentives to users of small solar energy systems.
Casiño was also among lawmakers pushing for the reforms proposed by the Mindanao Power Summit, including the use of renewable energy sources.
“A vote for @teddycasino is a vote for nationalist economy. He supports Filipino entrepreneurs, authored Buy Pinoy bill. #TeddyDay,” Twitter user @lenolea said.
Another Twitter user, @erikagab_ortega, a daughter of slain journalist and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega, even had to use Twitter’s long version, Twitlonger, just to write what she had in mind.
“@TeddyCasino #TeddyDay Sinagad ko ang pwedeng maabot ng aking konsensya, ng aking talino at pwedeng igugol na oras sa pag reresearch kung sino ang pinaka deserving na kandidato sa senado. Lima lang ang napili ko. At dahil ngayon ay #TeddyDay inaanyayahan ko lahat ng friends ko na iboto si Teddy Casiño,” Ms. Ortega wrote.
She added that while Casiño has been at the forefront of the fight for national interest, “it was sad that only a few people knew him.”
“Hindi alam ng marami na sa batch ng 2013 candidates sa senado, isa si Teddy Casino sa pinaka mahuhusay at pinaka maprinsipyong taong pwedeng mahalal natin sa senado. Sana hindi natin ma-miss itong napakagandang oportunidad na ito upang makapag luklok tayo ng senador na makakapag bigay boses sa mga ordinaryong Pilipino. :),” Ms. Ortega added.
@JunkCybercrime said Casiño’s legislative advocacies for netizens should not be forgotten.
“Free Public Wi-Fi, Junking of Cybercrime Law RT @teddycasino: Complete d sentence – A vote for Teddy Casiño is a vote for..,” @JunkCybercrime added.
Casiño said he was thankful to netizens for supporting his candidacy and launching an online campaign to boost his senatorial bid.
“From the start, we already knew that social media should be maximized for our campaign because we could not compete with the resources of traditional politicians and parties,” he said.