Philippines’ Top Google Searches in 2023: From SIM Registration to NBA and Maria Clara at Ibarra

Top Google Searches SIM Registration
Spotlight on the Filipino spirit! From the pulse of our barangays to the dramas that captivate our hearts, these top trends showcase what truly mattered to us this year. Swipe to see what piqued our collective curiosity and pride. Photos courtesy of official accounts.

Google Philippines recently revealed its 2023 Year In Search, its annual compilation of the top trending keywords and terms Filipinos use when searching the internet. Good News Pilipinas was there to witness the unveiling of the top 10 lists that record the many events and issues that spurred the Pinoys’ passionate online activity.

At the Year In Search media event on December 12, Google Philippines also marked the 25th anniversary of Google Search as Head of Communications and Public Affairs Mervin Wenke presented the most searched results this year while providing key points about how each keyword trended. The presentation went up notches with the lively comedic musical performance by improv duo A II Z who creatively incorporated the top search terms into their act.

The globally aware Filipinos did not confine themselves to only local events and personalities and searched enough times to push world topics into the top 10 trending terms such as the war in Israel and Gaza and the earthquake in Turkey, reconfirmed the basketball-crazy nation’s love for the NBA, embraced Korean dramas and Hollywood movies, were intrigued by foreign personalities and their love lives, and tuned to music from outside the Philippines. But of course, Pinoy keyboard warriors showed as much if not more interest in all things local.

Top News Searches

In fact, 7 of the News search results in the top 10 were local. SIM Registration topped the search for News terms as the law requiring everyone to register their mobile phone numbers took effect in July. The barangay elections in October took the term precinct finder to the top 10, while persona non grata became a buzz owing to public personalities receiving official sanctions. The banning of the viral noisy toy lato-lato and the investment scam issue of MoCa Farm got into the mix. Used to being a disaster-prone archipelago, Pinoys searched for Typhoon Egay update and Taal Volcano update.


While basketball, particularly the NBA games, dominated the Sports search the FIBA World Cup tournament hosted by the Philippines from August to September and the battle between Ginebra vs Bay Area for the PBA Commissioners’ Cup series in January were in the top 10.

Shows or Series

Local Philippine television drama Maria Clara at Ibarra broke the near sweep of K-dramas in the search for Shows or Series. The fantasy series about how Klay, a Gen Z nursing student, is transported into José Rizal’s novels after reading Noli Me Tángere, gripped Filipinos throughout its run until February this year.

Songs or Lyrics

Filipinos’ love for Pinoy music dominated the Songs and Lyrics search with 7 of the top 10 spots taken over by contemporary tunes ERE, Pasilyo, Uhaw, Rapstar, and Raining In Manila. Noteworthy is the inclusion of Jopay, the hit song inspired by the Eat Bulaga SexBomb dancer first released by Mayonnaise nearly two decades ago, which experienced a revival this year after it became part of the soundtrack of the Netflix streaming of the movie, “Ngayon Kaya”. Curiously, amid these pop tunes the Philippine National Anthem ranked 4th with the search term Lupang Hinirang English.

Male Personalities

The love lives of known Male Personalities intrigued Pinoys enough to search for more reports on the Internet, with the revelation of who was in a relationship with actor Marco Gumabao earning a spot in the top 10. Maria Clara at Ibarra’s romantic lead David Licauco also made the cut, as well as Juan Karlos, who essayed a song on betrayal and loss.

Female Personalities

Still weighing in on relationships, the other half of the real love team of Gumabao, Cristine Reyes, took the No. 2 spot in the most searched Female Personalities, joined by visual artist Isabel Santos, the new girlfriend of actor John Lloyd Cruz. James Reid’s post-Jadine partner, Issa Pressman also made the top 10. Actress Janna Dominguez made the list after her older daughter tragically passed away on the same day she gave birth to a son.


Public personalities who passed away in 2023 were among the most searched on Google, with veteran broadcaster Mike Enriquez topping the list, joined by reporter Mario Dumaual. The passing of actors Joey Paras, Andrei Sison, Patrick Guzman, and John Regala were also in the top searches.

There were no Philippine or Filipino entries in the categories of Games, Movies, and of course, Korean Series.

Here is the full list of the top search trends in the Philippines:

Looking Back: Trends Over the Years

In 2022, UP Fighting Maroons star basketball player Ricci Rivero topped the list of Most Searched Male Personalities. In 2021, the Olympics which gave the Philippines its first gold medal through weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was given a separate category. In 2020, Filipinos affirmed their passion for basketball with teams and games topping the lists.

Engage with Us! Did any of these trends catch your interest? Share your thoughts on how these trends reflect our vibrant Filipino culture!

Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. Engage with us, share your experiences, and be a part of the positive community shaping the Philippines today and tomorrow. For more information and stories that fill us with pride or to share your good news story tips, you can message us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or e-mail

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.