Insight: Health, Finances, Relationships – AdSpark Gives a Look Into What Filipinos are Thinking in the Time of Corona with New White Paper

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – With global anxiety still high over the COVID-19 pandemic, one can’t help but wonder if and when things will ever go “back to normal.” The unprecedented worldwide economic shutdown that the pandemic has left in its wake is something nobody expected to occur when the calendar turned to 2020 a mere few months ago.

Keeping that in mind, AdSpark released a special edition in their ThoughtSparkers series that examined the collective Filipino psyche while dealing with this crisis. Making use of various data points gleaned from content consumption, social listening, and online surveys, AdSpark Intelligence also conducted online interviews with people from different industries affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Five tension points were pointed out in the study because they appeared in the data and are indicative of the current Philippine situation. These revealed Filipino characteristics in this time of crisis:

    • Positive but apprehensive – there is a seeming duality in Filipino responses because, although Filipinos think the coronavirus pandemic will only last 3.7 months and 78.6% approve of the Philippine government’s response to it, 65.5% of Filipinos in the survey that AdSpark conducted through GWI said they are extremely concerned about the COVID situation in their own country. 


    • Getting defensive on health: not just now, but maybe forever – means to protect one’s self and family have become the topmost concerns from a consumption scan perspective. The top search topics covering the period of March 1 to April 1 also became indicative of how people want to care for their health during the pandemic. The issue of social distancing post-COVID-19 is also a concern particularly because of crammed public transport or even elevators in offices in the country.


    • Fighting for the financially-challenged? Or projecting our own worry? – although social media might indicate that people are worried about how to make their financial ends meet, what Filipinos read about personally actually reveals that they are concerned with their own financials.


Consumption about Personal Finances, as a topic, grew by 800%. Awareness of needing to save more for the proverbial “rainy day” has gone up. Filipinos might not be divulging their own financial concerns on social media but the clamoring to help those in financial need might be a projection of their own worries.


    • Being apart together: not enough for a social race? – for a race known for being touchy-feely and gatherings filled with besos, hugs, and manos, the adoption of Zoom, Google, Facebook, and Viber is simply not enough. With Filipinos being a hyper-social race, whose culture and traditions are predicated upon and foster close bonds, there seems to be a profound longing to reconnect with loved ones.

    • Shouting on social: making meaning out of madness – positive sentiments are being directed toward frontliners, those wanting to help, people perceived as doing a good job, as well as what people are looking forward to doing. With physical realms being constricted, social media provides no such restrictions and provides a way to air those opinions.


Although the changes this pandemic is bringing about could be reshaping the fabric of Filipino life as we know it, much of what the Filipino thinks he is remains constant. Love of country, the appreciation for those doing a good job, the deep sense of family and belonging all shine through. The AdSpark study ponders, however, how these values will exhibit themselves in the near future.

Want to read the full white paper? Click here to download.

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