Of Dalgona coffee and quadratic equations

What were the top Google searches in 2020?

WHEN summed up in one word, the year 2020 according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is

“Pandemic.” Meanwhile the Oxford dictionary described the year as “one that cannot be neatly accommodated in one word.” Yes, this year has been all about the coronavirus pandemic going by the searches that topped the annual Google Year in Search list globally, and that is also largely true for Filipinos whose search terms were all about how to survive in quarantine — such as “making dalgona coffee.”

But what is striking about the Philippines’ Year in Search list is that while “Coronavirus” is the top trending search worldwide, it took the third spot in the Philippines, overtaken by the country’s interest in the recently held US Presidential elections (“US Election 2020”) and NBA Scores, at Nos. 1 an 2 respectively. (Interestingly, the NBA Schedule No. 6 on the list.)

In comparison, the US elections (“Election Results”) sits at the second spot in the Overall Trending Searches for 2020 worldwide.

And because the country has shifted to online and distance learning, Google Philippines noticed a “relative spike in academic-related searches as students embraced home-based learning, and looked up lectures and topics online,” according to a company release.

The search term “DepEd Commons,” the Department of Education platform which serves as a hub for digital learning materials, occupied the fourth spot in the overall trending searches list in the Philippines.

Rounding out the Top 5 trending searches in the Philippines was “Taal Volcano,” which erupted on Jan. 12 and spewed ash across the regions of Calabarzon, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon.

While the pandemic may not be top of mind in Philippine searches, it’s interesting to note that many of the “How-To” searches were about either surviving quarantine or protecting oneself from the virus.

The top How-To search was about making dalgona coffee, as the frothy coffee with milk mixture became the beverage of choice for Filipinos under lockdown. Following dalgona coffee was the question on how to wear surgical masks properly. Other pandemic-related how-tos were about boosting the immune system (at No. 4), how to compute body mass index (for those putting on the quarantine pounds at No. 3), how to make leche flan (No. 5) and how to make pancakes (No. 8). The all-important “How to prevent COVID-19” (coronavirus disease 2019) is far down at the 10th spot.

Also in the Top 10 of the How-To list were the age-old questions: how to “divide fractions” (No. 6) and “how to solve quadratic equations” (No. 7).

Korean dramas dominated the most searched TV shows and series, with Crash Landing On You at the top spot followed by Netflix’s Spanish-language heist series, Money Heist. Money Heist and US series Prison Break at No. 9 were the only non-Korean dramas in the Philippines’ list.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was the top male personality after numerous reports of his being unwell (and even death) surfaced while Filipina actress Issa Pressman was the top searched female personality after she was involved in the break-up of Nadine Lustre and James Reid.

“Looking back at the year that was, many Filipinos realized the importance of going digital now more than ever to search for answers and cope with the new changes happening around them,” Geia Lopez, analytical head for consumer packaged goods and retail at Google Southeast Asia, said in the release. — Zsarlene B. Chua

Below is the complete Google Philippines Year in Search:

US election 2020

NBA score


DepEd Commons

Taal Volcano

NBA schedule

Kobe Bryant

Lakers vs Heat

First day of school



US election 2020


Taal Volcano

First day of school


Kim Jong-Un

Joe Biden


SSS calamity loan

Typhoon Ulysses


DepEd Commons

First day of school

English to Filipino translation

quadratic equation

Venn diagram

homogenous mixture

fraction calculator

scientific method

arithmetic sequence

heterogeneous mixture


NBA score

NBA schedule

Lakers vs Heat

NBA standings

Lakers vs Nuggets

NBA games today

Lakers vs Rockets

Clippers vs Nuggets

Lakers vs Trail Blazers

Australian Open 2020

TV Shows/Series

Crash Landing on You

Money Heist

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay


Itaewon Class

The World of the Married

Girl from Nowhere

Backstreet Rookie

Prison Break

The King: Eternal Monarch

Songs and Lyrics

“When I Look at You” lyrics


“Love Story” lyrics

Paubaya” lyrics

Imahe” lyrics

“Catriona” lyrics

“At My Worst” lyrics

“Make It With You” lyrics

Kabilang Buhay” lyrics

“Ice Cream” lyrics

Game-related Searches

Among Us

Genshin Impact

Rules of Survival gift

Adorable Home


League of Legends: Wild Rift


Codashop PH

Shinobi Life 2 codes

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout


Through Night and Day


Enola Holmes


Black Panther

Train to Busan 2



Birds of Prey

Miracle in Cell No. 7

Female Personalities

Issa Pressman

Sofia Andres

Ivana Alawi

Vanessa Bryant

Janine Berdin

Kamala Harris

Seo Ye-ji

Rabiya Mateo


Kim Go-eun

Male Personalities

Kim Jong-Un

Joe Biden

Hyun Bin

Tom Hanks

Vico Sotto

Carlo Acutis

Marcelito Pomoy

Kim Soo-yun

Michael V.

Jeremy Jauncey


Kobe Bryant

Lloyd Cadena

Chadwick Boseman

Naya Rivera

George Floyd

Go Soo-jung

Emman Nimedez

Park Ji-hoon

Oh In-hye

Sean Connery


Crash Landing On You

It’s Okay To Not To Be Okay


Itaewon Class

The World of the Married

Backstreet Rookie

The King: Eternal Monarch

Hi Bye, Mama!

Record of Youth

Hospital Playlist

Korean Personalities

Hyun Bin

Kim Soo-hyun


Kim Go-eun


Jun Ji-hyun

Son Ye-jin

So Ji-sub

Han So-hee

Jo Eun-Jung


How to make dalgona coffee?

How to wear a surgical mask?

How to compute BMI?

How to boost the immune system?

How to make leche flan

divide fractions?

How to solve quadratic equations?

How to make pancakes?

How to apply for an SSS calamity loan online?

How to prevent COVID-19?

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