SONA noon, SONA ngayon

Last week, President Noynoy* Aquino delivered his 2011 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Filipino (or Tagalog, if you prefer). I made a word cloud (a.k.a. wordle) of the speech (full transcript here):


SONA 2011 Word Cloud

The word cloud shows the most frequently used words in the speech, after removing commonly-used Filipino words (including “ang”, “sa”, “at”, etc.). Intuitively, words that were used more frequently appear larger. In the 2011 speech, there seemed to be an emphasis on “pilipino” and “wang-wang”.

I thought it would be interesting to compare this with the President’s SONA from a year ago (full transcript here). Here is the word cloud for the 2010 SONA:


SONA 2010 Word Cloud

Compared to the 2011 SONA, there seems to be more of an emphasis on money here, with “pesos” and “pondo” being the two most frequently-used words. Also, it looks like the use of the word “taumbayan” was replaced by the word “pilipino” in the more recent speech— a welcome change.

Of course, nothing beats a close listening and reading of the speeches (and checking the facts behind them), but visualizing the speeches this way makes certain things pop out— literally.

What other patterns do you see? Which speech did you like better?


*Yes, we Filipinos call our presidents by their nicknames. That’s just the way we roll… ;)

Siniksik na Pilipinas

A thought experiment: what if all of RP were concentrated in a single island?


Ready for some math?

First, let’s look at the population counts. As of the NSO census of 2007:

  • Population of RP = 88,566,723
  • Population of Metro Manila = 11,566,325

This means that 13 per cent of Filipinos live in Metro Manila, or around 1 in 8 people!

Now, how do the land areas compare?

  • Land area of RP: 299,764 sq. km
  • Land area of Metro Manila: 636 sq. km

This means that Metro Manila is only 1/500 of the country’s total land area or 5% of Luzon.

Dividing the population by the land area gives us the average number of people per square km, or population density:

  • Population density of RP: 295 people per sq. km
  • Population density of Metro Manila: 18,170 people per sq. km

Metro Manila is 60 times more dense than the country as a whole!

If you fit all 88 million Filipinos with the population density of Metro Manila, the land area they will occupy is (88 M/11 M) x 636 sq. km = 4,875 sq. km. This is just a bit larger than the land area of Bohol, which is 4,821 sq. km.

Finally, I leave you with a bit of global perspective: Metro Manila is the 11th most populous metropolitan area in the world and one of the densest. Tokyo is the most populous– with 32 million inhabitants (3 times more than Metro Manila)– but Metro Manila is 4 times more densely-populated!

(Inspired by maps of “The World’s Population, Concentrated” at Per Square Mile.)


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