Philippines’ Makati and Cebu Cities among top ‘selfiest’ cities in the world!

Another feather added to the Philippines’ cap of dubious acheivements! Two Philippine cities made it to the Top Ten “Selfiest” cities in the world. A database compiled by TIME, reveals that the Philippines’ financial centre Makati City produced “more selfies per capita than any other city in the world.” Following Makati, which logged “258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people” is Cebu City ranked Number 9 delivering “99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people”. Baguio City made Number 16 with 82 selfie-takers per 100,000.

Data sampling was quick and dirty via the Instagram API, but nonetheless “far and away the most comprehensive means of comparing the 459 world cities”…

The photos were downloaded from the Instagram API in two sets of five days: from Jan. 28-Feb.2, 2014 and Mar. 3-7, 2014. Each day’s data consists of the 24-hour period from midnight to midnight to account for all time zones equally. During that time, 402,197 Instagram photos tagged “selfie” that included geographic coordinates [were collected].

The findings seem to be consistent with past observations about Filipinos’ renowned narcissistic tendencies. Indeed, back in 2011, another study did confirm this

[…] a recent survey conducted by global market research company, Synovate Inc. revealed that 48 percent of Filipino males felt they were sexually attractive. This revelation made another global media outlet, CNN International conclude that Filipino men are the most narcissistic in Asia.

Filipino politicians lead the selfie craze.
Filipino politicians lead the selfie craze.
Although most individuals have some narcissistic traits, high levels of narcissism can manifest themselves in a pathological form as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), whereby the patient overestimates his or her abilities and has an excessive need for admiration and affirmation. Joan Jutta Lachkar author of the book The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Marital Treatment described the notion of cross-cultural narcissism in the context of immigrants observing how the “cross-cultural narcissist brings to his new country a certain amount of nationalistic pride, which he holds onto relentlessly. He refuses to adapt and will go to great lengths to maintain his sense of special identity.”

In one of the luncheons he hosted a few years ago for clients of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco asked the writer Francisco Sionil Jose to share some of his observations of the current scene. On the subject of Filipino narcissism, Jose wrote that “We [Filipinos] are great show-offs. Look at our women, how overdressed, over- coiffed they are, and Imelda epitomizes that extravagance. Look at our men, their manicured nails, their personal jewelry, their diamond rings. Yabang – that is what we are, and all that money expended on status symbols, on yabang. How much better if it were channeled into production. We are poor because our nationalism is inward looking.”

Then again, such “surveys” need to be taken with a grain of salt. After all, a Social Weather Stations, (SWS) survey reportedly commissioned by the National Book Development Board in 2012 “revealed that the Filipinos who more frequently watch TV are more likely to read non-school books.” The subjects of all this Filipino reading leave a lot to be desired, however, considering that the survey revealed that “the Bible (58 percent) remains the most popular book read, followed by romance books (25 percent), and cooking books (21 percent).”

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the article “Narcissism” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]


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31 Comments on "Philippines’ Makati and Cebu Cities among top ‘selfiest’ cities in the world!"

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Another useless achievement that filipinos will be proud of.


They will not be embarrassed by this in the slightest. In fact they will treat it as their hard work paying off. PROUD TO BE PINOY!!!


Perfectly underscores the Pinoy attention-seeking culture. Are we really surprised? This is long overdue! While other countries make do with their reality TV bimbos and wild-child pop superstars, we here have an entire nation completely at it.

For pinoys, selfies is just one way in which they can show off. Something to show that they are “moving with the times”, they have the latest gadgets and have money to spare for the monthly bill to go with that. That also comes with telling the whole world where they spent their weekend, where they ate, what car they have….. well, just about anything they do that has to do with being better than the other person. Also goes to show, that they are not just physically loud, but loud in telling other people that they are better than… Read more »
I see no problems with Selfies to be honest. Everyone does it even Hollywood stars as shown in the Oscars. Filipinos probably do it more because of their social and communal nature. I mean many here think it’s weird that people eat out in restos alone, while people from other countries do it. I do think this does show the ever growing division between our social classes. We now have a robust middle class that are able to adapt to these technologies and trends but the gap between the middle class and poor is ever growing. If you look around… Read more »
Jim DiGriz

Typical. Filipinos in general think they are so bloody important. Just look how people drive. No courtesy what-so-ever. Just “me first”. I’m gods gift to the world! If stupidity would hurt, the Philippines would be the world capital of most people screaming in pain.


Selfies, still symbolic of our vanity-driven culture, which is yet indicative of our consumerist nature and inability to take real work seriously.


Nature of the Pinoys puro yabang no surprises there.


“Selfie-selfie din pag may time.” – Okay, you’ve got too much time on your hands.


Men taking selfies! – as gay as a judy garland fan , as camp as a row of pink tents, as bent as a 90 peso note, as queer as elton john and a bunch of daffodils.

No surprise that the gay capital of the UK – manchester – also on the list. Canal street on a saturday night, don’t drop anything!

Real men don’t take selfies.
Sensible men don’t date girls who take selfies

I do agree that Filipinos take way more selfies than they should. I would like to point out however, that the study took into account only those selfies which were tagged as selfies by the uploader, which may skew the numbers. I suspect Filipinos may just be more likely to tag selfies as selfies versus New Yorkers, Floridans, and Californians, who came 2nd to 4th. Filipinos most likely still top, but the differences between groups may be less than the study would have us believe. Narcissism isn’t restricted to Filipinos. Nothing wrong with the occasional selfie. If you’re out to… Read more »
Hyden Toro

Filipinos are the most “show-off” race, I’ve ever see. I went to a Gala Dinner Party recently, in the U.S. I have seen Filipinos and their wives, wearing “bright sparkling diamonds”; driving : Mercedes cars, BMWs, Lexus, Jaguars, etc…When I talked to them; they were ” magpahagin” and, “pataasan ng ihi”…I thought, I was in the famed “New York City Gala Dance Party”…where the truly rich and famous; and “high society people” congregate.

It maybe because, we all came from a poor and needy country…and have found prosperity in the U.S. That, we Filipinos in the U.S., became narcissitic…


There was never so much technology in the hands of so many stupid people that produced so little benefit


[…] Aside from that, another question that one must ask is what exactly do Filipinos use social media for? It would be rather ideal if using it to discuss issues of consequence was actually common. But alas, you can bet that Filipinos more often use it to grandstand, advertise, play games, watch videos of their favorite celebrities, and even flood pages with selfies gratuitously. […]


Another thing that comes to mind: whatever is the latest fad, Filipinos try to beat everyone else at it. There’s this attitude, instead of keeping up with the Joneses, it’s beating the Joneses. It’s still unhealthy if you ask me.


The narcissism is definitely having an impact on the younger generation. My girlfriend’s neice is only two years old and has already been conditioned to insist on having her picture taken throughout the day and instantly checking out the results.

They live in a concrete cube and struggle to pay P2000 rent, but they found the money for smartphones and tablets.


Sa araw-araw na ginawa ng Diyos wala na akong nakita sa FB kundi kayabangan ng Pinoy.

There’s no more revolutionary an invention in present times than the Internet, where you could have instant and easy access to all of humanity’s collected knowledge and information and a great instrument that could be used to spur further creativity and innovation. I don’t use the internet everyday without learning a thing or two. And what do most Filipinos use it for? Selfies and all sorts of trivial crap. Such wasted opportunity and potential. They think that having two of their cities as selfie capitals is something of a badge of pride. When will this country have something that is… Read more »

Gives new meaning to “Pinoy pride”. =/