Hint: there are three stars on its flag
It’s not America—home of John Green, the superstar author behind the young adult love story, whose film adaptation premieres today. It’s not Spain—apparently home of the most romantic nationality. And it’s not India, either—which has the world’s most voracious readers.
According to Google data, it’s actually the Philippines, whose search volume index (normalized as a score of 100, the highest) for the term “The Fault In Our Stars” is more than double that of the U.S. (44, the second highest). The three next most starry-eyed countries are Singapore (38), Australia (37) and New Zealand (36).
In fact, there’s even a John Green shirt company run by his Filipino fans. On Twitter, Filipino fans popularized the hashtag #ICanSeeTheStarsFromThePhilippines in anticipation of the film, which premiered in the Philippines on June 5.
Why the Philippines? During the U.S. colonization of the Philippines (1898-1946), Filipino literature, including fiction, was heavily influenced by American works, according to the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Since 1935, English has been an official language in the Philippines. Moreover, romance novels have increasingly become popular in the island country, with many readers of Filipino comic books—a genre that dominated 20th century Filipino literature—turning to these inexpensive “Tagalog pocketbooks.”
But stateside, there’s one statistic about The Fault In Our Stars that’s a bit more fitting. Of all metropolitan areas in the U.S., the search volume is highest in Indianapolis—home of the story’s star-crossed lovers, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters.