FILIPINAS Institute of Translation (FIT) declared ‘fotobam’ as Salita ng Taon during the recently conducted Sawikaan 2016 held at the College of Education, University of the Philippines Diliman last October 6, 2016.

Ten words were nominated for Salita ng Taon 2016 including netizen, bully, foundling, lumad, meme, viral, tukod, milenyal, hugot and the winning word fotobam. These nominations were based on the importance of these selected words in the Filipino discourse of the past year.

Among the nominated words, fotobam was declared Salita ng Taon 2016 both by the jury and the attending participants of the Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Wikang Filipino held in conjunction with Sawikaan 2016.

Professor Michael Charleston Xiao Chua of the De La Salle University Manila presented the paper on fotobam and defined it as “pandiwa: sirain ang eksena sa pamamagitan ng pagsingit sa kuwadro ng kamera habang may kinukunan ng retrato” a Filipinized adaptation of the term photobomb.

Bagging the third and second prizes were Professor Junilo Espiritu for the word hugot and Professor Jayson Petras for the word milenyal / millennial.

This year’s Sawikaan and Salita ng Taon is eighth in the series of selection which started in 2004. Fotobam joins the list of Salita ng Taon with canvas (2004), hweteng/jueteng (2005), lobat (2006), miskol (2007), jejemon (2010), wangwang (2012) and selfie (2014).

According to Chua, the selection of fotobam as Salita ng taon is in a way a means to bring back the discourse on the issue of the importance of history and heritage particularly that of the controversial construction of Torre de Manila, dubbed Pambansang Photobomber as it disrupts the sightline of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park.

Sawikaan is a project of the FIT, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).