De Leon: Is ‘hugot’ culture on its way out?

YOU'VE heard and uttered it before: dramatic, sentimental, and heartbreakingly sad. 'Hugots' are lines we pull out from our emotional insides, which seemed to suddenly break out from the Filipino internet.
While it's always entertaining and eyebrow-raising to hear someone blurt it out of nowhere, it has transformed itself to an eminent trend in our society, that it can already be considered as part of the Filipino culture.

But will this phenomenon last?

According to experts, the ‘hugot’ culture is simply a novelty. Thus, like any other, it will end when people get tired of it and another one takes its place.

In fact, they may be right. Using Google Trends, the search term ‘hugot’ began picking steam in 2015. It peaked in 2016, and search interest has been going down, consequently.

Nonetheless, I believe that such cultural phenomena like this can’t be easily reduced to graphs and stats, especially when the origins are misty.

After all, these lines may just be part of the evolution that started with ‘banats’ and puns, have been passed around even before a term was coined. Yes. Social media has become such a great avenue for this interaction but they did not originate from the internet. They arose organically from a particular Filipino characteristic.

Look, there exists an inner ‘hugot’ in every Filipino, regardless of whether or not we are aware of it. They're always insightful, funny or sad.

And while others put a higher value on the funny or the deep lines, Pinoys seem to have gravitated more to the sad ones, particularly those anchored with grim bitterness.

And it truly make sense because it serves us our strong coping mechanism. We use it to pull out deep seated frustrations in order to laugh at it, hence reduce its power.

Perhaps that’s why a ‘hugot’ line tends to be excessive and exaggerated. It’s easier to laugh at the extreme display of emotions. Hence, it's easily translated into other contexts outside of love and turned into our brand of humour.

It's not about wallowing in despair; it's about winning over it.

And if ‘hugot’ culture has truly evolved as an outlet for the Filipino psyche to unburden itself, then it won’t – can’t – entirely vanish.
In fact, let's all expect a comeback as the love month continues to unfold!

Stay Active until our next chat!


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