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#HUGOT (Required Blog Entry #10a: Definition of Concept)

In one way or another, we all have seen those angsty, melodramatic images with sympathetic messages
in them. They may come in different variety: from a quotation in the movie, a sunset with texts, a couple
holding hands with captions, and so on… These paraphernalia are meant to sway peoples emotions by
pulling from something deep within themselves, from their experiences – Hugot.

But what is Hugot in particular? Is this concept something new? Where does this concept
originated? Is this concept of Hugot unique in the Philippines?

To start off, the concept of Hugot is nothing new, in fact its influence on literature can be vastly seen
even from classic works, or even beyond those. This use of rhetoric to get a particular reader’s response
has been even believed to be a fundamental in literature. But even though this concept has been going
on for quite sometime, it is only presently that the term – Hugot – has been coined.

The concurrent definition of the word Hugot is believed to be the figurative, albeit extreme, use of
its traditional meaning. Hugot is a Filipino word that means “to pull out”. In a sense, the trend use of
Hugot as of today is a non-literal definition of the word to pull out feelings from somewhere deep within;
to pull sentimental memories, experiences.

Historically, how the trend Hugot is coined can be seen theoretically on past trends, which are the
emo-culture, banat, and pick-up lines.

In the early 2000s-2005, the emo-culture had widely propagated from the western culture. Locally,
here in the Philippines, emo-culture had also affected music such as OPM/emo bands such as Silent
Sanctuary. These emo-culture relies on experiences in order to sway listeners and gain popularity. One
example is FM Static’s Tonight. It is believed that the song writer of this song based his work on the
death of his girlfriend who was a victim of the 9/11 bombing.

After the emo-culture, comes banat. “Kapag hinabol ako ng crush ko, babagalan ko”, “Pag namatay
ako, wag kang pupunta sa burol ko kasi pag nakita kita, baka tumibok ulit ang puso ko”. These one to
two-liner are closely associated with Hugot because like the latter, they also encompasses sentimental
undertones mainly about love.
A deviation from banat is the pick-up line. However unlike the banat, which are usually one to two-
liner, a progression has been made on the pick-up line. A transition for the lines has been added. “Kape
ka ba” is the one-liner followed by “Bakit” which is the transitory phrase leading to an ‘effect’/action
which is the closing statement’ thereby, we could also say that the first line is the ’cause’/initiator of the

Getting the experience from the emo-culture and the initiator-of-the-action from the banat, we
have Hugot. Saying something abstract such as “Sana buwan nalang ako” would be the initiator of the
action, “Para ako nalang ang lagi mong tinitignan” this part refers to the experience part where readers
could relate to the statement by remembering events from their past or pulling out deep-seeded feelings
– Hugot.


There is a sadness that lies deep within each and every one of us—it is a hole that has been bored
excessively from the sometimes spontaneous hugot we make out of everyday situations. These hugot
(...or hugots?) come from our most ordinary encounters—we compare the gruesome hours of waiting in
line for the MRT with waiting for the right person; we liken math equations with situations we make out
of love; we reverse the meaning of disappointing times with hoping that someday, we will get the love
we deserve. All these and more make up our hugot—something that we pull out from our emotional
insides. While it's always entertaining and eyebrow-raising to hear someone blurt it out of nowhere, it's
becoming an eminent trend in our society that it already deserves to be regarded as part of the Filipino

Why do we feel so much?

Perhaps it is the countless Filipino movies that starred our favorite hugot lines. From Jolina Magdangal
and Marvin Agustin's tandem in Labs Kita…Okay Lang? to hits such as One More Chance, Starting Over
Again, and That Thing Called Tadhana, these movies have built up so much of what we now know as the
hugot culture. They have accomplished a great deal, mainly by tugging at the Filipino heartstrings and
appealing to our emotions. "Digging deep" may be all that it takes to get over heartbreak and bitter
romances, and upon hearing Angelica Panganiban mourn over her character's heartbreak, or seeing John
Lloyd Cruz portray a sobbing Popoy, we can't help but feel them tie-in with our personal lives.


Social media has become such a great avenue for this interaction, too. Facebook and Twitter have
succeeded in carrying over this culture through the memes that pop up on our news feeds and timelines.
Sometimes, all we need is to know that there are people out there going through the same letdowns we
are, and outlets such as these allow for that reassurance. Some hugot are plucked out from the deepest
disappointments, while others carry a certain wit that makes heartbreak seem a little less serious.
Whether or not we feel that these lines are intended for us, others do find them comforting and helpful,
and that could be the positivity these hugot have to offer.

Sometimes, however, hugot lose their magic, like for when they are delivered at the wrong time, or are
just too forced. Often, these lines only work in situations that make attaining love seem impossible, and
this can account for the AlDub phenomenon having lost its popularity. When the couple met, it seemed
that the hopelessness that was once present vanished. The element of longing and impossibility has
been lost, and is not as hugot-worthy as before.

There exists an inner hugot in every Filipino, regardless of whether or not we are conscious of it. Hugot
may just be part of the evolution that started with banats and puns that have proven their fame at one
time. Although these lines may have a good and bad side to them, it is undeniable that they have been
etched deep within our society, even deeper within our respective identities. It's quite unpredictable
how far they will go, or even if they will still be used ten years from now. But one thing's for sure, we will
always feel the need to express our feelings and emotions, and hugot is just one way of making that


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


February 6, 2018

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

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!


Filipinos and “hugot” – a funny-sad love story

on February 20, 2017

QUEZON City, Philippines (February 20) – “Hugot” – literally it means to pull out, but to many Filipinos
these days, “hugot” would mean expressing your deepest emotions. Happy, sad or bitter, people have
created so many ways to show how they feel.

“Hugot” has been the buzz in the country for quite a while now. With the power given by the social
media sites, netizens have been actively posting their “hugot’’ lines in any social media platform
available, making this generation a certified generation of “hugoteros” and “hugoteras”.

From heartbreaking song lyrics being sung by a great band or artist, poems being recited by some of the
known spoken word artists like Juan Miguel Severo and Michele Manese during poetry slams down to
movie lines from our favorite films like “That Thing Called Tadhana”, people will find a way to make a
“hugot” out of it.

Recently, a local giant fast food chain – looking at the national zeitgeist – decided to join the bandwagon,
creating “hugot “TV commercials that immediately went viral.

Jollibee managed to produce and release a series of heart-wrenching advertisements. First on the
installment was the “Vow” ad in which the chicken is no longer joy for the guy whod did not end up with
his best friend, like the typical tale from a friend zone and dedicated to those who found joy in loving
unconditionally. The first ad alone has reached 13 million views and 503,000 shares to date. Furthermore
the second ad which is entitled “Crush” – revolving around a guy who never gave up on love have
reached 11 million views and 335,00 shares while the “Date” ad have reached 8.9 million views and

Using a concept that will give us all the “feels” is not new in the advertising industry. This has been done
by numerous brands but it is Jollibee that is currently on fire for causing funny and bitter memes as well
as messages circulating in the social media world now. Filipinos has this tendency to be more emotional
compared to other race. That also might be the primary reason why these “hugot” lines has always
works on us.

(written by Aronica Azores, edited by Jay Paul Carlos, additional research by Vince Alvin Villarin)