Hugot nation

Buti pa yung kalendaryo, may date. Eh ako?”

It’s almost ironic how every February, right around Valentine’s season, social media explodes with these hugot lines that everyone seems to love. On the surface, they’re meant to be bitter one-liners that exude pain and heartbreak. Somehow, though, they have evolved into a predominant piece of both Filipino humor and culture.

The media and pop-culture surrounding us reflects this. More and more, movies are finding success with this particular genre—not just the typical boy-meets-girl romance, but ill-fated love stories filled with heartbreak and littered with quotable hugots. Just look at That Thing Called Tadhana, or The Breakup Playlist, two of the more successful local movies of 2015. And it isn’t only the film industry—Ramon Bautista released a book entitled Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? a few years back to capitalize on this sensation.

These hugot lines have become such a central part of our humor that it warrants a closer look into this interesting culture revolving around broken hearts.


Malalim na pinag-uugatan

Doctor Lakangiting Garcia of the Filipino department chimes in on the phenomenon, first explaining why these bitter one-liners are called hugots in the first place. “Ang hugot ay mula sa loob tungo sa labas na malalim ang madalas na pinagmumulan o pinag-uugatan.

He goes on to suggest some of the possible reasons as to why Filipinos have now fallen in love with the craze, saying that Pinoys have an immense desire to follow fads. However, he also places emphasis on the role that social media has had in the explosion of the hugot culture. He acknowledges the influence that websites like Facebook and Twitter have, and how they can be effective vehicles for spreading trends much like this one.

Ang salitang matagal ng ginagamit na tulad ng hugot, kapag naisipang iugnay sa panibagong bagay at gamitin sa popular na paraan at behikulo, dahil hindi naman pamilyar ang mga kabataan, ay nagiging uso dahil inaakalang bago,” he gives his analysis.

However, he doubts the craze will continue. “Novelty lamang ito sa aking palagay. Kapag napagod na ang mga kasalukuyang gumagamit at may dumating na bagong gagamitin at pauso, titigil din ang [kulturang ito].”

hugot nation_Miko Fernando

Tagos sa puso

Taking a closer look at how this culture has affected DLSU students in particular, two Lasallians fond of this brand of humor break down what exactly makes these emotional one-liners so popular.

When asked if she finds hugot lines funny, Jessa (III, AEI-BSA) agrees with reservation, stating that, “Sometimes, yung mga gumagawa ng hugot joke go overboard trying to make [it funny, so] nakakainis.” However, she amends that the jokes still often have a tendency of being creative, deep, or funny. She also shares how these lines can pull heartstrings. “May tagos sa puso yung effect ng mga dialogue nila,” she says, referring to movies or television that make use of these hugots.

For Kylie (I, MEM-MRE), it’s all a matter of timing. According to her, the impact of a hugot line depends on, “Tamang timing ng pag-deliver and sa sitwasyon kung saan siya ginamit.” She also adds that, in her opinion, hugot lines are not solely about romantic relationships. “Kahit hugot na tungkol sa friends, hindi [na] siya nakakakilig, pero funny pa rin,” Kylie explains.

Both Jessa and Kylie mention that, although they are fans of the culture, neither of them have experience in the love life department. “Mafefeel mo lang yung hugot kung na-experience mo na yung pinaghuhugutan,” Jessa explains, implying it is difficult for her to relate to some of the lines. However, she says that she still enjoys making the jokes herself, sharing, “Di mo narin maiiwasan [ang paggawa] ng hugot joke when you’re surrounded by people na gusto ring gumawa ng hugot.”

Kylie, on the other hand, doesn’t let her lack of experience hinder her, saying, “Nakakatawa pa rin siya kasi sa stock knowledge ko sa romance, alam kong totoo siya.”


Phenomenal love team

Another interesting trend to note is the rise of AlDub. Even the most unwitting of Filipinos are at least vaguely aware of a Dubsmash singing “Yaya Dub”, her charming counterpart, Alden Richards, and their television love story that has taken the nation by storm. Is the culture behind these jokes the same force that has propelled this love team into superstardom?

Jessa does not attribute AlDub’s success to the hugot trend, believing that Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza’s fame is driven by something else entirely. “Iba siya sa hugot culture. Dubsmash lang yun, wala namang hugot diyan,” Jessa argues. Dr. Garcia agrees, saying that the love team’s success can mostly be attributed to timing and strong network support.

Kylie disagrees, however, and links the two phenomenons together. “Kung sinabi mo ‘hugot lines’, unang papasok sa isip ko yung mga hugot na parang ginagamit ni Maine Mendoza,” she shares.

The AlDub craze has, admittedly, died down significantly since the two main characters met in person. A certain degree of its popularity was owed to how the two had to go out of their way to communicate, making their situation a sort of hugot in itself—the loss of this element may have been one of the key factors in the show’s fall in popularity.

It’s no question that a majority of the Filipino population enjoy making and hearing these jokes. Whether it is due to their clever nature or the effect they can play on the heart, most students will definitely be hearing and seeing more of these creative one-liners from friends and social media alike, especially as the season of love approaches.

Buti pa yung article na ‘to, may happy ending.

Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

By Nadine Macalalad

By Wilhelm Tan

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