Things have been slow lately. I’d been flicking through posts about blogging and remembered that I wanted to write about this–why we don’t post hugot memes in our Facebook page or joke about that here–even though hugot posts are a proven way to get likes and shares.
For our non-Filipino readers, hugot (literally “to draw” or “pull out”) is a slang referring to the act of bringing up a painful emotional past, often done for amusement. It’s a millennial way of expressing #feels, basically.
When #hugot became a thing, it was actually fun. The thing with hugot is it can be very random and thus funny. Even now, I enjoy the occasional meme in Facebook, particularly by Travel Thoughts PH.
Here’s a memory from my Tumblr account in Alibijaban Island (2015):
(With starfishes slightly buried in the sand due to low tide, some hard to see and avoid)
Hali: Kawawa naman sila.
Me: Lagi naman naglolow tide dito e, sanay na yan.
Hali: Na tinatapak-tapakan?
Friend: Na nasasaktan?
Me: Bakit kayo ganyan???
Like I said, it was fun. It was novel. Then it exploded into social media, and everyone was posting hugot memes and lines. It got a little bit too much… but that’s not what I’m going at.
A lot of hugot lines are written and aimed at people who are single. It encourages bitterness and loneliness over singlehood, and it’s the very same tool people use to “bully” couples.
We’ve had experiences wherein people got outright rude. When Hali and I were sitting over a cliff in Nagudungan Hill, talking, a group of local tourists came close and shouted “Merong forever!” (“Look, forever exists!”) and then proceeded to take photos of us without asking for our permission. The guy said he’d upload it as his Facebook cover photo. His way of saying it did not convey being happy or inspired but gave the clear impression we were going to be an unwitting subject of a meme.
It happened so fast that we didn’t have time to react. By the time it sank in, I was angry.
The same thing happened when we were walking on a beach later that day.
The same thing happened when we were walking, holding hands, on a street at night here in Metro Manila. A couple in a motorcycle wheezed by and shouted at us, “Walang forever!” (“There is no forever!”)
When we join group trips, it’s not uncommon for someone to whine about having to go with “love birds.” Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it isn’t. A lot of times it’s just pathetic.
Last Valentines Day, I purposedly logged out of Facebook because I didn’t want to see the rush of posts about “bitter” singles, the people who declare “Magbibreak din yan” (“They will break up anyway”) to couples. For the life of me, I could not understand why anyone would make an ill-wish upon someone else, even under the guise of a “joke”, or why this is currently acceptable in the Filipino culture.
When I was on a solo vacation in Coron, I met another couple in one of the island hopping tours. We talked traveling with our partners and our similar experiences of other single joiners in group tours giving parinig or snide comments directed to us. It was such a relief to find other people who understand. What happened to the spirit of traveling, exactly?
Basically, over this whole course, I went from being confused, frustrated to tired. Now I just want to be with friends where this isn’t even a topic, much more an issue.
Thoughts on hugot memes and lines
Here are my final thoughts on hugot memes and lines.
- The thoughts you send out come back to you. You can call it karma, law of attraction, or whatever you want. The universe has always operated under this law. Think about this the next time you wish ill on other people or make fun on them, for having what you don’t.
- There’s nothing wrong with being single. I said this before: it’s a wonderful time to discover — or rather recreate — yourself.
- Hugot is fine as long as it’s done on good fun. However, it doesn’t give anyone an excuse to be inconsiderate or rude to other s. Please think twice on your actions.
So all in all, I do enjoy reading hugot materials every now and then… just not to an extent when it’s used against other people (read: unsuspecting couples) or when it’s used to establish the idea that being single is an undesirable state. With everything else, it’s best used moderately.
This is the reason we don’t post hugot memes. We have enough of that in the internet, and we prefer to give space to ideas that promote positivity and resonate personally with us.
What are your thoughts on this? Have any similar experiences?