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 here in the blog — 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.
Here’s a memory from Alibijaban Island:
(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 too much and people started going overboard. On the surface, hugot posts seem like harmless fun but if you look at the underlying premise it’s actually about bitterness over being single. It’s also being used by people to be rude to real-life couples.
Hali and I had experiences wherein people were rude with us for no reason. For instance, we once took a trip to Calayan Island and while we were sitting over a cliff in Nagudungan Hill, a group of local tourists came toward us and shouted “Merong forever!” (“Look, forever exists!”). One guy took photos of us without asking for permission and said he would upload it as his cover photo. It wasn’t inspired or anything, his tone implied we were going to be the unwitting subject of a meme. This happened so fast that we didn’t have time to react. By the time it sank in, I was furious.
The same thing happened when we were walking on a beach later that day.
A similar incident happened while we were walking, holding hands, on a street in Metro Manila. A couple in a motorcycle wheezed by and shouted at us, “Walang forever!” (“There is no forever!”)
It also came to a point wherein when we join group tours, someone would complain about having to go with “love birds”. Sometimes it can be funny, sometimes it isn’t. A lot of times it’s honestly just pathetic.
Last Valentines Day, I purposely 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” (“This couple will break up anyway”). For the life of me, I could not understand why anyone would make an ill-wish on someone else especially those they don’t even know, 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 a local couple. We talked traveling with our partners and our similar experiences of other single joiners in group tours giving 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.
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. It isn’t a period of suspension or in-between. 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 others. 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 wrong. 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?