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 action.
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.