The Valentine’s Day celebration, including the days prior and post the date, has always been the holiday of lovebirds and persistent admirers who are drunk in the euphoria of love. Crowded spaces are filled with individuals who are high in the romanticism of being in love, wrapped in the glitzy fantasy of typical surprises.
Co-existing with them are the scorned ex-lovers, the victims of unrequited love, or the friends who were not able to cross beyond the friendship zone. In a world in shining red, some of them paint the universe with forlorn hues through the verses they weave, something that Bohol Quality Mall paid homage to during their Hugot Day celebration last February 16, 2019.
With the tagline Minahal Kita Kahit Walang Tayo, BQ Mall’s Hugot Day featured the mall’s very first Hugot Spoken Word Poetry Contest. Fifteen hugoteros from different parts of the province shared to a jam-packed crowd their immortalized tales of love and loss.
Judging them was a three-member panel of esteemed judges who have their fair share of literary experience and probably, hugot. They were: Miss Philippines Earth – Bohol 2017, Miss Philippines Earth 2017 Runner Up, and HNU’s Hugot Queen, Catherine Tabaniag; Balak Writer and Performer Jefrey Tungol; and, six-time Palanca awardee and Literature professor at Holy Name University, Noel Tuazon.
Coming in third place is Joshua Hernandez of Ubay with his piece titled Tropa, a spoken poetry piece about falling in love with a close friend. Judged as the second placer is Irah Coreen Caderao from Tagbilaran City whose emotion-filled piece about loving someone who never considered you an option got the audience crumbling inside. Clinching the championship in BQ Mall’s inaugural edition of the Hugot Spoken Word Poetry Contest is John Michael Caderao of Tagbilaran City with his piece Bakas ng Kahapon, a spoken word poem narrating the pains of being replaced by the person you loved.
Highlighting the Hugot Day celebration was the performance of acclaimed spoken word artist Alfonso Manalastas who penned Vanilla and Juan Miguel Severo, who rose to fame with his viral spoken word performances of Mga Basang Unan at Ang Huling Tula Na Isusulat Ko Para Sa’yo. They each performed two of their well-known pieces and a collaboration titled Plot Twist.
Alfonso and Gege said in their collaboration piece that “we all have cliffs we all have to leap from” and gathered on that Saturday in BQ Mall where many souls who, at one point or another, were the cliffs that weren’t meant for others. But every heartbreak is a road closer to the one destined for us and the Hugot Day celebration ends with a reminder from Plot Twist.
“Look at all the love that I have saved for another.”