LONDON, United Kingdom (The Adobo Chronicles, Paris Bureau) – For the first time in its 140-year history, Oxford Dictionary has named a Filipino slang as its “2019 Word of the Year.”
The word, “Woke,” has been used by Filipino netizens to describe members of the political Opposition and their followers in the context of being irrelevant, clueless, even idiots. The word has been especially popular during the political campaign period leading up to the May 13 Philippine midterm elections where all in the Opposition Senatorial slate, known as Otso Diretso, failed to make it to the winning circle, or Magic 12. Additional definitions of the word refer to those who “attended the wake” of the Opposition candidates (read: the demise of the Opposition.)
Originally, “woke” bore the nuance of ‘alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice’, popularized through the lyrics of the 2008 song ‘Master Teacher’ by Erykah Badu, in which the words ‘I stay woke’ serve as a refrain, and more recently through its association with the Black Lives Matter movement, especially on social media.”
In honoring the Filipino version of the word, a spokesperson for Oxford said that they found the new, Filipino interpretation of “woke” more intriguing, interesting and touché, especially in the light of the growing political activism on social media.
Even respected journalists like Rigoberto Tiglao of The Manila Times and top bloggers like R.J. Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, have adopted the word for their day-to-day vocabulary.
Well, okay. Even The Adobo Chronicles.