Nico Antonio’s hugot moments
Edgar O. Cruz (The Philippine Star) - October 8, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - “Ang tunay na lalaki hindi lang pang romansa, panglabada din,” Tolyts (played by Nico Antonio) pulls from his macho heart after handwashing clothes for his object of affection Tiffany (Bianca Manalo) in a scene from On the Wings of Love that went viral.

Played by Urian-nominated actor Antonio, Tolyts is the adorable but vaguely handsome tricycle driver-suitor of the elder sister of lead actress Leah (Nadine Lustre). Even as support character, Antonio flies high in the romance comedy series over ABS-CBN primetime with such hugot moments.

More from Tolyts: “Hirap mag-drive ng tricycle” stated as if driving a Mercedes Benz and “Op kors! My tricycle is ur limusin.”

Hugot lines, invariably known as the punchlines, famous lines, “one-liners,” or taglines, are effectively used by entertainment media for impact.

In films, there is “Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao! Nasa puso nating lahat!” by Nora Aunor in Himala. On television, there’s “Wala ka naman breeding, wala ka pang poise. You’re wasting my time!” by Bella/Marimar in Marimar. In stage plays, this punchline may be unbeatable: “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!” It is from the still-running play Bituing Walang Ningning, the musical as lifted from the original film version. Even TV commercials had, for instance,” “Hindi lang pang pamilya, pang sports pa!” of Family Rubbing Alcohol.

It is enjoying a big comeback now with the success of the romance-comedy genre. While the punchlines are often stated to clinch a dramatic or comedic moment, a hugot line is that, plus something more involving, usually used with the hashtag #hugot by the person tweeting the hugot line. It is intended to draw out the receiver’s emotions.

The term hugot is Tagalog for “to pull or draw out.” The novelty of its popular use partly originates from this old Tagalog word that came to be used high-tech tweeting. The mismatch pairs extremely well so that it grabs the attention of users hereabout. It is a perfect repackaging of the much-admired punchlines.

With potentially personal meaning containing sentimental or emotional undertones for the speaker, the hugot line is subconsciously stated before the timing can actually be snatched.

Although Antonio has a full-length starrer, Posas (Shackled), and essayed all sorts of character roles from a schizophrenic sibling murderer in Magkakapatid to an empathetic “paminta” lover in Ang Laro Sa Buhay ni Juan, his hugot moments are giving him the greater exposure and high name recall.

That’s clearly due to the medium, television, and the high moments allowed by the script of Benedict Mique and Mariami Tanangco-Domingo and the direction of Antonette Jadaone and Jojo Saguin, helmer of the Metro Manila sequences where Antonio appears.

His consistent praiseworthy characterization as an ideal husband material in On the Wings of Love works so well in the  family-oriented drama series. His Tolyts embodies the equivalent of Pangako Sa ‘Yo’s Thou Reyes as Takong, the minor character dispensable in the narrative but so crucial to provide its laugh opportunities without turning into a caricature.

For sure, there are no small actors, only performers with no hugot moments.

ACIRC ALTHOUGH ANTONIO ANG ANG LARO SA BUHAY ANTONETTE JADAONE AND JOJO SAGUIN BENEDICT MIQUE AND MARIAMI TANANGCO-DOMINGO BIANCA MANALO BITUING WALANG NINGNING FAMILY RUBBING ALCOHOL HUGOT TOLYTS
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