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Badil, Guom, Hukip: What Are These Philippine Elections Terms in Waray-Waray Language?

Badil, Guom, Hukip: What Are These Philippine Elections Terms in Waray-Waray Language?

The Philippine election season has begun, and natives of Waray-Waray speaking areas in Eastern Visayas are once again using these election terms.

If you are a follower of several local social media pages in the Waray-Waray language, you may be wondering what the terms "Badil, guom, and hukip?" mean.

During the election season in the Philippines, these expressions are frequently heard.

In the Philippines, badil, or dynamite, is a tool used for illegal fishing, but its meaning shifts during elections. Guom and hukip, on the other hand, have their own meanings and origins.

What exactly is badil?

For a native Waray-Waray, badil refers to a monetary incentive offered to those running for public office during elections.

It could have originated from the phrase "bad deal," which could also refer to a "bad deal with a politician," given that politicians are prohibited from purchasing votes from voters. In a nutshell, "badil" is a type of bribery or vote-buying.

"Additionally, badil can refer to the explosive device used in illegal fishing, as explode in Waray-Waray translates as "boto," which is also the term for "vote in the majority of the Philippines' official languages.

What is guom?

Another local Waray-Waray term during elections is "guom," it's a verb that refers to taking home something. It could be derived from the phrase "go home" as those tasked with distributing monetary incentives from candidates running for public office will take home all of it.

 E.g., Marites is about to go home with all the cash given by a candidate. In Waray-Waray, it could be translated to "Gin-guom na ni Marites an badil tikang ha usa nga kandidato."

What is hukip?

Hukip is another term used during Philippine elections that is well-known on Samar Island. It could mean "suhol" in Tagalog, which means "to compensate for work done or some other consideration." Although it is synonymous with badil, hukip is also used outside of elections.

Hukip may have been derived from the English phrase "who keep," because those who receive it are the "keepers" of money from those running for public office.


The meaning of these terms shifts over time, and they may be replaced by new words that are formed by combining phrases in a different manner. It's possible that the meaning isn't accurate, but Waray-Waray people frequently use these terms during election season in the Philippines.

For this reason, the terms "badil, guom, and hukip," have become common among Waray-Waray, and the origin of these terms should be revealed and made known to the general public. If you know any other Waray-Waray terms and their origins, please share them in the comments section below. –RDV/itacloban

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