Our Obsession with “Kilig”
Kilig (noun): – the overwhelming thrill and excitement felt by someone who is in love or under a strong infatuation, caused by a word, action, or mere presence of the object of love or infatuation. It is characterized by various weird physical reactions such as smiling from ear to ear, laughing uncontrollably, giggling, blushing, hunching one’s shoulders, perspiring (even in a cold environment), cold hands and feet, a strong heartbeat, shaking, or other unexplainable actions. (My own personal definition 🙂
The peak of the rare social phenomenon in the Philippines known as AlDub happened in the second half of 2015. After almost two years, many are now asking – is the magic over too soon?
One thing’s for sure—the accidental love team of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza will forever go down in history as a marketing miracle, a rare advertizing goldrush event where millions of passionate fans broke social media records, movie ticket sales and tv viewership stats. This duo had remarkably attained many “firsts” in the world of Philippine entertainment and social media. All these happened within the loveteam’s first six months–a real feat indeed.
Marketing experts and media analysts have come up with various explanations about the “Secret Formula” – that magic ingredient that caused everyone from A, B, C and onward down the line in the entire viewership spectrum to stay glued on their TV screens or on YouTube at the height of this “madness”.
But that was in 2015. What’s going on with it now? We do suppose their TV producers or directors are hell-bent on re-creating that magic formula, whatever it may be, and realizing it is not as easy as it seems. An inherent nature of this “magic formula” seems to be spontaneity, an element of “realness,” a real tugging at the heart that couldn’t be summoned merely by a script or tv production.
That “secret ingredient” is what the Philippines calls “kilig”—a Filipino word that has no direct English translation.
Imagine an entire population, or what is known as the “AlDub Nation”, collectively feeling that exact same sensation, although vicariously, at the same time. The result is a widespread phenomenon never before seen on Philippine television or even in the international social media.
The AlDub craze, if anything, has demonstrated something in “kilig” that people young and old, whether they be poor, unschooled street laborers, or highly skilled intellectual professionals, married or single, are just drawn to.
There is something in the mere prospect of true, unadulterated pure love that we seem to desperately want to be a part of.
We want to live in the world of this love unfolding before our very eyes, although vicariously through Alden and Maine.
Our primal hunger for love is the real reason why we do most of the things we do. It explains a lot of what we see on social media, for instance—the desire to be liked and admired and accepted. The desire to feel important and treasured. It is such an intrinsic part of you and me, as if we’ve been actually designed for it and it’s a major part of our DNA or genetic make-up. And to be honest about it, of course, we are talking about something beyond just romantic love.
This is why abandoned children usually grow up feeling incomplete. This is why jilted lovers harbor deep emotional wounds, sometimes for years. This is why teen-aged girls give up their virginity way ahead of time. This is why people turn to drugs and alcohol to cover up the emptiness from not being loved, or at least, not being loved as much as they desire to be loved.
And you know what, all of it would not even begin to make sense…. unless you believe that there’s a God who created everything in the universe including you, and that He purposely designed you for love. For His love.
This is why we are forever drawn to love or the prospect of true love. This is why nothing in this world could ever remove that emptiness or unfulfilment or discontent deep down that we keep trying to cover up with busyness, or money, or fame, or material things, or a career, or the love and admiration of other people, or adventure, or power, or illicit sex, or influence, or achievements, or drugs, or beer, or a nightlife, or social happenings, or any form of distraction, or any form of excitement… and the list goes on and on.
God created and designed you for love. For His love. And unless you believe and respond to His love, there would always be something missing in your life, no matter how far you think you’ve come.
God doesn’t want to be your religious icon or an object of religion. He doesn’t want to be your Santa Claus or your genie whom you merely go to for your wishes. He doesn’t want to be your goodluck charm or your talisman to protect you from bad luck. He doesn’t want you to go to Him merely as an emergency recourse in times of trouble. He doesn’t want you mentioning His Name merely for a semblance of morality or to make you look good. He doesn’t want you to see Him merely as your ticket to heaven.
He wants your heart. He wants you to know Him. He wants to be in your life. He wants to have a relationship with you. For real.