‘Fotobam’ selected as Filipino word of the year

Image by Office of Senator Pia Cayetano via Facebook page of NO to DMCI's "Terror de Manila"
  • The word “fotobam” was selected as the Filipino Word of the Year 2016
  • This is related to the Torre de Manila controversy involving the so-called “National Photobomber” of the Rizal monument
  • Other words considered were: hugot, milenyal, netizen, viral, meme, tukod, foundling, lumad, and bully

A group of Filipino language experts have selected “fotobam” as the Salita ng Taong 2016 [Word of the Year 2016].

The word was selected by the Conference of the Filipinas Institute of Translation  at the University of the Philippines. Fotobam is among the top ten most popular words used by Filipinos for the year 2016.

This particular word was nominated by historian Xiao Chua, who explained that the word gained attention at the height of the Torre de Manila controversy when the building project was dubbed as the “Pambansang Photobomber [National Photobomber]” of the Rizal Monument in Luneta.

Kaya siguro nabiyayaan po ng mga kalahok at ng hurado ‘yung ‘fotobam’ sapagkat it goes beyond pagiging sikat kung hindi nagkaroon siya ng significance sa kultura natin at sa ating kasaysayan. [Perhaps the participants and judges chose ‘fotobam’ because it goes beyond being popular but also because it had a significance in our culture and in our history,” Xiao told ABS-CBN News.

“Fotobam” is the Filipino syllabication of the English word “photobomb” which itself is a relatively modern word used to describe a prank when taking photographs.

Xiao explained that the original Filipino syllabication is credited to a 2014 documentary by former De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde film students Carl Angelo Ruiz and Jong Gutierrez.

Meanwhile, coming in second place this year was the word “hugot” while the word “milenyal” came in third place.

Other words pertaining to the prevalent use of social media among Filipinos such as “netizen”, “viral”, and “meme”, as well as words that made a significant impact in the country’s politics this year such as “foundling”, “bully”, “lumad”, and “tukod”, made it to the shortlist.