History and Culture

Baguio's Answer to Your Hugot: Bury it!


Christa De La Cruz
Christa De La Cruz | Oct 29, 2015
Baguio's Answer to Your Hugot: Bury it!

Filipinos have embraced to what we now call the "hugot culture."

Hugot is a Filipino word which refers to the action of pulling something out or drawing out. True enough, it has become a trend of crafting an emotional sentence, a witty phrase, or just a simple word with a huge impact. More often than not, these play on words are captured from the deep recesses of heartbreaking memories.

With the advent of social media, the hugot culture has become easier. Anything and everything is almost always glazed with a lot of hugot—from sad songs and poems to Internet memes and six-word tweets. And, who can forget "She had me at my worst. You had me at my best. Pero binalewala mo lang lahat yun" in One More Chance (2007), "Oo na, ako na! Ako na! Ako na ang mag-isa!" in English Only, Please (2014), or "Bakit, kapag sinabi ba niya kung bakit, may magbabago? Ang bottomline, hindi ka niya mahal" in That Thing Called Tadhana (2015)?

In the highlands of Baguio, however, it is advised to get rid of all the hugot.

"Negativism is man's greatest self-imposed infliction, his most limiting factor, his heaviest burden," states a marker at the Cemetery of Negativism (aka "The Lost Cemetery" or "Pet Cemetery") found in Camp John Hay. It is not really a burial site but a symbolic place. "No more, for here is buried the world's negativism for all time. Those who rest here have died not in vain—but for you a stern reminder—as you leave this hill, remember that for the rest of your life. Be more positive. Have a good day! Treat today like it's your last, though it's the first day of the rest," the message continues.

(1) LETZ STUDY IT. Delayed birth, step childhood, never Reached Maturity; (2) UHAFTO OR ELSE. Born of intimidation, lived in resentment, died without fame; (3) KNOW DAM WAY. Conceived New Year's Eve 1910, didn't work out.

It was designed by then Base Commander Major John Hightower, who served at Camp John Hay from 1979 to 1982. Stories have it that he was known to have unorthodox and creative methods in leadership. The graveyard with 15 tombstones was his way to gather and bury his soldiers' negativities that limit their potentials. 

(1) KANT DO NUTHIN WRIGHT. Born Dec 5, 1905, died June 1, 1903; (2) DOANNA SET A PRECEDENT. His passing was that of a precedent; (3) I-THOUGHT UWOOD DOIT. Conceived-fall 1896, didn't make it-autumn 1897; (4) KNOT A TEEMPLAER. Born a star, lived a meteor, died in flames.


(1) OH IF ONLY. Never born, cuz never happened; (2) A. TRUELY MISERABLEDAY. Born in gloom, lived without bloom, dried in this tomb; (3) EYE FORGOT. Born humbly, died sometime; (4) WILNOTPAST. Born 3 June 1900 and didn't.


(1) JUST KANT SHAKIT. Born 5 Oct 1919, died of passivity 20 May 1913; (2) WHY DIDENTI? Born ?????, lived wondering why, died for no reason; (3) KANT B. DONE. 2 January 1904, 1 January 1904. Died before he started.


(1) ITZ NOT POSSIBLE. Conceived 11 Nov 1905, still not born; (2) WATZ INIT FORMI. Born short, lived long, died in debt; (3) WONT B. USED. Started: 10 December 1905, abandoned 14 December 1905; (4) BLAME MI WILLY. Abducted: _ July 1911, returned: _ July 1911.

Now with either repainted or damaged animal figures, the epitaphs use word puns to make the visitors laugh and, hopefully, make them leave behind all the pessimism and negativities.

What hugot will you be getting rid of?


Where on Earth is Baguio City?
It is located in the province of Benguet in Northern Luzon.
(Courtesy of Google Maps.)
How to Get There

Baguio is a 4 to 7-hour bus ride from Manila, with the travel time depending on the schedule of the trip you’ll take from Cubao, Quezon City or Pasay City. It is best to leave around midnight to arrive just in time for the sunrise at Mines View Park.

Option 1: Victory Liner - First Class

  • has no stops
  • 4-5 hours
  • 10:15am / 12:20pm / 8:15pm / 11:15pm
  • PhP 750

Option 2: Victory Liner - Regular A/C Bus

  • has two stops
  • 6-7 hours
  • leaves every hour, 24 hours
  • PhP 450
Also Read: 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose Baguio 

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Baguio's Answer to Your Hugot: Bury it!

Not for the Faint-hearted: 5 of the Most Beautifully Haunted Places in the Philippines

 Urban Legend: The Bloody Secret of the Longest Bridge in the Philippines

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