Writing

Kilig

Some of my English books, those that are set in the Philippines or with Filipino characters, are sometimes sprinkled with a few Filipino words. I do it for “just because reason” but sometimes I write them because I just can’t find a word to use in English. The word kilig is one of them.

Kilig is probably the most complicated feelings for us Filipinos to explain. And being married with a Norwegian who’s super romantic makes it even harder. Whenever he does something romantic or something that give kilig feelings, I have no idea how to tell it without ruining the moment. Now after 14 years of marriage we settled with saying that “hehehe feeling”

According to Urban Dictionary by mis2n.yoo:

1. noun. It is the sudden feeling of an inexplicable joy one gets when something romantic or idealistic occurs.

But the explanation I like most is from Papa Alpha Oscar. He wrote:

“kilig” is an expression, reaction, or feeling that makes someone blush after an event… something that makes girls squirm on the inside as if saying “OMG! that is sooo sweet!” without being too obvious about it. it’s that romantic factor when watching chick flicks and some cheesy dialogue literally takes someone’s breath away.

OR that ‘tingly’ and ‘excited’ feeling you feel, especially when watching romantic films.

I don’t think there’s an English word or phrase for it. even Butterfly Stomach doesn’t do justice to “kilig”

So very true!

So next time you encounter a Filipino/Filipina and S/He said “kilig much!” or “kakilig” you know that that person is feeling something unexplainable.

Happy weekends!

This post was inspired by reading Drew's poem from The Lonely Author's blog.
Photos from Unsplash

5 Comments

  • thelonelyauthorblog

    Some of your comments in my blog have been pure kilig.
    I think sprinkling words of a native language helps with the tone and feel of a book. A great example of this was Mario Puzo in his novel “The Godfather.” He used this technique to sprinkle a feel of Italian into this great work.

    • Jessica

      Haha 😀 Strange but I think you do understand the feeling.
      I’ve been curious about The Godfather movie for a while but never really had the guts to watch it, so I was not aware that it was a book. Now I’m curious.

    • Jessica

      Kilig isn’t really a feeling about a long happy married life but rather a feeling that brings tingly or butterfly like sensation that makes you want to squirm with excitement. As I mention it’s a hard feeling to explain. Thanks for dropping by ^_^

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