A popular internet slang word was repeatedly used by the local online community on the last day of the Holy Week.
“Sadboi” is defined by a user-generated online dictionary as someone “who is often upset by things in the world.”
Another definition is that these individuals tend to glorify “negative emotions and depressed mental states.”
WordSense, another online dictionary, defines it as an informal term for a “young man who is open about his emotions, especially his feeling sad about failed relationships and unrequited love, and channels his sadness artistically.”
The term is often used synonymously with “emo” which refers to a person who is introverted, full of angst, sensitive, and/or those relating to a style of rock music characterized by melodic musicianship and emotionally fraught lyrics.
The difference is that sadbois “appear to lean into their emotions, channeling them to create art about their sadness or mental illness,” according to a trends-centered website.
Local political appropriation
The term was used when three presidential bets in the 2022 elections appeared in a press conference at a five-star hotel where they reiterated that they won’t back down from the presidential race.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Sen. Ping Lacson and former defense chief Norberto Gonzales faced the media on Easter Sunday and offered themselves as alternatives to pose a supposed stronger challenge against fellow presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who is leading the survey polls.
The second strongest, based on the surveys, is Vice President Leni Robredo, the lone female presidential bet.
At the conference, Gonzales pitched for a “new number two” in the race while Moreno called for Robredo to withdraw altogether as she may not be the candidate to topple Marcos.
The vice president is the highest among them in terms of survey rankings by Pulse Asia last March. She is at 24% while Marcos is at 56%.
Moreno ranked third with 8%, Pacquiao with 6% and Lacson with 2%. Gonzales was ranked last out of the 10 presidential bets.
“Hopefully after this press conference, more Filipinos will be enlightened that there are a lot of choices, not just two,” Moreno said.
He also claimed without evidence that her supporters were bought off.
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Following the press conference, some Filipinos—many of whom are supportive of Robredo—called the presidential bets “sadbois,” referring to their move to hold the event.
“Weak men fear strong women. #SadBois. That’s the tweet,” a Robredo supporter said.
“Sadbois presscon was pointless as expected. Of course their fragile ‘male’ egos are threatened by a strong, capable woman. They’re forgetting who the real enemy is,” another Twitter user said.
“Calling out the most qualified candidate to withdraw without any strong and valid na rason, but just to make Filipinos see na may iba pang options? Ayun ba? Why don’t you misogynist sadbois waste your time proving yourselves than dragging an empowered woman down?” argued a different Filipino.
A Twitter account retweeted a user who screengrabbed a Facebook comment that reads: “‘Women are too emotional, they can’t run the country.”Yung mga male candidates sa halalan: (refers to press conference)”
— marky (@hoybuknoy_) April 17, 2022
The tweet was shared by parody account @MalacananEvents with the comment, “Big sadboi energy.”
The term “sadboi” was also used by critics of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III when he became emotional after the state auditing body flagged his department due to “deficiencies” in COVID-19 pandemic funds.