The Millennial Walwal

Walwal. It’s a familiar term even for millennials who’re more than two decades old. Friday nights are usually Walwalan Nights, the after-work sesh of party and booze. Of course, the older ladies and gents know this as plain, old hardcore inuman. But it’s the millennium and the kids of the post-Y2K scare are too cool for just plain old words. And so the slang, “Walwal” or “Walwalan” came to being.

The Pinoy slang “Walwalan” or “Walwal” was first recognized in 2015. The word is believed to have been taken from the phrases “walang pakialam,” “walang pangarap” and “walang kinabukasan”, which were used to describe hardcore drinking sessions, ‘yon bang kung uminom ay akala mo wala nang bukas.

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Walwal nights came to mean the weekly, sometimes monthly, nocturnal gatherings of officemates as well as students, college students, graduate students, to chill and let go of their cares after days-long of hard work and study. This reminds me of the “Happy Thursday” of my former students along Taft.

Contrary to the SanMig Light-filled Chillnuman nights where conversations and catching-up are the thing, walwalan came to mean nocturnal sessions of drink-till-you-drop. Hence, walang pakialam (no cares).

Walwalan sessions usually start late, 10 PM being the “earliest”, loud music tears through everyone’s ears, and of course, conversations, at least, meaningful and intelligent ones, are totally out of the scene. For some setups, it’s a bacchanalia of sorts, a night of wild revelry with the aftermath of puke puddles.

The walwalan night was made to be a night without cares, a night where the tired, stress-ridden can vent-out his frustrations, where the broken-hearted can cry her heart-out without qualms. Some use this as an escape from their haunted bouts of depression. Others use this as a night to try out vices they wouldn’t even try under the usual circumstances.

I drink. A lot. But I am yet to be convinced to binge drink with the intent to get drunk, and I mean, in the millennial speak, as in basag na basag. But, as an acquaintance once said, you don’t need a reason to make walwal. You just walwal.

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Let’s see how this walwalan culture is portrayed in popular mass media. Direk Jose Javier “Joey” Reyes and Regal  Films will be showing their movie, “Walwal” on June 27.

Based on the official trailer, the film takes on millennial youth culture, specifically among students and the reasons behind why they make and are led to walwalan nights. Descriptives for the young people are “Walang-hiya”, “Walang muang”, “Walang magawa”, and “Walang-wala”: Walwal.

The cast of “Walwal” includes Elmo Magalona, Kiko Estrada, Jerome Ponce, Devon Seron, Jane de Leon, Donny Pangilinan and Kisses Delavin. And this June 05, the #WalWalGrandPresscon was held.

So let’s see how the film presents and analyzes this millennial walwal drinking culture. And perhaps, elders and parents could learn a thing or two to better understand and care for the stressed millennials and i-Generation kids.

And perhaps, through the film, even us millennials can learn a thing or two to better understand the hows and whys of our walwal nights and, well, eventually make them less or disappear altogether. Because let’s face it: Walwal Nights always end with a bad headache and a feeling so bad you’ll say “Never again”.


Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.

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