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Five Hugot Stages You Face During A Debt Experience


In Asia, Filipinos are among the best in terms of their short-term savings and spending tracking behavior. An A plus for financial discipline, indeed! However, reports also claim that although Filipinos take savings seriously, long-term investments are somewhat not their cup of tea, making Pinoys the second most indebted in the region. 
Unlike Western counterparts where they have student loans, mortgages and other loans with a borrow now, pay later program, a Pinoy’s way of debt is usually through borrowing from friends, families and neighbors. Surveys show that Filipinos’ high personal debts are driven by daily living expenses, medical obligations, family welfare, child education and many more discretionary expenses. In other words, “Utang” meaning debt in Tagalog is seen as a solution for a typical Filipino to sustain his/her cost of living. 
So, to say the least, money does not really grow on trees. Getting a life and making ends meet is not at all an easy responsibility. Whether, true or not, one way or another  a debt experience may come into your life. But keep in mind, you are not alone at this because like others who have been through debts, you will face the five emotional or hugot stages during a debt experience below.
First Hugot Stage: DENIAL
“Akala mo lang na wala, pero meron, meron, meron.”
The first stage is to avoid your obligations to pay for what you owed. You do this by making-up reasons, coming up with excuses, or even hiding from those you are indebted with. This is an unhealthy stage because running away from people who helped you get through is the least you could do especially when you are not ready to pay it back. And avoiding confrontations at all cost has been your top priority. For  your long list of IOUs, you try to ditch and ignore its existence.  You are in denial of your financial problems. (This is not happening.)

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Second Hugot Stage: ANGER
“Oo Ikaw, ikaw yung wala lang kahit anong gawin mo ang galing-galing mo… kasi ikaw naman talaga ang magaling di ba, ikaw ang matalino, ikaw ang maganda, lahat ikaw na!”
This is the stage when you begin to feel financially insecure. You get angry at someone who cannot understand the state of your situation even at the people you are indebted with, you become furious at them for being impatient. However, at this stage, you mostly blame those closest to you, your family. You point fingers at them for not helping you get rid of the financial burden that’s eating up your should be savings. You think everyone is against you or wishing you an ill-fated life. (Don’t talk to me, you can’t understand what I’m going through.)

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Third Hugot Stage: BARGAINING

“I deserved an explanation. I deserved an acceptable reason.”

When you’re tired of lashing out and tired of running away, this stage gets you back to your senses. All you feel now is kneeling and begging for help from a higher power. You believe that everything is happening for a reason and that is keeping you sane.  This is the stage when you wish and hope that a fast solution may come up and you bargain with a promise hoping the next day when you wake up, everything is just as it was-  a debt-free, problem-free, stress-free and carefree life. (Oh, pretty please God.)

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Fourth Hugot Stage: DEPRESSION
Adik ka na naman sa pag-asa eh. Try mo na kaya lumaklak ng realidad!” 
The debts are here to stay. Now, that it’s really sinking in, the heavy feeling of all your personal debts are giving you pressure. You feel lost, you feel confused, you feel hopeless and you don’t know where to start and what to do. Your self-worth is at your lowest. You begin haunting yourself with questions such as “How am I gong to pull everything off? Will I ever make it out alive?”  You feel so depressed. (Leave me alone.)

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Fifth Hugot Stage: ACCEPTANCE
“Kung walang kikilos, sinong kikilos? Kung di ngayon, kailan pa?”
It’s time you finally move on. You had had enough tears already. You come to realize that doing nothing won’t solve anything. So you begin to to pull yourself together and start embracing that when life gives you lemons, make lemonades of course! Be the optimistic person you ought to be. With your renewed focus you finally accept that you can make a way to get through this indebted life. (I’m back on track.)

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Debt or “Utang” is not the end of your financial blessings, it is the start of something new. Surviving financial debt will make you a better person as you get life lessons from the debt experience. By this time, you also know how to manage your finances. You feel like you are given a second shot in your financial life and as much as possible you never again want to face a near-debt experience.
If in any case you don’t want to end up ruining relationships, getting yourself depressed, and adding a list of people you are indebted with, might as well get a loan through your online pawnshop, Pawnhero. It’s fast and easy. You just visit the Pawnhero website to learn more. Plus, you can also download the Pawnhero app, where you can now solve your financial problems ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.
Had you have your share of a debt experience? We want to hear them. Feel free to drop a comment below.

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