Brace yourselves: It’s the season for graduation photos to flood our timelines once again. There are usually two types of photos. There’s the classic toga shot of a beaming student (sometimes with a medal) complete with a 12-inch caption on Facebook. And then there are creative shots of students holding up witty one-liners on a whiteboard. One student took the latter approach seriously — too seriously, in fact — that she had the Internet collectively scratching their heads. Can you answer this “Can you be my halaman” question?
Can you be my halaman?
Last May 25, Studio Z uploaded a couple of “fun shoot” graduation photos with students from Saint Vincent’s College in Zamboanga del Norte. Most of the students understood the assignment of witty one-liners (e.g. “Due tomorrow, do tomorrow.”) but one girl, in particular, had a whiteboard with a bunch of words that confused the heck out of everyone.
“Can you be my “halaman” but “PL” is silent, and then remove the “M,” read the girl’s whiteboard.
The Internet’s few brain cells shifted into high gear trying to decipher what the message meant. Clearly, the word “halaman” did not have the letter “P” so where did that come from?
— scorsaguin (@notscorsaguin) May 26, 2022
Luckily, some folks in the comments section were quick to think out of the box and solve the mystery. Are you ready to hear the mind-boggling solution? It involves translating words into English and then knowing some basic Philippine language.
Translate “halaman” into its English word, “plant.” From that word, remove “PL” and it becomes “ant.” What’s “ant” in Tagalog? “Langgam.” Finally, apply the instruction to remove the “M” and the word becomes “Langga,” a term of endearment which could translate to “love.”
She was basically asking if the reader could be her “love.”
Netizens scratch their heads
“Marami na akong iniisip. Huwag mo nang dagdagan pa. Kung gusto mong jowain ka, ayusin mo buhay mo. Kalma,” commented one Facebook user.
The post on Facebook has garnered 31k reactions and 38k shares as of writing. The 8.8k comments are a combination of people patiently explaining how to get the answer and impatient folks who can’t deal with the riddle.
“Wag na lang,” said one comment.
“Can you be my love… Wag na nating complicate,” said another.
Another even made a courageous attempt that involved a pen and an ancient planner. Unfortunately, the answer they arrived to didn’t make sense in the end.
“The design is very women,” commented one Facebook user, alluding to the stereotype that women are confusing and often beat around the bush before saying what they intended to.
Still, congratulations are in order. Congratulations to this girl for finishing the school year and for singlehandedly bringing the Internet together and humbling everyone. So what do you say? Can you be my halaman?