The Hows of KathNiel: A Textual Analysis on the Concept of ‘Kilig’ in the Context of the Kathniel Love Team


Perez, H. M. (2019). The Hows of KathNiel: A Textual Analysis on the Concept of Kilig in the Context of the KathNiel Love Team (Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis). University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

This study revolves around identifying the portrayals of kilig in selected media texts that feature the KathNiel love team in lead roles. It aims to define kilig in the context of KathNiel and at the same time describe how the media industry commodifies kilig and uses it as a strategy to sell both media and commercial products.

Guided by the grounded theory and the concepts of culture industry and political economy of media, I employed textual analysis to see how kilig is portrayed in local media. The manifestations of kilig gathered are then coded to come up with a definition of kilig in the context of the KathNiel love team. To probe into the political economy aspect of kilig, I conducted semi-structured interviews with the producers of the media texts to further gain insight about the media industry’s process of selling kilig to the audiences. It was found that KathNiel’s portrayal of kilig changes as they grow older and take on more mature roles but at its core, it is still very formulaic. It was also proven that kilig is used to market a lot of things, from the KathNiel love team, to their films, teleseryes, and even a commercial product like coffee.

Seeing how the media and advertising industry take advantage of the Filipinos’ love for kilig, love teams, and anything romance, to achieve their capitalist agenda, this study hopes to encourage the Filipino audience to think more critically of their fascination to kilig and their media consumption.

Keywords: kilig, KathNiel, love teams, textual analysis, culture industry

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