Things That Only 90’s Filipinos Could Understand

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The 90s is an era that will always leave a mark on everyone who has lived through it because it’s the age when we last savored the simplicity of life before entering Internet era. The limitations that the pre-internet era has set made everything more valuable than they are now and achieving them were very rewarding back in the day making them more memorable. So, without further ado, let us take a walk down memory lane and look back how different things were back in the 90s.

Rushing Home from School to Watch Our Favorite Afternoon Animes

Gundam, Mojako, Doraemon, Ray Earth, Ghost Fighter were just some of the shows that kids back in the days go home to every day. Unlike today, TV stations back in the days air cartoons in the afternoon at 4 pm, perhaps to get kids to go home right away instead of staying late at school playing tumbang preso and patintero.  These shows sure did make it easier for parents in keeping their kids at home.

Bouncing Butterfly Hairpins

Back in the 90s, Jolina was popular enough to set a fashion trend out of bouncy butterfly clips. Swear to God, I could still remember how delighted my cousin to own a lot of these and decorated her hair with it as if it was a Christmas tree. In fairness to my cousin, she was in her late 20’s then and she managed to pull off those flashy butterfly hairpins.

Teks (Card Games)

Before Yugi-Oh and Pokemon Cards, we could easily buy those cheap cards which feature our favorite local cartoon shows from the nearby sari-sari store (neighborhood variety store) outside our school. I could still remember how we throw them in the air as if we were tossing coins and the card that lands face down loses.

Waking Up Early to these Following Shows

Nope! It’s not Dora the Explorer and not even Blue’s Clues. As a kid who grew in the 90s, TV shows were definitely life for most of us. However, there’s a big twist with those child-friendly and educational TV shows – they’re all aired during school hours. Looking back, it makes me wonder if our local TV stations were encouraging students to study and upon looking up the line-up we can consider that they’re a nod to that. Early morning shows were kicked off by local educational shows which are Sineskwela, Bayani, Hiraya Manawari, and Mathinik.

Outdoor Games

Generally, games were more of a physical back in the days because video games weren’t really as big as it is now. Nonetheless, whether you grew up playing video games or not, surely if you’re Pinoy who grew up in the 90s, surely, you’ve played the following games as a kid:

Chinese Garter (For Girls)

If you ask me, this game is a toned-down version of gymnastics because the professional gymnastics equipment is simply too expensive for Filipinos to buy.

Luksong Tinik

Quick fact: this game was also called “milo-milo” by most kids because of Milo’s branding as a drink for athletic people back in the days. Remember how high you jumped playing this game?


Also, known as “tinubigan” from the word “tubig” which means water, because 90s Pinoy kids were resourceful like that.  The water is used to draw a huge rectangle divided into six parts which will serve as the court for the game.

Tumbang Preso

Forget Havaianas! Rambo and Spartan were our favorite slipper brands mainly because they produce the sturdiest slippers for this game.

If these traditional Pinoy games were still a thing today, the Philippines would’ve made a sport out of it. This game requires flexibility, eye-body coordination, agility, and balance – qualities that mostly only professional athletes possess today.

Rubber bands

Rubber bands are every Filipino kid’s go-to toy. Kids in the 90s use it to play dampa or as an improvised nerf gun minus the gun because we’re very resourceful. Collectively, these rubber bands can be banded together to form a Chinese garter.

The Sipa or Takyan

This game is similar to hacky sack, a game which is aimed to keep the modified shuttlecock from falling to the ground by only using either your hands or your ankles. A sipa is made of a small metal with a little hole in the middle where a colorful set of plastic straws are inserted to form its tail.

Cassette Tape and Pencil

Before CDs and MP3s, there was the cassette tape which is where the music is saved. In order to rewind or fast forward the music, a pencil or a pen should be inserted in the circle to rotate the tape. That’s where the relationship between the tape and the pencil comes in. With that, nothing beats Pinoy’s resourcefulness and creativity.

This post was by Reymart Sarigumba from iPrice group, a price comparison and meta-search engine based in  MalaysiaSingaporePhilippinesThailandVietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

About reyserved

Reymart Jan Sarigumba is a Filipino content writer based in Kuala Lumpur. He has been engaged in digital marketing as a writer since 2013. Aside from that, he was also an ESL instructor on the side. Both profession honed him to be the writer that he is now.