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Stuck in the 90s

Nostalgia is when you feel sentimental about something-- a place, music, or a period with fond and happy personal memories. When we find ourselves listening to music from our adolescence or being in a place where we’ve experienced much of our personal history, we can’t help but feel a tinge of emotion where sentimentality takes you back to times gone by. The 90’s were a transitional period where everything was a lot less complicated, the world had only begun getting ready for the 21st century and people were yet to become slaves to technology. Back then life was a bit easier. Music still had meaning and a message, mainstream movies and TV were less dark, and socializing actually meant going out and talking to people. Hip-hop, Rap, RnB, Grunge, and Heavy Metal were the soundtrack and outlet of the youth. The music opened our eyes and woke up our sense of rebellion and it showed in the way we dressed and spoke. MTV was still fun and featured all sorts of new music and your favorite VHS rental shops were stacked with movies that were meant to inspire people and make you laugh. The 90s were a simpler period where people were more intimate - guys had to make “ligaw” (courtship) when they liked someone (giving girls flowers and handwritten letters, meeting her folks, and sending chocolates and a huge teddy bear were the in thing). Friends would make “Telebabad” (long phone calls) which would mean being on the phone for 5 hours or more talking about everything and nothing at the same time. Yes, relationships were more old-school and “cheesy” but they were truly more meaningful and sincere because people had to put the work in to make connections. Nowadays, thanks to apps like Tinder, modern romance is now simply dumbed down to a few swipes and taps. People now have “digital relationships” and social media often dictates your attitude towards people. These days it’s hard to listen to pop music or watch Hollywood movies without having to decode what they really want you to think. The transition from the analog age to digital brought on the advent of chat rooms, Windows computers, free music (thanks Napster), and digital photos which changed our world forever. The youth of the new generations will never know how we were able to squeeze every drop of fun out of a world that didn’t have a lot of the modern luxuries that they take for granted today.

Nowadays we are bombarded with so much technology and media that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with life in general. It’s good to look back at simpler times and remember that life wasn’t always this complex. An old photo, a memorable song, or even just remembering a fond memory from growing up with your “barkada” (best friends) can always make your day. Sometimes, a good bit of nostalgia is all you need to take you back to a world less complicated.

Camille, 32

"Everything! From Backstreet Boys, NSync and Spice Girls, to our porma (jumper, mid-riff, clogs, Doc Martens), hitching a ride to Town Center to watch a movie or play in Glico’s, dancing with my girls in our attic after school, begging my parents to let me go on an overnight trip with my barkada to Batangas or Tagaytay. I also remember all the food we ate after cheerdancing practice - Miggy’s and Henlin! Our first “major” concert was watching Allure at Hard Rock Café in Glorietta and we were all wearing tube tops like we thought that was cool. The nineties was THE best decade (no bias here haha)."

Karen, 30

"What I remember most while growing up in the 90's are the Backstreet boys, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, Spice Girls, Nokia 5110 and the snake game, Super Mario Brothers, Tamagochi, Polly pockets and Pogs."

Andoni, 31

"Who could forget those huge Laser discs? I had to call my Dad or Bro so that I could watch my cartoons. I just couldn’t grip those Frisbees, man! Haha.

Walkman and VHS! My Dad’s huge headphones, and not wireless.

Playing Wolfenstein on MS DOS. Hanging out with friends and taking turns to play Super Nintendo with games like Street Fighter and Mario Cart (That homing red shell was the best), and finishing Zelda, Donkey Kong and Mario World (Flying and Riding Yoshi!). Don’t forget the first Diablo, Warcraft, Red alert and Doom.

Watching Cartoons the whole weekend like Flinstones, Jetsons, Top Cat, Josie and the pussycats, Penelope pitstop, Thunder cats, Biker Mice, Centurions, Swat cats Yogi Bear and Booboo. Waiting for the Laf-a-lympics so that you see all the villains and heroes of the network and rooting for the heroes to win, which of course they always do.

I remember watching T.G.I.F. and Growing Up with my Nana before I could watch my Ninja Turtles, X-men and Power Rangers. Then after that Palibhasang Lalake, Home Along the Riles and Okay ka Ferry ko! Then during Friday Nights, Are you afraid of the dark? and Tales from the Crypt. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

Movies like Wayne's World, My Girl, Free Willy, Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, Hot Shots, Robin Hood Men in Tights, Little Rascals, Mighty Ducks, Major League, Dracula Dead and Loving it, Police Academy, Naked Gun and The Land Before Time (I cried)! The in-thing and cool toys were Katchupoy look, elephant pants, using pomada, headbands. Mechanical pencils and that other advanced pencil that comes with cartridges and when you finish it you stack it at the top, push it down and a brand new cartridge pops out the bottom and it's well sharpened (mind-blown that time).Those shoes with soles that lit up when you walk on them and basketball shoes which came with pumps. Aspen Perfume and Cool Water by Davidoff. Polo RL shirts, Giordano (Sooo Comfy), Carpenter pants, braided belts, Maui and Sons and Tommy Hilfiger. Oversized shirts and low waist jeans! Birkenstocks, Sandals, Roller Blades and Top Siders. Pog and slammers! Those weird looking midget trolls with awesome hair and matchbox cars that can change their color when you dip it in water and assembling your Dino Riders. NBA trading cards flair, fleer and upper deck. The start of floral boardshorts or floral polos with puka shell necklace hahaha!

Drinks like Blue Ice Beer, Smirnoff Mule (because you couldn’t down a beer yet or just the taste of it, haha) and Sub Zero.

We just have to say this...Back Street Boys and Spice Girls. Even those people who hated and despised them knew a song or two. Waiting for Rick Dees and the weekly top 40s and trying to record those songs hoping the DJ would shut up before you hit the record button.

Anticipating watching Woodstock 99 on TV . I remember going to my grandparent’s house to watch this because I couldn’t use the TV in ours haha.. Limp Bizkit, Korn, Buckcherry, Jamiroquai, Bush, Counting Crows, Red Hot, DMB and Rage Against the Machine burning the Amercan Flag and “If you don’t like Kid Rock you can suck my ****! [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

And the one and only...Peter North hahaha!"

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Tanya, 30

"Having to wait for cassette tapes to rewind and then the tape getting twisted and stuck! Roller skating, spending hours at "Kids at Work", collecting My Little Pony toys and Cupcake Dolls. Dial up internet -- crossing my fingers that sound would end and that it would connect! My obsession with collecting neoprints and studio pics with my friends and my monthly subscription to MEG magazine. Life was simple then. People would show up to meetings as planned -- no last minute excuses over text!"

[endif] [if !supportLineBreakNewLine]Giacomono, 41

"I started off the 90’s graduating high-school back in ’92. Back then, without cellular phones we would go around town in our friend’s L300 van souped up in Bose subwoofers and JBL speakers pumping music such as “I’ve Got the Power” by Snap, “Just Another Day” by John Secada, and the essential “Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. In the advent of cable T.V. in Bacolod, came MTV. From then on we were flooded by new 90’s alternative, and grunge music which helped express our teen angst through honest, insecure-laden lyrics brought out by 90’s greats Nirvana (Smells Like Teen Spirit), Pearl Jam (Jeremy), and REM (Losing My Religion). It was the time that music influenced change, like U2’s “One”. That was the era of Rock greats Metallica, and Guns n Roses. Notable music by Color Me Badd (Sex You Up); C&C Music Factory (Wanna Make You Sweat).

During the 90’s I never really had much fashion sense, only wearing what I thought suited me or my mood back then. Not knowing if it was “the” fashion trend or not. For the record, occasionally I’d go out in a striped t-shirt, dark pants, white socks on black Brogues shoes…picture that! Now, you think I have a good fashion sense?

I never really cared much for toys as the 90’s was a time of alcoholic discoveries fuelled by our own curiosities on stimulating substances. Although I dabbled in video games like Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, Supernes’s Castlevania, NBA Live, and Nintendo’s Punchout. Then it all came to an abrupt end. Now back to my favorite topic: Music. College years was from ‘92-’96. It was an era where music was most influential for me. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, where classics like “Soul To Squeeze”, “Under the Bridge”, and “Give it Away” were perennial favorites. Then came my favorite album of all time, Pearl Jam’s Ten, classics like “Alive”, “Even Flow”, “Jeremy”, and “Oceans”. These songs pretty much sums up my life in college. Hearing them now never fails to bring back the days of feeling lost, and then found. A feeling of hopelessness, and yet in the end, utter joy and a sense of being complete (Wow! Deep?!). And who can forget RadioHeads’ “Creep”? After listening to it didn’t we all feel better?

After graduating college in ’96, I started working on our family’s aqua-culture farm raising milkfish and prawns. I was hooked on a little known band called Dishwalla. Their album Pet Your Friends featured songs like “Counting Blue Cars” and “Give” and “Only For So Long”. As well as Ocean Colour Scenes’ “The Day We Caught the Train”, and Eel’s “Novocaine for the Soul”, helped me get through the quiet and everyday mundane life in the farm.

The bar scene started catching fire so to speak in the late 90’s and Arkarna’s “So Little Time”, “Life is Free”, Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova”, “Wonderwall”, “Stand By Me”, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” were blasting away as we down our beers to their tunes. The 90’s wouldn’t be complete without Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill album. Looking back in the 90’s you can say that music is/was my biggest influence. Here are some notable artists to name a few: Blind Melon (“No Rain”), EMF (“Unbelievable”), Ben Folds Five (“Brick”), LL Cool J’s (“Momma Said Knock You Out”), Arrested Development (“Mr. Wendell”, “Tennessee”), Eric Clapton (“Layla”), Cranberries (“Linger”), Edwin Collins (“A Girl Like You”), Right Said Fred (“I’m Too Sexy”), US3 (“Cantaloop”), Jesus Jones (“Right Here Right Now”), Tracy Chapman’s album “New Beginning”, Collective Soul’s album “The World I Know”. There you have it, my point of view of the 90’s. Weren’t the 90’s AWESOME?!"

Luigi, 31

"Michael Jordan - The greatest basketball player of all-time!"