Everyone is territorial about their own era, but the '90s was a defining decade for many reasons. It takes only one Google search to verify the amount of '90s references and memorabilia available online. Whether you participated in the hip-hop versus metal war, fought over a particular Spice Girl, or maybe even channeled Alanis Morissette’s angst, admit it: You loved the '90s. Feeling nostalgic? Here are some of the things that should give every legitimate '90s-teen Filipina major feels!


1. A fierce opinion about a Saturday afternoon teen show

Wacks and Peachy or Gina and Gary? TGIS and Gimik aired on Saturday afternoons, and everybody had an opinion about which one was better. On one hand, there was the formidable and bedimpled tandem of Bobby Andrews and Angelu De Leon, and on the other, there was the power pairing of Rico Yan (also dedimpled) and Juday. The fact that Stephen Bishop’s "It Might Be You" became the song to hear in school fairs is testament to the kind of mania these shows created. After all, that’s Wacks and Peachy’s song! YII!

2. A favorite boy band
Ah yes. The choreographed music videos. The middle parts. The weird dialogue in the middle of a song. The dancing in the snow. Didn’t we all love our boy bands?
Without argument, the only question had always been: Backstreet Boys or N’Sync? On one hand, the Backstreet Boys would never break your heart, but then the boys of N’Sync will always think of you. Such important discussions took hours in many a high school canteen. Nobody talked about Justin Timberlake’s Lucky Me pansit canton hair.

3. A secret favorite Ang TV kid (or teen)
Does the term "esmyuskee" ring a bell? Ang TV will forever be known as the afternoon kids and teens show that launched the careers of many stars. Some of them may have faded into the background (Does anyone know where Lindsay Custodio is? And what shampoo she uses?), but the stellar ensemble included Claudine Barretto, Jolina Magdangal, Patrick Garcia, Roselle Nava, and John Prats, to name a few.

Most of the cast members went on to bigger things inside and outside showbiz (Tony Lambino became a professor, Roselle Nava became a city councilor, Claudine Barretto became an award-winning actress), but we will always remember them for being in the show before Hoy Gising and after Princess Sarah (the author's favorite was Jan Marini Alano. Because her name was so fun to say).

4. A slumbook
This was the social media of the era. Every girl had one, festooned in either obscure and nonsensical ‘poetry’ (‘Dance, dance. I love you, Carrot Friend.’) all over its pastel cover, or emblazoned with a favorite cartoon character. This book was passed along from girl to girl before the summer vacation, or anytime one needed to know their who their friend’s first kiss was (often the answer was my parents).

Post-'90s, the slumbook left many questions though. Who invented J.A.P.A.N (Just Always Pray At Night) and I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust and Love You)? Did anyone really paste their 1x1 photo on the dedication page? Why did the manufacturers feel the need to include questions like what your favorite drink was? (Wasn’t it always juice?) And more importantly: WHO WAS YOUR CRUSH? Yung totoo!


5. A secret obsession with Lea Salonga
The '90s was the post Miss Saigon era, and whether you liked the Lea Salonga that played the part of a US immigrant opposite Aga Mulach or the Lea Salonga that voiced Princess Jasmine, you flat out LOVED her. Lea Salonga is the girl you wanted to be, because she is part Disney Princess, part Broadway sensation, and part local artista. That is quite a feat to top.

Secretly, you also wanted to be Kim in Miss Saigon, although her profession may be difficult to explain to your mother.
6. A choice between Britney and Christina
Fiercer (if not as fierce) than the BSB versus N’Sync discussion was the debate as to who was the undisputed Pop Queen of the '90s. Sure, Britney came into the scene first with her gyrating belly and pop-Lolita ensemble, but Christina had the pipes (though, clearly, not Britney’s moves). It was a tough call.


Regardless of your choice, we are pretty sure than you can sing  and dance to "Come On Over" at the drop of a hat, and maybe (just maybe), you want to do it again. Oops.

7. Boots
The footwear du jour of the '90s, girls wore boots with little sundresses with sunflowers, torn jeans, denim shorts, plaid skirts. Name it. Not everyone could afford Doc Martens then, but for sure you had a high cut pair in your closet somewhere.

Didn’t you feel so rightfully angsty when you had them on? And in the '90s: angsty was very cool.

8. A butterfly clip
We love us some Jolina Magdangal, trust us. But can we never ever wear these hings again? These were so utterly distracting that one could not simply take an exam while staring at a vibrating butterfly on your classmate’s head. What’s that? You still have them? Do you know what decade it is?

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PHOTOS: Pixabay, Pinterest; GIFs: Giphy

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