Filipinos born before the turn of the 21st century or the batang '90s, as they're fondly called, have had a blast during their salad days.
They've loudly and proudly made the streets their playgrounds, exhibited a fashion statement that's "simple pero rock," and got to try certain products and services that are now considered defunct, if not rare, during a time that's quite conventional but already advancing.
This Christmas, you ought to make a batang '90s in your life walk down memory lane with gifts that aren't only highly thoughtful, but also relatively affordable.
Of course, it won't be the '90s without the Eraserheads.
Merchandise brand Linya-Linya, known for its quirky statement shirts, has collaborated with the legendary OPM band to come up with designs bearing its inverted "E" logo, as well as the lyrics of its most iconic songs.
Whether one is attending the Huling El Bimbo reunion concert or not, ligaya awaits the recipient.
Regular shirts are available at P799, while kid shirts are at P450 on the brand's website.
Retro video games
Though tagu-taguan, luksong baka, tumbang preso, trumpo, or teks were the popular sources of entertainment for kids at the time, video games were also in-demand.
While it's already the dawn of gaming computers, PS5, Nintendo Switch, or Steam Deck, there's still that certain appeal when playing old consoles like Nintendo Family Computer or Game Boy.
RetrogamerPH Store sells secondhand consoles from the '90s that are, fortunately, still working to this day.
It also offers modifications fitting the current times, such as converting the previously battery-powered only device into a rechargeable one through a cord that's usually used in smartphones.
Its Family Computer costs P4,300, while a modified one costs P3,800. Cartridges for Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and Game Boy Advance start at P100. Other consoles like Sega Mark III (P6,500) and modified Atari 2600 Jr. (P3,999) are also available.
If one has more money to spare, though, 3A's Arcade in Pasig offers to make a personalized arcade machine.
A bartop arcade machine with over 3,000 available games is worth P20,000 (19 inches) and P22,000 (24 inches). A cocktail arcade table, meanwhile, is worth P32,000 (24 inches).
A two-player machine in a special cabinet with the same number of games is worth P22,000 (19 inches), P27,000 (24 inches), and P32,000 (32 inches).
A four-player megacade machine with over 10,000 games, meanwhile, is worth P40,000 (32 inches), P50,000 (40 inches), and P60,000 (50 inches).
Message its Facebook page or mobile number (0906-724-5614) for more.
Game Boy bags
In line with the retro video game consoles, one may also gift a Game Boy bag.
The shop also has other pop culture items that may evoke nostalgia like Disney cartoon characters, as well as more recent ones like those from the franchises of Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.
Tie-dyed rainbow shirts
Tie dying is a fixture in the '90s and even the earlier years, especially during school or backyard projects.
As the name suggests, the clothing is tied in knots so only certain parts will be colored when a dye is applied, resulting in circular patterns when unfastened. The mélange of colors also creates a psychedelic effect in the design.
While there are several online tutorials (or the batang '90s relative in question), those who may not have the luxury of time may simply buy one on Lazada at P270 to P290 depending on size, and on Shopee at P400 to P430.
Streetwear brand Gnarly also offers one for P850.
Several snacks and sitsirya came and went through the years, though there are some that stood the test of time, such as the White Rabbit candy.
Wrapped in its iconic white, blue, and red packaging, White Rabbit has a chewy texture, a mellow milky flavor, and most importantly, a unique edible paper-like sticky rice wrapping.
The candy, which originated from China, became common in school, parties, and fiestas.
Since 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, a pack of White Rabbit may just be a much-needed lucky gift.
One may order a special gift box on Lazada at P150. The usual candy packs are also available on Shopee starting at P49 (25 pieces), but exercise discretion as there may be unscrupulous resellers around.
There's no Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube yet during their childhood, and one of their music sources is a cassette tape.
Guilty Tapes PH offers to make a customized mixtape and a portable cassette player.
The mixtape runs between 60 and 90 minutes. Available colors include red, blue, green, yellow, pink, and white. The cover art, meanwhile, can be anything, even a personal photo.
Tape Beats PH also offers the same service, but will resume operations in January 2023. You might want to avail of their service if you're looking for a New Year's gift instead.
Bead bracelets with names
The period saw the rise of arts and crafts, and among the most beloved creations are bead bracelets that have one's names—or their crushes' names/initials because why not, if not their pet names for them or their self-imposed loveteam names just because.
E-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee sell bracelet bead kits containing tens of hundreds of multicolored glass, letters A to Z, and heart shapes, as well as a roll of an elastic line. The items are at a discounted rate of P215 and P199, respectively.