Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Just about a month ago, I gave birth to my unica hija and along with my close friends, we can't help but talk about how things are different when you have your own kids already. You can't help but worry everyday for their sake, your priorities take a huge turn about (always including them in every decision you make), not to mention, you will always be cleaning up after their mess, etc. But of course, it's wrapped up with a huge "BUT IT'S ALL WORTH IT" in the end.

But one thing that we had a long time talking about was, how today's kids compose the high-tech generation. One friend of mine mentioned that he was walking passed a restaurant when he saw a family with their toddler hooked on an iPad set upfront the kid while eating and the parents are all settled, going about a conversation. It's hard to keep up with a toddler, that's a given. There's a reason why they call it, "The Terrible Two's". And different parents come up with different strategies when it comes to rearing the little monkeys. Some find these gadgets educational, some think that it distracts the kids from playing outside and experiencing the real deal. My own opinion goes:
They are going to be
well-versed with computers
whether we like it or not. 

Come on! It's their generation and no matter how we criticise how some parents are alright that their kids are all hooked up on it, these parents' (that pertains to US, you and I) generation brought these android computers alive. Alright, I have to mention, the 80's and 90's era. 

So that night after putting my baby to sleep, I reminisced on some of the memories that made my childhood complete, including things, toys, gadgets, TV icons and events that I would never forget. And thought of researching on them to share to you fellow parents from the time when Michael Jackson had established MTV as a cult. I mean, it did recruit fans in a snap! It's fun for those who could relate (80's/90's kiddos). They might have their own additional to the list. But to those who didn't experience them, it could be an awakening that this is what's actually fun back then. Presented at random, here they are:

1. BARBIE DOLLS - I ain't a fan but because of her, I was actually challenged if I could actually do a split. Now, I get to dance for a living. My younger sister (born 1983), was able to complete Barbie's closet, car, and bathroom with that backdrop made of carton and all. When you had those in addition to your dolls and at least one season's fashion collection, you're "it"! It's an instant reason for parents to say "OK!" to a "Slumber Party" with your girl friends because Barbie and her friends are so into it. I hated sleepovers!

2. VIDEO GAMES - Alright, before the game that had been the reason and "inspiration" for some of the most hideous crimes committed by a teenager nowadays (with all the shoot out that's been happening in schools, malls and just in the town) called "Grand Theft Auto", there were the following that had just contained arguments between Player 1 and Player 2 which is plainly all about how many turns can you go for before surrendering the controller because King Koopa is just surprising the hell out of you and gets you dead in a snap.

Mario Bros.

 Pac Man
This is what I preferred back then than making friendship bracelets and having girly sleepovers. It's exciting, increases logic and very challenging. OK, I don't mean to hate. Let me rephrase, I would rather play these, there! Continuing....

There were family computers, Nintendo Game Boys and Sega Game Gears but the ultimate games that I would never forget were brought to us by Sony Playstation and XBOX 360. That would be the following:

This was the scariest ever that I played.
We finished it I think more than a week because
we had to take our time in recovering from the scare that lingers.

I remember I always choose the female
characters so I've chosen the one that uses the bow and arrow.
I think she's called the Demon Hunter. Hope I'm right.
This enhanced my fine motor skills
from toggling keys on our desktop.
My gosh, the challenge of not having a joystick!

I once hoped to be an animator or a programmer
to create games like these. It wasn't all action but it
was a mind game as well. Very very good at that time.

Came out together with Resident Evil.
A little bit confusing but it was a fun game to
play with my male cousins during Halloween.

Like I said, I didn't like beads, pearls and lace.
I loved adrenalin rush. I love colourful stuff too
but more of how it will distract and challenge an opponent in racing as I pimp my ride.
This game plus Fast and the Furioius are very memorable to me and my cousins...
the brothers I never had.

Street Fighter is one of the longest games that stayed available and Final Fantasy.
It kept on getting enhanced and more and more characters had come out
but my ultimate favourite is Chun Li. I even dressed up one halloween as her.

This was a long game but I love RPG so,
I'd say it was worth my time.

I played this since college up until 4 years of working
here in Hong Kong. Colleagues from work are hooked up to this too
so, birds of the same feather flocked together.
Again, female characters are most used by moi and
I loved its story line.

The story line is similar with that of the movie "Gladiator",
Wife and kid were killed and so the character's strength comes from there.

3. RAD SCHOOL SUPPLIES like the following instantly puts you to the list of coolest kids in school. I remember how other kids would try to befriend you if you have these. Nowadays, you got to have an iPad with cool apps for you to be cool. With that being said, I think, students tend to become introverts because of this. Yes, they acquire computer knowledge yet their social skills are more likely to go down the drain. Keeping it balanced is the key to counter that effect I guess.

I loved these.

The more buttons, the more compartments, the cooler!

The scented ones for me were the best!

These were scented as well. I had them when I was a kid.

Lunch boxes that time were such a hit too. So my mom had bought me one back when I was in grade school because she thought giving us money for lunch was so dangerous. My sisters and I would put our bags at a certain place after school while we play because it takes time for my Dad to pick us up sometimes. So one day, since lunch boxes are so in, I was ready to grab my bag to go home but the lunch box was nowhere to be found. I was so upset that day because I didn't get the chance to look for it. As my Dad summons us by his particular melody of blowing the horn, we should be ready and it's just a one way street in front of our building so it's a good 3 minute passing thru. If we won't be there in time, he'll leave us. Yes, he's that strict, yet we're that disciplined too. But then, I wasn't able to find my lunchbox that time. It was my first and last. But I remember one thing that is inside it that I don't see that often anymore. It's the jug and it looked like this.

Eventually, my mom didn't like this kind because
the very straw like mouth nozzle on the top,
was hard to clean and my mom couldn't take the risk
of making us sick because it couldn't be cleaned properly.

4. SIMPLE GAMES - In order to put the cool markers and colored pens to use, or just for you to be able to put them out and show them off, you would come up with these silly games. Most often than not, for you to keep the kids coming, you write something in the end that says something about a truth or dare consequence. The silly games continue from there. This is how first smooches from your crush happens back then.

This was a toy that me and my cousins drooled on
and made the lazy summer afternoons in the province go fast.

Back then, to make dull moments pumped up, you act as a teacher to your younger siblings and cousins, you play as a doctor, you schedule tea time with your imaginary friend (yes, it was just an imaginary but you probably don't believe so) and you play as a chef busy cooking for mom and dad the whole afternoon pretending that you are making dinner. But playing Cashier is probably the most achieved role playing game I have ever done in my childhood. It was fun. Involving fake money, credit cards and you could actually buy anything right? So it was handy and it was liberating in a way that you feel so smart. I don't know why but I think being fast on punching in the items somehow made me feel such an achiever. I remember whenever my mom is out shopping and it's time to pay for the stuff, I always look closely as to how the cashier does it so that I can re-enact everything all over again at home. We had a lumber so we had a real cashing machine like this that they seldom use so, I borrowed it and my younger sister and I had so much fun. My parents swiped a lot so we knew how to do that too with the use of carbon paper to make the fake receipts. I guess, the imagination of kids back then was overwhelmingly high realising how hooked we were with role playing games. Now, it's thru the computer and internet that you do role playing games.

Also, developing agility was helped out by playing "Jackstones". This is another way of making boring moments fun. My mom taught us how to play this. According to her, she was the champion during her time. I could pass the knowledge to my daughter too but I wonder who would sit down with her amongst today's kids to play this. They might think it's just a waste of time. A lot of games that may be shared with a number of players would be board games (Scrabble, Cluedo, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly), Boggle, making star figures with rubber bands, playing the garter, playing "It", hide and seek and much more. I could go on and on about this. 

On the other hand, if you're an only child, you don't have a choice but to go solo. And the toys that you may play while you're alone:
There's the pink piano which comes along with an actual book of notes to play for everyday songs for kids like Happy Birthday, Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars; Tamagotchi, the first digital pet; other musical toys such as sax for kids, ukelele and percussion drum set. There was the infamous love test game called, FLAMES where you write down your name with your crush's then count all the vowels (some just count the A's) then when you get the total, you count it into each letter of the "FLAMES" which literally means F-riends, L-overs, A-Admiration, M-Marriage, E-Enemies, S-Sisterly/Brotherly Love. Whichever letter you ended up with tells about you and your crush's fate. Want to try? There's an "online" way, click here.

5. When I was young, I always looked forward to Saturdays because of a couple of things. One, there's no school. Two, our parents consider it our activity day. They bring us to biking, skating and of course, Jollibee! The time that the inline roller blades came out, my mom bought me and my younger sister a pair each because she loved seeing us getting active and she saw that we were very happy! When my friends had found out I had one, they asked me to bring it to school so that they can try it out. No matter how big my feet were back then, they managed to try it on still, and then ended up asking their parents about getting their own. 

In line roller blades

Roller skates
Roller skates were also one thing but in the Philippines, it wasn't sold nor was it a hit because the roller blades had sounded so cool beforehand. My mom being in the 50's era, she still wanted us to learn it so she with my dad exposed us in using it as much. When I was a child too, the first and only ice skating rink in the Philippines opened up. That was another choice but as far as lessons were concerned, my mom didn't push us there anymore because there were too many people every time, it was very far from home and my mom encouraged us more to be outdoors. The rink was in a mall.

6. Mode of communication back then may be treated as belonging to "Flinstones age" if youngsters nowadays would compare them with their android phones at hand. I've experienced holding a pager, a Nokia 5110 (my first cell phone) and my first handset in the room is this one on the left that was shown in a SWATCH commercial before. That's the ultimate reason why I, together with my sisters requested we get this. It was pretty awesome at that time. One thing that makes me crack up as I remember how it served me was how my crush that time would sneak a call at around midnight for a longer time to talk but we would get caught by my mom as she picks up from the main line (ours was the extension). And all of these that I'm talking about is out of comprehension of the teenagers nowadays. They would never be experiencing what I had just shared. Gosh! Maybe they don't even grasp the idea of having an "extension line". Hahaha!

On pagers and/or beepers, what a fun experience about them was how I managed to memorise the NATO Phonetic Alphabet which is also known as Alpha Bravo Charlie Chart. For example, my nickname is Kyte. It is an uncommon nickname I must admit. So, in dealing with the operators as I send a message, I have to start it with "A message from Kilo, Yankee, Tango, Echo..." and so on and so forth. Reminiscing it now, yes! It was an awfully hard work. But, I think for almost 5 years, I sucked it up. And then, cellphones happened!
I had mine in yellow. It was embarrassing how my mom pays
the bills due every month. Gosh! Those days!
Reasoning out that it's for emergency purposes,
when reality was, it's just for you to have a press release that you
own one so that your crush would notice you being cool and accessible.

I believe my parents owned those 5 kilo-ones. It ended up becoming our role playing toys. Hehehe! It got a huge antenna and it was just a pain in the ass, what can I say!? Fast forward, the first cellphone I owned was the Nokia 5110. Sending SMS at first was free but when business tycoons felt that it was becoming a trend amongst youngsters, cellphone companies seized the opportunity and imposed necessary fees... PER TEXT.

Moreover, there was a time competitions on who got the highest score in the game, "SNAKE" which was made famous only by NOKIA had happened. Mobile phone customers preferred Nokia above all handphone models considering this as one of the reasons. It just got to have that SNAKE in it. By the way, some go dead always because they have used 2(up), 4(left), 8(down) and 6(right) to move the snake but the easiest way was to use 3(for right and up) and 7(for left and down). 

I have read that the 4 Most Important Words in the English Language include the word : "FREE". Eventually, people had resorted to MIRC chatrooms which I believe still exists up to now. And at one point in my life, my computer monitor looked like this. What a mess!

But like what I said, it's our generation that brought the internet and not the present one today. So, this is basically how it started I guess. People all over the world had found a convenient way of communicating at your own pace, character and mood... anytime, anywhere.


The terms "download", "burn" as in "burning a cd", "shuffle", etc.,. Each has different definition back then or may have not even existed as how we understand it now. How to go about your favourite music nowadays are so much easier than back then. I remember I had loads of blank cassette tapes to record my favourite songs as I wait for it every day in the FM radio. Afterwards, I had to break a part at the bottom of the cassette tape to keep my songs. Otherwise, if I won't keep it intact, it still can be recorded of songs, erasing what I recorded beforehand. Sounds complicated? I know. This part here, only those music lovers who has the same age with me would understand. Speaking of FM radio, I do miss it. I listened to the radio more than watching TV when I was young. My radio is on as soon as I wake up until I go to school, the moment I come back in and until I am ready to sleep. Just listening to FM radio. If I'd watch TV, I'd tune in to MTV.

This discman had made me survive grade school all the way to high school. Cranberries, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Alanis Morisette and TLC, there's just really too many to mention...
love, love, love them all. But now, no more cd's or cassette tapes serve anybody. Discmans, Walkmans, and boom boxes have become obsolete.

On the other hand, TV shows like the following made me and my cousins occupied every Friday night from 7-10pm, Saturdays 10-12am and 4-6pm and Sundays 10-11am.

Clockwise: She-Ra, my all time fave, Ghostbusters, Thundercats,
Voltes V, Princess Sarah, Cedie, the Little Prince

this was around High School

Clockwise: Shaider - my little sister and I had fought of who's going to be Annie in most of our role playing games,
Charmed, Beverly Hills 90210 (the original), Baywatch, The Uncanny Xmen, Bioman - I was Yellow 4!

MTV, Beavis and Butthead, Batibot, Looney Tunes
I must include Punk'd too because who could ever forget Ashton being such an ass yet stays so damn cute! I could go on and on about this and I'm sure I have missed a couple of TV shows that kids went crazy for. But in the Philippines, one show that was actually shown every 4:30pm, everyday that the country had running for the longest time I know is called "Ang TV"And I swear, my childhood won't be complete if it wasn't for this cute show. I believed I lined up to audition for this even. Such inclination to show business... hahaha!

8. KOOSH KINS - This rubber ball is simply the most sought after toy from the United States. It's good for playing dodgeball back in the days (grade school) because it's not too painful when it hits the body. It also served as a stress ball when exams happened and the students spent most of the time squeezing this with a dream of squeezing the terror professor's neck. Ha! The other bunch of kiddos had used this to pimp their backpacks by getting the keychain type. It came in different colours and was pretty much innovated into having a face and limbs. Weird but they surely were cute back then.

9. Ahhhh... the almighty power of a PERFUME! 

The brands that had made a name during our time was the CK One that had been sold due to the ever young looking fashion icon Kate Moss (who still remains "IT" nowadays with her newest My Burberry ad! Yes, another perfume.) Undeniably, her totality has that subliminal message to the young people calling them out to be daring and bold!

Also, Davidoff's Cool Water Eau De Toilette had made everybody crazy. The one for men came out first and I remember using it because of its subtle scent. CK One was too strong for me but I remember it so much because of my elder sister. I loved Cool Water and more so when the Cool Water for Women was released in the market. I'm sure majority of the students back then also did.  

Alongside United Colors of Benetton's HOT and COLD perfume, the students who went more for the name owned these. Personally, I owned the COLD one which I thought was too fast to evaporate making you spray more than 3x in a day. The HOT one stayed longer though but again, it was too strong of a scent.

10. To name more of the TOYS that had a special place in my heart are the following:

It had interactive games too.
I think I've played this so much that letters "A"
and "S" didn't function as much later on.
Who never played clay in their lives??? Hahaha!
I loved these. I hope my daughter could enjoy it too
but I highly doubt that.
This was passed on from my elder sister to me
to my younger sister and I think it was even passed on
to our little cousins because it was washable, it was
cuddly and it wasn't as complicated as the high tech dolls
nowadays that only functions with a battery.
There was a time, it was all our *"foofie" - my sisters and mine.

11. I was hooked to COLORING BOOKS during my time. My mom was so surprised one morning when I was around 7 when I woke up at 6:30am to start colouring? I got a bunch of colouring books to finish because my ultimate wish for every person who'd ask me what I wanted for my 7th birthday. I answered, a Coloring book or an activity book. Ending? It was a mountain of colouring books good enough for a year.... or more than.

This was the brand of the coloured pencils I got for my 7th birthday. it lasted more than a decade except the color yellow. Blonde Barbie ate it all up. My mom said, I would arrange the pencils in an orderly manner since I needed a set up for an artist's working mood. She said she even thought I was obsessive compulsive.

These are just a few of my favourite things when I was young. If you're an 80's/90's kids, I'm sure you have a collection of your own too that you might want to add up. Don't hesitate to share by commenting below. Have a great throwback Thursday!

Related Posts:
1. JOLLIBEE - My childhood days won't be the same without it.
2. MY FAVORITE 2007 PICTURES - a compilation of photos that gave an impact on me.
3. PHOENIX SEILEAFI BRAVE - what my daughter's name means

*foofie - This is what I meant by it.

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