Note: I’ve come across this beautiful set of photographs sometime last year, and I see it fit to share it with you as we mourn for our own loved ones and all the others who already passed away. Let us altogether offer this day of prayer to the souls of our dead, both eternally remembered and also those who are neglected and forgotten.
- A Mother’s Journey,Sacramento Bee Photography (2007 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography)
While waiting for the rain to stop today, a few friends and I discussed the food we missed most from our childhood. Growing up I wasn’t a burgis little girl just living off Oreos and Chips Ahoy cookies- my favorites could always be found at the neighborhood sari-sari store. As a kid there were no health restrictions of course, the more loaded with preservatives and sugar, the better!
Here are 19 of my favorite snacks from the 1990s:
1. Golden Sweet Corn Chips
Greatness Factor: They’re crunchy, light, and just the right mix of salty and sweet. The best part was licking off all the leftover powder that stuck to your fingers from rolling the corn pops around.
2. Snacku Vegetable Flavored Chips
Greatness Factor: Snacku chips made me feel like I was eating something healthy, just because they were vegetable flavored “rice crackers.” I will not begin to think about what was in that stuff to make it that bright green.
3. Clover Bits
Greatness Factor: I know some people swear by regular clover chips, but I was hooked to these teeny bags of taco bar-b-q flavored goodness. 50% of the bag was probably just flavoring, but the concept of dumping a whole little bag of chips in your mouth just seemed too fun to say no to.
4. Ding Dong
Greatness Factor: Before Dingdong Dantes, the Philippines had Ding Dong mixed nuts. The variety of what was in the bag and the uncertainty of what you’d pick out next was always amusing.
Greatness Factor: I liked the ninja commercials a lot, but the idea of a peanut in a cracker seemed cool too. Adobo was my favorite flavor!
Greatness Factor: They served multiple purposes. You could use the sticks as straws in milk before they got soggy, put a little paper ball in to use it as a launch missile, or twirl it around your fingers ala fancy grown up with a cigarette. The possibilities with Sticko seemed endless.
7. Iced Gems
Greatness Factor: Admit it. You only bit off the tops and hoped someone else around you liked the bottoms.
8. Knick Knacks
Greatness Factor: One of the strangest branding schemes of Filipino junk food- a clown mascot outside a bag of milk covered fish called Knick Knacks. Confusing or not though, one bag was not enough.
Greatness Factor: Ang kaligayahan ng batang Pilipino. It was bright, sweet, came in cool little cups, and it wiggled. A few years ago, Magnolia also started making bags that were exclusively strawberry flavored, which takes away the unahan sa flavor wars from childhood.
10. Choki Choki
Greatness Factor: Chocolate you could suck out of a tube for 50 centavos, which of course usually turned into 10 pesos.
11. Bazooka Gum
Greatness Factor: No matter how hard these pink little wedges were, we all tried to get our grubby little hands on Bazooka gum so we could read the little comics that came with it. I still have all these questions about Bazooka Joe though- like why did he have that bald butler?
12. Pintoora and Yakee
Greatness Factor: The local version of the US gum balls called Crybaby, Yakee was the dream gum ball of every Filipino child who liked sour things. I know of kids who would have contests of sucking on these- person whose face cringes first, loses. Pintoora on the other hand were the blissful balls that colored your tongue the color of the gum ball. I remember our grade school hated these so much and someone got told off by a teacher for having one during recess (Do you see the color of your mouth, your lips?! How unladlylike!), which she responded to by sticking her blue tongue out at the teacher when she had turned around.
13. Tarzan Bubble Gum
Greatness Factor: Only the softest and sweetest gum you could get your hands on. They let you blow huge, sticky bubbles too, which if you were a little girl, you probably accidentally got caught in your hair.
14. Peter’s Butter Ball
Greatness Factor: Round butterscotch balls of heaven. This remains to be my favorite caramel candy, but I sadly don’t see it around as often anymore.
15. Lipps Strawberry Candy
Greatness Factor: Before our mothers let us wear lip smackers, we could color our lips with Lipps. The strawberry flavor was an added bonus!
16. White Rabbit
Greatness Factor: YOU COULD EAT THE PAPER. White Rabbit wasn’t the sweetest or milkiest candy on the market, but no kid could say no to the novelty of unwrapping it only once because you could eat the thin film of rice paper around the actual milk candy.
17. Cow Label Beef Jerky
Greatness Factor: My mouth still waters when I see the yellow and red packaging of Cow Label jerky. It’s not your regular tough dried beef- cow label seemed to be made for the taste buds of Filipinos, so the meat was always tender and stringy, and the sauce it was just generously drenched in was manamis-namis. Mmmm.
18. Haw Flakes
Greatness Factor: Tonight I discovered that Haw Flakes are made from the Chinese fruit HAWTHORN. You learn something new everyday! In grade school we would play pretend mass and the “priest” would offer us “communion” using these pink little discs. Of course you lined up for “communion” more than once.
19. MikMik Milk Powder
Greatness Factor: I saved the best for last. I’m not sure if as many people would remember Mikmik- the sweetened milk powder that came with a little straw for you to inhale it with. I know it sounds pretty shady, but the powder was always so light and smooth and you’d get a sweet explosion in your mouth. Definitely a favorite of kids like me who would eat powdered milk and milo with a spoon.
(Photos by Spot.PH, shootfirsteatlater.com, and googleimages)
Choki Choki brings me back to my grade school days omg <3
Say you miss the sound of a good Nokia ringtone. Or let’s suppose that the sound of a Gameboy is lacking from your life.Brendan Chilcutt has started an online museum of endangered sounds from devices and gadgets of years passed.