‘90s Kabaklaan is our queer companion on preserving an iconic era

Nov 15, 2022 1 comments



It's not an exaggeration to say that the ‘90s is one of the most authentic, timeless, and unrivaled eras. It wasn't just Nokia phones, teenage boy bands, denim fashion, cassette tapes, and iconic female girl groups that defined the era. It was also a time that celebrated and honored the decade's benefactors—the queers!

And today, in a country where the media is dominated by the inspiration and influence of the 1990s. The ‘90s Kabaklaan Instagram page provides you with references, knowledge, and queer entertainment from the era. We spoke with the page's curator, Victor, via Instagram about the page came to be and how his admiration for the era started.

Well, it is the '90s

'90s Kabaklaan has posted everything from vintage magazine pages to memes from recently restored ‘90s movie clips. According to Victor, they started posting on the page last year and it has slowly become a phenomenon on the social media platform since.

“I am a magazine collector, and most of my 90s magazines were printed on cheap paper, so the quality of the pages has started to deteriorate," he shared. "I put up this Instagram page to archive and digitize my collection kasi sayang naman if masisira na lang. It was also a way for me to destress during the pandemic. It just so happened that we are experiencing a resurgence of the 90s decade and aesthetic kaya siguro a lot of people relate to the page’s overall vibe,” Victor added.

With all of the witty memes and amazing photos being posted, it is easy to think that the page is a collaborative effort. However, according to Victor, it is not. “I am the sole owner of the page. I am the curator, content creator, and admin of this account - but, of course, some people contribute to the page by either suggesting song picks, sending meme-able clips, sharing their magazine collection, etc. That’s what makes it collaborative”, he elaborated. Victor's devotion enabled him to post an endless amount of content, and we are now even more elated to devote our time and attention to his page.

Undoubtedly, it can be difficult to source authentic content from the 1990s to post, but, in his opinion, what makes it a collaborative effort is the assistance of his peers and followers who engage, suggest, and share noteworthy material from the era. “Clips are all sourced online. Thank God most studios started uploading their archives in HD on several platforms. Some are sent by those who follow the page. The photos are mainly my collection. The rest are sent by friends, my fellow magazine collectors, etc. But I do the restoration, the color correction myself”, he revealed when asked about where he finds old and classic movie clips.

GenZ on 90s Entertainment

Living in the 1990s once more, with Jolina Magdangal serving as our teenage fashion icon and Vilma Santos as our queen of cinema, is like a fever dream. This era really evokes a certain intimacy and connection in us, which is why we relish everything ‘90s. When asked about what made 90s pop culture different, “I think the 90s represented simpler times. It’s nostalgic because we lived through it and there’s a sense of familiarity. It gives us comfort, especially during these times. Millennials, I would argue, are the last generation to experience a pre-internet era. That makes our generation unique. We lived the best of both worlds - and I think that’s one of the reasons why the 90s was unforgettable”, he answered.

The real question is how do we expand our obsession and interest in ‘90s pop culture, “There’s a lot of treasures online! A lot of Magazine collectors have ads in Carousell or Facebook Marketplace”, he shared. “I would suggest a lot of Roderick Paulate films such as Bala at Lipstick, Jack En Poy, Petrang Kabayo. And a lot of camp films like Kapag Langit Ang Humatol, Nagbabagang Luha, Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal, etc.”, he recommends.

Most of the page consumers are queer youngsters, who lament missing out on an incredible era - but fear not, '90s Kabaklaan has got our backs. “Actually, I don't know why Gen Zs follow the page. Maybe because I create memes and it’s their thing? Aside from photos, I also create memes across various topics - current affairs, work life, being bakla, etc. And I think that’s what the audience really likes (apart from the shirtless men)”, he said when discussing Genz’s fondness for his page. 

Through the lens of Kabaklaan

Along with catering to us with '90s pop culture, the page also uses memes to highlight typical queer Filipino struggles, which is what makes '90s Kabaklaan fascinating because it pays tribute to the era's trailblazing queers. “My purpose is to bring pop culture nostalgia through the lens of the bakla”, Victor said. “Lumalaki lang yung scope or aspects ng kabaklaan that we cover, but that’s the core of what I want the page to achieve”, he added.

“Nothing but thanks! I am happy to share my brand of kabaklaan, and my magazine collection and spark discussion on pop culture nostalgia. At the end of the day, the page is an escape and I’m happy to bring laughter and smiles to everyone. I would also like to add that while the 90s Kabaklaan page may be fun and amusing to some, I am also sensitive to the LGBT issues/experience during that decade. Whenever there’s an opportunity to highlight a cause, a story, or a topic, I try to feature sa page. I’ve said in my past interviews that the page does not attempt to feature all aspects of kabaklaan - just because my resources are limited. But I try”, his message to his loving followers as we end our interview. 

The 90s Kabaklaan is jam-packed with memes, shirtless men, and fashion icons, which contribute to the era's immortality. We are grateful for 90s Kabaklaan’s desire and determination to facilitate our love and nostalgia for the 1990s and the queerness that comes along with it all.


━━ Written By  Jayslee Untalan


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