This Instagram page is the new digital space for '90s queer folk

Published July 24, 2021, 9:58 PM

by John Legaspi

The ‘Marimar,’ ‘Sailor Moon,’ and the ’90s matinee idol references are so on point

For lack of better words, the best way to describe the contents of the Instagram page The 90s Kabaklaan (@90skabaklaan) would be “NSFW for cis folks.” But if they are up for any thing that is all about ’90s Filipino queer pop culture, then it is definitely one of the digital places to be.

Images from The 90’s Kabaklaan Instagram page

It is hard to find an online community that is safe for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community. But when you clicked that right one, you’ll definitely feel at home. That’s what The 90s Kabaklaan is, a fun and campy online page where anyone who was gay in the ’90s wouldn’t be able to help but say, “aminin, nakaka-miss,” after a quick scroll.

Inside its candy-colored page lie clips of queer favorites such as the iconic telenovela “Marimar,” the whimsical anime “Sailor Moon,” and some vintage centerfolds from the era’s raunchy magazines. It is also features now nostalgic Filipino shows, from “T.G.I.S” to “Working Girls,” as well as the It Girls of the time like supermodel Tweetie De Leon showbiz sweetheart Donna Cruz.

To get to know more about the The 90s Kabaklaan, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle chats with the person behind it and talks about the queer culture of that time, the goal of the Instagram page, and what makes the ’90s a unique era for the queer culture.

Who are the people behind The 90’s Kabaklaan Instagram page?

The person behind this account is me, a certified batang ’90s. Growing up in the province, my main hobby was reading Funny Komiks and watching local TV. Whenever I would buy my weekly komiks, I would always notice the “bomba” or “sexy” showbiz magazines on the newstands. That’s how I got curious. Later on, I would secretly buy a few and hide under my bed.

What is your goal in creating it?

My simple goal really was just to share my collection. I bought most of my collection way after the ’90s, from the older LGBT generation. I would also hunt vintage bookstores along Avenida. A few months ago, I noticed that the magazines are no longer in good condition. So I thought, why not try to digitize them and post them online so my fellow ’90s kids and maybe even the young generation can appreciate it. The ’90s was such a glorious era, full of memorable moments. Growing up gay in the ’90s is a unique and liberating experience and I think now’s the right time to put that “era” into the spotlight.

Why do you think queer folk can relate so much with your content?

I think people relate to it because the Instagram page is not pretentious. The handle/name itself is really in your face. Walang halong echos, if I may say so. I think that’s what people miss most about the ’90s lifestyle. It does not pretend to be anything else. I feel happy and surprised that a lot of people are amused by the posts. I am not trying to highlight/cover every aspect of “kabaklaan” in the ’90s because we all have different experiences naman. I guess this is just my sort of “love letter” to that decade.

Of course, I want to mention fashion photographer BJ Pascual and DJ Mike Lavarez because they were the first influencers who noticed the page. The page’s followers grew because of them.

Check out @90skabaklaan on Instagram.