Pinoy Sweet Treats From Yesteryears

Food has always been one of the defining elements in a culture. Fortunately for us, Filipinos, every nook and cranny of our seven thousand and one hundred seven islands are jam packed with cuisine and specialties that have captivated the taste buds of not only the natives but also foreigners alike.

And among these groups of delicacies, nothing tastes sweeter and churns up sweet memories than those that you’ve grown up with. And if you grew up in the 90s, then we have a nice surprise for you, because today, we’ll be taking that short trip down memory lane to remember the taste of the food back from the 20th century. So read on and enjoy!

Chocolate & Cookies
Chocolates and Cookies are probably the most popular snacks that children can have. They usually act as “baon” to most children since a lot of people have the impression that chocolates and cookies are less “junky” compared to chips and other forms of sweets. During the 90’s, popular chocolate treats include: the Tora-Tora, which are round chocolate covered biscuits which became popular during the 1990’s because it came bundled with a simple toy that kids use together with the chocolate snack itself; and Flat tops which are pure chocolate delights shaped like tablets.

There are also treats like Jack&Jill’s Pretzels which are pretzels covered in chocolate. Jack&Jill’s pretzels gained popularity because of the creative packaging that the snack has which ranges from simple puzzles to more complicated cut outs. On a similar note there’s Mejji’s Yanyan, another pretzel snack. But unlike Jack&Jill’s version, these plain pretzels which are dunked in chocolate syrup placed inside the cup of the product.

And lastly, there’s the very famous iced gem biscuit that I’m sure anyone can recognize. They’re small bite-sized biscuits with colourful icing twirls on top. It’s a very nice type of biscuit because the icing on top gives it a little bit of extra sweetness and of course that much needed color.


Aside from Chocolates and cookies, life as a kid wouldn’t be complete without candies. Candies have been around since the age of the early Mayan civilization (around 250 BC, or somewhere near that). The form and taste of candies have continued to evolve throughout the years. And the 90s is no exception. During this decade the most notable and memorable candies would probably be Magic Dust, white rabbit, hawhaw and peter’s butter ball.

Children in the 1990s bought Magic Dust primarily because of its very interesting feature when it comes in contact with saliva. It is actually two types of candies packaged as one, the first component was a foot shaped lollipop which is dunked in a powdered mixture that pops when it touches your mouth and reacts with saliva. There’s also Peter’s butterball, a spherical candy made out of sugar rush worthy caramel.

And there’s the milk and cream flavoured candies – white rabbit and hawhaw. White rabbit’s popularity is mainly attributable to the edible translucent wrapping that covers the candy. Hawhaw on the other hand are rectangular candies made out of compacted powdered milk (and maybe sugar). These two candies are still available in the market today but you have to look hard as they’re not that very popular in big supermarkets anymore.

Bubble Gums and soft treats

Now if you’re more like the kid who’s crazy about making a huge bubble from gum, then you’ll surely remember bazooka, cherry gum balls, yakee, nougat, orange swits and langka and ube candies.

Bazooka, texas and yakee are the chewing gum of the 90s. Bazooka is that pink rectangular bubble gum that kind of looks like a laundry bar soap. It has small comic inlays which most kids won’t even dare to read. Cherry gum balls, in contrast to Bazooka are spherical in shape and are not individually packed. They are usually sold piece per piece in Sari-Sari stores where they are placed in big plastic or glass jars. Children would usually ask for it to be placed in a small plastic bag when they bought it because the red color easily wears off and leaves a red coloration in their hands. Yakee on the other hand is the original sour candy. It comes in a variety of colors but tastes relatively the same – sour.

Nougat as the name implies are nougat candies. They are white and are wrapped in white glossy plastic with blue labels. There’s an image of a peanut in the cover that signifies its peanut content. Then there are Orange swits, which are jelly candies similar in texture to today’s potchi and gummy worms. They’re colored orange and are loosely covered in sugar crystals.    

And finally there’s Annie’s Ube and Langka candy. These are basically pastilles with purple yam and jack fruit flavors. They are still available in the market today, but as like other old school candies, they’re very hard to find, especially on big supermarkets.

Chips and Crackers

If you’ve ever been a kid, you have surely craved for chips and crackers. Risbee, Pritos Ring, PeeWee, Piknik and Richee are the favourite cracker of Pinoys who had their childhood in the glorious decade of the 90s. Risbee are cheese flavoured sticks that look like pretzels while peewee are multi-flavoured chips created by Nutri snack food corp.

Then there are Pritos rings. Pritos ring are cylindrical snacks cut into bite sized pieces which, as the name implies, are usually eaten by kids by placing the rings in their fingers and then eating them as if removing an actual ring from the fingers with their mouths.

And of course there’s Richee and Piknik. Richee are milk flavoured crackers while Piknik are French fries shaped chips that are packaged in small cans made of cardboard with metal top and bottoms.


After all the snacks shown above, there are also notable drinks and juices that gained popularity during that decade. Zesto, Fanta and Mirinda are some examples. Zesto’s fruit juices were very popular in the 90s as the favourite “baon” of kids in elementary schools. Parents usually buy an entire box for their children for the entire week. It has a wide array of flavours ranging from the classic orange, mango and grapes to newer flavours like pineapple, apple and guyabano.

Fanta and Mirinda are both fruit flavoured carbonated drink which both enjoyed moderate success in the past but were eventually left out by stronger names like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sprite and Royal.

Other than the things shown above, I know a lot of you also have other favourite treats from you childhood. I understand that just like in traditional Filipino cuisine, the geographical features of the entirety of the Philippines makes for an interesting variation in our childhood experiences. So if you feel like it, you can give me some thoughts in the comments section.

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