With all the technological advancements we’re enjoying now, one can say that life is more fast-paced and, if you will, offers so much more convenience than before. There was a time when things cost less (and some, more), and took a lot more effort to do. Back then, people relied on their creativity in order to save and spend money more responsibly and learn stuff on their own.
Today’s technology provides a lot of convenience and a whole host of opportunities to save. If you’re not sure, take a look at these relics people once spent their hard-earned money on. Kids of today will have a hard time believing these concepts even existed.
1. You had to pay up to P100 for 20 hours of 56kpbs internet.
There was a time when you had to buy prepaid cards to load up your internet connection, the most popular of which are ISP Bonanza and Bl@st that cost came in P30, P60, and P100 denominations for 20 hours.
Back then you had to wait for a few minutes for the noisy modem to connect. The speed was around 56kbps, and downloading movies could take up to a few days granted that there was no interruption.
Now: You can easily load up from P25 and avail of internet promos on your mobile phone. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet connections provide a fast connection (commonly used in the Philippines than Fibr), albeit with more room needed for improvement.
2. A call cost 75 centavos.
Tatlong bente-singko (three 25 centavos, or P0.75), as immortalized in a Dingdong Avanzado song, was all you needed to call a friend at a payphone.
Calls back then used to take a lot of effort considering having to find a phone booth, or leaving a message through their pager via an operator. Collect calls were also convenient if you had to make an international call with loved ones abroad, with them taking up the cost.
Now: It started with Nokia, and the advantage of having a mobile phone everywhere you go. Call cards were much expensive back then, with P300 call card and no promos for prepaid users, but thanks to the advent of unlimited call and text promos, everything is so much more convenient now.
3. You couldn’t look up a song lyric or chords for free; you had to buy “songhits.”
Music fans back in the ’90s know the importance “songhits,” or periodical issues of song books, in keeping up with the latest hits and getting the lyrics of their favorite songs, as well as learning guitar tabs.
That they came with free music artist posters that you could use, literally, as a wallpaper was an added bonus.
Now: Googling song lyrics, artist info, and guitar tabs are now so easy, thanks to the internet. Want to do a “plakado” guitar or piano cover? There’s YouTube. You can even identify a certain track and its artist through apps like Shazam.
4. You had to pay P120 for a cassette tape—and a Walkman to listen to songs in transit.
The Sony Walkman, the grandfather of portable music that played cassette tapes, first came out in the ’80s. And a cassette tape in the ’90s was worth around P75 for OPM, and P120 for international and premium artists. Want your custom playlist? Create a playlist by either recording your favorite songs straight from the radio on a blank tape or synching it with another cassette through a dual deck player/recorder.
Now: Digital music services like Spotify allow low-cost subscription providing access to thousands of music and artists even offline, for P129 a month. There are also free radio websites such as 8Tracks and Pandora. On the contrary, brand-new vinyl records or long-playing (LP) record, which was introduced in the 1940s and just recently regained popularity, can now cost up to a few thousand pesos.
5. Multiplayer games with random people meant going to mall arcades and neighborhood game centers.
Much of ’90s kids’ allowances were spent on Piso arcade games (P1 per play), for games such as Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Street Fighter. Feeling rich? Then why not spend P5 in one sitting?
Now: Online games took over in popularity in the early 2000s. Now, internet shops offer an hour of online game for P10. Mobile phone apps are available for free or at an affordable cost, some of which do not require internet connection.
6. Preserving your precious moments meant spending for film and printing costs.
Before digital cameras, people were required to buy films for 18, 24, to 36 shots and pay for the cost of photo printing. Some of them may go undeveloped if the film was not installed properly.
Now: Smartphone brands as well as apps like Instagram and Snapchat are constantly competing in having the most advanced features in the market. This makes it so easy to take photos, but DSLR cameras are still the best option for those who are serious with photography. Printing is optional.
7. A weekend movie marathon at home was a lot more expensive.
There was a time when people had to go to video stores to rent VHS tapes. The membership back then cost P25 in Video City, and renting one VHS tape cost P20 for two to three days. Late returns? Prepare to pay stiff penalties.
Now: Video-on-demand services such as Netflix and iFlix are popular for movie buffs and binge watchers of TV Series. Subscription to Netflix cost P370 for their Basic package, and up to P550 for Premium. If you don’t want to pay a fixed monthly fee, you can easily buy a copy of your movies online, or get a copy of your favorite movies or TV series from friends.
8. In the ’90s, you could have a movie date for P100.
The cost for a movie ticket at the mall was P50 for a premier seat. And if you missed the start of the film, you could stay and wait for the movie to start all over again. Such was the trend for avid movie-goers back in the day.
Now: What with the longer queues in the cinema, it’s so much more convenient to get your movie tickets online. Prices may be more expensive now at P180 on average and P450 for IMAX, but the cinemas have improved and provide comfortable seats. You won’t have to worry about people always interrupting your movie experience by walking past the aisles, and you can enjoy movies in all their high-definition (HD) and even 3D glory.