Story & Photos by Alessandra Anonas | Contributor
MILLENNIALS spend hard-earned savings on nonessentials for many reasons: to vent out stress, to indulge and to reward themselves, so the Businessmirror discovered.
Take Emily Pat Betingco, a self-confessed shopaholic who says she loves the brand Tribal. Betingco said she usually spends P5,000 to P7,000 when she hits the stores to “cure” the stress of being a college student. She also follows trends in fashion and save a similar amount so she can follow the trend.
“I do that when I’m bored,” said Eleonor Trazona, also a college student. But, unlike Betingco, Trazona sets a limit of about P1,000 per shopping spree. She also shop in a particular boutique at least two to three times a month. Also, unlike Betingco, Trazona said she doesn’t buy because she’s stressed. Neither does she follow fashion trends.
“I have my own style,” Trazona said.
For Blessa Jana Samuel, however, books are better to buy.
Samuel’s aware there are electronic books that can be downloaded for free but she still opt for paperbound books. Like bibliophiles, she considers these as must-have luxury items.
“I prefer paperbound books because I love to smell [them]!” she exclaimed.
Samuel, a high-school student, said she has a budget of roughly P1,000, accumulated from what she saves from her allowance. She usually buys books of fiction with the fantasy-adventure genre from National Book Store. She said she is always on the lookout for the new-released books of authors Rick Riordan and Ransom Riggs.
Another bibliophile, 18-year-old college student Stiphany Cabillo, said she doesn’t have a usual budget when it comes to books, but limits spending to P500.
That money comes from her personal income. Cabillo said she only buys if she can’t borrow books from friends. Her favorite genres range from teen fiction, romance and adventure.
But, despite her thrifty ways, Cabillo said she follows specific authors and, like Samuel, she also prefers the classic paperbound book to the e-book.
“I like to smell paperbounds. I don’t know why,” Stiphany said.
Other millennials spend to add to their collection of gashapon figures, comic-book action character dolls, vintage items and other rarities.
One of them is a 23-year-old college student who goes by the name of BronyBord, an avid fan of the My Little Pony franchise.
BronyBord has a collection of 10 figurines, four plushies, ID card necklaces, keychains and pins, among others. He said his prized item is a limited-edition Celesia Paint figurine that cost him P1,250 and was bought via preorder. His collection’s net worth is estimated at about P10,000.
BronyBord said he became a Brony in 2012, when he was watching videos of a guy who kept mentioning the name Twilight Sparkle.
“At first, I thought he was making fun of the movie Twilight, and so I brushed it off,” BronyBord told the BusinessMirror of his pre-Brony days.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a Brony is a “name typically given to the male viewers/fans (whether they are straight, gay, bisexual, etc.) of the My Little Pony show or franchise. They typically do not give in to the hype that males aren’t allowed to enjoy things that may be intended for females.”
“But, after a few videos later, the guy started mentioning other names, such as Spitfire and Rainbowdance, so I got curious, and I googled it. I ended up looking at the My Little Ponies wiki. That’s where I found out about the Bronies.”
He said that the first time he found out about the Bronies, “I went to YouTube again to watch the first season, and the next thing I knew it’s already been 10 hours, and I’ve already finished two seasons.”
He was hooked, and days later walked into a toy store to buy the first item in his collection.
“I was so nervous: I was entering a zone of pink, yellow and everything that’s so flowery and stuff like that. But there I was, a guy who was like 22 walking there, getting a My Little Pony product and going to the cashier.”
BronyBord said he stiffened a little when the cashier asked if he was buying the My Little Pony item as a gift for somebody.
“I thought, ‘I know where this is going. They think I’m getting it for a little sister or niece or something.’”
BronyBord said no and admitted it’s for him, and asked the item not wrapped up.
“I felt eyes on me and people were staring,” BronyBord said. “I didn’t look back.”
Since then, BronyBord added to his collection by buying from Cosplay conventions and in Singapore.
“Becoming a Brony was life changing for me,” he said. BronyBord is now part of a radioplay group called Project Dusk Shine as a voice actor.
To each his own, some would say. And for these millennials, how they spend their money is their call.
At least, they keep the cash registers ringing and keeping the market alive and kicking.