Originally posted 7/28/12; post updated 7/22/2013 (added Pacman Slippers)
Contrary to popular opinion, geeks don’t spend ALL their time just vegging out in front of the television or computer. For some of us, real-life adventures are preferable to virtual ones. But when we do travel, we like to channel our geek pride by using clothes and gear that show off our unique interests. Here are a few cool finds that I use for travel and where you can find them here in the Philippines.
These collectible PAC-MAN flip-flops from Havaianas really bring back some great memories. Anyone born in the 80s will have spent time playing this hit video game arcade classic and will love the retro chic look of the slippers. They come in two designs – navy blue with a yellow logo and a maze from the game and black with a green logo decorated with Pac-Man, pac-dots and the ghost enemies (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde). Plus, the slippers glow in the dark! How cool is that? Thank you so much to Havaianas for coming up with this design and to All-Flip Flops store in SM Naga for letting me have this! I will be eternally grateful.
If you’re looking for geek shirts, you can order some really great ones online from Threadless, but the shipping fee to the Philippines is a bit expensive. Folded and Hung released a Marvel line earlier this year, while t-shirt companies like American Boulevard, Analog Soul, and Geekerie Shirts have very cool superhero/retro/sci-fi/movie/gaming designs. Or you could just head to the Greenhills Tiangge and scour through the bazaars.
The best shirts for me are these awesome ones from Electromagnetic Tentacle, a local company that specializes in limited edition graphic parody t-shirts that blend classic geek icons with Pinoy culture. The photo above shows just a few of their designs, including Angry Birds sabong, Dirty Harry, and Pongatello. I currently own only 5 of their shirts: This is Spartan, Green Parol, Avenjurs Assemble (spoofing IKEA), Super Tubero Brothers, and Bali-saber (Jedi edition), which I bought in Sputnik in Cubao X, online, and during the last Toy Convention in Megamall. I need to own all of them.
EMT shirts normally cost P500 each, though the earlier designs went for only P250 during the ToyCon. Their sizes range from Extra Small to Triple XL because geeks come in all sizes. Just check out all their designs here and get ready to splurge.
Shirts for Geeks, a local company, specializes in “clothing to show-off your nerd cred.” Some cool designs include company logos like Wayne Enterprises, Stark Industries and the Colors of Magic / icons from Magic: The Gathering. Shirt sizes range from XS to 3XL (Men’s/Unisex) and S to L (Ladies/Baby Tees). Check out their Facebook Page for the different designs. For orders, requests and inquiries, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you travel a lot, you will definitely need a bag to put all your clothes and gadgets in. You could just bring your trusty and boring old backpack — or you could opt for something a little more flashy, like this super-cute backpack featuring Mario, Nintendo’s mascot and the most famous character in video game history. I spotted this in De Elegance, an accessories store in Bugis Street, a well-known shopping district in Singapore. Cost of the bag: 18 SGD (600+ pesos). The joy it gives me when I look at it: Priceless.
Mario Luggage Lock
For those who can’t get away with carrying Mario’s face on their back, a more subtle touch is this Mario Luggage Lock, which comes with its own mushroom key on a small chain, so you can keep all your belongings safe from goombas and thieves. This is available in toystores and stalls in Greenhills for less than 100 pesos. It also comes in other designs like Luigi and other minor characters from the Super Mario games.
Multi-purpose headwear is one of the handiest things you can have for all sorts of outdoor adventures and travel in general, since it can be worn in different ways. Headware works as a scarf, headband, hairband, wristband, dustmask, balaclava, scrunchie, pirate cap, beanie, classic bandana, tube top and even a skirt. I’m a big fan of headware and buffs in general, but their limited Marvel edition designs (which cost P490/piece) are just too cool to pass up. The 20 designs feature Captain America, Thor, Spiderman, Ironman, Hulk, the X-Men and some collages of Marvel comics. You can buy this at selected ROX, BratPack, Planet Sports and Toys ‘R Us branches. All the designs and the stores where these are available can be found here.
Travel usually sucks during the rainy season, but the rainy days are just the perfect excuse to whip out and use this nifty samurai umbrella. As you can see from the photo below, this is a really sturdy umbrella with the handle of a katana, a traditionally-made Japanese sword, usually carried by samurai warriors. I bought the full sized version, though there are smaller travel sized/folding umbrella ones also available online. The samurai umbrella comes with a nylon sheath/case and adjustable shoulder strap, so you can feel bad-ass and carry it around like a real sword when you’re not using it to shield you from the rain.
Warning: Prepare to be frequently questioned by security guards when you carry this around. I bought mine at Funky Finds, L2, Ali Mall for 500+ but you can also get it cheaper from some online sellers. There are also versions of the umbrella with cutlass and shotgun handles.
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