Beginning today, we’re coining a very timely term: tita gadgets. Walang aangal! The concept of anything being tita or tito enough has pervaded pop culture and our current ways of living; so much so that we don’t think there’s even a need to define ‘tita gadgets’.
But in a nutshell, they’re, well, gadgets that are irresistible to all the titas and titos of Manila — and beyond. These are nifty items that (hopefully) improve your quality of life. And the ultimate test? They should get seals of approval from your actual titas and titos, or your parents.
I guess this collection of must-have tita gadgets is a checklist of sorts as well. If you have more than five, congratulations and welcome to the club. You are now a certified tito or tita of TripZilla.
1. Air purifier
An essential in the time of a pandemic, air purifiers clean the air in any space (duh). The first time I heard someone in my age group looking for one was when my high school best friend was nesting. That’s right — nesting, as in preparing for the arrival of her first child a few months back. I dare you to guess my age and place it in the comments section.
If you think that buying an air purifier is simple business, think again. There are many things a true tita would consider: How well does it really clean? We’re talking percentages here à la Safeguard. Are 99.9% of airborne viruses and bacteria exterminated upon pressing that on button? Does its build fit your (or your home’s) aesthetic? Is it energy-efficient? Will it take care of allergens, too? Most importantly, what’s your budget? Man oh man, don’t get me started on budget; that’s a tita’s favourite topic of debate.
As someone who’s sensitive to colder climates, I truly believe in the power of a good humidifier. This nifty gadget circulates moisture into the air of any space or room, which is handy if you’re somewhere cold and dry. The reason why humidifiers aren’t so big in the Philippines is that we’re already such a humid country. It makes sense; we’re an archipelago surrounded by vast bodies of water endlessly looping in cycles of evaporation and precipitation — but I digress.
In our case, humidifiers help us breathe better in air-conditioned rooms, where the air turns crisp, dry, and cold. The same could be said in countries with naturally dry and cold climates. I assure you humidifiers sell out in those places because they help lubricate airways, hydrate the skin, keep allergies at bay, and even support a good night’s sleep. If you keep coughing in your room when you turn on the A/C, a humidifier might help you ditch that throat itch.
And just to cover all bases as a true-blue tita would, you should know that there’s also a gadget that does the total opposite. Dehumidifiers rid the air of extra moisture. Decreasing your home’s humidity will help you combat the spread of mold and mildew, dust, and even certain types of allergens.
If you’re a newly inducted member of the ‘tita/tito-force, then I’m willing to bet my best essential oils that your obsession with tita gadgets began with a diffuser. There are several types of diffusers that release our favourite aromas into our living spaces. There are heat, evaporative, and nebulising essential oil diffusers that are basically electronic tools for aromatherapy. If you can’t decide which essential oil is best for you, here’s a guide for travellers and homebodies alike.
But the king of all diffusers is the ultrasonic diffuser, which is an essential oils diffuser-and-humidifier-in-one. If you want to be space-savvy and get the most bang for your buck, this is the diffuser of your dreams. They come in all sorts of colours and designs, too. We have a classic white one at home that pairs well with another tita must-have, our Himalayan Salt Lamp. Don’t you dare judge me!
4. Air circulator
Not to be confused with the normal electric fan!!! Three exclamation points should help prove my point. Aside from just cooling the room on a hot day, a proper air circulator (like the Vornado) is specially designed to help air move efficiently in any space. It takes into consideration the aerodynamics of it all. Once an air circulator is turned on, it creates environmental disturbance and keeps all of the air in a confined space in constant motion. This means that you could actually pair an air circulator with your air conditioner to help it cool a room more efficiently even if it’s on energy-saving mode.
A regular electric fan, on the other hand, will just keep blasting air in one direction, say, at your poor furbaby who keeps panting amid the Philippines’ sweltering summer heat. Your doggo gets the fan, while you resort to pamaypay. Never mind, it perfectly fits the tita aesthetic anyway. *wink*
5. UV steriliser
Germophobes, where you at?! Among the tita gadgets on this list, this one is probably the hottest item in the time of COVID-19. Why? Some are so compact like the pocket sterilisers offered by UV-C sterilisation brand, UV Care. These pocket gadgets kill bacteria, viruses, and germs using UV light. Plus, you can wave it around like a wand — how fun! Imagine getting to avada kedavra any virus lingering on surfaces you might come into contact with! Only true titas and titos can tag germ-killing as a fun activity.
One of my closest gal pals who’s a makeup artist even uses her UV wand for her makeup paraphernalia. Her clients have always lauded her efforts to disinfect brushes right before use with her handy UV wand. Seeing that blue light shine upon things is an added layer of security of sorts. Aside from cleaning your belongings, UV technology takes care of the microorganisms you could have missed along the way. Tita joke alert: Sabi nga nila, “‘di lang pampamilya, pang-sports pa!” That’s the famous tagline of Family Rubbing Alcohol, in case your childhood didn’t include it.
There are plenty of smart-slash-fitness watches out there that do more than just tell the time. These health features are what make smartwatches gems to titas and titos — because you’ll certainly reach an age where: 1) You’ll want items to do more than one thing for you para sulit and 2) You just want to head off any health issue because WebMD keeps on fuelling your paranoia. Eyes on you too, MayoClinic.
That said, smartwatches that fall under the category of tita gadgets are those with a pedometer, temperature sensor, blood pressure monitor, and sleep tracker. That’s right kids; the older you get the less sleep you get, too. That’s just the reality of life. Enjoy your naps while you can! And to all the smartwatch-donning titas and titos out there, please use your eye candy for fitness purposes, too! Getting older is never an excuse to not stay fit. (Or at least we can try.)
7. Streaming device
Of course everyone these days would love to own their own streaming device or tablet. You can use your phones, but titas and titos with eyesight problems would prefer bigger screens. The most popular options are hooking up favourite streaming platforms to the TV or desktop, or assigning a dedicated table for all those tita shows, tita games, and shopping portals we enjoy.
We typically watch tita shows that either teach us how to cook better or rearrange the house interiors, or series that will let us live out life goals that we’ve deemed unrealistic by this age. *shots fired* When all else fails, we also know that K-drama won’t — lalo na para sa mga feeling ajumma at ahjussi. Fighting!
8. Hydroponic gardening kits
Plants, pets, or both? If it’s not a furbaby that’s taking up a nurturing tita’s (or tito’s) free time, then I’m pretty sure it’s something like a succulent. Plant parents will love this item on the list and it’s among those tita gadgets that will also be helpful in the kitchen, if you choose to grow herbs and vegetables. Hydroponic gardening kits are also friendly to those living in apartments and condominiums since they don’t require soil!
A lot of noob gardeners say that hydroponics is beginner-friendly so if you’ve been blessed with a green thumb and haven’t checked out hydroponic gardening kits online, please do. Some are just basic gardening plots, but the high-tech ones will allow you to track water levels and can even provide artificial sunlight and wireless connectivity! Plant mums and dads of TripZilla, this might just be your best tita/tito buy of 2020 — especially since COVID-19 has us staying indoors most of the week.
9. Bluetooth shower speaker
I never understood wanting to have long baths like my mom does until I hit 25. Before that, showers were taken in haste to save time (and water — without sacrificing thoroughness, of course), but the older I get, the more I just want to live in the bath to stay cool, sweat-free, and fragrant forever. The best ideas hit me while bathing, so that’s another plus. The bath is also where I can let tears run freely when adulting just gets too damn hard. But strong titas and titos soldier on, of course!
For maximum feels, ideation, or just relaxing, really, I partner bathtime with tunes that my youngest brother can no longer relate to. (He was born in 2000, by the way.) I still use my phone but a lot of techie titas turn to bluetooth shower speakers. Some are made waterproof and can even stick to bathroom surfaces, like tiled walls and the side of a showers stall or tub, so you can easily hit pause, play, or next even with wet, pruney fingers. Really innovative ones can be hooked up to Alexa or Siri so you can ask her to do the work for you. Alexa, play Bawal Lumabas by Kim Chiu. Charot.
As soon as I started to work, I came to the realisation that backaches will follow me anywhere I go. I got a bit older and started to cramp more, too. Don’t get me started with what happens when I eat too many beans and my uric acid levels spike. You get the picture. That said, massagers are heaven-sent tita gadgets that help us unwind when we can’t book a session with our go-to masseuse. Those aches and pains lessened ever since I began working from home, but I still have spa appointments at least once a month. Now that COVID-19 has taken that away from me too, I settle for electronic massagers.
Pro-tita tip: Pair your massage sessions with a doable fitness routine, and supplement this with a posture correcting tool like the BackJoy or Backbridge. Get a massager with LED light so you can reap the benefits of light therapy as well. I told you we liked multitasking gadgets. They say LED light therapy also helps improve blood circulation and lymphatic flow. Goodie!
11. Facial cleansing/massaging device
If your body has a designated electronic massager, your face should too! Best-selling facial cleansing and massaging devices from trusted brands like Foreo and Happy Skin even offer exfoliation and anti-aging benefits, which titas go gaga for.
If you’re the type of tita or tito who has an elaborate skincare regimen, does facial yoga, and hoards anti-aging serums, an electronic cleansing and massaging device should complement your arsenal. Plus, we all know that safe exfoliation also leads to youthful, baby butt-soft skin; yes, the skin that we used to have but no longer do. *sniffles*
12. Cosmetics refrigerator
Jumping off from entry #11, skincare junkies — regardless of age — will fight tooth and nail to keep their stash of skincare goodness safe and fresh. For that, titas level up with and resort to buying mini cosmetics refrigerators for tiny bottles of skin-loving ingredients that take much of their salary.
You know those scenes in old movies where gang leaders keep stacks of gold bars in safes? It’s a bit like that for us older skincare addicts, but with beauty and skincare products and mini refs in shocking or pastel colours. It depends on what type of tita you are, really.
13. Milk frother
Kitchen-savvy titas who rode the dalgona coffee trend will know this item well: the ever-trusty milk frother! It’s must-have in the kitchen, and the electric frothers won’t give your achy wrists a hard time. Let’s be kind to our joints, ladies and gentlemen. Repeat after me: We aren’t as young as we used to be.
14. Electric insect killer
There are many tita gadgets that dads and titos tend to love, but this probably takes the cake. Have you noticed how many titos of Manila are extremely obsessed with pest extermination? The same was true for my lolos; it also applies to my dad; now my boyfriend is in on it, too.
Even I can relate because it has been my recent pastime as well. I respect and admire all living creatures great and small, but roaches, termites, and mosquitoes are such a nuisance! Plus, they procreate by the hundreds! What. A. Pain. Luckily for us, electric insect killers and zappers are getting more and more efficient (and nice-looking!). I’m sure you’ll easily find one that will fit in any space.
15. Water flosser
This next entry is THE perfect gift for eco-forward titas and titos. Water flossers use high-powered streams of H2O to clean the in-betweens of your teeth, exactly as floss does. In fact, it could do a better job of reaching hard-to-reach areas of your mouth because this is similar to what professional dentists use. Plus, you get to lessen your plastic waste. It’s a win-win!
Pro-tita tip: Throw in an electric toothbrush to the mix so you won’t have to worry about where your discarded plastic toothbrushes go after you toss them in the bin. Here’s to great oral health! Nobody wants to have pustisos at this age.
16. Ring light
Hold your horses, you might say; how did a ring light get included on this list when they were popularised by young vloggers and bloggers? Because they’re tita gadgets that prove useful for all those Zoom meetings we’ve been having! We titas and titos would like to maintain that early-twenties glow on screen, thank you very much! And what about the effect it has on the eyes? Ring lights make it seem that they sparkle with the innocence of youth. I rest my case.
Adulting novices first turn to an iron and their trusty ironing board. But domesticated titas and titos venture into the next levels of wardrobe maintenance: the steamer. Steamers come in handy when you own pieces of clothing that require extra TLC — such as silk and delicate fabric with stubborn wrinkles. I totally abhor those little creases, but a steamer does the trick!
18. Toaster oven
Or any oven, really. Point is, they say zillennials now love making bread and I hate to break it to you, but titas and titos beat you youngins to the punch. We’ve been making our own food since we learned how to change a lightbulb, bread included. If you can make your own bread, that means you can bake and heat leftovers. Celebrate little wins, tita.
19. Mini blender
There are a lot of tita gadgets and appliances in the kitchen, for sure. But mini blenders or juicers let us live the healthy lifestyle we all try to aim for. Making fruit-and-veggie concoctions is a quick and fun way of getting all those vitamins naturally.
There are plenty of choices out there; some will even allow you to make a single serving and drink your pulpy creation straight from a cup that doubles as the blending container. The possibilities are endless! But don’t forget to take your vitamins. We assure you, you’ll still need them. These juices are just great add-ons and meal supplements especially for titas trying to beat the monthly bloat.
20. Sleep aid device
To end this epic list of tita gadgets, we throw in something that will help us get sweet, deep sleep. I don’t know what it is about getting old. Is it stress, anxiety, or just our ever-changing circadian rhythms? Maybe it’s fluctuating hormones? Whatever it is, we can’t just get the sleep we’re pining for! Sure, you can try taking serotonin tablets, tea for better sleep, or even those Good Night drinks. But they say an electronic sleeping aid works wonders for night owls and insomniacs.
I can’t completely cover the science behind it all, but it boils down to at-home therapy that relies on electric waves, sound waves, or light. These supposedly help you relax and unwind, until you finally doze off into dreamland. #goals
So how did you do? Did you get a perfect score? Or are your online shopping carts now filled with tita gadgets? Let us know which products actually help you live life better — because aren’t we all just trying to survive this thing called adulting? Cheers!