Webmaster ’18-’19, Kayla Raflores
Sophomore in Computer Science and Anthropology
Describe your experience with Battle or Barkada in general. What is the cultural significance of Barkada?
My freshman year, I had my first experience with Barkada when I performed at FACT. I met a lot of other freshmen, and I had fun at practices. This past semester, I was lucky enough to participate in Battle. Practicing with my section and seeing so many PSA members so often, even when we were stressed, made my experience worthwhile. One of my Adings was a girl villager with me, and my Kuya and one of my Ates were warriors. With my AKAs there too, Barkada really felt like family.
Barkada bonding is real, and I think that culturally it brings us together, even with non-Filipino members. I like cultural dancing; I’ve been doing it since I was really little, all the way through high school and now. I even saw one of the girls I used to dance with as one of the advisors for PSA, and she helped us prepare for the performance!
With my AKAs there too, Barkada really felt like family. Barkada bonding is real, and I think that culturally it brings us together, even with non-Filipino members.
Describe your Filipino family/community outside of PSA. How does PSA mimic/create similar experiences in college?
At home, I am lucky to have so many of my family members living nearby. Growing up in the suburbs, I was surrounded by family parties with my Titas, Titos, Lolas, Lolos, and cousins. I know not everyone gets the chance to experience that closeness with members outside of their immediate family — I am grateful that I get to see them so often! We would all come together and eat; usually a mix of traditional Filipino foods and American ones. At Filipino parties in general, there is always so much food, a lot of talking, and things to do (like karaoke).
In PSA, I found a lot of this initially with my AKAs. My Ates and Kuya make me feel at home, and I really see a family with them. When I picked up my own Adings, every one of them makes me so happy; I can’t imagine PSA without my AKAs. When I joined board, I did attended a lot more events and played a bigger role. I remember frantically making huge batches of pasta to share with the members of PSA during one of our big potluck general meetings. Seeing everyone enjoying themselves and enjoying the food made me feel at home and welcome in the community.
My Ates and Kuya make me feel at home, and I really see a family with them. When I picked up my own Adings, every one of them makes me so happy; I can’t imagine PSA without my AKAs.