TCNJ Barkada celebrates 10th anniversary

By Desiree Santana
Correspondent  

Students pack into the Decker Social Space to celebrate Barangay. (David Colby / Photo Assistant)
Students pack into the Decker Social Space to celebrate Barangay. (David Colby / Photo Assistant)

Parents, alumni and students packed into the Decker Social Space to celebrate TCNJ Barkada’s annual cultural show, Barangay, on Saturday, Nov. 12. The event honored Filipino-American culture through food, student and professional performances, raffles and more.

The three-hour event consisted of seven elaborate performances that captivated the large audience while incorporating art, music and traditions from Filipino culture. This year, Barkada celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Barangay serves as an event where Filipino-American students at the College can express and enjoy all the culture has to offer. The event also raises awareness for TCNJ Barkada to non-Filipino students by exposing them to upbeat music, enthralling entertainment and delicious food.

Arianna Ramos, president of TCNJ Barkada and a senior psychology major, shared how the organization hopes Barangay allows anyone at the College with an interest in the Filipino culture to explore it and get involved in TCNJ Barkada.

This event was open to the entire TCNJ community and we are open to anyone who is interested,” Ramos said.

Barangay began with a routine by the Princeton Martial Arts Academy. They demonstrated different techniques of the Eskrima fighting style, a Filipino martial art. Double stick patterns, sword and dagger fights and sparring were among the fighting patterns performed.

The event features seven student performances.  (David Colby / Photo Assistant)
The event features seven student performances. (David Colby / Photo Assistant)

Members of TCNJ Barkada then performed Tinikling, the national dance of the Philippines. The 26-member team performed the traditional Tinikling dance, but also incorporated modern songs and moves into their routine. “Feelings” by Maroon 5 and a remix of “Cruel” by Snakeships were among the songs selected to accompany the Tinkling performance.

Alyssa Jackson, a member of Barkada and a sophomore psychology major, shared how much time and energy went into perfecting their seamless routine for Barangay.

“We usually practice like three times a week,” Jackson said. “But the week leading up to the event, we practiced basically every day.”

Jackson is not Filipino and got involved with TCNJ Barkada as a freshman. Her roommate exposed her to Filipino food, music and dance, leading her to delve into Filipino culture and join TCNJ Barkada. Jackson said she has not regretted the decision.

“It’s just a very fun culture,” Jackson said. “They are all so accepting and it feels like a family.”