“Woke Filams” Taunts All-White “Barkada Bar” Cultural Appropriation


Barkada Wine Bar in Washington D.C., accused of cultural misappropriation is changing its name, after receiving flak from “woke” Fil-Ams

Barkada Wine Bar-Restaurant recently opened along 12th Street, NW, Washington D.C. is changing its name after backlash from the Filipino Community. The all-white male owners were accused of cultural misappropriation earlier this month. The wine-bar owners issued an apology over the unintentional use of language that doesn’t reflect its true meaning.

We hear you… When we ventured outside of our own language to capture that sentiment, we missed the mark. We apologize to all we offended, and to our community, we hope to serve.

It was never our intention to appropriate or capitalize on the Filipino culture and we recognize we fell short in engaging more of the Filipino community…,” the Facebook post said.

Black woman calls Asian owners of Boba Tea.

The chose “Barkada” because of its meaning

The owners chose “Barkada” because it reflected their own experience of friendship. Among Filipinos, the word “Barkada” is slang for a casual but close-knit bond.

A Facebook post by a “triggered” “woke” Fil-Am Jessica Millete wrote:

This is problematic on so many levels. Completely ignorant and of course, a PRIVILEGED thought-process. What makes you think it’s okay to take a word from another culture…?”

Filipino association condemns the brand naming

The next day, the National Federation of Filipino American Associates (NFFAA) issued a statement that said, “Barkada Is Cherished, Not Appropriated.” Other issues set against the Barkada Restaurant was that it neither showcased Filipino wine or food—nothing was Filipino about it.

Krystle Canare, Capital Region Chair of NFFAA released this (partial) statement:

We are deeply concerned by the lack of apparent sensitivity and awareness displayed in the naming of the Barkada Wine Bar on U St. Sebastian Zutant, Nick Guglietta, Anthony Aligo, and Nate Fisher… they do not share our cultural heritage. It is disrespectful and misleading...”

The United Filipino-American Conservative (UCFA) has to say this:

The word Barkada is a Spanish word for Barcada—Filipinos adapted to mean “group of friends hanging around instead of being productive” [Lexicon]. Today, it means more than that. The Filipino language is beautiful and we appreciate the cultural appreciation of our language.

Not all Pinoys amused how Filipino-Americans reacted

Most of the Filipino-American in social media reacted positively with the name change. Others mocked the wine bar. Only a few thought the name brand was a good idea, by way of promoting Filipino culture in the USA.

However, as it trended on Facebook from netizens in the Philippines, they found the reaction of Filipino-Americans who caused the “name change” a snooty overreaction.


  1. I think they should keep the name, so long as they serve something Filipino either a drink or pulutan.

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