What does “Barkada” mean? It means your group of friends, your gang, peers, or homies. For these individuals and small businesses, it means family–kapatid (sibling), kapamilya (family member) here in New York City. It started with friends, Deirdre Levy and Lugao Kasberg, who were delivering PPE’s, through Mask Our Heroes, a non-profit organization dedicated to help and protect those in the front lines at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the risk is high of contracting the virus, these guys braved the streets of New York and even discussed feeding the homeless while doing the deliveries. Together with Joey Golja and through AJ Lavilla’s push that they should all collaborate, the three musketeers, Deirdre, Lugao, and Joey started “Project Barkada.”
While the pandemic has become more and more disastrous, the barkada on the other hand grew in number. They’ve grown even stronger with the community’s participation and overflowing support.
According to Deirdre Levy, “It originally started just helping those in need and doing so by working with Filipino businesses who were trying to keep afloat.” Through collaboration and ‘Bayanihan‘, the barkada became one big familia amidst the pandemic and it continues to multiply with proverbial Pinoy speed.
“And that’s how we collaborated with Augee of Kabisera Café too. She was doing her deliveries and there were times when we delivered together. Kabisera was a center in most things and how so many people blew up.” Levy added.
Here are some of the amazing Barkadas and personalities to note, so please continue to support them in any way you can. Start by following them and get updates on events and other happenings.
The Project Barkada continues to grow (expanding in other states, too)–getting more creative, doing more help to the community (often in their own wonderful, generous way), and helping each other–like a family. The love, support, and respect for each other will always be there but the heart for those who most needed help will always be its foundation.
It is such a joy and inspiration to see events by our Barkadas that has an element of activism, volunteerism, social impact, or charitable cause incorporated into it. Let’s wish and pray for these guys to keep doing well by doing good.