One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A group of friends.
1960s; earliest use found in Philippine Studies. From Tagalog barkada group of friends from Spanish barcada boat-load.
(in the Philippines) a group of friends.‘he spent his time drinking and hanging out with his barkada’as modifier ‘the ultimate barkada movie’
Tagalog, from Spanish barcada ‘boatload’.
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