isabel & maria - bread
BIGGIE: Isabel Cui
smalls: Maria Mataac
Fam: Official Bread
Name: Isabel Cui
Major (+Minor): Environmental Science and Chemistry; International Affairs Minor
Fam: Official! Bread! aka girlboss fam
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: I love calling her my kid ofc but my smols is more just one of my best friends/like a little sister to me! When I first picked her up I felt a bit of pressure cause I could tell she was gonna make her mark on Barkada (while I was lowkey getting less involved) and she was kinda intimidatingly cool. But we have a really easy dynamic I’m super grateful for where we’re always supporting each other even though we’re involved in different things. That being said, we’re both pretty independent and have lots of varied work/club involvement (girlbossing never! stops!) but still make time to see each other between just us or in groups, and when we’re together we can talk ab anything.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: Maria is an inspiration to me when it comes to working hard and life balance!! At least relative to myself lol. As long as I’ve known her she’s been super focused and can prioritize all the things in her life so well, even in the face of setbacks. It helps me realize work-life balance is in fact possible and motivates me to keep on keeping on! Her self-sufficiency makes being her big extra chill and fun :)), like when I rant about stuff going on in my hectic life and she can relate really well even though we’re two years apart. Or when she’s ranting ab her issues but also has them pretty much figured out lol. Also, her passion for all things Barkada has helped a lot w me staying (somewhat) involved, and I absolutely love seeing how she’s helped the club thrive.
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: Showing her how to climb! Double pie to her face/cracking an egg on her head. Yelling happy birthday at her while she’s sitting right next to me and then her blowing out a lighter for a candle. When she was the first to come up to me during her reveal and I brushed her off while internally panicking that I made her clues too easy. Anytime we eat together!! And hang out with my big kt! Basically just being around her makes me happy but many more mems to come since we’re gonna live together :o
Name: Maria Mataac
Major (+Minor): Applied Physics (+ Spanish + pre-med lol)
Fam: Bread!!!!! (girlboss fam yuhhh)
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: Isabel is like the big sister I never had! I’m always so busy with eboard stuff and other things but she always reaches out and helps me find time to hang out even when I’m super busy and stressed :)) we have pretty different activities and social circles but whenever we do spend time together it is always so needed. we relate on a lot of things bc of the women in stem + campus involvement grind, and it’s so so nice to have someone I can just be myself around, go to for help with anything, and not have to use up my social battery talking to :)
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: definitely the importance of making time for a nice little meal with friends even when life is busy <3 I am v often stressed (less so than these responses are making it seem though, I swear!!) and feel like I don’t have time for things outside of my commitments, but whenever Isabel encourages me to make plans w her or her and kt (aka katie, my g), I never ever regret going and making myself chill out and have some yummy food w friends :) also just the way that Isabel always feeds me home cooked meals and makes her home feel like mine when I’m there has made 748 feel like my home on campus for a really long time. it’s super comforting knowing it’s gonna be my actual home for the next three years (and roomies w isabel for one)!! I’m really excited for the opportunity to have my own place so that I can pass on those small comforting things that Isabel has done for me to my smols and other kiddos on meal plans in need of some food, friends, and a place to relax <3 :))
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: fav fun silly memory: rock climbing!! was so cool to have Isabel show me something new that I really liked - def want to go again! fav fav memory: I was really going thru it some of last sem, and I remember one day was especially bad. I had dinner plans w katie and isabel at pho basil that night tho, so I made myself go. Did I end up crying in pho basil right up until our food got there? Yes… but having them there for me to talk things out made everything feel a whole lot more manageable. Talking with some of my high school besties who still haven’t found their people in college, I’ve realized it’s hard to make friends in college, and even harder to find friends that feel like family. I realized after that dinner that that’s exactly what I’ve found in isabel and katie as two older sister figures in my life, but also as best friends who unconditionally love me and want to see me succeed. Having a support system like I've found through Isabel (and kt) is really just the beauty of biggiesmalls for ya :))
Guin & Arwen - Allegiance
BIGGIE: Guinivir Lopez
smalls: Arwen Dema-ala
Name: Guinivir Lopez
Major (+Minor): PharmD
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: Arwen's my sister. It's kind of scary how similar we are to each other but it's always interesting to find out more similarities between us as we go forward. When we're together it's always a fun time but when we need each other, we're always there for each other. To sum up our relationship, it's just real. I love how we can be very honest with each other and call each other out whenever it's necessary. We have our chaotic dysfunctional moments, but we also have our bonding moments that go deep and personal (with maybe a few tears shed here and there). I love our dynamic of being able to thrive individually by ourselves without seeing each other for a while but then come back together like we never missed a beat! We keep each other grounded and make sure we stay true to ourselves. Like if this isn't what sisters are like then I don't know how to describe us
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: Hm this is actually kind of hard to pinpoint. I feel like I'm always learning something from Arwen everytime we're together which I believe comes from our age difference. Being with Arwen just helps me reflect on myself and my past. Helping her overcome her obstacles by talking with her about similar obstacles I went through feels like I'm healing my past self. While I've been learning to not feel guilt and how to grow from little me, Arwen has taught me how to not just accept but to love little me despite any negative feelings I may have of my past experiences.
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: My favorite memory with Arwen is definitely Reveal! It was such a chaotic weekend personally and socially and just watching everything unfold was definitely surreal. From actively throwing her off for the whole week, building up the tension and letting her ride the rollercoaster to the reactions she had when she found out her fam and the moment she opened her presents... it's just an iconic moment between the two of us. She probably hates me for it but it's okay. You only get picked up once in your life.
Name: Arwen Dema-ala
Major (+Minor): Media and Screen Studies (Music Industry and Marketing)
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: I'm very lucky to have Guin as my big. Our relationship is exactly what I was looking for from BiggieSmalls. I call her my ate cause she is genuinely the older sister I never had. When I first met Guin (which many people don't know was the first day of school because a few people thought I was her sister/cousin lol) she explained to me what BIGGIE/smalls was, and every time the topic came up she always emphasized that the program was a mentorship program. But I would argue that although she passes on to me her sage wisdom; our relationship is much more than a mentorship; she's my older sister. She introduced me to the Barkada world and made me feel welcomed and like family since my first day in Boston. I was terrified of being in a new city where I had absolutely no family or support system. Guin gave me exactly that.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: From my relationship with Guin I have learned the importance of BIGGIE/smalls. Especially when you are very new to college and the BKD community, a BIGGIE/smalls relationship can be one of the greatest things. Guin and I have one of the bigger age gaps between a BIGGIE/smalls pairing but I think that it is one of the best parts of our pairing. She has been able to use her experiences to impart wisdom from what she has learned herself over the past 5 years. Although she will be leaving me next December and I have no idea what I'm going to do without her, I am confident that all the lessons she has taught me will stay with me forever.
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: Probably just our BIGGIE/smalls origin story cause its low key destiny ngl. So to be very clear Guin and I are NOT related. She is my uncle's wife's cousin's friend's daughter. You know when you get into college and every time that someone hear's where you are going they're like "Oh I know someone who goes there you two should talk" and then you nod politely and say, "sure" not intending to do anything about it. Well that happened to me A LOT. But the one time that the person actually reached out it was Guin. We planned to hang out the first day of orientation and she showed me all of her favorite spots of Boston. And from then on she was my mentor evern before I applied from BIGGIE/smalls. I don't think I ever realized that Guin could be my big because she essentially convinced me that she wasn't (s/o Justin). A week before pick up I asked her "Does your big have to be only a year older than you?" to which she replied "Nope." Therefore I started to realize with the help of Clara that Guin could possibly be my big. But Guin preceded to tell me things such as "I think if I pick up a smalls it needs to take a really specific person." and "For Allegiance pick-ups the big pretty much knows from Day 1 who their smalls is." This is when I started to believe that it wasn't going to be her and tried thinking of every other possible person who I could be paired with. It didn't help that Justin, Inigo, and Esme all helped her trick me into believing it wasn't going to be her. This included elaborate FaceTime calls, misleading messenger conversations, confusingly random follow requests from someone I've never met, and even on the day of pick-up clues that led me to the wrong person. This is all to say that my meeting Guin was meant to be and every day I am reminded more and more of this fact.
Raph, iris, & Noah - Beast Farm
BIGGIE: Raph Acero
smalls 1: Iris Liu
smalls 2: Noah Sharbani
Fam: Beast Farm
Name: Raphael Acero
Major (+Minor): Mechanical engineering
Fam: Beast Farm!!
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: Noah and Iris are like siblings to me! They are some of my favorite people to hangout with and I feel like I can talk to them about anything! I knew I wanted to pick up Iris last year when we went to a dance workshop together and saw her courage for trying new things. From dance to resume stuff, I love helping Iris and helping her build her college career. I am so proud of what she’s done and how outgoing she has become. I picked up Noah fall semester of 2022 and I am so happy I did! I first talked to Noah after the BKD Halloween party, but we got to really know each other during Kamayan and dance4me. He's a pre-med beast and I am so proud of him constantly exploring new cultures and pursuing what is best for him. I am graduating this semester and feeling burnt out, but Iris and Noah inspire me to stay active and get out of the house. I know that we are going to be in contact forever and it fills me with joy to see them grow and build their own lives.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: I learned how to be a mentor, how to reach out to people, and how to build a community from my smalls.
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: My favorite memory with Iris and Noah was talking late at night on a roof top in NYC. We were all sharing an air mattress in the living room of BKD legend Esme and none of us could sleep. At around 3 am we went to the rooftop to hangout and see the view. I remember it being super cold outside but we ended up staying outside for an hour because the company and view was so nice
Name: iris liu
Major (+Minor): business admin. and design combined major; concentrations in marketing and interaction design
Fam: beast farm
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: raph is the older brother that I’ve never had. when i first met raph, it was actually pretty difficult for me to imagine what it’d be like to have him as my big. he was a total extrovert and not afraid to be himself around anybody. I came into college being the exact opposite. However, the more I spent time with him, the more grateful I was to be his smols. Raph has taught me so much and because of him, I’ve felt so much personal growth since freshman year. He has seen me go through my highs and lows and I can say that he has honestly been my biggest support system in college. i don’t always make the best decisions and I stress over anything and everything. sometimes I wonder how he has so much patience to put up with my dramatic and stressful persona. I really appreciate how Raph is always looking out for me; even when i'm not feeling the best, he always knows what to say and do to make me feel better. I admire how dedicated he is to his biggie role despite having busy schedules. I can definitely to say that i have the best biggie out there and that i aspire to one day be like the old and free soul that he is.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: there is so much that i've learned from raph that is worth mentioning, but the one that's been helping me get through college is to always go for the things I really want so i won't regret it later on. he's also taught me to not let other people’s opinions inhibit me from giving my all and being myself. i've taken these points to heart,, and i've noticed that i've definitely gained some self-confidence due to his undying support and encouragement.
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: There were a lot of memorable memories i've had with raph over the past couple of semesters so its difficult to just pick one. I always have the best time when im with my biggie; for one, he is always making me try new things such as cooking. for example, he’s taught me how to cut spam the correct way, how to cook pasta, and how to brown meat on a stove! Other favorite memories include being his Barkada dance partner, seeing him shine at his performances and cyphers, teaching me how to freestyle, and everything else dance related. Because of his constant support and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am at with my passion for dance.
Name: noah sharbani
Major (+Minor): health science major/biology minor
Fam: BEAST FARM
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: Raph is fr such a dad but he cares so much about us and supports us through anything we do. Love how when we're happy, he's happy.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: Raph has taught me that I shouldn't dwell on any setbacks in my life and just keep going with the flow with happiness. Whatever happens, you just gotta move on with a smile.
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: Favorite memory would have to be hanging with Raph and Iris on an NYC rooftop at 2 AM just vibing and talking about whatever, fr core memory
michael & denneen - DC
BIGGIE: Michael Gapud Remijan
smalls: Denneen Macariola
Name: Michael Gapud Remijan
Major (+Minor): Mechanical Engineering (Computer Science)
Fam: DC Fam
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls:
When I first brought up me and Denneen as a potential pairing to my ebo last year (ebooling <3), everyone, me included, had a pretty hard time trying to imagine what our relationship would be like. Even as I'm writing this one year later, I'm still having trouble trying to describe it. The biggest obstacle is that we actually have nothing in common lmfao, so the first few times we hung out were pretty stiff. I knew eventually we would get along because we share the same values and have similar personalities, and it ended up working out that way. I would say Denneen and I operate in very different spheres, but we help each other navigate through it. She and I both see the ridiculousness in our lives and laugh with each other about it. She understands me really well, so I tell her everything and she helps ground me whenever I need it. Plus we put up carry performances at functions like we're Shaq and Kobe. I'm super glad I got Denneen as my smalls and I'm very proud to be known as her biggie.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?:
Some things I admire about Denneen and have tried to adopt are her selflessness and loyalty. Denneen has a pretty tough schedule and the way she talks about her assignments stresses me out sometimes, yet she's always able to find time to help her friends when needed. I'm the complete opposite in that if I have a tough week I'll shut everyone else out to focus solely on my work. Hanging out with Denneen helps me realize a lot of my work isn't worth stressing over and the relationships you make in college are a lot more important down the line. She's also pulled me out of some absolute TRENCHES so I owe her big time. Shoutout denneen, always has my back
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?:
I have a ton of fun memories with Denneen that are all scattered and aren't BKD website appropriate unfortunately, but one era I find fun reliving with her is fall semester leading up to her reveal. 2021 Fall Denneen was a different beast. Last year, some of ebo caused controversy by constantly asking freshmen for swipes. Denneen called us out in the big chat, which I needed because I was being greedy about it, but I was like damn this freshman bold. On top of this she was pretty mean and would randomly roast me for various things at events and I was like aite this girls lowkey annoying. As atonement for the swipe debacle, I started buying Denneen boba after GMs, and I surprisingly enjoyed her company. I then gave a mini speech to ebo about why I should be her biggie, yada yada yada, now we're like this *crossed fingers emoji*
Name: Denneen Macariola
Major (+Minor): Data Science & Business Admin (Finance)
Fam: DC :p
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls:
We're an iconic duo lol, idk what else is there to say. I talk shit about him and also with him, because if there's one thing we'll do it's talk our talk. The chismis never stops. Also I can bully him but no one else can, that's just the rule. Unless they're DC. I appreciate and love him a lot, I know probably everyone thinks this about their pairing but fr ours is top-tier, who's doing it like us? Like, legitimately. We're usually on the same page about everything/think about things in the same way, and I know he'll always support me and have my back unconditionally. I can call him at random times and ask him inane questions and annoy tf outta him and he'll always indulge me. It probably works because he's a fucking weirdo, I'm insane, and we're both kinda feral. As a pairing we're both pretty low maintenance but he's thoughtful and cares about being a good big and he is one. Basically, Remi slays. I love him.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?:
It's okay to be an asshole LMFAO. Sometimes it's hard for me to set boundaries or express that something annoyed/upset me/made me mad because I'm like wow if I do that, I feel like people will think I'm such a bitch. And I feel pressured to play nice because of societal etiquette. But Remi validates me and reminds me to just be myself and do what I want and say what needs to be said unapologetically because at some point it doesn't matter what other people think. But that at the same time, most things ain't that deep so don't take everything too personally. Also, I already knew this but our pairing being so compatible really drove it home to give people a chance and not judge/dismiss anyone prematurely because you can click with the most surprising people. And I know it doesn't bother him but I wish other people would get to know him better and give him a chance too because they'd probably love him if they weren't closeminded asf. (Yeah. This is a callout. )
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?:
When he changed his mind and told me he doesn't want to pick up anyone else in Barkada anymore because he's good with just me. Purr. The only child status lives on (P.S. do not speak of Bryan or imma block you).
University abroad after High School in the Philippines (Abby & Randolph)
"Randolph is one of my good friends from Cebu, and he moved to attend university in Dubai about a year ago. Going from our small city to the highways of Dubai, and from juicy Lechon to pork restrictions in restaurants, Randolph shares his experience adapting to a new country that is very different from the Philippines. We also cry a bit thinking about how much cheaper everything is back home, like boba. :')"
Click here to listen to Abby's podcast!
Name: Jaana Tabalon
Where are you now? Brookline, MA
What are you up to? Working full-time as a Software Engineer!
What years were you in Barkada? 2018 - 2022
Barkada Eboard? Freshman Rep, Secretary, Co-President
Barkada Fam? ROGUE <3
Favorite Barkada memory? Bahay Kubo 2022 Senior Dance :,) but also all the little moments where I got to hang out with my bkd friends in class, in Curry, at home, or over shared meals
Message for current Barkada members: Build and value the friendships you make here! Hopefully you'll take many of those with you long beyond your graduation date. And always remember to put your entire heart into the things you love! You may think that the things you do don't matter, but you really can go so far and accomplish so much if you just believe in yourself!
andrea & anicia - Candy
BIGGIE: Andrea Koid
smalls: Anicia Reynoso
Name: Andrea Koid
Major (+Minor): Biochem w/ Global Health minor
Fam: Candy Fam
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: anicia is literally the biggest slayer ever and whenever i see her and spend time with her i feel like i can slay the world. it’s crazy how much we have in common - sometimes i feel like i’m talking to a mirror!! we both love taylor swift and gilmore girls and one direction and reading amongst many many other things. hanging out w her is so effortless and easy,, we never run out of things to talk and laugh about and even when i first picked her up i felt like we clicked immediately. we have so much fun when we are together and even when we are not…. we still slay anyways.
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: i learned how to maximize my potential to slay. anicia is also so mature and does not take shit from other people which inspires me to not take shit from other people too,, together we are carrying the slayification of candy fam on our backs
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: There are so many….. one time i asked her to go to TGI friday’s with me (mostly for the joke but also for their all day happy hour deals) and she said yes with no hesitation. the new tswift album came out and we listened to some of it in tgi friday’s and outside of tgi friday’s and on the green line back to campus and then we spent like 2 hours listening to it again and creating our album ranking in a snell classroom until it was 2am
Name: Anicia Reynoso
Major (+Minor): Psychology with minors in Human Communication and Public Health
Describe your relationship with your BIGGIE/smalls: Andrea is like my cool older sister; I know I can always tell her anything and go to her for advice! I look up to her a lot, she's so intelligent and such a #girlboss
What's something you've learned from your BIGGIE/smalls?: How to slay even more
What's your favorite memory with your BIGGIE/smalls?: Going to TGI Friday’s as our Midnights release celebration and ranking the album immediately afterwards in a snell classroom
Welcome! NU Barkada is Northeastern University's Filipino culture organization.