As everyone is booking appointments for their COVID-19 vaccines and more businesses and events are up and running, pop-up events are on the rise with many new creative and inclusive shops from all over the world.

The Creative Space located in Sacramento, Calif. hosted a pop-up event titled ‘Aloha Sunday’ with several local vendors in the lineup such as Aloha + Fronds, Niyama Design Studio and Barkada Social on June 6. 

Benny Peneyra is the face of Barkada Social Club, a Filipino street food pop-up shop in San Joaquin and Sacramento county who was one of the many vendors to attend the event.  

Benny is a pastry chef that participated in season 23 of Guy’s Groceries Games who enjoys creating Filipino dishes with a modern twist on the side. 

Benny Peneyra in his pop-up shop, Barkada Social Club in U St, Sacramento, Calif. on June 6th.

“It brings everyone together,” Benny said. “It’s a culmination of my family’s recipes and stuff that I like to eat.”

Peneyra was born in Ilocos Sur, a province in the Philippines where he learned his craft from his grandfather as he was the main cook in the family. His favorite Filipino dish that he could eat on the warmest of days is Chicken Tinola, a hot soup that contains green papaya wedges, bok choy, ginger, chicken and fish sauce typically served with a side of white rice.

As AAPI hate continues to surface around the country, Peneyra continues to share his craft and culture in different areas of the county in hopes to open people’s palettes and humanity.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking to see the hate come out but I think it’s been happening for so long,” Peneyra said. “Unfortunately it just tends to pop the tab, I think it’s important for everyone to rally together.”

Peneyra named his pop-up Barkada Social Club with open arms to the public as barkada is a Tagalog word used in reference to a group of friends or companions.

“That’s your clique, that’s your crew that you can go with,” Peneyra said. “The social aspect is that I like to talk to people when we’re working.”

Barkada Social Club quickly sold out every dish they had prepared as many waited in line to try the FIlipino infused dishes. 

Barkada Social Club can be followed on Instagram for updates with the handle: @barkadasocial 

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