Barkada Trip (2005)
Barkada Trip is a 2-minute short cartoon from ABS-CBN's sister channel Studio 23 aired in the year 2005. Created by Chibibo Toons producers Brando De Leon (or known as "Dok"), Regina Bengzon and Michael Bernaldez then later Fat Fingers Production,it was formally launched during the 9th Anniversary of Studio 23 at Baywalk, Roxas Blvd, otherwise known as BAYBREAK 2005. This cartoon uses digital animation and Flash.
Barkada Trip tells about a group of seven teenagers with their different personality that resembles as Pinoy teenagers. Together, they embark funniest and wackiest adventures every teenager could have. The characters in Barkada Trip resembles as "chibi" (a Japanese word meaning "short person" or "small child"). This show has an anime influence only adding with some Pinoy story lines. Each of the main characters has different personalities. Bok, the leader and the prankster of the group, his mysterious, black pet feline named Malas as his sidekick,Abantao a silent, skater boy who is a punk, Trixie an ultra kikay of the group, Nikki the sports and exercise buff, Marla a tough man-hater of the group, Derek a technology expert and Nori the consummate metrosexual who can't get enough of his pet tarsier named Aries.
The first episode debuted around 2005 as a part of 9th anniversary of Studio 23 entitled "Fishball" and it contained 2 part episodes. In the first two episodes, when Bok and Derek were laughing at the vandalized poster of one of the Studio 23 shows,Maria saw a fishball stand roaming on their way. There, Maria saw and ate some cooked fishball. When two boys found out that there was a fishball stand they only saw a piece of fishball because Maria ate the rest of it, they were sad. The boys were fighting around for just a piece of fish ball but they didn't know, Maria ate the last one she had left.This went the two boys bumped each other in the end. This episode start this cartoon's short premiere during that year. Barkada Trip also made a music video and the full-version of the song entitled "Trip na Trip" performed by Aizo. More characters appeared like Abantao, Nikki, Derek and the rest in the music video.
This cartoon used as short commercial for Studio 23 that aired every mornings 'till the evenings randomly. More of these episodes were produced by Chibibo Toons and it got many attention to the viewers. The story line of Barkade Trip contains humorous scenes that makes you laugh because of the character's different personality. It also contains about life as a teenage group. At first, the characters of Barkada Trip didn't talk so much but instead they used grunts and laughs when they react or as part of their communication. They even act as implicit characters of the show. With the use of digital animation with a lot influence of anime, Barkada Trip showed as a good animation for the young viewers especially teenagers. Every episode, the show contains background music from various indie artists such as Aizo and Chicosci. The music played in the show is great to listen depending on the themes on each episodes.
Around 2006, Fat Fingers Production got the rights of making more Barkada Trip episodes but with the same staff from Chibibo Toons. The main characters got changed and more developed.In some episodes, they even talked and got more wacky reactions unlike from Chibibo Toons for some comic relief . In the new version of Barkada, new characters were added but they only used as background characters of the show. Like in Chibibo Toons, Fat Fingers used digital animation too. During that year, Chibibo Toons still produced more Barkada Trip episodes even though Fat Fingers lead in showing more of their produced episodes. In my opinion, the Chibibo Toons' Barkada Trip got better character designs than from Fat Fingers.
A lot of in depth bio about the main characters in Barkada Trip (and some spoilers). The setting in the show mostly in their fictional "barangay" or some random places depending on the episode like in the boxing arena, Big Brother's house in Pinoy Big Brother,etc.The seven teenagers' ages of Barkada Trip were unknown but they were probably have the same age as high school students. Even their real names were never mentioned in the whole show but revealed in the Studio 23's official website and in a music video entitled "Barkada Trip" performed by Kiko Machine.
Bonifacio Andres (Bok), is a prankster and the leader of the Barkada Trip and has a pet black cat named Malas. Bok is bald and wears a red t-shirt that it's logo changes in every episode like "How can Henry Sy?" with big fonts and a brown shirt. His father who work in Saudi Arabia as OFW ( and ironically owns a cat like Bok, but only white) was his only family member appeared other than Bok's friends in one episode. As a prankster, his friends doesn't accept him at first because he made lots of pranks that made them annoyed especially Marla but some episodes they generally accept him as a member of Barkada Trip. Every episodes, Bok ended up being in trouble because of his pranks or his friends.
Abantao, is the silent person of the Barkada Trip who owns a skateboard. His physical features include his skull cap, green t-shirt with a skull logo, a strip bandage on his cheek, and pants. He is Bok's only best friend ever since they were young as seen in a flashback in one episode. Together with Bok, they make lots of pranks but Abantao make only less pranks than Bok.
Patricia Victoria Regina Lo (Trixie), a red-haired kikay girl of the group who likes to eat a lot. She wears a pink "bestida" and pants. There are some episodes hinted that she has a crush on Abantao. Trixie and Abantao once had a date but only Trixie enjoyed the date because she ordered and ate a lot of food that even Abantao's budget was gone. Even Abantao offered Trixie to ride his skateboard in the end. Trixie and Abantao were paired in a "Rapunzel" parody in one episode.
Innocencia Santiago (Nikki), is a sports and exercise hobbyist. In one episode, before she got hooked in sports she was an overweight teenager and always ate a lot of food in the past. Because she was an overweight girl, no boys liked her until Derek came along to her life. After those painful past , Nikki started to become physically fit and therefore she gets a normal weight to make boys like her. When Derek saw Nikki in a fit, he just stared at her in a distance without a word until Nikki was suddenly chased by a tarsier. It is unknown whether if Derek and Nikki liked each other even they're in a Barkada Trip group.
Maria Lavinia Flores (Marla), is a tough, man-hater in the Barkada Trip gang. She wears a yellow dress and a headband. As a tough and stubborn girl, Marla hates to be taunted by boys especially from Bok that sometimes ended up getting hurt with her physical attacks or sometimes likes to tease boys when she saw them they're ended up from trouble. Marla gets along with Nikki and Trixie as her friends and protects them from Bok's pranks. Like Nikki and Trixie, it is hinted that she may secretly likes Bok but she never reveals her general feelings to him.
Federico Zaragosa VI (Derek), a technology expert of the group. He owns the latest gadgets around and made his own machines for purposes. He even helps his friends about gadgets in some episodes like changing the cellphone's language from Bok's new cellphone. He was in Nikki's past and therefore it is unknown whether if he likes Nikki or not. Both Derek and Nikki were paired in a "Cinderella" parody episode.
Norberto Felix Trinidad (Nori), the consummate metrosexual member of the group. At the early episodes, Nori seems he's a real guy that even he made into the clinic for "Operation: Tuli".As the series goes, he turns out to be only a member in Barkada Trip to be like homosexual (I believe it's because there should be a "gay" member of a teenage group). Even he admit that who he was and likes Bok in one episode.. Nori is the owner of the pet tarsier named Aries. In one episode, Nori once saved Aries from Bok's pranks outside the park and since that day, they become mutual friends.
The character elements in the world of Barkada Trip is a great deal to see one of the digitally made animation made in the Philippines. Some elements in Barkada Trip like in real-life shows Studio 23 and faces of some popular artists on TV were mentioned.The show got even available merchandises too such as mini electric fan, t-shirts,slippers, mobile games and many more.Even Bok made an appearance as a mascot in some Studio 23 shows like Y! Speak and Breakfast.They also made parodies from commercial and anime shows in some episodes. As of this year, it seemed the show has still no plans to produce new episodes. Barkada Trip is a good show to watch and it even gives you fun too see their adventures being teenage Filipinos.