Barkada is a group of friends – but not just ''a group of friends''. As with many Filipino words, it is difficult to translate barkada to a single English word - ''clique'' and ''gang'' come close, but do not quite capture the essence of barkada. Clique connotes exclusivity and snobbishness. Gang, in the informal sense, mimics barkada but lacks the lifelong bond that differentiates barkada from a mere social group.
The best definition of barkada is probably ''family'', minus the pre-requisite blood relationship. Barkada is the group of peers that one is always comfortable with, knowing that he will be accepted no matter what.