On the internet, “cultural appropriation” has become something akin to gunpowder. You can almost never mention it without setting off heated debates on what the term really means or whether something does or doesn’t count as cultural appropriation. It’s not that hard to see why either. The problem, however, is that cultural appropriation isn’t some clear-cut is/isn’t label that can be easily applied to a situation.
The Filipino culture and society, being a smorgasbord of cultural influences, is a halo-halo in its own sense. A jumble of elements, textures, and flavours, the drink-sundae hybrid is not only a to-go snack for the summertime but also a perfect representation of the Philippines itself.