Filipinos are geeking out over the 23rd episode of Steven Universe Season 4 because it may have just proven that Lars Barriga, the show’s resident high-school slacker, is actually Filipino. In the episode titled The Good Lars, the character decides to bake a cake for the party. His recipe all but confirms he has Filipino ancestry.
In case you missed it, he chose to bake an Ube cake in response to Steven advising him to cook something that “represents him.” Following a recipe from what his best friend called “a secret cookbook,” Lars revealed he used to eat that treat as a kid all the time.
Ube, for those who do not know, is the Tagalog word for purple yam. In the Philippines, it is often eaten boiled, baked, or made as a sweetened pudding. It is also widely used to make various pastries like chiffons, puddings, swiss rolls and even as an ingredient to the popular iced Filipino dessert called halo-halo.
Folks at Reddit claim the reference alone already suggests Lars is of Filipino descent. User Luxenroar strongly adhered to the theory, saying “UBE ORIGINATES FROM THE PHILIPPINES, AND IS ONLY CALLED UBE IN THE PHILIPPINES.” Noting he’s also a Filipino, he added that almost every bakeshop in the country has at least one bread with Ube. Every local dessert offers an Ube flavor as well.
But the mention of Ube wasn’t the first evidence that supports the claims. Lars’ surname, Barriga, is said to be Filipino too, so as his father’s first name, Dante. In fact, there’s a professional Filipino boxer with the same surname who represented the Philippines at the London Olympics four years ago.
Steven Universe Season 4: Filipino Pride
Of course, news that Lars comes from the Philippines sent proud Filipino fans into an online frenzy, with some calling it another sign of diversity, according to Mashable. Several of the actors giving life to the Steven Universe characters are of notably Filipino descent including Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl), Shelby Rabara (Peridot) and Jennifer Paz (voices Lapis Lazuli).
Check out some of the fan reactions below:
my gentle filipino heart is so happy pic.twitter.com/WDRgy4Jduk
— moved to @tsuyusasui (@sapphicshaw) May 6, 2017
i was catching up on steven universe and look!!! lars is filipino and they made ube roll so cute pic.twitter.com/cixaxRfgsS
— sofia (@nct127twt) May 8, 2017
— Jay ? (@jaaychaan) May 7, 2017
After seeing Lars make an ube roll on Steven Universe, I couldn't help myself. ??? pic.twitter.com/PNG2VM712p
— Awesome's Creek (@yoursilentcynic) May 7, 2017
Steven Universe made an ube cake and I am so Filipino and so cosmic and so gay right now
— dole whip daddy (@ice__cream__man) May 8, 2017
Lars isn’t the first cartoon character tipped to be Filipino. According to some reports, Janna Ordonia of Disney’s Stars vs The Evil Forces is also Filipino or has at least some Filipino ancestry. Her surname “Ordonia” reportedly originates mainly from the Philippines. Plus, the book Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension says Janna once dated a talking skeleton named Bernardo -a common name in the Philippines.
What do you think? Is Lars Filipino? Sound off in the comments below.