I have a couple, one a traditional knife, and a CS barong machete. In agriculture, they function similarly to a machete, but with a pointy tip. I just used my CS version to cut down a bunch of last year's fennel stalks in the yard. The stalks were hard enough that I used them for garden stakes, pounding them into the ground with a 3 lb sledge. The CS barong went through them easily.
In the self defence arena, the barong can slash like a machete, but thrust with the point as well. It, like many dual-use tools/weapons, has minimal hand protection for the user. For such weapons, be they barongs or khukuris, the holder is more vulnerable to having his hand sniped at, and he does not have the parrying options available that even a minimal guard makes feasable.