Strapped for Cash? This Davao City Online Community Revives the Beauty of Bartering!
Kenneth Mheil Mangaya- Ay | May 28, 2020
Can you still remember the time you and your friends swapped toys with each other? How about a savory meal you traded with one of your neighbors in exchange for a sweet dessert? This is the concept of bartering: a system of cashless exchange of services and commodities between two individuals. Bartering has been part of Filipino culture before a formal currency was established. Today, this trading method has made a comeback using techniques that facilitate faster and more efficient transactions: the Internet.
In Davao City, the family of Ianne Calatrava-Valenzuela created an online community that brought the ancient Filipino culture of bartering to life. “The Davao Barter Community is actually the brainchild of my brother who is based in Iloilo and a member of the Iloilo Barter Community who asked me if it is possible to put up a similar group here in Davao,” shared Ianne, “We are currently 5 moderators – my brother who is based in Iloilo, Mommy Kiara, Mommy Carlina, and my husband Dante. It was actually inspired by the success story in Iloilo. There was also this desire to help our community in this period of pandemic.”
The mechanics on how to barter is simple. No cash. Interested individual should post the actual item that he/she is bartering, indicate estimated value, and the item he/she wants to receive. Private messages are restricted. Interested parties should post their offers in the comments section only. Animals are not allowed in the bartering. Finally, they have to indicate #donedeal with name in the comment section after a successful trade. Participants are also encouraged to post pictures of their successful transactions. “The purpose is actually simple. In these difficult times, we understand that there are people who have no cash or less cash but have something to offer in exchange for something in return. Also, we have items that we don’t actually need and we get something we need in return,” said Ianne.
Ianne’s family also wants people to realize and understand that there is a system that can work considering the situation that we have now. She joyously shared, “We started as a small community and we are now at 10K (ten thousand) members. We are happy about the #donedeals that we read and we are happy that our growing community is happy.”
The coronavirus has dramatically changed our lives. One thing it has shown to us – we don’t really need as much as we thought we needed. “We need to help each other during this pandemic," share Ianne, "Through this project, we realize we sometimes have too many non-essentials and that we can trade these items to people who need it.”