The barter system is the oldest method of exchange long before money was invented. Today, bartering has made a comeback through the internet at a time that there is lack of money brought about by a global pandemic.
Taking a cue from the latest “craze” that started in other Philippine regions, Palawan followed on. In the last week of March, Palaweños started to buzz in group chats exchanging relief goods received from government and private individuals. Those who received too many sardines asked friends to replace it with noodles and pancit canton. But it was only this last week of May that barter community pages became a hit here in Puerto Princesa. You will find yourself being added in a Facebook group and see gadgets, clothes for moms and kids, shoes, plants, perfumes, jewelries, appliances and even collector’s items that are usually unused and kept in stock at home exchanged with groceries, desserts, fruits, vegetables and canned goods.
One of the early creators of a barter page in the city is photographer and videographer Allen Joshua Rapues. “Barter Place PPC” started last April 16 as his way to promote his “Longga Burger”. He also bartered it with food, condiments and toiletries, but his main goal at the time is to get honest reviews and feedback.
“Ang concept ko is maipatikim sa iba para mag-testimony na masarap luto ko, at siyempre matikman ko rin mga products nila, after ng mga barter naka produce ako ng ibang products, pag gawa ng longganisa patties, marinated chicken, lechon BBQ at bundat na pusit,” Rapues said.
In “Puerto Princesa Barter Community” one active member is real estate broker Junie De Leon – Malana. As a seaman’s wife, they have a lot of things stored and no longer in use that might be useful to others. One unforgettable barter experience she had is the exchange of her 1 gallon of alcohol to 3 imported canned meat Spam.
“Marami kasi kami gamit na nakatago lang, hindi napapakinabangan, so I’m looking for a way na mapakinabangan sila. Pinaka-the best is barter, okay lang kahit mas mura ang value ng iba-barter nila basta kung magustuhan or sa tingin ko magagamit namin, deal na yan,” Malana said.
The local business sectors are supportive of this trend. According to Palawan Chamber of Commerce, Inc President Jeffrey Armedilla, this is a healthy venue for Palaweños as barter is a great means to survive in this pandemic. “Personally I’m supporting and encouraging it, mas maganda dahil nagkakaroon ng engagement and nagkakakilala ang mga tao,” Armedilla said.