In Bacolod City, the most trending word nowadays is “barter” with hashtag, #BBCo. It is not surprising because 19 days since it’s inception, the Bacolod Barter Community on Facebook now has 150,000 members. Last time, a little online contest was held for the most amazing barter stories, and here are some of the most heartwarming ones.
The Bacolod Barter Community Grows Exponentially
When Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue of the House of KBL started the private barter group on Facebook, it was only for friends around Bacolod City. She ran it with her husband, Atty. Arnel Sigue, and sister Josephine. Her friend, Bom Bee of Coffee Culture Roastery also helped in moderating the posts. Then John Ledesma of Quino’s also helped.
They are all working people who own and manage their businesses but who pitched in their effort to help in the movemtn. It was all work of love for the admin and moderators during the period of Enhanced Community Quarantine for Covid-19 in Bacolod and Negros Occidental. This concept is supposed to help people let go of stuff they don’t need in order to acquire things that they need.
When I first wrote about this group during its fledgling stage, there were less than 2000 members. Only days later and we are now averaging 20,000 posts per day with 20 moderators working day and night, pro bono.
Atty. Jocelle has also set up many other groups serving different municipalities and cities around the Philippines. Yes, the barter movement has gone nationwide, thanks to the pioneering concept of Atty. Jocelle during the time of crisis.
Search for Most Amazing Barter Stories
On the 10th day of the group, Atty. Batapa-Sigue came up with the idea of holding a simple contest where people can share their most amazing barter stories. It could be about anything. There were so many entries and 10 entries were picked.
Some were cute, some were funny, but a lot of the barter stories involved helping other people. It was just awesome and heartwarming reading those stories. You can say these stories make you believe in humanity once again.
Here are some of them.
Minimalism Vs. Consumerism
Perhaps the greatest lesson that one can glean from the Covid-19 pandemic is minimalism. Then bartering happened. You will realize that we have stored up so many things in the house that we don’t really need for survival when crisis strikes.
Covid-19 happened like a reset button. We had to let go of things we don’t need for basic necessities. Parents give up their fashion apparel and luxury items or gadgets for diapers, baby wipes, milk, and snacks for kids.
Many people also went to their garden to swap their potted plants for rice. This has become the “new normal” for us.
But perhaps the greatest of the barter stories are those who did not only let go of stuff but also helped others in the process. They bartered their premium goods for sacks of rice, cans of sardines, packs of noodles, and trays of eggs that they distributed to those who are in need. Barter became their way of continuing their bayanihan efforts to help others during the crisis.
A Message from Atty. Jocelle
The Bacolod Barter Community has grown so much and so fast. Clearly, the concept of barter has been reborn. But like any new concept or advocacy, it can be likened to parenting where there are birthing pains as well as toddler tantrums and teenage angst. There are so many learning experiences along the way for everyone.
Yes, we do have amazing barter stories, but we also have some nightmare tales to tell.
Atty. Jocelle says, “Some members are already starting to call the Admin and Moderators unpalatable names. We are not forcing anyone to be part of this group. I am appealing to all those who do not like the mechanics in this group to kindly leave please. Barter is a consensual and mutual contract between two people entered into with good faith.”
Additionally, Atty. Jocelle reminds people that the group is not responsible for that mutual contract entered by the parties who want to barter. She just provided the platform. “You are given all means to validate, verify, and check the truthfulness of the product description. Additionally, you can check the truthfulness of the accounts of people you deal with. Bartered products have no warranty except the word of the owner. Even the Admin and Moderators cannot give the warranty. If you wish to have 100% warranty, it is best to get what you need from a department store. Make sure to get a warranty card,” she adds.
Barter Safety Reminders
Here are some barter safety reminders for you. Foremost is our health. Since we are still not safe from Covid-19, always wear a face mask and face shield when going out and meeting somebody. Practice social distancing and wash your hands afterward.
If you are unsure about your ka-barts, meet in a public area. Don’t let them go to your home. Get their complete names and phone numbers, too. If you can, bring somebody with you during a meetup.
Other Covid-19 Stories
Meanwhile, aside from the amazing barter stories during ECQ, here are other Covid-19 stories in this blog.
- New RT-PCR Laboratory in Bacolod at The Doctors’ Hospital
- Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Reopens with Stringent Safety Measures
- TanodCOVID: Globe and DOST Partner for COVID-19 Contact Tracing
- Covid-19 Face Masks for a Cause in Negros Occidental
- foodpanda Delivers Good Food to COVID-19 Frontliners
- Merzci Cares Feeds Many During Covid-19 ECQ
- SM Builds Seven Covid-19 Emergency Quarantine Facilities in Manila
- Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade Disinfects Bacolod City Streets
- PPE for Negros Occidental Health Workers Against Covid-19
- Globe Gives P5M Help to Frontliners from Globe Rewards