Hello and welcome to the details of Virus gives rise to ‘Amicable Barter Community’ in Dubai and now with the details
Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - In less than 48 hours since the ABCD Page got published, 1,000 already joined, digital marketing manager Cesar Julius Parroco Jr. said on Sunday.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The tough and virulent SARS-CoV2 has indeed added “new norm” in the glossary.
SARS-CoV2 also brings back memories when a group of Sophomore high school girls hastily consumed their packed lunches as they preferred to exchange with one another gifted, purchased and personally-designed stationeries with matching envelopes out of old calendars and magazines.
That bartering dates back to the olden times even as the first coins accepted as the form of payment goes back to 600 B.C. in the kingdom known as Lydia in today’s Turkey.
Out of COVID19 and in Dubai comes the ABCD or the Amicable Barter Community in Dubai.
This reporter got wound of it on Thursday evening upon a friend’s invitation through Facebook. She passed it on to several friends early Friday morning. In less than five minutes, four had signed up.
“We are happy that in less than 48 hours since we published the ABCD Page, 1,000 already joined,” Digital Marketing manager Cesar Julius Parroco Jr. said on Sunday.
Parroco is from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental in Western Visayas Philippines. He and his wife, Lou have lived and worked in Dubai for 23 years now with their third culture teeners.
He added: “In less than 48 hours, we have seen many done deals of bartering.”
“Nakakatuwa nga po (It sure is gladdening),” Sharjah housewife, Maria Drake, said.
Drake had visited the page “several times” since early Friday morning: “It seems like a good group. A good resource for used items and better alternative to second hand.”
Consider these: a pink guitar for five bags of five-kilogramme (kg) rice to be distributed to the sudden unemployed due to the pandemic; indoor plants for two kgs of glutinous rice or some cans of coconut milk which eventually was churned into the sweet and creamy Biko, a favorite Filipino afternoon snack or dessert; a wall clock for a basket of fruits, and a bottle of Achara, Filipino pickled papaya for a canned meat, “among others.”
Parroco who followed Lou in Dubai in Dec. 1997 hoping he would “bring her home for good” after two months, attributed the online barter concept to her.
It was last April-when the “new norm” took over the world-that Lou did a special project for their “needy” countrymen back home due to the lockdown that consequently was tagged as “enhanced community quarantine” particularly in the entire Luzon island.
Lou traded for rice through Facebook Live 20 of her “favourite branded” bags and trinkets.
The Parrocos consequently were able to send back home rice for 700 families.
Parroco said it was their kin and friends from the US and “friends of friends of friends” from all over the globe which encouraged them to carry out the bartering project online in the UAE.
“We reflected upon their suggestion. It took us some bit of time because we wanted to ensure that we would not be violating any local laws,” he added.
The couple who moderates the system with another Bacolodnon and Dubai resident, Ji Jarder, also factored in the safety protocols.
Artist-entrepreneur Jarder joined for the “good cause; especially nowadays when cash flows are limited. It is a way where both ends meet; without spending your last penny.”
Sharjah housewife Leah May Fallorina said: “You do not need money or cash to obtain anything you might need by exchanging things sitting around your house which others may need or want more than you do.”
ABCD joiners and members have to adhere to a set of rules which includes the exclusion of unlawful/unlicensed/bogus items; the thorough disinfection of second hand goods; no membership fees; and no cash nor business deals.
“We encourage members to be honest and respectful,” said Parroco, hopeful that this bartering community cascades to other nationalities across the UAE.
“We reckon, getting acquainted with the bartering system. People should not wait for another disaster to strike and sweep all away their cash,” he concluded.
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