Just weeks ago, the 204FM noticed a post about a youth with cancer needing financial help. In minutes, one of the admins connected with the youth’s family member and validated the family’s very unfortunate situation. The admins supported the family’s call. Financial help started pouring in through the youth’s GoFundMe account or the donation box which location is announced by the admins. Whether the donors got the information from 204 Filipino Marketplace or not, it does not matter to the admins. What matters for them is that a fellow Filipino Manitoban who is in a very disadvantaged situation should never ever feel alone.
In just 17 months, 204 Filipino Marketplace grew to 30 thousand members. In a typical day, seven admins take turns in monitoring the posts. 60% are sales posts; 40 % are posts about anything under the sun such as seeking information, and sharing thoughts and experiences. At times there are posts of fellow Filipino Manitobans who are seeking help. The admins are not salaried for what they do at 204FM and normally spare something from their pocket for the person in need, but they can make such post trending or viral within the group that virtually connects perhaps almost half of the Filipino families who are based in Manitoba. Upon learning about parents grieving over the death of two young children due to drowning, the admins made concerted effort to put across the information to the members of 204 Filipino Marketplace. The families of the children were new immigrants and were at a lost and scrambling on how to continue with their lives. Elaine Tumbokon, a 204FM admin, made efforts to consolidate the donations received from 204FM members and met the families at the children’s wake. She did the same when an old lady whose family could not be traced, passed away.
Leila Castro, another 204FM Admin, rushed to PCCM with Elaine one Saturday morning to volunteer for fund raising for an 18 year old girl who was found to have stage 4 cancer and who was wishing to seek other treatment options to prolong her life. The other admins Aleli, Charry, Angelic, Ian and Kaiser kept bumping up the posts about said call for financial help and prayers. Leila is happy that 204 Filipino Marketplace is leveraged to help fellow Filipino Manitobans in need.
As 204FM admins, they manage to achieve balance on various posts and comments made by members, and at times they come across posts where discussions go out of proportion or negative statements are dropped about a person. But when a kababayan knocks for help, the bayanihan spirit (or spirit of communal unity) surfaces then everyone feels the oneness of the entire 204FM community.
The 204FM admins share with us their vision of the group. “In the next couple of years, we will continuously have the opportunity and the responsibility to connect the rest of the population in Manitoba. 204 Filipino Marketplace is not here for a short time, Admins vision is to have it for good for as long as Facebook exists.
In today’s world, social media is the most effective means of marketing, and so by having 204FM we’ve created virtual community connecting families, new friends, created new services and built small businesses. We’ve helped each other in so many ways.
204FM’s Mission is to be a Connected Filipino Community mostly living in Canada to grow in numbers, the same way we will individually positively grow because we are able to take advantage of the good stuffs available for us and about us being Filipino living here in Manitoba. From ‘bili na suki’, Filipino bayanihan, to Canadian road discipline and surviving winter.
We sell, we buy, we share, we care, we give. We celebrate oneness putting exclusivity obsolete, and welcoming inclusion (sponsor o hindi, may business or wala.. sige post lang ng post as everyone is welcome); and putting end to business competition to reap win win situation, because 204FM is a huge strong market for everyone.”
The admins are so grateful to be able to help build these tools for you. We feel a deep responsibility to make the most of our time here and serve you the best way we can.
Photos by Krypto Enerio and Antony Lapuz Photography