The new logo of the biggest Filipino-Manitoban social media group 204F2M.

By Leila Castro

The biggest Filipino-Manitoban social media group 204 Filipino Marketplace has changed to a new name. The group has 46K members and is a popular platform for buy and sell, announcing events, job openings, and crowd sourcing for almost anything. When the group started, the admins and the members’ idea in mind was it would be a virtual “palengke,” or the wet market back home which is not just a shopping place, but also a venue where you bump with friends and get to hear news, and for that reason it was named 204 Filipino Marketplace. But the name itself often causes confusion to many who assume that it is solely a buy and sell group.

Coupled with the message hashtag #BerMonthsNaBagongPagAsa, on September 1 the admins and moderators unveiled the group’s new name, 204 Filipino Forum and Marketplace (204F2M). On the same day, the group’s logo was also launched. Early this year there was a contest held to choose the best looking logo that speaks of what the group does for the community. The beautifully crafted work of husband and wife tandem, Ardee and Lovely, garnered the most number of votes from the members of the group. “The 204F2M logo has all the names of the major areas in Manitoba where we (Filipinos) live. The maple leaf represents Canada which we incorporated with symbols and colors from the Philippine flag, this is to signify the Filipino-Canadian community which is what the social media group represents. The “salakot” and the toque indicate the cultures of the two countries; no matter how different, we still find ways to help each other and unite as one,” Lovely answered when asked what’s behind their design. Lovely and Ardee are immigrants who arrived in Winnipeg 7 years ago. They have a daughter, Yuna, who is 2 years old.

The four administrators of 204 Filipino Forum and Marketplace, Aleli Carandang, Charry Ibañez, Kaiser Tormo and Leila Castro continue to do their best to maintain positivity and balance in the social media group. “Ethics is very important, it is a key learning from the past five years we were managing 204F2M. Our group continues to grow fast, an indication that good ethics begets trust,” said Kaiser. Alongside the admins are the hardworking group moderators – Jennifer Castro Valencia, Justin Franco, Kenneth Salazar, Khay Tayson, Lea Laroza, Malou Josue, Sweetie Dia and Vannito Manzanno, who help in monitoring the membership approvals and posts.