While commerce has remained a core function in society, the process and nature of the way people do trade has changed greatly throughout the centuries. In the Philippines, it all started with what we know as barter – a manual exchange of item per item, oftentimes without the use of money. Neighboring tribes in the country would use barter to trade items or services of equal value, such as 3 hours of labor for a meal. This changed in the 2ndCentury AD, upon the arrival of the Chinese as the first foreign traders in the country. Local products were exchanged for corals, gold, cotton, and pearls, some of which can be considered early forms of currency.