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JackJohnson

The warnings about "not looking like you have money" sunk in to the point where I had planned to wear just

jeans and t-shirts, was going to leave my watch at home(and then ask everybody about the time all day long)

and even buy some throw away cameras so they don't lift my Canon.

 

I don't have money, so it isn't too hard for me to play the part of someone who doesn't have money.

 

 

However, now that I think about it, if I meet the ladies looking like some kind of homeless person,

I'm not likely to make a very good impression.

 

Oh, when I talk about my watch I don't mean a Rolex! I'm just a lowly teacher.

I'm talking about a high end Seiko.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Since I am traveling alone I understand that I need to be cautious,

but there's cautious and then there's paranoid...

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Steve

Dress average. Before my first trip, my mom wanted to but me a few Nike branded shirts and I told her no. I just wore average clothes, nothing expensive. Besides, it's not me anyway. As for a watch, I haven't wore one in 17 years, I've always had a cell phone. Just watch wearing things like a necklace as someone could walk by and just snatch it from you. Overall, there was never a point where I didn't feel safe being there. Just be street smart in what you wear, do, talk about, etc.

 

BTW, how long are you staying for?

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JackJohnson
Dress average. Before my first trip, my mom wanted to but me a few Nike branded shirts and I told her no. I just wore average clothes, nothing expensive. Besides, it's not me anyway. As for a watch, I haven't wore one in 17 years, I've always had a cell phone. Just watch wearing things like a necklace as someone could walk by and just snatch it from you. Overall, there was never a point where I didn't feel safe being there. Just be street smart in what you wear, do, talk about, etc.

 

BTW, how long are you staying for?

 

 

Two weeks, broken up by Manila, Cebu, and Davao. That was the plan, except two of my penpals

are in Gensan. I'm trying to decide if I should go to Gensan or have them come to Davao.

Thing is, flights from Gensan to Davao are costly, since they're not direct flights

but go to Manila first. I'm trying to figure out a way of getting around having to buy two round trip

tickets for the ladies...when I'm not even sure if they ARE ladies!(I'm referring to the

ladyboy scare) I mean, they are practically strangers. I don't know how far my obligation goes in this situation.

Are the buses too dangerous and scary for me to suggest that they take the bus? I wonder if they'd be offended?

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sam12six
Two weeks, broken up by Manila, Cebu, and Davao. That was the plan, except two of my penpals

are in Gensan. I'm trying to decide if I should go to Gensan or have them come to Davao.

Thing is, flights from Gensan to Davao are costly, since they're not direct flights

but go to Manila first. I'm trying to figure out a way of getting around having to buy two round trip

tickets for the ladies...when I'm not even sure if they ARE ladies!(I'm referring to the

ladyboy scare) I mean, they are practically strangers. I don't know how far my obligation goes in this situation.

Are the buses too dangerous and scary for me to suggest that they take the bus? I wonder if they'd be offended?

 

For the 2 in Gensan, I'd tell them I'd love to meet them but don't have the time for a lot of extra travel (which is true because 2 weeks isn't a helluva lot of tome to get to know people). Tell them if they can get to Davao to meet you, you'll be happy to pay them back for the bus fare. If they insist you fly them in style, you probably don't want to meet them anyway. The vast majority of natives taking such a trip would opt for the bus, so don't worry about whether suggesting that is a bad idea.

 

As far as not painting a target on yourself moneywise, just don't be obviously a tourist. Don't wear Armani and jewelry. I don't know your normal style of dress, but consider getting some cargo pants/shorts. You can keep your cell and a small camera in the pockets (and the pockets can't be picked too quickly if you're alert because they have to be unbuttoned or they close with velcro). Don't carry a bag or have a camera on a strap around your neck.

 

Snatchers are looking for targets of opportunity. If you don't stand around looking lost or put obvious temptation in their path, you'll probably be OK.

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JackJohnson
For the 2 in Gensan, I'd tell them I'd love to meet them but don't have the time for a lot of extra travel (which is true because 2 weeks isn't a helluva lot of tome to get to know people). Tell them if they can get to Davao to meet you, you'll be happy to pay them back for the bus fare. If they insist you fly them in style, you probably don't want to meet them anyway. The vast majority of natives taking such a trip would opt for the bus, so don't worry about whether suggesting that is a bad idea.

 

As far as not painting a target on yourself moneywise, just don't be obviously a tourist. Don't wear Armani and jewelry. I don't know your normal style of dress, but consider getting some cargo pants/shorts. You can keep your cell and a small camera in the pockets (and the pockets can't be picked too quickly if you're alert because they have to be unbuttoned or they close with velcro). Don't carry a bag or have a camera on a strap around your neck.

 

Snatchers are looking for targets of opportunity. If you don't stand around looking lost or put obvious temptation in their path, you'll probably be OK.

 

 

Thank you, those are GREAT ideas!

Armani and jewelry not a problem at all since I don't own them.

Yeah, I'll offer to pay for bus fare. If they're really serious about me,

it's only a few hours on the bus and a lot cheaper than the airfare.

Thanks mucho.

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Get a cloth money pouch with a zipper to wear inside your pants. Leave your shirt hanging out.

 

rs-moneybelt_1.jpg

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JackJohnson
Get a cloth money pouch with a zipper to wear inside your pants. Leave your shirt hanging out.

 

rs-moneybelt_1.jpg

 

 

Cool, thank you.

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Jim Sibbick
The warnings about "not looking like you have money" sunk in to the point where I had planned to wear just

jeans and t-shirts, was going to leave my watch at home(and then ask everybody about the time all day long)

and even buy some throw away cameras so they don't lift my Canon.

 

I don't have money, so it isn't too hard for me to play the part of someone who doesn't have money.

 

 

However, now that I think about it, if I meet the ladies looking like some kind of homeless person,

I'm not likely to make a very good impression.

 

Oh, when I talk about my watch I don't mean a Rolex! I'm just a lowly teacher.

I'm talking about a high end Seiko.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Since I am traveling alone I understand that I need to be cautious,

but there's cautious and then there's paranoid...

 

 

I don't see any problem wearing a watch

 

Otherwise this is my set of guidlines for not making yourslef a target

- Dress down, do not dress like you are worth a million dollars.

- Don

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A_Simple_Man
. . . was going to leave my watch at home(and then ask everybody about the time all day long)

 

First they would ask why? As in what does it matter what time it is . . then, if you insisted time was important to you, they would look at their cell phone . . but you could do that too.

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Bob Ward
- Taxis are plentiful and cheap. The most expensive ride of your life may be on a jeepney. Do not travel on a jeepney unless you are travelling with others.

 

Bullshit, you just have to know the ins and outs.

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sam12six
Bullshit, you just have to know the ins and outs.

 

I agree that "Don't ever travel in a Jeepney alone" is taking things a little far if you're talking about your entire life, but remember he's giving this advice to a first time visitor who does not know those ins and outs.

 

How he chooses to get around is obviously his choice, but if he's worried that he wouldn't be alert enough to see the pickpockets coming, taxis are a way to avoid the situation altogether.

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udonthani

yes the jeepney advice is over the top. But it would be impossible for anybody to steal my wallet in a jeepney, or anywhere else for that matter. I don't carry one. I don't carry one anywhere. I see no need for them.

 

but it is worth remembering the relative danger of texting in the street, especially if you have an expensive phone, which I think are a bad idea to carry anyway.

 

texting is a big part of life in the Philippines and I do text in the street, but not in the really busiest areas where it really is heaving. When it gets really crowded, the phone goes into a deep pocket and stays there until there's less people about. It also helps that I only have a basic Nokia phone that wouldn't be any prize for a thief anyway. I buy them for $20, which is pretty much cheaper than you can find them new in the Philippines unless there's some very unusual promotion going on, from the Dubai airport duty free shop on my way into Asia as I invariably fly with Emirates. I usually get two or three as they make decent gifts - but that's to people I know, not opportunistic thieves.

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JackJohnson
First they would ask why? As in what does it matter what time it is . . then, if you insisted time was important to you, they would look at their cell phone . . but you could do that too.

 

 

Except I don't have a cellphone!

I will probably get one there.

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Sonny
Get a cloth money pouch with a zipper to wear inside your pants. Leave your shirt hanging out.

 

rs-moneybelt_1.jpg

 

This is the best advice I've read so far. Always carry your passport, etc. along with your large peso notes in a money pouch that you can tuck in your pants. If you ride the Jeep every day, sooner or later you will be picked....most of the time, no big deal. They will get the throwaway wallet in your back pocket and then get off the jeep. Some of these kids are so woefully inept, you feel like sending them to pickpocket school, but some are wizards, so beware. One other piece of advice...if someone near you looks or acts suspicious, pay attention! For some reason Filippinos can't seem to hide their ill intentions.

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Jim Sibbick
Bullshit, you just have to know the ins and outs.

In another 15 years, I may have a completely different set of guidelines but these are my guidelines formulated from my previous 15 years experience.

 

If you have different experiences of course you will have a different perspective which will produce a different set of guidelines that you live by. And, I wish you would post them so that the original poster can have the benefit of some different perspectives to guide him.

 

I should clarify that I don't see the same risk outside of Cebu City. But, inside Cebu City, I am not backing away from my advice.

 

Of course there are some places where i will get on a jeepney out side the big cities, such as Ormoc City, where they will tell me where I am going. That makes me feel comfortable when travelling alone for 60 kilometres.

 

If I can get in a taxi in Cebu City and the driver can tell me where I am going. If I can get in a taxi and confirm with the driver that I have never ridden with him before but he still knows where I am going and how to get there, how much more likely is it that a bunch of criminals riding the jeepney system all day will know all about your daily movements and will know where you keep your money?

 

I know several foreigners who thought they knew the ins and outs but have been robbed more than once!

 

Still no guarantee that nothing bad will happen but I would rather ride with friends than not.

 

 

Regards: Jim

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