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Safety in the Philippines


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JackJohnson

I read all I could before I went and had no trouble whatsoever. I did not ride jeepneys at all. I rode in metered taxis only. I didn't get drunk and crazy at night. I did have a hidden money pouch for credit cards and passport. I stayed in Manila and Davao.

I found the people to be very honest, decent, and respectful.

 

Oh yeah, there was ONE dark moment in two weeks...Tagaytay volcano we rode the horses, which we paid for of course. The guides took us up the mountain and then wanted me to pay for their drinks. Okay, whatever i went ahead and paid it. Then they took us down the hill. As soon as I got off the horse, my young guide says, "You not giving me tip?" I had not even gotten my breath yet, but it just struck me the wrong way. Then this kid had himself a FIT. "Why you not give me tip? I want tip!" Mind you, I'm twice his size, and I took my sensei down one time during kumate.

I shook my head, but he kept it up. An old woman came out of a nearby house and he shouted, "This guy won't give me tip!" By then the rest of my party had arrived and wanted to know what was up. I said, "I'm about to smack the shit out of this guy if he doesn't shutup." That was pretty much the end of it. The other guides got a small tip, but Mr. Demandsatip got nada.

 

Like I said, that was the only idiot I encountered in two weeks. ALL of the rest of the Filipinos I met were very friendly and respectful, called me sir, and went out of their way to show hospitality.

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wildman01

yeah common sense goes along ways, but sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time :D

That's along way to travel for just two weeks stay, I don't go unless I have atleast a month or two :D

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The people here are the best in the world, the main reasons most of us are here. Dr. Jekle and Mr. Hyde if you throw $$$ in the equation they become a different person.

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I've only been here a tad over a month but so far I've felt perfectly safe. Regular, everyday "street smarts" are really all that is needed. I've ridden in several jeeps but never alone, always with my wife, giving us one and a half pairs of eyes to watch out with (I'm blind in one eye). If I go somewhere alone I either walk if the destination is really close or else take a taxi. Better to be scammed out of a few pesos by the occasional cab driver than be robbed of everything I'm carrying.

 

I carry an old worn-out wallet and never carry more money in it than I actually need. It contains photocopies of my ID, not originals. The wallet is kept in a front pocket, as is my cell phone. Credit/debit cards are kept in another pocket as are rolls of larger bills. If I get held up I'll hand over the wallet and won't lose more than a thousand or so pesos.

 

I don't go walking around after dark except along well-lit streets with a lot of traffic on them, or (very cautiously) on my own small street if I want to go to the sari-sari store for smokes or something. I always carry an umbrella, both for in case it rains and to use as a weapon: I figure a good, hefty thump with the end of the umbrella in the solar plexus will incapacitate the bad guy long enough for me to get away if he doesn't have a weapon: if he does I'll call him "sir" and hand over my wallet. I have no wish to die due to poor judgement caused by testosterone poisoning. :D If I feel that someone is following me too closely I step aside and pause while looking around to see where the person is and what he's doing. This also gives him a chance to move past and go away from me.

 

Basically, use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings as you would in any other city and you'll probably be OK. Oh, and leave the camera and gold Rolex at home: you don't want to look like a rich tourist, or else you might as well paint "mark" on yourself in large red letters. Keep an eye on traffic while you're at it, particularly motorcyclists.

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JackJohnson
I've only been here a tad over a month but so far I've felt perfectly safe. Regular, everyday "street smarts" are really all that is needed. I've ridden in several jeeps but never alone, always with my wife, giving us one and a half pairs of eyes to watch out with (I'm blind in one eye). If I go somewhere alone I either walk if the destination is really close or else take a taxi. Better to be scammed out of a few pesos by the occasional cab driver than be robbed of everything I'm carrying.

 

I carry an old worn-out wallet and never carry more money in it than I actually need. It contains photocopies of my ID, not originals. The wallet is kept in a front pocket, as is my cell phone. Credit/debit cards are kept in another pocket as are rolls of larger bills. If I get held up I'll hand over the wallet and won't lose more than a thousand or so pesos.

 

I don't go walking around after dark except along well-lit streets with a lot of traffic on them, or (very cautiously) on my own small street if I want to go to the sari-sari store for smokes or something. I always carry an umbrella, both for in case it rains and to use as a weapon: I figure a good, hefty thump with the end of the umbrella in the solar plexus will incapacitate the bad guy long enough for me to get away if he doesn't have a weapon: if he does I'll call him "sir" and hand over my wallet. I have no wish to die due to poor judgement caused by testosterone poisoning. :D If I feel that someone is following me too closely I step aside and pause while looking around to see where the person is and what he's doing. This also gives him a chance to move past and go away from me.

 

Basically, use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings as you would in any other city and you'll probably be OK. Oh, and leave the camera and gold Rolex at home: you don't want to look like a rich tourist, or else you might as well paint "mark" on yourself in large red letters. Keep an eye on traffic while you're at it, particularly motorcyclists.

 

 

Your note about traffic is right on. I had never seen such a free for all before, and it's pretty dangerous for pedestrians.

 

And I agree about not getting into fights and confrontations. I had no intention of hitting the crazy guy in my story above, but he was extremely obnoxious. It seemed to me that his tactic of demanding tips MUST have worked for him in the past, because some people are easily intimidated, especially in a foreign country.

But like I said, one pain the butt in two weeks is nothing.

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MattFromGA

I find Cebu fairly safe. I've never been robbed at gun point, though our place got robbed once while we all slept. That was pre security system and pre-doberman. You shouldnt have to worry about walking to the sari-sari store, but you never know when you could get gunned down. This is true anywhere, including the good ol' USofA.

 

In fact, I believe a foreigner can actually break most of the rules about safety and still not have a problem.

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smokey

Live in a subdivision and drive a car ... if your married let your wife get a gun permit... Now that is safety and if you want a real reliable car and cheap to buy find a Ford Explorer .. tall , powerful . and reliable

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loosehead
I took my sensei down one time during kumate.

 

You did what with your sweet potato ?

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Your note about traffic is right on. I had never seen such a free for all before, and it's pretty dangerous for pedestrians.

 

Yeah, you're more likely to get hit while crossing a street than robbed. Be careful out there!

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you can find pepper spray/ mase in any sporting goods store. if something starts looking funny on the jeepny simply nonshalontly keep it in your hand on your lap with the nozzle pointed toward the aggressor

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ChrisCHI

good tip about the pepper spray...can it go through customs or do you think i should just get it there?

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I read all I could before I went and had no trouble whatsoever. I did not ride jeepneys at all. I rode in metered taxis only. I didn't get drunk and crazy at night. I did have a hidden money pouch for credit cards and passport. I stayed in Manila and Davao.

I found the people to be very honest, decent, and respectful.

 

Oh yeah, there was ONE dark moment in two weeks...Tagaytay volcano we rode the horses, which we paid for of course. The guides took us up the mountain and then wanted me to pay for their drinks. Okay, whatever i went ahead and paid it. Then they took us down the hill. As soon as I got off the horse, my young guide says, "You not giving me tip?" I had not even gotten my breath yet, but it just struck me the wrong way. Then this kid had himself a FIT. "Why you not give me tip? I want tip!" Mind you, I'm twice his size, and I took my sensei down one time during kumate.

I shook my head, but he kept it up. An old woman came out of a nearby house and he shouted, "This guy won't give me tip!" By then the rest of my party had arrived and wanted to know what was up. I said, "I'm about to smack the shit out of this guy if he doesn't shutup." That was pretty much the end of it. The other guides got a small tip, but Mr. Demandsatip got nada.

 

Like I said, that was the only idiot I encountered in two weeks. ALL of the rest of the Filipinos I met were very friendly and respectful, called me sir, and went out of their way to show hospitality.

 

 

 

 

i rode the same horse up the tagatay volcano,i was rushed by the kids to,i understand ur feeling to him,but the only money the kids get is the tips,they get 50 pesos for bringing u up the mountain by the owner of the horse,he may have been a little obnoxious,but they r harmless,those kids r very poor,they depend on the tips

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good tip about the pepper spray...can it go through customs or do you think i should just get it there?

 

Yup-seems like your getting all prepared huh?Gssh-my 5 years in the philippines,2 1/2 years in the bush of mindinao and I would never have thought to do any of these things.The place you need mace and pepper spray is back in the USA,catch your patriotic flag flying american neighbor cutting down 12 inch tall trees your wife planted on your own land in the middle of the night.ya know-hate your neighbor as yourself for the love of hate,its very alive in the US of A

Edited by ayala
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you can find pepper spray/ mase in any sporting goods store. if something starts looking funny on the jeepny simply nonshalontly keep it in your hand on your lap with the nozzle pointed toward the aggressor

 

 

I wish George Carlin was still alive to act out that one :welcome:

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ChrisCHI
Yup-seems like your getting all prepared huh?Gssh-my 5 years in the philippines,2 1/2 years in the bush of mindinao and I would never have thought to do any of these things.The place you need mace and pepper spray is back in the USA,catch your patriotic flag flying american neighbor cutting down 12 inch tall trees your wife planted on your own land in the middle of the night.ya know-hate your neighbor as yourself for the love of hate,its very alive in the US of A

 

ayala...i respect your comments...but we are not all as familiar with cebu as you are...you have to give us some leeway...but i will take your advice even though it is meant in anger

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