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Mindanao - Travel there, or no?


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How extensively have you traveled throughout Mindanao? The reason I ask is, those of us who have traveled lot around Mindanao and those who live there, deem to have differing views from those who have not well traveled throughout the area. I know you have been to CDO in the past, but is that the only place you have visited on Mindanao?

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lazydays

In a run up to an election,i think it would be wise to be cautious wherever you are in Phils.

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spooks

How extensively have you traveled throughout Mindanao? The reason I ask is, those of us who have traveled lot around Mindanao and those who live there, deem to have differing views from those who have not well traveled throughout the area. I know you have been to CDO in the past, but is that the only place you have visited on Mindanao?

 

 

Paul,

 

like you I have traveled over most of Mindanao in my jeep on my own and never a problem. I have driven through Gen san , Cotabato, Marawi, Illigan, Dipolog My busines is in CDO Many other places but not yet to Zambo, one day I will get there!!

 

Masbate island over 40 political killing during 2009. Abra in Luzon always in the new for yet another political killing and feud, as they are not moslem it is feud and not Rido.

 

Stay out of local politics and you will be ok.

 

 

NPA have zero interest in foreigners, never heard yet of them involved with foreigners etc.

 

 

Travel well, travel safe, maintain your vehicles and do not drive at night unless you really know the road well and your lighting system is extra strong.

 

 

Mike

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udonthani

tourists/visitors from countries which advise their citizens NOT to travel to Mindanao, and that includes I think the United States at the moment, need to know that with MOST, though not ALL travel insurance that they take out is invalid if they ignore that consular advice.

 

you might think that's a pile of shite, but that's just the way it is. And that goes for anything that may happen. It doesn't have to be related to terrorist or political violence. It could be for anything. The company can easily refuse to pay out on a claim on the grounds that you ignored your Embassy's advice and you shouldn't have been there in the first place.

 

at least for the UK, islands off NORTHERN Mindanao, in particular Camiguin and the islands north of Surigao, are excluded from the consular advice.

 

this hasn't put me off visiting mainland Mindanao, but it's only fair to state that if you do decide to go, it might be an idea to check to see if your insurance covers it, and if it doesn't, be that extra little bit careful crossing the street and so on while you're there.

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tourists/visitors from countries which advise their citizens NOT to travel to Mindanao, and that includes I think the United States at the moment, need to know that with MOST, though not ALL travel insurance that they take out is invalid if they ignore that consular advice.

 

you might think that's a pile of shite, but that's just the way it is. And that goes for anything that may happen. It doesn't have to be related to terrorist or political violence. It could be for anything. The company can easily refuse to pay out on a claim on the grounds that you ignored your Embassy's advice and you shouldn't have been there in the first place.

 

at least for the UK, islands off NORTHERN Mindanao, in particular Camiguin and the islands north of Surigao, are excluded from the consular advice.

 

this hasn't put me off visiting mainland Mindanao, but it's only fair to state that if you do decide to go, it might be an idea to check to see if your insurance covers it, and if it doesn't, be that extra little bit careful crossing the street and so on while you're there.

 

Don't get me started on Travel Advisories, especially from the yo-yo's in my government. They are probably written by government lawyers who wouldn't know a passport if they saw one.

 

They actually issued a Travel Advisory about coming to Cebu when the Asean Summit was going on! Geez, what a bunch of morons.

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Bob Ward

How extensively have you traveled throughout Mindanao? The reason I ask is, those of us who have traveled lot around Mindanao and those who live there, deem to have differing views from those who have not well traveled throughout the area. I know you have been to CDO in the past, but is that the only place you have visited on Mindanao?

 

Yes, twice to CDO as you know. I personally don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling about visiting the rest of the island. I realize that some of your your friends there have business interests to protect, but that does not persuade me to get all excited about visiting a known hostile environment. It's simply a matter of choice!

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USMC-Retired

Terrorist operations are not limited to just that region. Operations are all over the Philippines.

Additionally being a target of terrorism is pretty slim unless you have something that will further their cause.

 

Being Joe average American is not going to further there causes or political stance. Capturing and taking hostage of a tourist does nothing as compared to a Red Cross worker or Peace Corp worker.

 

Your threat of robbery and thievery is just as great here in sections of Cebu as they would be there. Situational awareness plays a huge role. Just as you would not find yourself walking down the Colon at 1 am by yourself.

 

I am sure there are areas that pose a higher risk and the US State Department posts those on the website along with provinces. If you are just going to the Embassy website then the Yo Yo is you. There are better terrorist alert websites that provide detailed accounts of terrorist activities and better alerts. The State Department Embassy is for Joe Average tourist and give less then detailed information. More a scare tactic then information. Working in Anti-Terrorism for the US Marine Corps the reports the Embassy gives you is horrible.

 

You can not stop an individual terrorist no matter where you live. If they want your money or life they will take it.

 

I have never been there no would I be afraid to travel there. I would be on a higher state of alert of what is happening around me. I would read up on areas of know terrorist activities and stay clear of those areas. I would try not to become a target by keeping a low profile and blending in as best as possible.

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smokey

A few weeks ago a local killed and beheaded his female neighbor over an argument about a cow eating the young coconut plants with such rage safety is only a frame of mind... wonder what the guy would have done if he saw a foreigner pissing on his plants... wack wack my wife's brother is stationed in the south there and he does not want her to go there and she has Muslim family how much more my white face.

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udonthani

Don't get me started on Travel Advisories, especially from the yo-yo's in my government. They are probably written by government lawyers who wouldn't know a passport if they saw one

 

I know it and you know it. I think there's still an advisory on Americans not to travel to Sabah, about 9 years after there was a single kidnapping incident there. The island of Borneo is much bigger than Mindanao, which it neighbours, and I think Americans are supposed not to go there either, apart from Brunei (money, I suppose, talks as fluent a language as anything). Of course its ridiculous and The US and Australia seem to right up among there among the worst offenders.

 

but people do need to know that the usual bog-standard travel insurance you buy just might not work. I mentioned this to an American guy just the other day, first time in Philippines, wanted to go to Camiguin via CDO. I told him about the travel advisory and the effect it might have on his insurance, it turned out that the company he works for in the US covers him re travel wherever he goes in the world. Good for him. But most people haven't got insurance like that.

 

fact is if you've got 3 kids back home, you get flattened by a truck in the Philippines (which could happen anywhere in the world) you might not be covered for them in Mindanao when you would be in Leyte. Just because there's that travel advisory.

 

is Leyte any more dangerous than 95% of Mindanao? No. Do people, especially those with dependants, need to know, or at least check, that they might not be covered in the Mindanao when they would be on Leyte? Yes, absolutely.

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Yes, twice to CDO as you know. I personally don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling about visiting the rest of the island. I realize that some of your your friends there have business interests to protect, but that does not persuade me to get all excited about visiting a known hostile environment. It's simply a matter of choice!

 

Okay. That is all I wanted to know. Now, and not to talk down to you about this, but you know little of traveling around the island of Mindanao. You have been to one city, and in one province. I, on the other hand, have traveled extensively throughout the island, through many cities and towns on the island, and through many of the provinces there. So, you, by far, are no authority on Mindanao. Furthermore, and to make something perfectly clear here, of all the people I know on Mindanao, only two are in business, anywhere.

 

One of those people is Mike Mike (spooks), who lives in CDO and owns a bar in the city. (I have been to CDO and to Spooks a number of times.) The other person I know is Bob Martin. He lives in Davao City and owns an online business there. Everyone else that I know, and who live in provinces throughout Mindanao, are retired there. Incidentally, I don't really know Bob Martin "personally", as he and I have never really met directly, only by online communications or by phone. So, only one of my actual personal friends owns a business in Mindanao. All of the others I know - well, are simply retired.

 

What I am getting at here is, if you (collective: to anyone who has posted in this thread) have little knowledge about traveling around Mindanao, or any other part of the Philippines for that matter, and get most of your information (obviously) from newspaper articles or other sources, please do not post on this forum attempting to scare other members into not visiting a given area. Go by your own personal experience when offering others advice here. That is what they need the most, acurate information. Honestly, that is the single best advice that can be offered to new members.

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A few weeks ago a local killed and beheaded his female neighbor over an argument about a cow eating the young coconut plants with such rage safety is only a frame of mind... wonder what the guy would have done if he saw a foreigner pissing on his plants... wack wack my wife's brother is stationed in the south there and he does not want her to go there and she has Muslim family how much more my white face.

 

Robert, you have been an active, participating, and knowledgeable member of this forum for years. But, I will tell you as I have Bob. If you have not visited Mindanao extensively, please do not go by what others have said. We don't need to hear advice, if you (collective) haven't been there to vouch for what has happened there.

 

I want people, those who have actual time on Mindanao, to post their personal experiences. I have seen far too much of "I heard this from so and so," or "My family member said this." I could post that sort of bullshit myself. That isn't difficult to do, for anyone here.

 

It's reasons like these, folks, as to why Mindanao gets such a bad rap.

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Davao City is my favorite city in the Philippines and I am thinking of living there one day. Its a growing city and there are new buildings, businesses and places to eat. It is spread out over a large area. I am more fearful when I visit Cebu I still don't have the relaxed feeling I have when in Davao. I am more on my guard in Cebu. I didn't experience there the hustling I get in Cebu, my experience of Cebu City is limited. The street kids don't hassle you like they do in Cebu and the cops or security guards will run them off.

 

The extreme violence that occurred recently was in a Muslim area and there is no reason to go to those areas anyway. Travelers are still going to go to Mindanao. I would think that Manila would be the worst place to go to in the Philippines yet so many go there.

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I really miss the north east of Mindanao from Butuan to Surigao. The people are so polite

and if you are a bike rider you will see things and meet people that will amaze you. I

have one ride that I would like to finish if anyone has a good XR250 or compareable that

can go over mountain roads and through the mud and sand for about two days.

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smokey

How safe a place is can be a confusing question ... most of the positive reports are given by people who have been there and have never had a problem... I am sure if 1000 people visit Iraq , Iran , Pakistan , Afghanistan 950 of them will say its was a safe and different place to see, the other 50 well if they are able to write I am sure it will not be positive , my point is if your one of the 950 maybe your just a lucky person ... during the Viet nam war it was reported by a famous visitor Jane Fonda that the north Viet nam people were friendly and the she never felt any fear about roaming the streets of Hanoi ... on the other hand over 56,000 other people were not so lucky on their visit to Viet Nam so life is like a box of chocolates you never know if you will pick out the cherry or the prune

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How safe a place is can be a confusing question ... most of the positive reports are given by people who have been there and have never had a problem... I am sure if 1000 people visit Iraq , Iran , Pakistan , Afghanistan 950 of them will say its was a safe and different place to see, the other 50 well if they are able to write I am sure it will not be positive , my point is if your one of the 950 maybe your just a lucky person ... during the Viet nam war it was reported by a famous visitor Jane Fonda that the north Viet nam people were friendly and the she never felt any fear about roaming the streets of Hanoi ... on the other hand over 56,000 other people were not so lucky on their visit to Viet Nam so life is like a box of chocolates you never know if you will pick out the cherry or the prune

 

Not to get off-topic here, but Hanoi Jane Fonda is not a good example of someone traveling to an unsafe area. It was completely safe for that bitch. She was a supporter, a sympathizer, to the North Vietnamese. She is a treasonous bitch in my book, nothing more. (I imagine a number of military personnel probably feel the same way.) So, she had nothing to fear from them. Incidentally, she apologized (if that is what you wish to call it) years later, by saying she was only trying to help save lives and stop the killing. I'm only 43 years old, and was too young to really know much about it. But, I do know that she is still a worthless bitch, and should be shot for treason to the USA and our fighting countrymen.

 

fonda-jane-traitor.jpg janefondatraitorimage1.jpg

 

Now, back on topic: I am not trying to say that nothing bad happens in Mindanao. I would be wrong and offering misinformation if I did. It's just that isn't nearly as bad as people make it sound. There are areas that one should not venture to. This I agree with. But, that is only a small portion of the island, in reality. Not to mention, there is something to be said for those of us who have actually traveled around and through Mindanao, extensively. We may actually know what we are talking about.

 

Either way, I have said my piece on this. I will not say anything further, unless a specific question is asked of me in this thread.

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