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Mindanao - Travel there, or no?


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wildman01

well i have always heard, don't go to Mindanao it's not safe.

 

I have visited Mindanao before, Cagayan de oro, Lugait Lanao del Norte, Naawan and was by my self, and

 

had no problem..

 

 

I will be visiting Mindanao in March until April, i will stay in Pagadian city, Pitogo, and

 

Iligan city, we have a house in Pagadian city, and can't wait to visit..

 

 

Oh yeah, on my visit i hope to stop in Cebu, and maybe meet some members on this forum,

 

Ive seen some pic. of the get together's there in cebu, looks fun..

 

Hey Paul, im a fan of Jack Daniels myself, maybe we can down a few shots

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This is to any of you guys who are planning a trip to Mindinao just for the women here. Everyone knows that Davao has the most beautiful women in all of the Philippines, and if you are just coming h

Marawi is indeed one place in Mindanao no tourist should even consider visiting.   Most students at the Mindanao State University in Marawi are themselves terrified of leaving campus and walking int

Cebu has Sinulog. Davao City has Kadayawan.  In the last 2 weeks the southwestern part of Mindanao has experienced a lot of violence and deaths- including bombings. That however is nowhere near Davao 

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Hey Paul, im a fan of Jack Daniels myself, maybe we can down a few shots

 

Well, if you insist. As you know already, I'm not much of a drinker, though. :D:drink:

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RIIIIIIGHT:kidding:

 

 

 

 

Well, if you insist. As you know already, I'm not much of a drinker, though. :D:drink:

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loosehead

I'm not sure if this is an example of false reporting giving Mindanao a bad name. Copied from the November part of highlights of 2009 thread:

 

10 bombings per month in Mindanao. There have been at least 10 terrorist bombings per month since January this year in strife-torn Mindanao, claiming 50 lives and injuring more than 250 others, according to military records. An executive summary of bombing incidents in Mindanao from Jan. 1 to Oct. 26 showed that 136 bomb-related incidents occurred in the region, of which 108 cases were attributed to the rogue Moro rebels and the notorious Abu Sayyaf bandit group.

 

Is it possible to define the no go areas ? Anywhere east of the line between CDO and Davao appears to be ok. That would be more than a third of the island. Sultan Kudarat appears to be a place to avoid but i have a mate who lives at South Cotabato (Korandal) who tells me it is safe at the moment but there have been times in the past when it wasn't safe. People here are saying Zamboanga is safe although Blaze has identified some problems on the road to Zamboanga. Can the experts tell us if there anywhere on Mindanao we should avoid ?

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Is it possible to define the no go areas ? Anywhere east of the line between CDO and Davao appears to be ok. That would be more than a third of the island. Sultan Kudarat appears to be a place to avoid but i have a mate who lives at South Cotabato (Korandal) who tells me it is safe at the moment but there have been times in the past when it wasn't safe. People here are saying Zamboanga is safe although Blaze has identified some problems on the road to Zamboanga. Can the experts tell us if there anywhere on Mindanao we should avoid ?

 

While I don't consider myself an expert on Minadanao, I do consider myself well traveled throughout the Visayas and Mindanao Regions. Anyway, these three areas usually have more activity than others:

 

jolo.jpg

 

western_central.JPG

 

zamboanga.jpg

 

Typically, there is little to no activity east of the line you have mentioned.

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loosehead

Thanks Paul. Nice maps. I'll be visiting South Cotabato this year so will post a report (if i survive). My aussie mate who has lived there on and off for 25 years assures me Gensan City, Serangani and South Cotabato provinces are safe for foreigners. While i'm happy to take a risk myself, I will be leaving my family in Dumaguete and making sure my insurance is valid (thanks whippy).

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lazydays

For those who wish to visit Mindanao,but are nervous about a visit there, the guideline of anywhere East of the CDO to Davao City Line is a very good one.

 

The main areas in the West to certainly avoid are the ARMM (Autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao)where the main population is 90% muslim faith.This is the area where most of the problems occur.

The ARMM is made up of,

Basilan

Lanao del Sur

Maguindanao

Sulu

Tawi Tawi

Basilan Island,Sulu Island and Tawi Tawi Island are strictly no go areas where the Abu Sayaff have a presence.

 

IMHO i would advise the nervous traveller to avoid the neighbouring areas in the West,those are,

Zamboanga Peninsular

Lanao del Norte

Cotobato

South Cotobato

Sultan Kudarat

Sarangani

These areas have also seen many incidences in past years like bombings etc.

 

This is just my opinion.I have friends who live in some of the above areas who will tell you different,but they are experienced life long travellers,many having worked in places like Nigeria,Middle East,South America,Iraq etc.

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lazydays

What about Iligan city?

 

Iligan City in Lanao del Norte is classed as generally safe,although there have been serious incidents in outlying areas that would bother some people,maybe best to stay within the City if you intend to visit.

 

I would certainly be cautious in any area of western Mindanao in the run up to the Elections.

Same could be said of many other areas in the Philippines too.

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For those who wish to visit Mindanao,but are nervous about a visit there, the guideline of anywhere East of the CDO to Davao City Line is a very good one.

I have spent many years in Mindanao and this is a very good guideline on what is considered

safe to me. Take your map out and take a ruler and draw a line from CDO to Davao and stay

east of that line and you will see some beautiful country and meet some very nice people.

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Bob Ward

I am happy to see this thread turn into something very useful. It kind of started out a group denial of the issues in the south. But now we have reasonably clear indications as to where the problem areas are. Thank you!

 

And Paul, one does not need to travel there in order to be aware of the issues. My whole point was centered around the upcoming elections and the effects they will have on the provinces. So if I had traveled there extensively in the past, what would that tell me about the next 5 months?

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Jess Bartone

Yes I would like to go and visit there. I would take a guide with me but yes I would love to visit there.

 

No need a guide, my experiences traveling in Mindanao are very positive.

 

I remember some years ago motorcycling south of Malaybalay, I think about 20 KM before Valencia and it started pouring down. I stopped under the first suitable tree which was close to some small native huts, people came out how ever zero English, they were friendly. I hung my carry bag on the tree and stood for a while until rain stopped and tried to joke a bit with them. My bag contained money, camera, ipod and various documents.

 

After I left and had traveled some 10 minutes or so I realised I had forgotton my bag, with great panic turned around went searching. Biggest problem was to locate the place as so many similar type huts, once found it the people came out laughing their heads off.....My bag in hand, they loved it. Nothing touched, and I had big problems to give a reward...

 

As is often the case, the further out of the mainstream we are, the better the people.

 

I was walking along in Gingoog (east of CDO) and unknown to me I dropped my sunglasses, not sure how that happened, but anyway this young bloke touched my arm and with a big smile returned my sunnies. I was stunned, and the young fella just trotted off down the street. Another time we had a flat on the bike, and by sheer dumb luck we were right near a repair shop. Mary and I pushed the bike 50 - 100 metres or so, this young fella wanders out, long scruffy hair, scratching parts unknown, but contrary to appearances, he was a fine young man, brought out 2 chairs and a couple of Royals, saw us comfortable, before turning to repair the flat tyre. I forget exactly how much, but the bill, including the colas, was so small that (methinks) he couldn't possibly make a living doing this. They don't seem like much, but little experiences like those make life worth living.

 

There was another thread where I stated that heart disease and car crashes are the world's 2 biggest killers, but that never stops anyone driving or eating rubbish food. Just this morning, in Melbourne, a bloke was on his way to open his shop, and some worthless junkie type stabbed him in the guts and robbed him. The poor bugger staggered into a McDonalds begging for help, but unfortunately died later in hospital. Does this mean I should avoid going out in Melbourne? (hmmm just read back over that, the connection between 1 of the world's biggest killers and Maccas was unintentional)

 

Why do humans fear the imagination more than reality?

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Just got back from Mindanao after the Holidays. Took Cokaliong shipping round trip to Ozamiz City, then the ferry to Mucas. Rode the Motor another 20min. then was home, Province, Lanao del Norte. Only seen one foeigner, it was at jolly Bee in Ozamiz City. Was buying oil for our mudboat, also renovating our house we built in 1991.We have both christian and muslim neighbors. I have seen many parts of the island. Love it there.

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Bob Ward

 

There was another thread where I stated that heart disease and car crashes are the world's 2 biggest killers, but that never stops anyone driving or eating rubbish food. Just this morning, in Melbourne, a bloke was on his way to open his shop, and some worthless junkie type stabbed him in the guts and robbed him. The poor bugger staggered into a McDonalds begging for help, but unfortunately died later in hospital. Does this mean I should avoid going out in Melbourne? (hmmm just read back over that, the connection between 1 of the world's biggest killers and Maccas was unintentional)

 

Why do humans fear the imagination more than reality?

 

Those are pretty lame analogies to me. My personal reasoning behind even mentioning the matter (which prompted this thread) was to warn a newbie to the Phils when another person told him that he would go anywhere in Mindanao without fear. To which I replied that a newbie probably should not go gallivanting around the provinces of Mindanao when said person was coming here right before the elections. To me that just seems like friendly sound advice.

 

I don't know Melbourne, so I will use New York city for an example. Sorry Broden! LOL! If a new person was going to the city, they should probably stay out of certain areas. You don't want to be caught in areas like Harlem, Upper Manhattan or the Bronx (to name a few) if you don't have the street cred to deal with it.

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I would have to agree with Bob Ward about his statement about newbies going to Mindanao outside of CDO or Davao,nor would i take one with me.

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