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Mindanao - Travel there, or no?


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smokey

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

and in california stay out of compton and many of the residential areas in the low numbered streets (Crips and Bloods) the real ones..

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broden

 

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.

:lol:

 

haha

 

true though .. i'll go anywhere .. but that's me .. and i mean just me

 

my wife knows there are plenty of places that i've been to that i would never take her to or my kid or just about anyone else

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Jess Bartone

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.

Why is that lame? Cars and saturated fat are deadly, so how is a deadly heart attack or a fatal crash different from being shot or beheaded? (not that I would go to Sulu etc, neither would I run a red light and I don't eat junk food) I am really at a loss here Bob, because I was under the impression that dead is f*n dead. We all have a use by date stamped invisibly on our foreheads.

 

Without advice, without these forums, and without fear, I travelled Mindanao, as a "newbie", east and southeast of CDO, not knowing at the time that this was considered the safer area. Maybe pure dumb luck, who knows, but next time I intend to go further afield. If anyone feels nervous about going there, I suggest they stay away. If I am "taken" and become a headline, all I ask is that you raise a beer in my honour.

 

PS. Survived a near-fatal yesterday riding my Harley, by keeping my wits about me and steering around the would-be killer. Rode my bike again today. I am not a thrill-seeker, and don't have a death wish.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What about Iligan city?

 

I have been to Iligan City and I had a wonderful time. There are military and police it seems on every street corner and before you go in to any of the larger stores there is police or military with metal detectors and might even frisk you. But, even during that time, I was there visiting my fiance and we rode the jeeps and traveled everywhere around he city. She lives just south of the city proper. Just be aware of your surroundings as you would anywhere you are not familiar and even we would not be walking the streets alone late at night. Lots of common sense you would use at home too. With most not having transportation other than jeeps or bus, perception of distance is different than to us too. While they might wait for a jeep ride to do something, we just drive to the store and think it is just down the street and be even farther than the jeep ride. While if we hear a gun shot (smile-I live out here) we know it is pretty close where if it is there, it could be just a km or so away and think it is far away. When the terrorists attacked year before last, many ran to churches and to places of safety, those in the southwest of Iligan proper and were very frightened. Still, when I was there I never felt uneasy or felt I was in the wrong place. In face, I felt very comfortable and I certainly believe I will have an extended stay when I retire there. The best information is from someone that you know is there or lives there. The media is useful for areas of concern, but most problems are localized political power plays. You really are not in harms way unless you voice sides there. (smile) I might not recommend it. Camo comes in your size, but shorts and a t might do you better. All the people I met were friendly and helpful. Have fun and don't worry.

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  • 8 months later...

Today is 20 Sept. 2010,

 

I live in Tagum City, Mindanao. I have taken bus rides to CDO and south to GenSan. People are so nice to me here. I am treated better here in Mindanao than back in Michigan. I am staying here. Better weather here than Davao which is 60 km south but Davao is OK too. I have yet to go to the ARMM but I am sure that some day I will. Come visit...you will love it.

 

Cheers,

Gary

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Thanks, Gary, and welcome.

 

Um, in March, I took the Cebu Ferry 2 down to Nasipit, from Cebu. I rode the bike down to Davao, hung out for eight days and then returned the same way, leaving by the same ferry for the return trip home, the Cebu Ferry 2.

 

I returned in July, except taking a bus down from Nasipit to Davao. After a short visit in Davao City, I took another bus up to Cagayan de Oro (CDO), and returned home aboard another shipping line. (The name escapes me at the moment.)

 

I had no problems during either trip, nor during any trip I have ever taken through Mindanao over my eight plus years of traveling around the island.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks, Gary, and welcome.

 

Um, in March, I took the Cebu Ferry 2 down to Nasipit, from Cebu. I rode the bike down to Davao, hung out for eight days and then returned the same way, leaving by the same ferry for the return trip home, the Cebu Ferry 2.

 

I returned in July, except taking a bus down from Nasipit to Davao. After a short visit in Davao City, I took another bus up to Cagayan de Oro (CDO), and returned home aboard another shipping line. (The name escapes me at the moment.)

 

I had no problems during either trip, nor during any trip I have ever taken through Mindanao over my eight plus years of traveling around the island.

zamboanga city is a great place 5 yrs liveing there not one problem show locals respect and thay show you same back , like anywere ,i found and find locals more than friendly ppl women, men, and muslims, one time i was out for a beer and local police took me on tour off clubs, and bars, ,and refused to have beer because thay were on duty and as i dont drink cokes all round :biggrin_01: gary

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Paul, I couldn't agree more. From north to south over the years I have spent here I have never been in danger nor felt any need for concern. But I do pay attention to my surroundings, keep a relatively low profile, and maintain a friendly disposition -which is easy because most Filipinos are friendly most of the time. Mindanao is beautiful and fascinating...

Edited by Aaron
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JamesMusslewhite

Most of the real troubled areas in Mindanao, is where the peace loving Muslims are in their largest numbers. It may sound strange, but it tends to be true for the most part.

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When I moved to the Philippines last year it was to Mindanao. I lived in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. The nearest shopping mall was 1hr away (Gaisano in Butuan).

 

It was cheap, people were very nice. The women were amazing, availability like I've never experienced, kinda like Angeles but free.

 

The massacre in Migandanao did play a role in my moving away. There was also a huge hostage situation in Agusan del Sur, right next to my ex's schoo. (PNU).

 

I really liked Davao, and Butuan was fun too.

 

Hmm, eventually when I left I was glad I did, I said goodbye to the 'crazy' girls in Mindanao. It's the poorest part of the philippines and with that poverty comes a lot of desparation. They cling to the point of wanting to hurt you on the way out, and it seems everyone wanted to take you for all you were worth. I dunno, I think the niceness in most of the people down there was a thin veil covering their hunger for some of my money. In Cebu I've met a lot more people who are genuine and generous even.

 

Finally, South and West... Cotabato, Zamboanga, even Gen San... I suspect when you go there you'll likely be summed up by eyes you weren't even aware were on you. Foreigners are good for kidnapping cuz of ransoms and beheadings as a political statement. I love tuna, but won't be going to Gen San cuz I don't want to BE the sashimi. It's not a death sentence to go to muslim controlled areas or places where there are guerillas, but it's a risk I think for me, is unnecessary.

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I have been to Iligan,Butuan,and CDO 2 times in the last 3 years and never had any problems.But i was with my ex the first time and my wife the last time so i had alot of protection. LOL

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  • 11 months later...

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.

I was in surigao city and Butuan and several barrios around there and traveled by bus and jepney and never had any problems and never felt unsafe. Dalles
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Majorsco

Mindanao is no better or worse than some American cities. Just like you don't go to the south side of Chicago after dark, you don't go to certain provinces of Mindano. In general, Mindanao is beautiful and peaceful. I'm moving there in two months to join my family in Dapitan City. If I wern't worried I wouldn't move my wife and small children from the US to there.

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  • 2 months later...

Since I just received, yet another travel advisory from the US Embassy in Manila not to travel to Mindanao, I thought I would bump this topic up again.

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Davaoeno
Hmm, eventually when I left I was glad I did, I said goodbye to the 'crazy' girls in Mindanao. It's the poorest part of the philippines and with that poverty comes a lot of desparation. They cling to the point of wanting to hurt you on the way out, and it seems everyone wanted to take you for all you were worth. I dunno, I think the niceness in most of the people down there was a thin veil covering their hunger for some of my money.

 

Mindanao is an awfully large place to cover with just one opinion imho !! Its sort of like living in a trailer park in the Florida panhandle and saying Florida is the poorest part of the US - and with that poverty comes a lot of desperation !

Edited by DAVAOENO
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