Is it safe to travel around in the Philippines

If your capable of using common sense your pretty safe travelling around the Philippines. There is a big push on “kidnappings” and “killings” in the Philippines yet its specific to regions but like the big brush it tars everything with it.

You will find most of the local population may bother you but not in a threatening way. More of a “hey Joe!” or wanting to be your friend. Now I know before I even wrote this post that some of TP’s readers will say they only want to be friends because A. You have Money and B. they have a relative you can marry to get access to abroad. But to be honest once people know your not going to give up anything those that hang around are genuine. I have a lot of friends and my wife April worries sometimes when I disappear off into the wilderness with people but its pretty safe as people take responsibility for you.

Why does most of it come down to common sense its because a lot of people do stupid things here. If you use common sense you remove a lot of the risks but on top of that if your a “general” person you will find you have already reduced a lot of the risks to yourself. A lot of the killings are journalist related, in the wrong place at the wrong time (out of choice!) or involved in something they shouldn’t be. The sex trade is big business here and supported by foreign trade. If your a Sexpat you will naturally be more at risk than someone who is chilling out at the Shangri La hotel for 2 weeks. Because of the circles you move in.

People are always cautious of the mountains yet I often head up there on my motorcycle as the air is cooler and I enjoy the ride. So how do you remove a lot of the risks?

  • Don’t boast wealth.
  • Don’t show large quantities of money.
  • Don’t wander into places you shouldn’t be especially in the early hours.
  • Trust should be based on history not that you think you can trust someone. It takes time if you don’t feel comfortable don’t do it or go there.
  • Research the area you want to go to and the people you want to meet. TP is full of advice but its still only a slice of the pie give me another decade!
  • Avoid getting involved with local politics or people that have too much influence. The people at the top are in conflict a lot more than they should be so hanging around them draws attention and risk to you.

If your here on holiday your tour guide or hotel will point you in the right direction most of the time if your worried about something “ask!” if you want my help or travel companion drop me an email at MattWilkie@tropicalpenpals.com

 

2 comments for “Is it safe to travel around in the Philippines

  1. August 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I would like to add to that.
    Always look confident.
    Look like you know where you are going, even if you are lost.
    Never stand in one place to long. It gives pick pockets the chance to plan their move.
    Taxis are normally safe but hotels will tell you they are not because they want you to pay over the odds for a hotel car. I have heard of a couple of attacks by Taxi drivers so if it is late at night as a precaution sit behind the drivers seat. It is almost impossible for the driver to attack you if you are sat directly behind him and very easy for you to defend yourself.

  2. Tropicalpenpals
    August 5, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Another important thing that helps is “texting” the Taxi's details and making it very obvious even if your not actually texting anyone. This shows the driver the registration of his vehicle is logged as you getting into it. It will also reduce the risk.