Why do so many expats get killed in the Philippines?

Its a question a lot of people ask and I can honestly say from everything I’ve seen around 90% of it is a lack of common sense and false security.

For example if your selling things from your house do as the locals do grill it up and make sure its secure. If you need grills made please email me as my father in-law makes them. Also when your looking at a design if your doing it at your front door would advise adding an entrance cage which keeps a distance between you and people who are at your front door. It has its own door as well as giving you the ability to view to the sides of the cage as well as to the front. Making it difficult to be overpowered and keeps everything and everyone in view. The recent murder in Bohol is likely to have been prevented with such a security measure. The way I look at security is that all the malls have armed guards and do minor searches on the way in. Money trucks have staff armed with AK47s and M16s. If they are going to such extremes in very large populated public places what do you think the odds on something to happen to you in a side street or quiet road?

The god complex is one of the things that’s likely to get more people killed than anything else. Many guys assume any woman is available and often have affairs even though they already have a partner it only takes a second for something to go wrong. Honour killings are still taken into account in the Philippines courts so you banging away on someone else’s wife thinking you are better than her husband may end up with you diced and sliced. I have no sympathy for these guys as they bring it on themselves. It doesn’t just happen in the Philippines though. Years ago my ex was approached by one of my friends while I was away as he tried to plant a kiss on her. At which point she just laughed in his face. Long story short he left the city before I got back and haven’t seen him in around 8 years since. If you enter in a relationship treat it as one. Loyalty to one is important especially in a catholic country you chose to be in the Philippines.

All that glitters isn’t gold.. you may believe the fake Rolex you bought on a street corner looks like the real thing for less than $10. But the truth is the glittering watch and expensive jewellery make you a fine target for robbery. There is the other issue that people normally get shot in such scenarios as the robbers are either in a panic or filled up on drugs. If your wearing something that looks expensive just because your a foreigner people are unlikely to believe you if you said it was fake. The low key approach to things is very important same with carrying things like cameras and camcorders. If you don’t need a flashy camera or camcorder get one of the mini ones. I do have an expensive camera but I only carry it when I’m driving the Jeep for example I wont take it with me on public transport as its very obvious its expensive. In a country where the average way is around P300 a day how much would it take for someone to rob you for over P150,000 just on a camera alone?

But realistically most things are all down to image if you look like you’ve got a lot of money your a bigger target. Having a big house and car are some of the first things people are looking for. But if you live low key in a better than average house and don’t stand out like a sore thumb I doubt you will have any problems. It also pays to have good friends and neighbours and to integrate well. One thing I would advise is getting a Gazebo or a local Nipa/Bamboo hut to sit out in the garden with when you have visitors. Generally we don’t let people in the house and even our laundry woman that has done my wife’s laundry for years collects the laundry from the front door. Why? Because this is where we leave the outside world and our home has a lot of things that may be inviting to others. So out of sight out of mind.

but above all just use common sense!