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To whom it may concern:
If you are considering going to San Fernando, Pampanga during Easter Holy Week in the Philippines, then please read this warning.
There is a group pickpocketing scam there by kids or youth, who target foreign tourists there by snatching their money and valuables from their side pockets. Many foreigners are not street smart and still put their wallets and valuables in the side pockets of their pants, which a thief can easily open and extract from. This happened to my two guests from Couchsurfing and also to about 20 other tourists there. I wrote up a trip report about this here:
In short, there are rings of "little thieves" that go there to rob foreign tourists. They pickpocket them when they are standing in the crowds trying to look at people being hung from crosses on a distant hill. The police will not do anything about it for some reason. Perhaps they don't care, or maybe they are in on it. You never know. If they wanted to, they could catch the ring of thieves easily by just following behind the tourists while they are being pickpocketed. But they don't for some reason. Instead, they just sit by idly in booths with canvasses over them. And when the victims report being robbed, all the cops do is have them fill out paperwork, and do NOTHING about it. Geez. What's the use of these cops if they do nothing to fight crime? What are they being paid for? What a waste. Sheesh.
Furthermore, the whole nailing on the cross event in San Fernando is not even worth going to. It's very hot and crowded there, so you are sweating during the whole time you are walking the long street to see the cross nailings. And when you arrive, it's just a bunch of people on a cross in the distance. That's all. Nothing special or worth going to. Definitely not worth enduring the heat and crowds and thieves for at all.
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I've been to SF numerous of times due to my ex living here. Never really liked the place because of the heavy atmosphere which even seemed hostile at times. Maybe it's because of the close proximity to Angeles where the locals might see Westerners as perverts lol. Not sure. It's certainly different to other cities I've been to in the Phils but not in a positive way.