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My guests + 20 tourists robbed in San Fernando, Philippines!

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby Rock » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:47 pm

Repatriate wrote:Asking the police to help in any third world country when you get pickpocketed is pretty laughable. You just have to go along with the assumption that the police in countries like the Phillipines and Thailand aren't there to help you. I've never heard or seen of the police in Thailand actually doing anything to help anyone. Usually even in high profile cases some higher authorities get involved to get the ball moving on investigations. They police are shamelessly corrupt here. I can only imagine what it's like in the Phillipines.


Yea, let's keep this real. Even in the States, if you report a pick-pocketing or theft which involves some apparent negligence on your part to the police, they're not gonna do anything besides providing you with a police report for insurance purposes, etc. Even at a crowded event, nothing would happen unless you could clearly identify the perps in which case, I reckon the police would search them.
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Postby Repatriate » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:38 pm

TRADER1972 wrote:
As for 3rd world cops being useless, I wonder if they are better than the power hungry ones here in America. To be honest, the rare times I needed a cops help in the US, they did not do shit.

It's all about the degree of uselessness. In Thailand the cops may not even do anything about murders or rapes unless it becomes uncontrollably high profile. In which case they are forced to do something about it by their superiors...ie. people higher than the police department.

For example, they were caught red-handed concealing evidence in regards to major murder cases (involving foreigners) and even outright framing people. This sort of stuff happens in the U.S. too but it's hardly the norm like it is here in Thailand.
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Postby Mystery » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:23 pm

No matter where you are (Canada, Spain, etc.), the police won't do much about robberies. Go to Barcelona, this happens all the time. Now I'm in Lima and people are very paranoiac about robberies happening all the time, although I haven't seen anything yet.

Once you get used to cities with high rates of pick-pocketing, you learn how to protect yourself anywhere. You just need to get robbed a few times to learn! :P
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Postby robincolorado » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:42 pm

Winston,

Thanks for the reminder to be on guard when in PH. I'll be making my third trip in nine months to the PH this week. My first trip was back in Sept. of last year. I was there in December and spent Christmas and New Years there. I will be staying for three weeks this time which is my typical stay. In my previous trips I have always been cognizant of what is going on around me and there have been a few times that my senses put me on warning. However, that being said, I have not had any trouble on this scale, or any trouble at all for that matter. Yes there was the time I was taken by a Kaleysa driver for about 3 times what the normal rate was, with the heart-breaking story (lots of these in the PH) that he had to feed his horse. And then there were many cabbies that have jerked me around for an inflated fare. So my advice when in PH is to always have a Filipino with you (girlfriend, associate, someone you trust and know, but even that is no guarantee you won't be taken). I have noticed that in the Phils even Filipinos pray on their own people too when they notice a Westerner is attached. Your story however does come at an appropriate time for me as I am packing today. I certainly will be more diligent about keeping things low key when out and about. Of course being low key in PH as a white person is somewhat hard to do. We do get noticed and there must be dollar signs on our backs or something. Even when I am taking photos I am pretty discreet about not pulling out an expensive camera in full view. You just can't be flashing money, expensive clothes, shoes, or any electronics around. You might as well put up a neon sign to rob your westerner ass. I have been hanging out mostly in the Northern part of Luzon in Ilocos Norte. A beautiful place if you get the chance to visit. I do have a permanent girlfriend there and this has made life much easier in making my way around. I try to keep very little cash in my pockets and use a money belt as well as hiding it away in other places. I now have underwear with a pocket from ScotteVest. My ScotteVest tropical vest itself has a couple of dozen hidden pockets on the inside of the jacket too.
Talk about shake downs; have you ever had to extend your visa in PH? They take you for as much as they can in order to get an extra month extension and it does not matter if you are only staying one more week. Of course the US Immigration service does the same thing to foreigners. The way I figure it, if there is a way for governments, or anybody else for that matter, to make money off of foreigners, they will certainly give it their best shot. The good news is that the cost of living is cheap in these countries and yes, cheap sex abounds. Not only cheap but more easily accessible sex. The bad news is that everybody, including your girlfriend's relatives, or relatives who come to visit, (as was the case with the folks who stayed with the Filipino fellow) want some of your money too. And they will get creative in how they extract than money from you with your full cooperation. Learn to say no. I find that the further you get out from the big cities, the less that people are that way, however that is not a given. You just have to beware and know the exchange rate in everything you do and know that 3000P is about $70 bucks USD. In most cases I ask myself, "what would I pay for this in the US?" I think that Chinese money in Manila have driven up the costs there. A $200 a night hotel room in Manila? Evidently someone is paying it. Give me the $40 a night Nichols Hotel any day of the week. Even in Ilocos Norte I find there are hotels there getting $60 to $80 USD a night, and that even seems high for the economy there to me. That is why I rent an apartment for a month there for $200 or $300 USD for the month.

I agree with a couple of things that have been said here though; $10 bucks for sex in any European or Eastern European country is hard to believe. I don't think I would even trust a condom for protection in that situation. If you are a westerner you are going to pay. I know of guys who cant walk down a street in the Ukraine with their girlfriend without her emptying their pockets by stopping at every shop along the way to buy her a gift(s). So one way or another you are paying for it if you are a westerner. My whole intent of finding a girlfriend in the PH was because I am attracted to the Filipina look and beauty. I am very happy with my Filipina. So if an Eastern European girl trips your trigger you are probably not in the right part of the world.

Lets face it; It’s a third world country and in any third world country there are people in survival mode. (even in the US) The only difference is that we as westerners stand out and there are still stories about streets paved with gold in America. After all remember the American Dream? All of the folks in third world countries remember it. I was talking to some very educated folks at a university in Manila where I gave a lecture last year and they could not believe that I was thinking about moving there. They even said that most Filipinos want to get out. (which is true) They should rename Hawaii PH-2. Anyway, there is a reason why most expats move to third world countries and most of that has to do with the shitty economy there. What is another factor of a shitty economy? Petty crime. I have seen a lot of the same problems surfacing in the US. People who don't give a shit about their jobs, kids who don't want to work hard, shitty service in restaurants, people who are very disrespectful. What is funny about the US is that the foreigners who come here generally do better for themselves than the Americans who have lived here all their lives. However a lot of foreigners/immigrants know how to play the American system far better than the Americans do. Ask many of the Eastern European gals who have married American men. I guess my point is that wherever you go, you will find corruption and people who will take advantage of a situation. Maybe its human nature and maybe its human greed or maybe just being so poor that nothing matters anymore.

It seems that there are motorcycle (what else in PH) drive by shootings that have occurred from time to time, especially in regard to journalists. I mentioned to my girlfriend about my concern and she said very calmly "don't you have drive by shootings in the US too?". So touché, yes we do have gang related drive by shootings here in the US. We have to be careful when we try to single out PH for incidences, when they do occur just about on any continent.

One other comment: I personally have not had a single bad meal in PH except for at one or two of the chain restaurants their. I had chicken at one of the fast food chicken places that would make you wonder why they called it chicken. I had something at Jolly B, which was not very tasty, or aesthetically pleasing either. But mostly my girlfriend and I go to the market to buy our food (the market where the chickens are still alive and where they sell live fish to you. I have bought meat from street vendors who ride their tricycle (manual one) around the Barangay and I buy it right at my apartment door. I have never had any problem with the meat, fish or chicken I have bought. My girlfriend is an excellent cook and I have no complaints about anything she has made for me. In fact I eat better in the PH than I do at home. I particularly like the Empanadas in Ilocos Norte. They are wonderful and they are available at any open-air event or market. They are much different from the Empanadas anywhere else in PH. Its worth the cheap Cebu ticket just to fly there and go to the markets there. The only thing I did not like was the goat soup that someone else in the family had made. I think they cooked the goat in a huge pot with everything (intestines and all) in tact and then called it soup. Watch out for the goat soup.

As far as language barriers goes, it does seem to have a lot to do with level of education, economic class (those two are totally connected) and the year the person was born as to how well they speak English. Wow, I can draw a lot of similarities to the US and it's Hispanic demographic too. I was a bit surprised though because I thought that from all the hype about PH being a largely English speaking country it would be much more so. It is more limited than one would think, especially the farther out from Manila you get. I was fairly amazed when I first arrived back last September because I did not think that me being a westerner would stand out so much. Boy was I wrong.

By the way, publicly criticizing the PH government or police can get you deported... permanently. Just a word to the wise and I have heard stories of this happening.

I hope to spend a lot of time at the beach on this trip and I hope to make a quick trip to Cebu also. In Manila this Thursday night! Even with all the drawbacks (including flies and ants) I still enjoy my time in PH and I am still considering retirement there.javascript:emoticon(':D')


Thanks again Winston
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Postby Winston » Sun May 22, 2011 12:13 am

Jackal,
My guest from Hungary wrote me to tell you where you can find those 500p prostitutes in Budapest, so you could see for yourself and believe it. lol. Here is what he said:

In terms of those places:
There are many girls on Ãœllői street, between Europark and Ecseri street.
Many gils on Határ út, towards Pesterzsebet, and near the METRO shopping center.
Also many girls on the main roads outside Budapest. On main road
towards Szolnok and towards Balaton.
There was a TV program, and there was a leader of the Hungarian
prostitutes. She said there are hundreds of girls on the streets, but
on special streets,
as the prostitution is illegal on the street, and she knows all the
places. I also see many gris on the street by night, especially
outskirt areas, but difficult to locate the exact address.
Especially summer, girls from Ukraine and Romania. Around half of them
are gypsies.

hope this helps
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Postby Jackal » Sun May 22, 2011 12:45 pm

Winston wrote:Jackal,
My guest from Hungary wrote me to tell you where you can find those 500p prostitutes in Budapest, so you could see for yourself and believe it. lol. Here is what he said:

In terms of those places:
There are many girls on Ãœllői street, between Europark and Ecseri street.
Many gils on Határ út, towards Pesterzsebet, and near the METRO shopping center.
Also many girls on the main roads outside Budapest. On main road
towards Szolnok and towards Balaton.
There was a TV program, and there was a leader of the Hungarian
prostitutes. She said there are hundreds of girls on the streets, but
on special streets,
as the prostitution is illegal on the street, and she knows all the
places. I also see many gris on the street by night, especially
outskirt areas, but difficult to locate the exact address.
Especially summer, girls from Ukraine and Romania. Around half of them
are gypsies.

hope this helps

Interesting. Does your friend still live in Hungary?

I remember reading about a main street in Hungary where all the hookers hung out, but then the police cracked down on them and they moved over a street or two. I can't remember if Ãœllői street is the old one or the new one. In any case, I think it's just a matter of time before the police crack down on the street walkers again and then they'll move to yet another place. A foreigner won't know all the inside info and would stand out. "EXCUSE ME! SEX!??" <-- Lol. Not subtle...

Unless you're desperately poor, I don't think it's worth the risk, since so much prostitution is available off the street behind closed doors. And the police here never bother hookers who work in private. Also, I think the girls from the Ukraine are more likely to have an STD than Hungarian girls.

I would also be a bit concerned about getting pickpocketed by a streetwalker. Not all gypsies are thieves, but some certainly are, especially in bad, dark areas at night.
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Postby Winston » Sun May 22, 2011 4:40 pm

Yes they just returned to Hungary after a long trip. If you want, you can contact them and have them show you around. They are on Couchsurfing.com. I can PM you their contact info if you want.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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