Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
Hi everyone need views and advice
I am thinking of staying in manila for a few months next year i am white in mid twenties is the dangers of staying there too high for the rewards. willl i get robbied and kidnapped you think the risks are too high. does anyone have expereince of staying there a long period and can share there views thanks .
Hopefully, you'll just get pick-pocketed or only robbed. I'd be careful about where I lived and who is my neighbour.
My wife is a Filipina and she's terrified of going to Manilla, she was there once and saw someone get pick pocketed. You want to be indoors by 6pm(night) I know that much. However, Mr S would probably be the best person to ask since thats where he lives.
Indoors by nightfall, kidnapped there seems to be a hint of paranoia in the air. Its a major city, some robbers have weapons and since they buy a phone load as they go and are not linked to a contract cellphones the phones are snatched more then in America.
Pick pocketing is nothing to sweat about. That even happened to someone I was with on the Hong Kong MTR once.
You hear a lot about 'snatchers' and 'holdupers' in Manila and of course that sort of threat is a lot scarier. But many of the areas I've visited or stayed at in Makati have a pretty safe vibe. I've visited some other areas in suburban metro Manila which appear pretty safe cus everyone around is middle class or higher and there's lots of security. Inside the malls seems very safe too. But many other parts of Manila seem a lot scarier, especially at night. Even Ermita, which is another area popular with tourists seems quite dodgy to me at night.
I suppose you could get a good map and consult with a knowledgeable local like Ginger (who commutes all over the metro area) and circle the particularly safe and dangerous areas so u know where to go and where to avoid. But no matter where you are there, I don't think you should carelessly talk on an expensive looking smartphone or show much cash or jewelry. Whenever I do much texting, I duck into a 7-11 or have my back to a corner and near security. That reduces the snatch threat but not 100%.
I met an Indian from Texas when I was down in Davao and he told me that days earlier in Manila, his golden bracelet was snatched in the early afternoon as he alighted from a cab. Before he knew what had happened, the perp jumped on his buddies motorcycle and they were outta there.
Not much violent crime, almost none ( random crime, that is). Mostly pickpockets and people who perennially cheat and overcharge you. I walked in the darkest alleys and it is way safer than the US, I must admit. Filipinos are just generally non violent people.
The greatest threat to your money will be girls who will be asking for help and lying to get money from you, and all kinds of swindlers. Taxi drivers who do not use meters, other drivers who cheat, etc. Just one non ending overcharging, swindling party.
Because many poor people in the Philippines cannot get formal education and develop themselves by getting a degree, many use their intelligence to scam you and they are geniuses at that. Sometimes I have to hand it to them- they are so good I could never think of some of the ways in which they cheat you.
But people with guns walking up to you is a very rare occurrence. Why rob if you can cheat?
Keep your eyes open and wallet closed.
Last edited by ladislav on Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Lol, yeah girls are the main problem.
Usually Westerners in Asia have problems with traffic accidents or scams. Many times alcohol is involved.
I heard guns are quite common in the Philippines - I don't know what the gun laws are like. In China guns are so rare that when they had a manhunt for a gunman it even made the UK news!
New posters should go through all previous posts rather than asking the same questions over and over again.
Manila is not a dangerous place unless you have no common sense and are asking for trouble because of your own stupidity and ridiculous actions attracting notice.
What Ladislav says is pretty much all you need to know. Lone Filipinos or maybe a couple males are not going to bother you. If you see three or more in a group on the street in the evening then pay attention to what your intuition tells you. If you see them in the distance, many times that's when you will have possible trouble but usually they will just talk some shit to you to act tough around their peers. Just showing off.
Don't look like you have money or look like an easy target. If you look clean cut you will stand out more as a target rather than someone who looks a bit more rough or rugged. Don't wear gold jewelry out in the open and you won't get robbed, simple as that.
Don't be drinking then talk shit to Filipinos, you'll likely get gang jumped by a bunch of them. Mostly happens to Australians cause they are the most loud mouthed and annoying when drunk, they ask for it.
Manila and other Filipino cities are generally way safer than any major city in America as long as you stay away from the squatter areas and keep yourself out of trouble and don't attract attention to yourself. I've walked around alone by myself at night in all the cities and never had any problems, but that's me. I don't attract negative energy to myself and I can sense it before it comes near me so I avoid dangerous conflicts.
Generally, stop drinking the mainstream media cool aid about 3rd world countries and just go, they are never as dangerous or as bad as what the media makes them out to be. Every country I've ever been to has always been safer for the most part than parts of America as long as you don't behave like a stupid douche bag, everything will be generally better than most experiences in any Western Anglo country, IMO.
What the media often fails to mention are the actual "conditions" of a country like the quality of food, hotels, customer service, etc. That's where I run into issues. But if you have a lot of money you can generally avoid those things, if you are on a budget that's where it can get a little hairy sometimes depending on one's own needs and desires and ability to adapt to particular conditions. Like when I went to India and tried to do the whole backpacker thing, conditions were quite horrid for the most part unless you spent money to get out of really crappy places, the travel stuff you read or see on TV doesn't really go into this. The mainstream media tends to promote countries or degrade them, I think because of insider money deals. You rarely see positive things about Philippines in the mainstream media, but you always see how great India is for a vacation spot. However, in my opinion the opposite is true, India is a pain in the ass place and Philippines is way better overall, but you won't see or hear about this in the mainstream media. Philippines is basically 100% cleaner BTW than India but still you need to look around for decent budget places to stay if your into that kind of stuff.
BTW, unless you need to live in Manila I wouldn't stay there for any longer than a week or so. If you want a decent experience in the Philippines and want to learn the ropes I would suggest going to Bacolod and hang out there for a bit. I know a Brit there who runs one of the girly bars and rents out rooms in his huge house that are all inclusive (maid, internet, furnished, pool use, etc) with a set monthly fee. It would be more worth it to go there and he can help you learn the ropes of PI, plus you can meet some of the local expats that live around there. This way you know you won't get swindled by local Filipinos if you are trying to look for an affordable place to stay rather than a hotel or hostel that can get rather expensive. You can always leave your stuff in your room at his house and go to other cities in the Philippines to check them out and return back without worrying about bringing all your stuff around with you whenever you want to check out another city. You can PM me if you want his cell number to arrange for accommodation, airport pickup and all that before you go to Bacolod. There are multiple cheap flights from Manila daily going there so it's easy to get there.
Anyways, Philippines is an alright experience and safe for the most part as long as you don't go there expecting 1st world type service and conditions, you will be fine and safe.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
lol girls are main problem thats a good problem too have i would not think of that as an issue even if they take some of money the girls here do that anyway
ginger hi youre filinpino woman on here haha you must be lost and dont read winston posts about filipinos. Sta. Cruz, Manila area what would rent be in this area for one bed apartment? to get an idea
thanks mr s for the offer how much does your friend charge a month in peso for a room?
its seems to be at nighttime when the issues may happen but daynight not too bad
Other than the replies already posted in this thread, let me add that if you're afraid of lions in the street, you'll never get out and see the world.
Traveling abroad carries inherent risks. Crime stats are meaningless, if you're unlucky and get run over by a speeding dump truck while crossing the street on day #1 of your trip. Decide for yourself if the risk/reward is worth it to you.
I would be carefull of people going up to you on the street in a quiet area with no witness late at night or early moning. There are pickpocket rings that one will try to sell and 2 more will show up with the last one trying to steal the wallet. Also watch out for credit card theft or the whole vatation will be over in about 10 min. Try to pay cash with all hotels and do not give out credit card numbers or you will soon find many charges on it. I ate at cb hotel and that free breakfest was not free it ended up with a 50 us credit card charge and the hotel claimed to know nothing about it when showed the proof on the laptop. These are just a few of the scams that go on there not t mention kidnapping in the southern philippines. Best advise is the pi is safe if you are street smart and dont advertise you have wealth and flaunt the expensive camera or jewelry.
if i livied in manila would i get away with say $700 would that cover the costs of renting a flat and food, travel in manila or would need a bit more not living mad basic
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