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Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

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Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

Postby ladislav » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:12 am

These dangers rarely if ever get mentioned anywhere so I must warn people here about them. I am not a lawyer so this is based on hearsay - nothing below is legal advice. Here we go:

1) In the Philippines, yelling at a person in public is considered a serious offense. Pretty much a criminal offense. You can get thrown in jail for yelling at someone at work. Or at your wife. What's more, if you are a foreigner, that Filipino you are yelling at can get you deported. There was a Korean who yelled at a Filipino caddy on a golf court. He got deported just for that. It's actually pretty easy to get deported for disturbing peace.

The same goes for insulting/ridiculing someone in public. For example, if someone snatches your gold chain, you cannot yell "Catch that thief!" You should yell- "Catch that man!"

Even if you are not in the Philippines, and have an altercation with some Filipino on FB or YM, they can just go and file a black list request, and you will not be allowed into the country. This is rare, but it's been known to happen.

Since incompetence, cheating, overcharging, bad food and bad service are endemic in the country, many expats lose their cool. I've yelled at people, too, but I was lucky. Some weren't. One needs to keep in mind that the Philippines is, basically, a Hindu country acting Catholic.

The Malay culture dictates that you be tolerant to other people and not get mad if they make mistakes. This is partly the reason why mistakes are so pervasive. They forget things, they do things wrong, they omit and delay things. All the freaking time! And other Filipinos just accept it with a tolerant smile. You should, too.

Criticism of or correcting people in front of others may cause them to hate you and want to harm you. This is why they all gossip behind one's back.

2) Freedom of speech is iffy. Some people get away with it, some don't. People got killed for writing an article criticizing some official. Some got sued and are still in courts, and will have a case pending against them for years. Foreigners got deported for writing some article in newspapers deemed as "ridicule of Filipinos". Don't get involved in local politics. Anecdotally speaking, some people did and got away with it, some did not. Some human rights activists were banned from entering the country and got turned away at the airport.

3) Some guys who sell cigarettes and chewing gum can "foist" marijuana on you ( shove it quickly into your hand) and then call a cop and say that you tried to sell it to them. A nightmare follows. At best it's a pay-off, at worst, you stay in jail.

4) Some girls who work in bars or do cyber online lie about their age and use their relatives' birth certificates. There's no mandatory photo ID in the Philippines, and a fake one is very easy to get. Just take a friend's birth certificate and your photo and pay some money, and presto- they have a fake ID.
This way you can get framed and be in deep shite if you decide to meet them for fun.

I've heard that the way to shake down some bar owners is for some well connected people to send girls to work in the bars with such fake IDs, and then raid the bars. The bars get closed until the owner pays huge "fines".

A common frame up also is like this: some girl who is of legal age goes to visit you at your hotel with a friend/sister who happens to be a minor. Her sister goes to the bathroom and gets naked. Then, cops storm in and arrest you- "You are corrupting a minor! 20 years in prison. Or pay us Php 100,000 and we'll leave you alone".

Online dating sites only allow 18 plus but some girls lie and put a fake age. Be mindful of that. Before you get any further in a relationship ask for some school or employment ID. Those will not be fake for the most time. A postal ID can be faked easily.

Even if the girl is legal, and not a bar girl, getting fresh with her, touching and slapping her rear, pawing, say, a waitress, will land you in jail just as easily as anywhere else in the West. If she complains, that is.

5) Do not shake hands with strange kids. The parents can accuse you of molestation. Do not buy them candy because the parents can accuse you of making them sick. In my neighborhood, all the people knew me and considered me a valued resident and a member of the community. So, I always bought candy for the neighbors' kids around, but I knew them all and always learned to ask the parents' permission first.

Just being alone in a room with a minor who is not your blood relative is a criminal offense. Even if it is your stepchild, you should apparently go and get a letter from the Department of Social Services. On Brit who was old was framed like that. The neighbor wanted to shake him down and sent in a 12 year old daughter to sweep his room. She then accused him of molestation and he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death. A lawyer from Australia flew in and defended him and got him acquitted.

Do not give money to kids coming up and begging when you are in a taxi ( or better never) and do not buy anything from them. You can be accused of "child endangerment".

5a) Giving money to beggars is apparently illegal, too. Just say "patawAd po" and keep walking. Do not yell at them. I don't know about giving food. I've always bought food for them and homeless kids, but you never know what they can accuse you of.

If anyone bothers you and wants you to buy something, and you don't want to be bothered, it should always be "patawad po" and a brisk walk past.

Do not become a famous private philanthropist who helps everyone and becomes too visible and gets to meet the officials, unless you are with some church or organization and work with those groups. Someone may get jealous that you get all this attention and fame and pay for someone to get you killed.

5b) It is not always safe to live in gated communities and sometimes there's less danger if you live in a barangay among the local populace. These will all know you and protect you. Living high off the hog in some community may expose you to danger. Some robbers may just bribe the guards and then come and rob/kill you. In that country becoming one of the masses pays off.

6) The "Get out of my office, you're fired!" can get you killed. This is very humiliating and they don't take kindly to being put down in public like that. A German boss who did that to his staff had a visitation by a motorcycle hit man and he's still dead.

7) There's no privacy act when it comes to becoming a suspect. TV crews and newspapers will swoop on you, and your face will be on the news and in press with your name and all. Even if you have not been convicted, and falsely accused. The whole country will know you.

The Philippine law enforcement as well as personal revenge are spotty and sporadic, but one never knows when they decide to throw the book at you or give you shite. Every time you allow for anything like the above to happen, you are taking a chance.

Having said all that, if you are a genuinely good person, not arrogant and you speak the local language well and build a reputation of being respectful and a member of the community, the people there will protect you and not harm you. But it takes time.

So be safe, and welcome to the Philippines!
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Re: Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

Postby Taco » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:54 am

ladislav wrote:1) In the Philippines, yelling at a person in public is considered a serious offense. Pretty much a criminal offense. You can get thrown in jail for yelling at someone at work. Or at your wife. What's more, if you are a foreigner, that Filipino you are yelling at can get you deported. There was a Korean who yelled at a Filipino caddy on a golf court. He got deported just for that. It's actually pretty easy to get deported for disturbing peace.

The Malay culture dictates that you be tolerant to other people and not get mad if they make mistakes. This is partly the reason why mistakes are so pervasive. They forget things, they do things wrong, they omit and delay things. All the freaking time! And other Filipinos just accept it with a tolerant smile. You should, too.


I didn't know any of this when I moved to PI last year, my wife didn't tell me either. I had one yelling incident that resulted in me having to go to the police station but the police were pretty good about it. China is only about 1.5 hrs away from the Philippines but the two cultures are radically different.
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Postby ladislav » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:30 am

One thing is the law, and the other is how they enforce the law. And it can go any which quantum way at their discretion. So, some guys get lucky and some-- not so lucky.

Usually, the richer, more urban and more highly educated Filipino is, the more he can cause trouble for you as he would know that law.
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Re: Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

Postby Halwick » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:30 am

ladislav wrote:These dangers rarely if ever get mentioned anywhere so I must warn people here about them. I am not a lawyer so this is based on hearsay - nothing below is legal advice. Here we go:

1) In the Philippines, yelling at a person in public is considered a serious offense. Pretty much a criminal offense. You can get thrown in jail for yelling at someone at work. Or at your wife. What's more, if you are a foreigner, that Filipino you are yelling at can get you deported. There was a Korean who yelled at a Filipino caddy on a golf court. He got deported just for that. It's actually pretty easy to get deported for disturbing peace.

(rest omitted)

So be safe, and welcome to the Philippines!


Wow! Thanks for sharing the good advice and warnings.

By the way is honking your car horn and/or yelling at a pedestrian in the Philippines also an offense? :)
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Re: Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

Postby ladislav » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:34 am

Halwick wrote:
ladislav wrote:These dangers rarely if ever get mentioned anywhere so I must warn people here about them. I am not a lawyer so this is based on hearsay - nothing below is legal advice. Here we go:

1) In the Philippines, yelling at a person in public is considered a serious offense. Pretty much a criminal offense. You can get thrown in jail for yelling at someone at work. Or at your wife. What's more, if you are a foreigner, that Filipino you are yelling at can get you deported. There was a Korean who yelled at a Filipino caddy on a golf court. He got deported just for that. It's actually pretty easy to get deported for disturbing peace.

(rest omitted)

So be safe, and welcome to the Philippines!


Wow! Thanks for sharing the good advice and warnings.

By the way is honking your car horn and/or yelling at a pedestrian in the Philippines also an offense? :)


This I would not know but Filipinos rarely do either one of those. I guess by letter of the law, it should be. In the Philippines laws are not strictly enforced and many Filipinos do not even know about those. But we foreigners should.
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Postby Cornfed » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:38 am

It seems that anywhere you go as a white Western man, certain locals are going to have you by the balls and can squeeze any time they want. This is a major symptom of the decline of the West. There was a time when people had good reason to be afraid of us. It would be great if Western men could become reacquainted with their balls and sense of group solidarity and begin to stand up for each other again. Since there is not much chance of that, about the only way to defend yourself is to become friends with local big-shots. Then when bullshit charges are filed against you, you can just make a phone call and the charges will go away. Of course that puts you in the debt of the big-shots, which, as they are likely to be essentially gangsters, puts you in their pockets.
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Re: Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

Postby Teal Lantern » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:15 am

@ladislav: So, basically, a country where political correctness, corruption, & connections are put far ahead of competence & good ethics.
A preview of where the West is headed when the wealth runs out.
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Re: Unmentioned Dangers in the Philippines

Postby mguy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:16 am

Here's a rebuttal to this. All Ladislav said could be applied in any place.

These dangers rarely if ever get mentioned anywhere so I must warn people here about them. I am not a lawyer so this is based on hearsay - nothing below is legal advice. Here we go:

1) In the Philippines, yelling at a person in public is considered a serious offense. Pretty much a criminal offense. You can get thrown in jail for yelling at someone at work. Or at your wife. What's more, if you are a foreigner, that Filipino you are yelling at can get you deported. There was a Korean who yelled at a Filipino caddy on a golf court. He got deported just for that. It's actually pretty easy to get deported for disturbing peace.


Not really. Nobody shouts here. When you shout at someone here, please make sure you are not scared of a gun. If you want to shout at a guy-worker here, please make sure you have the balls to confront this guy when he has a gun. Maybe that's the reason nobody shouts here.

Koreans are getting deported here all the time. Some Koreans are quite rude. I've seen this first hand. They are especially rude to the normal masa people like jeepney drivers and trycycle drivers. There is growing conflict here but this is besides the point. Koreans are also getting busted for all sorts of crime, like this one illegal online casino that these groups of koreans started inside an upscale village... not to mention meth labs!!


2) Freedom of speech is iffy. Some people get away with it, some don't. People got killed for writing an article criticizing some official. Some got sued and are still in courts, and will have a case pending against them for years. Foreigners got deported for writing some article in newspapers deemed as "ridicule of Filipinos". Don't get involved in local politics. Anecdotally speaking, some people did and got away with it, some did not. Some human rights activists were banned from entering the country and got turned away at the airport.


This is not a westernized country. There is strong anti-american sentiments lingering here especially in places like University of the Philippines or the educated crowd. However, there is a overwhelming opinion that America is much better than China as world police.

Be careful of what you say. Be especially careful if the person is part of the elite class. They are notorious for being nationalistic and will quickly reprimand bad behavior even for foreigners. I've seen a foreigner get kicked out of a restaurant once for being drunkard. Funny bc the other foreigners didnt help him.


3) Some guys who sell cigarettes and chewing gum can "foist" marijuana on you ( shove it quickly into your hand) and then call a cop and say that you tried to sell it to them. A nightmare follows. At best it's a pay-off, at worst, you stay in jail.


I seriously lol'd at this. This implies supremely ghetto locations. This is a ghetto-con game. This must happen at dirty places. f**k me if this happens in Manila, the police will probably laugh at the perpetrator. A foreigner selling weed to a cigarette vendor? lolz :lol:

4) Some girls who work in bars or do cyber online lie about their age and use their relatives' birth certificates. There's no mandatory photo ID in the Philippines, and a fake one is very easy to get. Just take a friend's birth certificate and your photo and pay some money, and presto- they have a fake ID.
This way you can get framed and be in deep shite if you decide to meet them for fun.


Yeah, if you are 40 years old and meet up with 20 years.. you're in deep shit. Sometimes these girl are in cohort with the police. They will try to nab foreigners and get them to pay at the station. If you're going to be mongering, make sure you monger in proper mongering establishments or cities (angeles city)


5) Do not shake hands with strange kids. The parents can accuse you of molestation. Do not buy them candy because the parents can accuse you of making them sick. In my neighborhood, all the people knew me and considered me a valued resident and a member of the community. So, I always bought candy for the neighbors' kids around, but I knew them all and always learned to ask the parents' permission first.


Do not be over forty and dating anyone younger than 25!!! There is a limit to what is acceptable here. Maybe in the deep deep province you can get away with that.. but not in city centers!

5a) Giving money to beggars is apparently illegal, too. Just say "patawAd po" and keep walking. Do not yell at them. I don't know about giving food. I've always bought food for them and homeless kids, but you never know what they can accuse you of.


This is an ordinance. Some municipalities do prohibit begging. There is a good reason for this, but I won't go through it now.

5b) It is not always safe to live in gated communities and sometimes there's less danger if you live in a barangay among the local populace. These will all know you and protect you. Living high off the hog in some community may expose you to danger. Some robbers may just bribe the guards and then come and rob/kill you. In that country becoming one of the masses pays off.

ALWAYS ALWAYS live in gated community if you have the chance. There is a reason why this is gated. However, install other security precautions.

6) The "Get out of my office, you're fired!" can get you killed. This is very humiliating and they don't take kindly to being put down in public like that. A German boss who did that to his staff had a visitation by a motorcycle hit man and he's still dead.

Applies anywhere.
7) There's no privacy act when it comes to becoming a suspect. TV crews and newspapers will swoop on you, and your face will be on the news and in press with your name and all. Even if you have not been convicted, and falsely accused. The whole country will know you.


Applies anywhere

So be safe, and welcome to the Philippines![/quote]

These are good warnings but in the end of the day these could apply anywhere. Just realize that you are a target in the Philippines. You guys can thank the busload red-neck mongers (no racial!) for that! I've been to sketchier places in California than here.

Also if you are a foreigner, then people are more likely to help you out when in need. True story.
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Postby mguy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:38 am

Cornfed wrote:It seems that anywhere you go as a white Western man, certain locals are going to have you by the balls and can squeeze any time they want. This is a major symptom of the decline of the West. There was a time when people had good reason to be afraid of us. It would be great if Western men could become reacquainted with their balls and sense of group solidarity and begin to stand up for each other again. Since there is not much chance of that, about the only way to defend yourself is to become friends with local big-shots. Then when bullshit charges are filed against you, you can just make a phone call and the charges will go away. Of course that puts you in the debt of the big-shots, which, as they are likely to be essentially gangsters, puts you in their pockets.


I think what killed it most for the white Western man are the mongers. Over the years, the image of the American had shifted towards the mongers. Educated Americans are quickly replaced by pot-bellied womanizer. It is truly a double-edged sword now as I explained to my Brazilian friend to be white in the Philippines.

I still believe young white men are immune to this stereo-type.
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Postby Cornfed » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:01 am

mguy wrote:I think what killed it most for the white Western man are the mongers. Over the years, the image of the American had shifted towards the mongers. Educated Americans are quickly replaced by pot-bellied womanizer. It is truly a double-edged sword now as I explained to my Brazilian friend to be white in the Philippines.

I still believe young white men are immune to this stereo-type.

I don't see what the problem is with mongers is per se. Mongers are contributing to the local economy. I put it down to the decline it the effective power of individual Western men due to Western regimes becoming traitorous and the fact that most Western men wouldn't piss on another Western man if he were on fire.
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Postby mguy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:58 am

Economy wise, it's great. But reputation wise -- it's pretty damaging.
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

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Postby gsjackson » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:12 pm

Welcome??? Aside from friendly women, everything I've read in this forum about the Phillipines makes it sound like an absolutely wretched country.
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Postby jamesbond » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:45 pm

gsjackson wrote:Welcome??? Aside from friendly women, everything I've read in this forum about the Phillipines makes it sound like an absolutely wretched country.


I agree 100%, I guess I can scratch the Philippines off my list of countries to visit! :shock:
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Postby xiongmao » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:47 pm

I don't know about the Philippines but in Thailand everyone and everything is photographed in a police station. Even if you're in an embarrassing situation (e.g: ladyboy steals all your possessions - and your clothes!!!) you'll still end up with your photo all over newspapers and websites.
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Postby ladislav » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:21 pm

Mguy. Some points from my experiences in the Philippines: Very few people will help a foreigner with anything at all except if he pays for it. They expect the porener to help them.

The ones who are helpful are the Japanese. Helpful and generous.

Most ( 98-99%) of Filipinos are nice as far as chatting and socializing, but they will never help. Most just try to overcharge, not give correct change, borrow money ( and never pay back) and take advantage in other ways. They also like free meals and good times that you pay for.
I think what killed it most for the white Western man are the mongers. Over the years, the image of the American had shifted towards the mongers. Educated Americans are quickly replaced by pot-bellied womanizer. It is truly a double-edged sword now as I explained to my Brazilian friend to be white in the Philippines.

I still believe young white men are immune to this stereo-type.

You forgot the GIs. If a white guy is young, he is seen as a GI on leave and gets the same treatment as a monger if not worse. Because some younger Filipino guys will just get jealous, but will be more respectful of older people.

Educated Americans? What educated Americans in the Philippines? When? Where?

Most white people in the Philippines now are not Americans actually. Many Euros and Aussies. If these are " Americans" to a Filipino, then his/her opinion is not worth considering.

Western guys, young or old, fat or skinny, mostly do not give a flying hoot in hell about what Filipinos think of them because most just do not notice them and do not care. They don't even look at Filipinos. They don't talk to anyone except their immediate family there.

A gunman on a motorcycle when someone gets fired in the USA? I don't think so. Firing is so commonplace in this country, people don't even think about it. Also, Americans yell and shout at each other in public and humiliate each other in front of others all the time. It's accepted. They won't shoot people just for that. And there's no jail for shouting.

As an average American became less and less knowledgeable and the education standards slipped, the Philippines followed the same fate. As it is now harder and harder to talk to an educated American about anything at all, so it is harder to talk to an educated Filipino. Neither knows much about anything outside of his/her field of expertise.

Having said that, an American professional would really know things and places within his area. A taxi driver knows his city. A salesclerk knows about his products. They give you correct change and they have change. You don't get cheated 5-6 times every day. So, there's less yelling going on.

Having said all the above, most people in the Philippines are a pleasure to deal with and make friends with.
Last edited by ladislav on Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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