Even if it is only a small pendant on your necklace, don't wear it while you are walking on sidewalks without traffic.
Boys have a look for ladies, particularly when carrying bags from the shopping centers.
A quick grap to your neck - and the necklace is gone and you are even left with a bleeding wound on your neck. They don't mind your injury - they mind the money for the destroyed golden necklace, when they sell it by the grams.
There is a designated place along Ayala Avenue to get off and on transportation even if you are in private vehicle. A fine of 500 pesos will be given to violators. So make sure you read the signs in the waiting shed.
Yes, Makati is a city of discipline, so bear in mind the following:
1) If you drive through the main roads like Ayala, Gil Puyat/Buendia and Makati Avenues, make sure you stick to the proper lane. NEVER go to the yellow lane for public utility jeeps and buses, and ALWAYS observe the proper loading and unloading places.
2) Commuters, be forewarned that you cannot just board or alight a public transportation vehicle anywhere you please. If you do, you will be fined, together with the driver.
3) Pedestrians, use designated pedestrian lanes and/or the underpass for going across the street at the Central Business District. A Japanese expat of my husband's office thought he could get away with jaywalking with the alibi that he didn't know the anti-jaywalking law. He was penalized for that excuse, because the pedestrian lanes and underpasses are very visible to pedestrians.
4) A number-coding ban for vehicles is observed in Metro Manila. Some cities allow number-coded vehicles to pass through their territory during certain hours; Makati DOESN'T have that leeway for motorists.
I was able to take pictures for my travel page easily with my pocket point and shoot camera. It will be more difficult or impossible for you to take pictures with a dlsr, much so if you have long lenses and tripod in tow. This is specially true at the Ayala Center and Central Business District. The security guards or Makati policemen might accost you, and/or ask you to produce a special pass for photographers which is secured from Ayala Land, Inc. or Makati City Hall, depending on the subject/activity you want to shoot.
While my friends from Amsterdam were taking souvenir pictures as they were on the elevated walkway with Ayala Center as background, a security guard reproached them. I requested the guard to forgive them, as they were simple tourists who'd like to have souvenir pictures. They were not brought to the office for reprimand and questioning anymore, but they were told not to take pictures of buildings, lest they be accused of "casing the area".
During the Caracol Festival, users of point and shoot and phone cameras were not allowed to go inside the "cordon sanitaire" but my husband who had a dlsr, long lens and tripod was allowed when he showed his ID as Photographer.
To spare yourself from embarassment, just ask permission before you take pictures. Oftentimes, your charm will work so long as you don't appear casing the park, buildings or malls.
While walking at the elevated pedestrian walkways of the CBD, refrain from using your mobile phone for calls or sms. Or if you must, it is best to strap it to your wrist. There have been many reported cases of mobile phone snatching on the walkways.
Modus Operandi: Snatchers work in tandem, looking for pedestrians using their phones without straps. Snatcher1 "accidentally" bumps you while you're busy texting or calling/answering a call, hard enough for you to lose grip of your phone until it falls. Snatcher2 catches your phone while snatcher1 distracts your attention by apologizing as he holds your hand or shoulder, blocking the view of snatcher2. When you look for your phone, Snatcher1 deceives you by saying he saw a suspicious guy running to some direction. You run to the wrong direction, giving them time to escape.
Modus Operandi: A well-dressed lady may approach you while you're shopping at SM, and offer her gift cheques to you at a discounted price. She will convince you by explaining that someone gave her the gift cheques, but she doesn't have anything to buy at SM yet , so if you could please buy them from her at a discounted price. If you refuse, she will come up with a sob story. Don't let your emotions give in; otherwise, if you do, you might be turned in to the Security Office by the cashier for using fake SM gift cheques.
If you really need gift cheques, buy at the SM desiganted counter. But be alert; sometimes, the culprit preys on people lining up at the Gift Cheque Counter. If you look impatient at the line, you might be the next target!
This is addressed to ladies attending wedding receptions or other hotel functions with meals. It is common for ladies to put their handbags under the table or hang on the side of the chair while getting food at the buffet table and/or while eating. It is safer to bring your bag with you (tuck it under you arm if you must!) at the buffet table, or let your husband/partner/ companion hold it for you first. You can alternate in going to the buffet table. While eating, put the bag on your lap, or on the table beside you (but don't lose sight!). It is a mystery how so many ladies' bags have "disappeared" under their dining table or on the chair's back.
They’re anywhere. Malls and business districts are not spared from the bad guys. It’s best not to display your valuables or use your mobile phone when walking around or crossing the street as you will make yourself an easy target for snatchers. Keep your belongings and your bag close.
Well, the highest chance of getting robbed or mugged is while coming from or going to a publci transportation place. A few times I have seen/felt that some scum was following me while heading for the LRT/MRT (metro). Often they work in pairs, one will stop in front of ya and other on back or they sandwhich you from the side. What I do is always look around and once I spot them I just stop walking. They will than know I noticed them and they than back off.
Well what I just do is I keep it in my hand since when travelling in crowded bus or MRT/LRT I cannot garantee my pockets won't be emptied so I just keep it in my hand and by doing so not giving them any chance to rob me at least without me knowing it.
If your with someone who speak Tagalog or the native language then taking the taxi is alright. Now when taxi drivers notices that people are desperate for taxis they they have the nerve to confront with you (as we had experience many times...) drivers will not want to use the taxi meter but instead they will name their price. These has happened to us so many times and if they still insist to name the price we then jump out of the taxi as soon as it's safe and take another taxi.
Tipping taxi is alright but when I find abuses, then they don't even get one peso . In the Philippines when locals sees your blonde, speaks other than Tagalog or local dialect,then there is almost that instant presumption that your from the lovely America. They do know that there is such thing as Europe, but that part of the world is way far away from their mind, anybody that rides the plane, to them it seems that they are going to America..that is the kind of thinking they have.