General Safety, Manila

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  • up to date equipment
    up to date equipment
    by davidjo
  • many buses too
    many buses too
    by davidjo
  • disgusting smell and terrible living quarters
    disgusting smell and terrible living...
    by davidjo
  • Nice persons

    by mat4mons Written Oct 13, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Been to Philippines some times now and two things happen to me, that could have caused trouble. This September i was walking in SM city in Cebu. Inside the mall, a VERY beautiful woman approach me, and asked me if i wanted massage. Only 400 peso for 1 hour. But she insisted that the massage should happen in a short time hotel not far from the mall. After a long discussion i got rid of her after giving her 100 peso for a meal in jollybee. If i had joined her, i would probably got drugs and robbed at the cheap hotel. Another incident happened also in Cebu outside Ayala center. I good looking man well dressed approach me and started a conversation. After some nice talking he wanted me to go with him and visit his auntie who lived nearby. He said his auntie had friends from the country i come from. He put a lot of work trying to convince me. I rejected of course. I would probably got robbed in his "aunties" place.

    I have walked a lot, and used all kind of transportation in both Manila and Cebu, but nothing ever got stolen from me. But i dont walk around with a fat wallet, show my phone. I also keep my camera in a pocket. No need to give people the impression that you are loaded with money.

    Its a BIG difference between taxi drivers in Manila and Cebu. In Manila many drivers have a bad attitude. No meters. If u convince them to use meters, they want xxx peso + meter. But its rather cheap to drive there, so if u say 100 peso + meter, its better than driving withouit meter at all. In Cebu many drivers put on meter without asking.

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    WHEN LIFE CAN'T WAIT

    by davidjo Written Jul 30, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    up to date equipment

    The DFVR (Disaster First Response Vehicle) is a modern state of the art pick up truck with rescue equipment that would be required for an emergency such as traffic accident, fire, flood, and rescues from building collapses, etc.
    The emergency number to call is 962 1111 should you be in a position to help someone in danger.

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    TRAFFIC JAMS, PICK-POCKETS and POLLUTION

    by davidjo Written Jul 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jeepneys pollute the air and clog up the road
    2 more images

    Epifanio de los Santos Avenue is the ring road that encircles Manila from Taft Ave in the south to Monumento in the North. Along it's entire 24 km route, the most congested and busiest road in the Metropolitan area it is really polluted as buses and jeepneys grind to a halt and stand still for ages as they emit fumes. There are many different bus stations along the route, as different bus companies have their own stations, making it a pick-pocketer's haven as people push their way through the crowds to reach their destination. Taft Avenue MRT/LRT station is at the southern end of the road where you must take extra care. It is almost impossible , if not illegal to cross the road there, but there are pedestrian walkways over the road.

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    CAREFUL ON ADRIATICO STREET

    by davidjo Written Jul 23, 2013

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    pedicabs
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    If you walk south on Adriatico Street (not far after Remedios Circle) you will reach a slum area where many pedicab drivers hang out, even sleeping and living in their pedicabs. The shacks are built on top of each other and the stink of urine is dreadful. Definitely don't walk in this area at night.

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  • Pick pocketers pretending to drop something

    by more.fun.in.pi.NOT Written Apr 19, 2013

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    All filipinos are aware of scams, pick pocketers, hold ups and other crimes when travelling a public transportation. Especially in Manila where crime rates are a lot higher than provinces. I guess because of cost of living in Manila, people are desperate for money and need to do whatever it takes to make money. Well, this past week, even with the knowledge of these crimes, I was STILL a victim of it. Some of us think/feel sitting in the front seats are more safe than the back, well that's NOT TRUE! We also feel safer when travelling with someone else too. Well it doesn't prevent anything from happening. Even knowing how to fight, it still wouldn't help when you're 2 people against 8 men. While riding a bus "Jackpherlyn Bus" to be exact, a group of guys maybe about 8 of them entered the bus dressed like "clean" civilians. While exiting the bus, 3 of them blocked the exit bus door, while the 4th reached over my seat and pretended he dropped something on my leg/ foot. He grabbed n grabbed my leg forcing me to get out of my seat where i was then trapped between the group of men. While the man held on to my leg and pants pulling and tugging, while I'm standing up, another pickpocketed me n BOOM my IPhone is gone.What was I to do? Fight back? Chase him? NO! While other passengers sat back and watched and even the bus driver and conductor, I was literally HELPLESS! Even while sitting in the first seat in the front behind the driver and being accompanied with a friend, it will NOT stop these men from doing this.
    What makes me angry is that not 1 person helped me, except my friend who was also a victim. Not once did i take my phone out while i was on the bus. Thats rule #1 right? Dont use your phone on the bus or when travelling on public transpo...well I didnt, and still was held up/pickpocketed!! These men did this in front of at least 30 people with no shame n not even covering their faces. Another thing that makes me angry is that being a victim is "normal" and "accepted" when u report it to the police. My advise is don't expect help from strangers/witnesses and don't expect help from the police. Every person is on their own. Yes I lost my phone and luckily it was just my phone n not my life. But why do "we" accept these actions? Y is it when i told people my story, majority of them replied back "this is the Philippines" and even "It's more fun in the Philippines"...What type of response is that? What is the meaning of that? What type of image does that make of the Philippines and our own people? Is it accepted that people are pick pocketed/mugged in the Philippines? Yet some of us get insulted when someone visits our country and says anything negative about the Philippines and/or our people. This has got to stop! Seems like everyone or at least the majority of us have been victims of this crime. Maybe by a different strategy or technique but most of us victims are affected by it mentally and emotionally. All day and night since its happened (5 days ago) I have thought about that incident, therefore I believe I have been traumatized a bit by it. I ask myself, "how can I protect myself the next time"? What are the odds of this happening again? Sad, right?

    My advice to anyone who reads this is to help find a way to stop these things from happening because you may be the next victim or already have been a victim.

    As I type this, I'm 99.99% sure someone is being pick pocketed right now and nothing will be done to stop it.

    I am a proud filipino but NOT proud of some of our people!

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  • Honest Travel Tips(Philippines)

    by Facod_Amante03 Written Oct 10, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Manila Safety Tips

    A Filipino's Honest Travel Tips to Traveler's who plan to visit the philippines

    Philippines is still a developing country. Iphones and Blackberrys especially DSLR cameras which are now quite common in other developed industrialized countries are still considered luxuries in the Philippines. Using those gadgets in public are frowned upon in manila even among local filipinos. Your Iphone may not be worth getting killed over to you but for some filipino criminals living under the poverty line stealing your Iphone then selling it can get them enough money to feed their families for a month that's why they'd be willing to get shot by police just to get it from you. Therefore It is advisable to hide this gadgets in plain view.

    "Areas without visible Police Presence"

    Avoid at all costs visiting areas of manila city without visible security guards or visible police presence. Criminal gangs from the ghettos of Quezon city and other surrounding cities are known to go to manila city everyday for the sole purpose of getting easy money by robbing students and tourists there.

    "Philippine Gun Culture"

    Philippines has a very strong gun culture it's gun laws are virtually optional almost every career successful man who has a family have a gun, there is approximately 1 million lost or missing firearms(mostly handguns) in Metro Manila alone and there is still a continuous mass production of short firearms especially the .45 cal M1911 models from Danao City and other provinces far south of manila leading to an endless supply of guns to criminals operating in manila and other developed cities, that's why don't be supprised if you see even petty criminals with guns

    "Philippine Police"

    the police of the Philippines are called PNP which stands for "Philippine National Police" almost all Police officers in the Philippines have college degrees which makes them quite a very educated police force compared to other police forces who recruit associate degree and high school graduates. Most commissioned police inspectors of the PNP are graduates of police academies like Philippine National Police Academy, Philippine Military Academy or are professional engineers, doctors or lawyers while mostly those commissioned PO1(Police Officer 1 lowest PNP rank) are criminology graduates or non-professional college graduates.
    Almost all of them can understand english but only a few can speak fluently. Some of them do succumb to corruption because of low salaries but there is still a lot of them who joined the force to serve the people with integrity especially the officers

    If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law or if you got robbed and they brought you to a police station it would be the best of your interest if you could get a local friend who speaks tagalog to come and talk to the officers. A local friend is invaluable if you find yourself in this kind of situations in the philippines especially if your friend is someone educated with a professional job and connections. It will be a lot easier for you to get out of the trouble because the officers will think thrice before doing a "code 2" on you

    "THE BEST SAFETY TIP TO TRAVELERS--- RENT OR BORROW A PRIVATE VEHICLE"

    Your chances of getting robbed or mugged decreases dramatically if you are travelling by car because most petty crimes happen to people using public transportation. you can rent a car for a day for as little as USD30 and a driver for USD20. It will also be easier to get around if you have your own mean of transportation

    To summarise everything
    1. Keep a low profile
    2. Travel by car
    3. Only Visit places where you can see uniformed police officers, police cars or security guards
    4. Have a local friend
    5. Avoid visitiing ghettos locally called "Squatter areas" at all costs especially if you are caucasian the people there will see you with a dollar sign over your head. those areas are lawless and police officers are reluctant to enter those areas

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    MANILA LRT and MRT RAIL SYSTEM

    by davidjo Written Sep 21, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Please be very careful on the Manila transit system as there are many pickpockets and snatchers operating here. As a 20 year resident of the Philippines i am aware of all the criminal activity in Manila and even though i was vary diligent they managed to get my wallet. You must get a police report by the police operating at all stations as it is under their jurasidiction.

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    Bring Less Valuables and Loads of Common Sense

    by Flameandcitron Updated Jul 29, 2012

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    A lot of the warnings here are from people who really don't know a thing about what to visit and what not to do in Manila. As a native Manilan who's long since moved out, I would recommend you do your research with Filipino friends, naturally those who you're confident won't rip you off.

    You reap what you sow. If you're in Manila to slum it for easy, sleazy entertainment, it's no different from going into a strip club in the ghetto of any major city. And like a ghetto, if you're clueless about it, expect to be robbed or worse.

    Stick to the well-illuminated malls and shopping centers if you don't want the added risk. Do not trust strangers who approach you for conversation - even if Filipinos are friendly -once you know them- it is NOT customary in our culture to approach total strangers out of nowhere to talk to them. That is an American habit and not commonly observed in the Philippines, so be instantly on your guard when someone does; they're likely up to no good. Do not use backpacks in the city (most clueless kind of bag to wear and a sure target for pickpockets). I'd also avoid putting your wallet in your pocket and keep most valuables at home. Make sure you have a reputable Filipino guide/friend (preferably someone whose family you've met, have shared a home-cooked meal with). Visit Filipino forums and blogs for tips on where to go (http://www.spot.ph/ for example, avoid any with mentions of girly bars and sleazy entertainment because those are hotspots for trouble) and hire someone like this http://www.celdrantours.blogspot.com/ to tour you (reputable Filipino personality and tour guide). Be smart and remember Manila itself is miles from the beaches that fit the Western concept of an island paradise, it's a city bigger than Los Angeles and with just as much teeth.

    (Also, if you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb as much - even if you're Caucasian - ditch the beach slippers and beach gear for sensible jeans, walking shoes or khaki shorts and a shirt you'd wear to a city. People forget that even if they're visiting the tropics, yes, again, this is the big city. Smog, dirt, canals, it's all there, so expect it).

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  • Manila.False 'friends'

    by cocoju Written Aug 11, 2011

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    on the street in Manila two welldressed middle aged woman(they looked like nice filipina moms to me) began conversation with me.
    nice talk so we had lunch together. They told me they are from the north,Baguio and make holidays in Manila... They also invited me to come with them to the north i could stay at their house.
    After lunch accidently(...) met friends of them. An old woman with 2 men. They welcomed me and seemed very excited to spend the day with me.
    they told me we can go with their car to Taal Vulcano, i was not sure if i can trust them. so i kept saying this and that ,im tired, blablabla
    We went to a market and the old woman called mommy told be to be aware of the pickpockets.,,Be aware u have anything important in ur bag??'' (Of course i said no)
    All the time i was not sure if i should go with them to Taal Vulcano but finally i thought why not maybe ur overprotective, so we went there with the car.The white big car looked expensive and with dark windows...
    At Taal Vulcano they told me we could do some nice things like driving with the boat and horse riding but now its too late, so we could spent a night there and do this tomorrow morning. But i told them i dont have enough money with me to do this,even though i had passport and creditcard in my bag.
    i FINALLY realised that they are criminals so i told them i WOULD go with them there tomorrow.
    I started playing game with them and made them feel safe by keep saying that i would love to do this trip with them and im very excited.It was good because without any valueables in my bag i was worthless for them.
    We drove back to Manila and arranged meeting for next day.
    Next day i sent them a message:No luck for u today ;) quite funny but in the end i t could have been very dangerous!I read that they give u drugs and rob u.

    in short words:
    tourist alone
    they abuse ur wish to get to know the culture and hang around with locals
    they try to look&behave rich and sophisticated
    invite u for a trip
    they know how to talk and make u feel comfortable

    BUT i also met the friendliest people ever ! at the heart of some islands in the philippines.I love the people there!

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    Keep your personal belongs close

    by dovalyn Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    We personally did not experience any dangers but our driver warned us of the many dangers that could happen if we were not on our guard. In broad daylight, never use your cell phone to make a call. Unruly persons would come out of nowhere, grab your cell and use it's minutes or possibly sell the phone. The selling of cell phones is big business here in the Philippines especially if it is a model that just came off the production line.
    Never wear expensive jewelry or watches out in public. You may be targeted.
    Try to always travel with a "buddy" and always trust your intuition. If it doesn't feel right, it's probably not.
    Crime does exist in the Philippine, just be on your guard and look over shoulder every so often and keeps your wits about you.

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    Safe as you want it to be!

    by FlowerOfScotland Updated Feb 24, 2011

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    Having just returned from a visit to Manila I can honestly say that at no time did I feel frightened, intimidated or unwelcome. Nor did I feel unsafe or in any danger. Having read lots of reports on how Manila is not safe etc I ventured forth into Manila full of trepidation, fully expecting to get robbed or at least have my pocket picked at some point during my visit. Of course, these things never happened, mainly because I do not let them happen, by making sure the opportunity did not arise. Thieves do need to be encouraged to commit their deeds. Of course, there is street crime in Manila, just as there is any major capital city of the world (perhaps with the exception of Tokyo) but I felt totally safe all the time I was there. Granted, I am a big guy, but size has nothing to do with it in my book, it is opportunity that is key to someone becoming a victim. Give a desperate thief the opportunity to steal from you and he/she will. I feel it is wrong to advise people not to go to Manila, or anywhere else for that matter, just because the place has a relatively high crime rate.
    Manila is as safe as anywhere else, but it is up to the individual to make it so!!

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    Just Dont Stay In Manila

    by Deekbrand Written May 20, 2010

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    Its much cheaper to get a flight to Manila than Cebu... But I would recomend that you only use Manila airport to connect to anywhere else.

    Manila is nasty at night and not that great in the daytime either. There is nothing there that is worth the risk or stress that even a short stay that will include.

    I would like to point out that i am very much in love with the Philippines, spent, in total almost 8 weeks there and would love to go back.. But Manilia is not to be taken lightly, look at all the warnings on this site..

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  • Credit Card Scams

    by allaround1111 Written May 2, 2010

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    It has been years since this happened to me, and for many years after it was VERY difficult to use foreign credit cards in Manila (Except at well established hotels). In 1998, I went out for some dinner, drinks, and entertainment on Roxas Blvd. I had finished dinner was paying when a friend happened to see me in the club. We started a new order of drinks as my credit card came back - which was well over 10 minutes. After finishing a couple of rounds I paid again. .. but used a new credit card. Again it took 10 minutes Plus to get the credit card.

    About a week later I was in the US and tried to use my card for a small purchase and it came back rejected as the account was over the credit limit. Knowing this was I had only used the card once, I called the credit card company to find out what was happening. Turns out there was several purchases of thousands of dollars run up on my card - charged to a Jewelry Store in Manila. Because this was the second time I used my card, I was able to explain to the credit card company that those were not my charges and that the restaurant I used the card must have copied the card. I gave the address of the restaurant (Since closed) so they could prosecute with local authorities. I then called my other credit card company and found out that the same people were running up bills at the same jewelry store. I gave them a way to contact them and had the charges removed from this account as well.

    I would believe that there are still scams like this happening in Manila (And elsewhere in the world). So my advise is:
    1. Try to keep your credit card in sight when paying for anything
    2. If your card takes more than a couple of minutes to come back. . . This should start raising "RED FLAGS"
    3. Bring enough cash to pay for things in places that you may not want to use your cards.
    4. When traveling, check your statement frequently. . . if you see any charges that don't make sense call your credit card company.

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    Never ever walk alone !!!

    by meekandhumble2830 Written Sep 10, 2009

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    As a general rule specially if you're a foreigner blonde , brunette caucasian or spanish mestiza never ever wander the streets of Manila by your LONESOME , there were many abuses that were committed to hapless tourists before, they were drugged , raped, robbed and beaten . So forget the solo act this is Manila one of the unsafest cities in the world !

    Dont wear those mini skirts or skimpy shorts by the end of the day you'll find your legs badly bruised by all those hands coming from anywhere touching and grabbing it !

    I would rather suggest skipping manila and take a direct flight to CEBU , if paradise do exist you can find it in cebu !

    a concerned world class traveller

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    Baclaran, Metro Manila

    by JimnNila143 Written Jul 30, 2009

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    If you cross the first pedestrian bridge which crosses over Roxas Boulevard located at Baclaran, be careful of purse snatchers, pick pockets, and other thieves. If you are a female, do NOT wear jewelry, especially necklaces. A thief will rip the necklace from your neck. If you cross this bridge, do not go alone, go in pairs or have your husband or boyfriend with you. Law enforcement may be present but it is unlikely they will help.

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Instant Answers: Manila

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Comments (2)

  • onlinekibitzer's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE

    I am a well traveled person and I just wanted to give a friendly tip. People who are often victims of a developing country are those who unnecessarily flaunt their expensive things and money in public or those who go to night clubs even if they know that solicitation and prostitution is illegal in the country. If you are a well researched and educated traveler, you would not simply hop on the plane and go to a place where your instinct tells you. Philippines is economically challenged and sadly the situation of its society is much affected by the culture, influences and abuses of its foreign predecessors, Spanish, Americans, and Japanese particularly.

    A deeper thought may be realized by looking into its history on why it is having a hard time developing and why most uneducated Filipinos opt to do crimes which they actually are not supposed to engage in. If you are one of the victims, please do not commit a hasty generalization by creating exaggerated comments against the country. You also have to look into yourself on how you actually caused to be a victim. Filipinos are very kind, hospitable, and helpful even if you do not give them money. The way you treat them and accompany them speaks a lot on how you will be treated in return. If you think you are far above them because of the color of your skin and because you came from a richer country, and you are abusive of its weaknesses, they will fight in return and abuse you in a way you would not know (killing you softly). The best way to travel in this country is by acting humbly, by being appreciative, and by avoiding illegal activities such as unmonitored gambling and buying women, even if you are really tempted to do so. It may be true that Filipinas are amongst the best looking women and ideal partner/spouse as compared to other females in the world but engaging in mail order bride transactions worsens the situation of their country which would lead further to abuse and in return tourists visiting their country will be taken advantaged of and be seen as an opportunity to earn money the wrong way.

    Before commenting, look into yourself first on how you actually participated and contributed in making the situation of Philippines worse. It is a wonderful country and one of the hidden gems in South East Asia... only if you found the key to seeing its real beauty.

  • Apr 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Manila is the biggest *** hole ever, the people are NOT friendly and the only thing that is on a filipinas mind in manila is how can i get your money off you. They are total scammers and they never smile not even when u check into a hotel, the cops are stupid and corrupt and the security guards are paid to sleep....i could go on forever and i will but right now need to sleep, but ill be back here tomorrow to give ppl a full run down on what the philippines is really like, in short dont waste ur money on a ppl who hate you want your money and are not even nice about it...anyway brb.

    • Jan 22, 2014 at 2:24 AM

      It is not the cleanest city but it has some amazing history.
      I suspect you had trouble with people not smiling or not being friendly do to your own bad attitude. No surprise as this is common in every country I go with westerners walking around with a bad attitude and wondering why bad service.
      People there always smile, some will scam you especially the airport cabbies. The farther from tourist traps you get the nicer people are.
      In short treat others how you would like to be treated.

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