General Safety, Manila
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.
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
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.
DO NOT travel in Manila with a backback that has a zipper that can be opened!! I was a fool and had my camera snagged right behind me with no idea of it happening!! All my video of Angeles City will probably end up on some porn site now!!! DAMN!!
Manila has a high number of homeless families begging and some can be a little persistent/aggressive, a lot of them appear at night time. The streets are not well lit so take care and watch out for busy traffic.
If your young, like me say 18-24 dont go alone if you are white.
have at least four friends with you that a filo if you go out at night time.
when i was over there i stayed and made heaps freinds easily, try to get them around your age group they will be fine.
Beware of what you see in night clubs as well, i was the only foreigner in a strip club and a group of people came in with pistols so i left, maybe they were police officers but you dont wanna take the risk.
Also beware of pick pockets, no matter where you are in the philippines you will find them trying to come up close to you and stick your hand in your pockets.
beware of people that ask for money, if you give it out everyone wants some especially kids they will follow you until you give everything you have.
Dont drink the water unless you know for sure it is boiled/filtered water, or water that you buy from supermarkets in bottles, trust me i made this mistake and i was real bad for 2 days, you cant stop throwing up its really bad.
I was told not to eat street food, i did this a heap of times trying new things i didnt get sick from this once.
If you go to markets, food, clothes ect have a few freinds with you day or night, this is where i found most pick pockets, snatchers and poor people to be.
hope this helps
Attivan scam In Manila.
In Manilla beware of gangs that put something in your drink to pass you out.
They do it even in a bar, and then tell the bar tender that you got drunk, if he cares at all.
And then they drag you in a waiting backup car and strip you and drop you wherever you wake up 10 hours later.
I was befriended by a harmless looking group of 6 middle age women that met me at a shopping mall south west Manilla. They said they were on holliday from baguio.
They took me to a karaoke bar and made me drink.
Next day they took me to Taal volcano and tried to make me rent a room to stay over night, when I did not rent and told them I had to be back in Manila. They rented it anyway, then they made me and my friend drink just one beer. I saw the can’s being opened in front of us, but half-way they beer they poored it into a glass that was prepared with sleeping pills. I dropped unconcious in no-time. And we got robbed by them or by their back-up team that they allways have.
the warning sighns:
- I met three women, suddenly they were six.
- when they are texting they can be planning something.
- They changed plans, all the time.
- Thought I got one of their cell numbers.They made sure not to be photographed.
- They looked well off and know how to make conversations, and know the traffic situation very well.
- In Manilla Everybody is a potential robber, even westerners.
- get people’s pictures, and adress before you plan on spending time with someone.
Don’t drink from anyone. Only what you get yourself and watch it.
By the time you decide to leave for the crooks is the time to pull the noose.
I know it spoils the fun, but that is just how wicked it is.
Key words: robbery , theft , Scam , manila , philippines , sleepingpills , drugs , attivan .
i got news for you, i am sorry but i don't think you'll ever find any cheaper than that, maybe that 750peso your talking...but then, how about the surrounding or location are they safe??? i my self i come home for visit once a year, all i can say is there is no way youll find any cheaper than 750peso a night, with that price of 750peso a night...it sound like scary, im sorry but be careful.
i just came back home from philippines.
Manila is a beautiful city with nice residents. However, there is too much poverty which makes you feel sad. Seeing the living conditions of some Manilans, you can believe your eyes. Of course, this poverty forces some hopeless Manilans to choose the dark side and they become involved in robbery, theft and other illegal acts. You will see bank entrances guarded with at least a couple of security guards carrying big rifles. Even fast food restaurants will have security guards (but at least they don't carry guns). This gives a clue how dangerous it can get when the evening comes. It is advised not to walk alone on Manila streets during night and it is better to stay in crowded places with enough security.
Beware of the taxis lining up at the 'Waiting Area' just outside the domestic airport. They're cunningly evil. Imagine, I already asked the driver if he's cab is metered and he answered yes. My fault was I didn't bother to check if there really was a meter inside. After awhile, the driver handed over to me a laminated card showing the apparently fixed metered rate of each point within Metro Manila. Too late, I ended up paying P350 for a normally P150 fare (domestic airport to Pasay LRT).
Taxi drivers in Manila are a real pain in the ass! One of the reasons why you will hate travelling to Manila -- whether you're a local or a foreigner.
when you're walking and/or crossing the street make sure to stand a few meters away from the edge of the sidewalk and keep your bags close to your body. and don't ever use your cellphone! manila is abound with motorists on motorcyles and some aren't just using them for transportation but also for stealing! because its easier for these guys to weave through traffic and make a faster getaway, these a-holes target unsuspecting pedestrians who use their cellphones or have their bags out for all the world to see and are standing too close to the street, or walking as if he/she doesn't have a care in the world. if you're not careful, before you know it, they've snatched that phone right out of your hands or that bag right out of your shoulder. so guys, better safe than sorry!
Most flight into Manila are usally delayed if your going to meet some one there at the airport be aware the getting through customs is a hassle and or luggage area is over crowded. causing even longer long delays. Two of the major concern in Mainila is traffic and street venders. regardless what is said Manila is very safe as long as you use common sense. people tend to forget just how large this place really is. It's one of the Largest cities in the world. I rather walk the streets of Manila than New York. Yes their are many tourist traps but even if you pay double what the going rate is your only talk about a few dollars. Most filipinos are very helpful and good people. The ones you worry about the most is the ones in fancy suit that tell you hey I got a deal for you be afraid very afraid. best thing to do in manila is shop for cloths bring an empty bag with you cause you'll need it. My wife loves to shop for cloth in the hug mall around town. O' yes almost forgot if your going to need a hotel use a hotel that is well known or is in a good part of town. if you do that you have great trip Manila fun and exciting. It worth stay for a few dollars more for safety. Remember try to blend not over take an that filipino people will embrace you.
Manila has a lot of skillful snatchers in its populace. When walking along the crowded streets of Divisoria, Binondo, Quiapo, etc., be extra conscious of your belongings. I lost my favorite Giorgio Armani spectacles in my backpack pocket while strolling along Recto Avenue in downtown Manila. Always best to walk around with a company.
I read other alerts and expected more but i find you have to be cautious every place you go and keep you guard on.
but if you aware with you surrounding you'll be safe...plus you feel safe with armed security everyplace from mall entrance to hotels... to vehicle car check point..... so just be aware and travel smart and safe..
Go to divisoria for an "experience" and to locate foods of all kinds, and inexpensive shops that sell everything from ribbons and fabrics, to toys and household and paper goods.
It is not advisable to go alone, as security can be a problem. WATCH YOUR PURSE AND PERSONAL SECURITY.