General Safety, Manila
Pickpockets in Manila are 'world class'. Please be always aware of your surroundings and get away from suspicious people if they get near you. Carry your valuables close to you all the time (and maybe check them once in a while).
I was advised by the hotel tour desk in Manila not to wear any jewellery. Since I was travelling alone I heeded this warning and apart from an old watch, I wore nothing else. They also said it was advisable not to be out on the streets once it got dark..
The busy tourist areas, including the information and airline offices, are prime territories for Manila's enterprising petty thieves. Without suspecting every person you encounter, be extra cautious in these areas, particularly in notorious Rizal Park in the district of Ermita. Some cheaper hotels are fire traps, so locate the exits.
If you're in Manila, always watch out of crossing streets, even there is Pedestrian lane, some Filipino driver do not consider that rule, they just drive right through....mostly it's a first come, first serve situation, rather than you have to run across the street. Making sign to stop the cars doesn't help sometimes, best way is to wait a good chance or cross with stop lights.
While in Philippines you should always watch your step when crossing the roads because the traffic is soo huge, especially during the rush hours.. As a pedestrian you have to have a lot of courage to cross the roads in Philippines. You also have to asure yourself that no car or bike will hit you. I almost got run over by a biker even if I was crossing the road on the pedestrian crossing sign. I got lucky with my baby that pulled me back.Thank you love!
ATIVAN Gangs. This gang preys on tourists. They're super-friendly and appear decent. They befriend you and offer you a spiked drink. You wake up in a gutter in an outlying suburb sans wallet and other valuables. Scary stuff.
1. Be careful about belongings (luggage, purses, packages). Pickpockets work crowded areas such as airports, shopping malls, tourist sites, and parks. Never leave anything unattended, even for a moment. 2. Filipino men usually carry a few peso bills in their breast pocket or front pocket. This way they don't have to take out their wallet, especially on the street. 3. A single woman by herself late at night is not usual and can invite trouble. Try to be with a companion when going to late night clubs or returning from concerts. 4. When entering a taxi, tell the driver where you want to go and insist that he turn on the meter. If he says it is broken or for some other reason he won't turn it on, tell him to stop and get out of the cab. However, cabs hired at major hotels have a set fee schedule by zone, which they should show you upon demand. It is always more expensive to hire a cab from a hotel than a metered cab on the street. 5. Do not attempt to change dollars on the black market (e.g. Santa Cruz) unless you are with another person, preferably someone who speaks Tagalog. It is dangerous because people know you are carrying large amounts of cash. The Shoe Mart department stores offer the best rate of exchange that is legal and safe.
Always keep your bags, celphones, wallets and your shopping bags close at hand. Snatchers, pickpockets, and even people who stop you to ask for money abound. The usual victims are those who are not alert and paying attention to their surroundings. The same rules apply: avoid dark, deserted areas.
Even when eating in restaurants, keep your stuff where you can see them. There have been stories of bags being picked up as the owners enjoy their meal.
If anyone approaches you for donations or alms, just shake your head and say no. Watch out also for those telling a hard-luck story, especially those who ask for money so they can go home. It's a scam! (Sadly, I have fallen victim to one.)