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Hello, any tips on staying safe and places to stay away from

Hello
My names Lukas and I,m heading to sindangan zamboanga del norte in 6 weeks for 2 weeks.

Can anyone one give me tips on staying safe and places to stay away from

I cannot speak to the area specifically, though there are a few rules to follow that will help keep you a little safer.  Hopefully others can add to or refine my list.

1. DO NOT flash your cash!  Keep a small amount to pay for meals or other small ticket items and keep your wallet out of sight of prying eyes.
2. Try to ignore beggars, while many are legitimate, many more are not. Once the lid is off the candy jar you may get swamped with hands outstretched and that could simply be a distraction while someone picks your pocket.
3. Like the nightlife?  Remember when the sun goes down the cowards and criminals find their bravado. One expat in the a large urban area claims that just last week he was out at night for a trip to the store and while walking, three men in a van pulled up and two attempted to strong arm him into the van. He said a local business owner shouted at them and gave him the chance to get away.
4. Taxis, If the meter is not working, find another. If there are other occupants, find another. If the registrations for the taxi and the driver are not clearly displayed, find another. If the AC doesn't work, it means the windows are down and in the busy city streets you may be subject to a snatcher through the open window.
5. Bottled water from a street vendor may not be anything more than tap water that will most likely make you ill. They reseal the caps with soldering guns or the like.  Make sure the water and ice you use or drink is filtered, ask.
6. Be courteous and not confrontational. Filipinos can be very direct and may simply call a fat man fat not meaning any insult, just a statement. Wear your thick skin.

I am quite sure that I missed a few things or maybe in some eyes overstated others, but this should help. Be careful and cautious just as you would in your home country.

Enjoy and be safe.

Mabuhay,

TeeJay

Thanks for your reply mate..

In the zamboanga del norte areas I hear kidnapping can happen, I've noticed its towards more older people and people that have lived in areas for a while. Are you aware if its more at night or at anytime of the day.

Your information was great and very useful.

Regards
Lukas

Negros island is much safer.....you do have to worry..night or day...JOE

Lukas,

As I am not from the area I cannot speak to it's safety firsthand. Though while someone who has lived there for some time and knows the area, local customs, some local friends and the do's and don'ts, they may, as I do in my area, feel safe.  Though I don't tempt fate with late night walks.

Travel advisory directed at New Zealander's, though I'm sure they don't care if Aussies read it as well...lol.
https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/philippines

Be safe and enjoy your trip.

TeeJay

Late last year (2015), we had a project in Dipolog, Zamboanga Del Norte. I had concerns about the safety of my workers as 2 weeks prior to their scheduled trip, a couple of foreigners were kidnapped / abducted in that area. I voiced my concerns to my client. He said that I didn't need to worry if my workers are not, or do not look like, any of these three:
1. a foreigner
2. a wealthy person (business tycoon, well-dressed Chinese, celebrity, etc.)
3. a politician

My client could have made up that list because he needed his project done. But past events dictate that there is truth to that list.

None of my workers fit these profiles. So I sent them there. And they all returned to Manila safe and sound and without any untoward incidents. But I will never let my white American husband go to that area. Why tempt fate?

Thank you very much..
I'm heading over soon and I don't match any of those people.

I'm covered in tattoos and wear very down to earth clothes. Hope that helps me out some how. I am stay with a very big Philippine family

lukas83 :

Thank you very much..
I'm heading over soon and I don't match any of those people.

I'm covered in tattoos and wear very down to earth clothes. Hope that helps me out some how. I am stay with a very big Philippine family

Wearing cheap clothing and being humble will help.  Staying with your gf family will help keep you safer from strangers, but especially if you have never been there or met them before you may have to slowly get to know them.  Many think if you can afford to fly to the Philippines,  then you are rich.  It worked best for me to give the kids bite size candy bars and always smile and be happy, even if they feed you a part of the Pig you didn't realize people actually eat (blood, feet etc.)

@lukas83

So you mean you look like a local?

Many here know that tattoos are relatively expensive, and would assume that you have a lot of disposable income to get those done, especially if you're covered in them. Whether you look like a foreigner or a local, I would suggest making the tattoos less obvious, like if you're planning to wear a t-shirt, wear long pants.

I would say to be on the safe side dont go to Zambuanga if your a foreigner, too much temptation for the local bandits to kidnap you for money. Play it safe and meet your contact in Davao.

@FilAmericanMom

I never once implied I was anything like a local. Your perception is you own judgment of my status. 

I stated the following.

I'm covered in tattoos and wear very down to earth clothes. Hope that helps me out some how. I am stay with a very big Philippine family.

I'd like to put out there for my friends!!

Id only welcome positive feed back that is factual feedback. Moreover, defiantly not turning my comments into your own perception and feeding it back to me as if I have implied something else.

Great site and thank you to everyone for your help.

lukas83 :

@FilAmericanMom

I never once implied I was anything like a local. Your perception is you own judgment of my status. 

I stated the following.

I'm covered in tattoos and wear very down to earth clothes. Hope that helps me out some how. I am stay with a very big Philippine family.

I'd like to put out there for my friends!!

Id only welcome positive feed back that is factual feedback. Moreover, defiantly not turning my comments into your own perception and feeding it back to me as if I have implied something else.

Great site and thank you to everyone for your help.

She let you know that tattoos are going to make you different, whether or not you said or implied or inferred that you look like a local is a mute point.  Hopefully you can take the info and move on without feeling negativity.

lukas83 :

@FilAmericanMom

I never once implied I was anything like a local. Your perception is you own judgment of my status. 

I stated the following.

I'm covered in tattoos and wear very down to earth clothes. Hope that helps me out some how. I am stay with a very big Philippine family.

I'd like to put out there for my friends!!

Id only welcome positive feed back that is factual feedback. Moreover, defiantly not turning my comments into your own perception and feeding it back to me as if I have implied something else.

Great site and thank you to everyone for your help.

Lukas83,

I sincerely doubt that FilAmericanMom meant any disrespect to you personally and as is the norm with her posts, she is simply trying to help as there is no logical reason to attack you personally.

With you being new to the Philippines and considering the area in which you will be staying, unless you are Asian or look like a local you will stick out in the crowd. Wearing simple clothes and being friendly and welcoming is an advantage, though you are simply a foreigner and that will bring some attention to you with the locals. If your tattoos are professionally done, colorful and detailed, that will also bring attention to you in large part simply out of curiosity and some covering may help in removing some of that added attention. No more no less and those replying to you simply want to help you be safe and enjoy your stay in the Philippines.

TeeJay

http://previews.123rf.com/images/clivia/clivia0806/clivia080600004/3132639-A-winking-yellow-smiley-stands-out-from-the-crowd-Stock-Photo.jpg

Thanks for your replies everyone.

I fully understand everyone's opinions. However, I've let it go and I don't think she was personally attaching me what so ever. My concern was asking me the following their was no need to ask this - ("So you mean you look like a local?)

I never said that and I'm asking for tips around keeping safe, I;m not asking to make correcting s on words that was never used.

Its not being negativity what so ever, i am simply stating the facts about my wording.


If me correcting someone about their comments is being negative I'm very surprised. 

Respect to all and have a great day.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I just wanted to know if you do not look like a foreigner. I am just concerned for you because you did state that you not fit or look like any of the following: a. foreigner; b. wealthy person; c. politician.:

lukas83 :

Thank you very much..
I'm heading over soon and I don't match any of those people.

And with your tattoos, you match 2 of those categories.

A way to be safe is to try to blend in as much as you can, like a quarter dollar in a bunch of 1 peso coins. It's difficult if you don't look like a local. You could be in danger in a place like Zamboanga Del Norte.

Here are the facts:

https://kami.com.ph/17216-5-dangerous-p … pines.html

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/04/ … ctims.html

Personally, I would not let my husband to go to Zamboanga or thereabouts. I do not have the money that bandits are asking for nowadays.

What happens to us in life is a product of our actions. If you do continue with your plans to go there, I hope you leave there safe and sound and without untoward incident, like my workers.

Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Hi Sir,

Please do not travel that place.  Thanks

Will I get kidnapped in the Philippines?

The risk of kidnap is especially hazardous for tourists because the terror groups target foreigners for the high profile publicity - and the high ransom they can obtain from relatively wealthy families. Thankfully, these crimes are not widespread. The following locations carry a higher risk of kidnapping and should be avoided:

    Sarangani Province
    North Cotabato Province
    South Cotabato Province
    General Santos City
    Sultan Kudarat Province
    Lanao del Sur Province
    Lanao del Norte Province
    Iligan City
    Pangutaran Island

Try in Palawan PPC.

if you read your own countrys view on their site they advise in red print not to travel to this area .what more do you need to know

Thank you very much to everyone's tips.

FilAmericanMom, Thanks for your very useful advice.

Why the rant? Expensive tatoos make you more of a target, plain and simple.

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