Experience in Malate, Manila Nov 2017

Dear Readers
My last trip to this beautiful country was as great as ever. In Nov 2017, was a great trip to Boracay Island which is still one of my favourite destinations ever. And there is no doubt that philippines has some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
What happened in Malate, Manila at the end of my Japan / Philippine trip slightly dampened my feelings, was when I went down to the local Cafe right next door to my hotel in Malate, was a great treat to a delicious coffee and light snacks.
The Cafe owner and the usual staff were brilliant at serving customers from the hotel and in general street customers.
One morning I was with a lady friend sitting and checking my emails on my mini iPad, when two young people one woman and a man walked in, the woman asked me that the hotel need my attention and here I am falling for one of the oldest tricks in the world, silly me I walked over to the front desk of the hotel which was about 15 meters away from the Cafe, I didn’t spend more then 5 minutes at the front desk and returned to the Cafe to hear that my shoulder bag I always use overseas has been stolen. My lady friend in fact told me not to go, for some reason I decided to attend the front desk. I never carry anything expensive in my walking shoulder bag anyway, usually its my A5 sketch book, my power battery and pencils, my Earset for phone and of course packet of tissues.
Another incident only two days earlier was when I went to the local Mall with a different lady friend and was sitting in this Cafe inside the Mall, we were engaged with conversation when her small shoulder bag containing 5000 peso and her house key, ID badge and other small items was stolen. These two women I was with I have known for sometime and these incidents are not connected to my lady friends at all.
This behaviour will not keep me away from one of the worlds most friendliest and smiley society’s. But as I hear about so many thefts being carried out by young Filipino men and women all over Manila, and I guess country, this behaviour will drive men and women and tourists in general away from this beautiful yet complex country.
I would like to hear your comments and this is only my small experience,

So, as I understand you, in the first case, a woman and man (who you did not know) walked over to you while you were sitting with your girlfriend in a cafe, and said the nearby hotel in which you were staying, needed your attention...   So, why on earth would the hotel send over two strangers to ask you to return to the hotel, and why on earth did you  follow their instructions ...AND why did your lady friend not stop or refrain from giving up your shoulder bag while you were at the front desk...
Sounds as if the three of them were in this theft together... I would think you might sharpen up your antennas ..

Hi Bob,
Thanks for your comment. You can see the Hotel front desk from the Cafe window, and my lady friend just stayed at the Cafe bench with her back facing the Hotel, I simply took my iPad and phone with me while my lady friend was at the Cafe. I actually looked up at the Hotel front desk but didn’t see anyone pointing at the Cafe. I simply thought I need to attend and I need to remember that its not Sydney Australia anymore. Just being silly from my part and never speak or leave my belongings. My lady friend did say don’t go, stay!!
Oh well.

Three guesses why they are smiling and the first two don't count. You better stay in Oz, you won't survive a month here.

Well said the Bold, stay back in Oz, maybe it is safe, but what i know there is not too, as people get run over by cars just for walking along the street, so where is safe, no way, some times you need to be as locals are, if they bad you then just return the fever, I have  learned this at the very start, no one trust foreigners here not even Government, but yet they want your money, they all the same if they can get your Dollar they will no matter how, but be careful so you don't get killed, this is one of the worts things can happen to you here, look at what they do to journalists they killed them and they said after they are Communists, it kind of gives them right to kill if they think you are Communist, even if you not they will say you are, good excuse to kill people, and one more thing drugs will get you killed too, you don't have to deal or use them as long as some one points finger at you and say you on drugs or Communist, how bad is this country, and you say one of the most beautiful place you have seen, haha come on Man, Oz got the best places in the world, you think people will come here if they can afford Australia, not a chance, they come because they can not live in their own Country for what ever reasons, here is cheap, life and sex to go along with it,

Well said there Saamangelevski......

"they all the same if they can get your Dollar they will no matter how, but be careful so you don't get killed, this is one of the worts things can happen to you here"

I have also heard that getting oneself killed is not a very pleasant experience !

They are not smiling at you, they are laughing at you because you are an easy target, and people like you make all foreigners targets. It's best that you stay in Oz.

I have only had money stolen once from me in 5 years of frequently coming here, spending probably over 24 months in country it self.

Like every country there are good and bad people, it is no different here than it is in Australia.

The worst places are of course where tourist go (bus stations, markets and beaches), the thieves know that the people who go there are only there for a short time, and often inexperienced in travel safety.

Living here you may not make friends but you do know acquaintances (locals who live around you) if you are friendly to them the will look out (to a minor degree) for you.

Sounds like you atrabrecha2015, have a bit of experience in travel and this time you just dropped your guard, it happens to all of us.  After never being robbed in 15 years of South East Asia travel, just 5 weeks ago Puerto Galera, my GF and I had just arrived, we left our door unlooked while we had an afternoon nap (day time) and someone opened the door and grabbed my wallet off the table near the door, yes we were sleeping in that room at the time.  Of course at night time we would always look it, we were both tired from the travel and it was day time, so yes I dropped my guard and it cost me 5,000php (never leave in you wallet more than you can afford to lose.)

A few tips,

1) If some one is walking behind you and you and following you, simply stop in a lite area or inside a shop, and wait for them to pass you, you are then in charge of the situation.

2) If going out for a day or night, never carry with you more money than you can afford to lose.

3) Treat every one with respect, but be careful who you give your trust two.  Just like an ex Australian GF then can be untrustworthy if you piss them off LOL.

PS they will try to steel from you GF or lady friend when she is with you, as they think that she has money as she is with a foreigner.  Street kids play on them when begging for money, they don't ask me, they ask her.

Hi pej well this is so different then what i experience here, as what i can see and know i am always the target for little ones or adults to ask for money, mostly Woman never had a Man asking me for money, only if he is family member, they always ask for money s they can smoke drink or gamble with it, i do not carry money with me but my Wife is, they never stop her and ask for money only me, but any way maybe we are all different, maybe you look to scary for some one to ask you haha, maybe i look giving person, not saying this is good but.
We have been robed here too, in my own house, we been up stairs watching TV, and they got in from back door, at the time they have been working on my house not finished yet, so yes I think is one of them, but good thing about been robed they will never come back again, one time only, in OZ they robe you they will come back few more times, people around me here are ok I think, i do not have much to do with them, they keep away and I do too, works both ways, but I am here and not going any way soon.

Hi Pej
You are the only well mannered man I have had the most decent response from my experience in Malate. I cannot fathom the response of other readers on this site. As you mentioned you had an incident as well, this is not a site to insult travellers as we can all fall into a situation where we drop our guard down.
I most certainly will keep your tips in mind and I truly and most graciously appreciate and adopt what you have mentioned.
After all I only wrote this incident to share, not to be insulted by some of the members on this site.
Kind regards

I don't think any advice given to you to keep you alive could be considered insulting !   
In the first instance, you do not explain how is it possible for your shoulder bag to be stolen when your 'girlfriend' was supposedly  guarding it !   In the second instance,  you should be protecting your 'girlfriends' belongings.   In both cases, it seems very possible  the thieves  knew your 'girlfriends'.   I am correct in saying you  paid your second girlfriend the 5000 pesos that was supposedly stolen?  And in the second case, why did you not apprehend the two thieves? 
Somehow, you seem like an easy target!     My advise.  Look for your girls in a different bar.

bob18 ~ Well put. Clueless people make other foreigners targets when the thieves are laughing while drinking beer bought with stolen foreigners money. Guess what? Theives like this talk to each other. If he ignores good advice and cries like a little girl about being insulted, the next time he will probably get knifed or shot. The bad part is that people like this put others at risk. So maybe I enjoy insulting people like this in the hopes that it will help others.

FortuneFavorsTheBold :

bob18 ~ Well put. Clueless people make other foreigners targets when the thieves are laughing while drinking beer bought with stolen foreigners money. Guess what? Theives like this talk to each other. If he ignores good advice and cries like a little girl about being insulted, the next time he will probably get knifed or shot. The bad part is that people like this put others at risk. So maybe I enjoy insulting people like this in the hopes that it will help others.

Hi Fortune Favors the bold.

I don't think that samangelevski  or atrabrecha2015 or myself are clueless as you imply that people who get rob are, as all three of us have had it happen.  "Clueless people make other foreigners targets when the thieves are laughing while drinking beer bought with stolen foreigners money"

If you go through life and have never being robbed you are lucky, I was robbed in Australia as many other people are rob.  Yes my house was locked up and they simply brock in.  As the saying goes locks are only for honest people, they do not keep the bad guys out!

I have only have had one westerner acquaintance killed here, and he was a big player in the bars, you probably know who I am talking about if you have being here for while and followed the news.  And he was not clueless.  In the end he was a targeted.  Yes as all foreigners are in one way or another, from begging, to pickpocket, to robbery on the street, to houses being broken into and right though to the extreme of kidnap, and murder.

In the end if they want to get you (rob or kill) they will.  The only way to reduce risks in any country is to sit at home in a house and lock it down.  But these people are basically waiting for death to come to them.  So one way or the other stuff happens.

Come on guys we are all here and thinking of coming or have an interest in the Philippines, surely we can have a civil conversation.  And respond to the original post, without posting side chats on the post which some one took time to post.

Non of us are clueless, but as they say "it happens" to quote Forest Crump.

HI pej, what part of Australia are you from? where are you in Philippines ? my life here is ok, but I don't just lock my self up and don't go out, I do walk the street and do make sure people see me, every one in my area and all around know me by now as a American which i am not, but any way this is what they see, the same what we see in Chinese they all look alike, but not really if we look closely, I have a bike motor bike what they call here with side car tricycle, and push bike which i take for run in the mornings not every morning but do a lots of km's,  people see me every way people know where I live, I drive a lot every way too, i am not the one who will like to be locked up because of other people, I live my life here as I do back home, for me is not as cheap as back home, my shopping is done in S&R or in SM Clark or SM Tarlac, I am going to moves one time a week or more if nice moves, have to pick PG only because of my little Son, I have applied for my 13A Visa, which i will get in Feb 15th, that was easy just like ABC. to do things here are easy but you know what pej it is all comes down to how you talk to people, you know what I mean, treat them nice and with respect then you have them as friends for life, I treat every one nice even if they don't respect me for who i am, i shake their hand even if they don't, I am good friends with lots of good people in my town here, from brgy captain to mayor and police department, got to know them by accident but real one, it happens here and every way, but mostly here, been booked in Manila many times, not because i did some thing wrong but because of reasons I don't know, hate to think about money to be big reason but true, I am not afraid to drive what ever or go where ever, maybe not go what ever some places are not safe, I am more afraid because of people thinking i may be American, they are the ones to keep away from and not to have them as friends here, I am not saying they are all bad people, but they are big target here, this is just what i see and hear,  well this may not be your normal topic but it is some one life storey in Philippines, funny in short time how much we learn and experience, but then all part of life when you make decision to move from your own Country, and marry here and then have family, and then you find out your Wife likes to stay here and not to move to Australia, that was not what i had in mined, I am working on it but, trying to tell her to think about child more then her self, where is schools and good ones too, as I know the education standards here are next to nil, even in good privet school not good to, any way the time will tell as always, i am big believe in time, the same as yes day was past, tomorrow is future, but today is our day we are here and this day counts the most, so make it best.

Hey guys!    Maybe good to re-read the opening post in this thread.   Some of the responses are now moving offtopic (side chats), dealing with Australian house robberies etc.   When I re-read the opening post, I am visualizing the surroundings and circumstances of the 2 thefts.  I see both these incidents as a complete setup with the author's  Malate lady friends as part of the robbery.   During the theft, I am puzzled as to why his 'lady friend' not make an attempt to hang on to his shoulder bag where they were apparently sitting together?   (He makes no mention that he might have carried his tablet with him when he returned to the hotel lobby desk because of some mistrust toward his girlfriend!)
In the second incident he describes, (which occurred earlier in time), why did our friend not jump out of his seat and retrieve his lady's  shoulder bag which was being grabbed?   Did he just sit there in shock?   As you can see,  in both these instances,  our friend was set up by his special girlfriends for a 'snatch and run' ! 
Our good friend should be fishing in a new bar out of Malate!

The Philippines is not a place to be leaving items of value laying around. The girlfriend being involved might be surprising to a newbie, but plain old common sense tells you not to be leaving valuable things laying around up for grabs in a 3rd World poverty stricken Country. The thieves are laughing about the stupid foreigner and looking for more stupid foreigners to rip off.

Bob18, you may be right we move from the topic, the truth is every one will or has been robed, I do not think any one of us talks about it as an topic here, just this guy who is feeling sorry for him self, and what he wants from us to feel sorry for him too, haha  not now not later or ever, and as the bold say stupid foreigners to be ripped off here, you know what if we do leave things out for others to see is fine, but it is not for them to take or remove, maybe the bold is trying to say we need to teach them how to live as a society where every one is safe and every one is helping each other not to robe or remove things that are not theirs, maybe I am bit naïve when it come to this, I have gates on my house, closed but not locked day times only night time, I have front and back lights on during night time, well they are on day night time, I have few kids trucks on front and slide for my Son, I believe people that walk along the road mostly local people can see in my front yard and what is in it, no one took any thing yet, will they I am not sure, but I do trust they will not, any way things are not as bad as we make them to be, I believe if I did this back in Australia the toys may not be there the next day, so I think every way is the same, or maybe we expect more of a respect from Philippines then what they willing to give, I believe we are not kind to them, but yet we live here and we call our home here, so what is the real problem, I think it is people but not just them, it is kind of both ways, give and take forgive and forget,

Dear Pej

Didn't realize you had this reply, you sound like you have tons of experience living in Philippines, I am very much appreciative of the type of nature and personality you posses, it is a pleasure to hear what you have to share and express from your view point. I totally agree with what you have said and yes! even here in our Australia, people are robbed every hour some where in the country.

And if you had to compare what we have in Australia and what they have in the Philippines, its like chalk and cheese, we have so much support here in Australia and still we find certain individuals stealing or robbing people, and this is why I was saying in my original Post that even though Filipinos have so very little to survive with, they still have a smile on their face.

I will visit this beautiful and exotic country not for the obvious reason only but as an Artist I appreciate nature quite a bit, Philippines has some of the most beautiful landscape and people in the world.

I appreciate your view point and do certainly appreciate you being here as a member, god bless

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