travel safety

Sep 7th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
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travel safety

hi all, i read a bunch of the messages and you guys are all so knowledgeable about the philippines. i have a question and i hope you guys can help:

i am chinese american and my family is living in makati because of my dad's job. my girlfriend is irish american (blonde, green, eyes, 5'11"...) needless to stay, stands out in any asian country. she would like to come with me when i go there to visit at the end of october however she wants to be sure it'll be safe. we'll be spending our time in makati city and we want to hit up the boracay beaches. any advice or words of caution? stuff we need to be aware of? thanks!
mctung is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I lived in Hong Kong and Singapore and had a Chinese boyfriend for some time. We traveled a lot, including the Philippines. We never got a comment anywhere. I would not have any concerns about how the Filipinos will react to your relationship.

Manila/Makati and the Philippines in general have some problems, but none of them are related to animosity towards Chinese or relationships between Asians and westerners. You might have some safety and security concerns, but your family is probably a better source of conditions on the ground there. There have been bombings in shopping malls and public transport in Mania and elsewhre, but again your family would be a better source of info. Also take a look at the US State Department Consular Information page for the Philippines at I have to note that the US State Department is fairly conservative in their view of what is safe, so bear this in mind. (And read warnings for places like Italy and the UK which you might consider "safe").

Cicerone is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:57 AM
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There's a difference between terrorism in the Philippines and many places in Asia. In the Philippines, the Islamic terrorists target is the general Catholic population and the government. It's not really the tourists and foreigners, as in the case in Indonesia.

Philippinos are some of the friendiest and warmest people in the world.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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We are heading there next Feb/March. We have relatives in Manila. Most of the concern appears to be located in the southern islands around Mindanao- where there is a rebel movement- so avoid these areas. Just use common sense when out and about.
BillT is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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If you guys are in Makati and Boracay, people will not even look twice at your girlfriend. There are so many tourists and people of all different ethnic backgrounds there that neither of you will even be noticed.

I go to the PI every year or so and we stay in a VERY non-touristy area and I have never worried about my safety. Only advice I would give is do not wear excessive jewelry when on a jeepney.
kikahead is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Me and my friend (we're both late-30 year old American men) are heading for Mindanao Island, with the city of Davao our destination there. The state dept warning is pretty specific. The people we know who live there say the danger is overrated. Anyone else have info? I don't know if this is a crazy idea or not.
geeperz_99 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 09:14 AM
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I would say crazy- not sure what the allure is on Mindano but there are plenty of places/islands where the rebel movement is not present. Why take a chance? You will stick out.
BillT is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If your in makati he will stand out as much as the rest of the blond blue eyed tourists staying at the high end hotels and expat busnesmen that work in the financial district.

nothing two see. manila is the most american ized city in asia.. lots of crazy blond GI's. sex tourists, and the rest have pounded the streets there.
orgy7 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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I don't agree with everyone here about people not taking notice of you. Filipinos will look at any woman who is beautiful and/or different. I would definitely never leave your girlfriend unescorted as Filipino men will try to pick her up. Some can be aggressive.

Use your instincts. If you stick to the metropolitan cities and places like Boracay, you don't have too much to worry about. Going into more rural places or the provinces, you will definitely attract attention. Again, don't be flashy. Not too many jewelry as another poster has mentioned. I wouldn't take the jeepneys unless you go with a local.
mrshekmi is offline  
Oct 18th, 2004, 11:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 158
mershekmi - unless you're in a bar, filipino men by nature are not very forward. In fact, even in a bar, only a handful of filipino men will ever be forward enough to pick up a girl. the filipinos have been exposed to american and caucasian women/men for many years. the country has been colonized by the Spaniards, Americans, Japanese for over a century. if you are in manila...especially makati, they will not be ogled...unless dressed provocatively.
purplefish is offline  

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