Planning A Trip To The Philippines

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Glenn Holland, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Glenn Holland

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    Dec 26, 2014
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    I'm interested in visiting the Metro Manila area of the Philippines some time next month.

    My understanding is Metro Manila is a monstrous city like the greater Los Angeles area. However, the infrastructure and living conditions in Manila are "Third World" - to put it politely. The water and sewage systems are overloaded by the monstrous population and many parts of the city may be unhealthy.

    Any of you that have visited the place know what areas are safe to go to or which ones to avoid?
     
  2. nsaspook

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    Aug 27, 2009
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    Lived there and in several places in the Philippines. No time to talk right now, will get you later about it.

    What's safe depends on you, I've been everywhere from the dumps in Tondo to the American Embassy without any fear of anything because I looked like a local with my family. If you are traveling alone, without a guide and don't have a clue about local customs anywhere is a potential danger.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  3. GopherT

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    How does one randomly select Manila as a place to visit?
     
  4. ronv

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    I used to travel there fairly often back in the 90's, but we always had a driver/guard from the factory. We had a couple of large houses where we stayed that had cooks and guards as well. It was in the suburbs. I found the people extremely friendly and I felt safe, but I guess I should have. Did venture out shopping a few times alone or with friends and had no problem. I would not drive in or around the city. They have a strange set of rules that you won't believe.
    The guy that ran the factory go mugged once when he was out alone. They took his money and a ring. The guards brought him back the ring - with a finger in it.:D
    The smog was pretty bad on some days, but I never got sick eating there, but we went to the same 5 or 6 places. I would say if you are going to get in trouble it would be driving. They don't seem to know what lanes are.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. nsaspook

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    I had a car and drove it in the country-side but would never drive in Manila. :eek:

    If you stay near or in Makati it's very safe.
    The bay downtown is nice in the day but not safe at night without a guard.
     
  6. Glenn Holland

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    Dec 26, 2014
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    My trip to Metro Manila was selected because I have a business interest there.
     
  7. nsaspook

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    If you do make the trip plan for at least one full day out of the city. I was there a few years after the movie Apocalypse Now was filmed in the jungle about 100m from Manila. My girl-friend at the time was from there so we rode the bus (a cheap bus on a very crappy road) up to her town (Pagsanjan) near the river filmed in the movie. We got a days supply of food and drinks for a day camp and then hired a boatman to take us up river to where they built the prop village for the movie. I think most of it is still there and the trip is worth the effort, time and money.

    [​IMG]




    http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/a/apocalypse.html#.VecH2NSPuG8
     
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  8. strantor

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    I lived in Manila for a few months back in 2010/2011.

    Since you're going there for work, make sure your company sets you up with a driver. It's not safe to take a taxi alone (or with others, for that matter); You run an unacceptable risk of the taxi driver himself holding you up, or driving to a pre-planned waypoint where you will be held up by someone else. It's safer, but still not safe, for you to drive yourself; Unless you have limo tint, you will be stopped by police, who will threaten to impound your car, take you to jail, refuse to return your identification, etc., until you pay them (it's only like few hundred to 1000 pesos). That's if you aren't involved in an accident, which is very likely if you have no experience driving in total anarchy.

    Don't go off the beaten path, and don't go anywhere alone, and you should be fine.

    There's the typical tips for 3rd world countries:
    Don't withdraw large sums of money at the ATM.
    Don't take all your credit cards or anything else you don't want stolen with you when you go out.
    Don't be confrontational or boisterous.
    Don't walk around with bling bling hanging off your neck and wrist.
    Don't carry a big fat wallet inside the back pocket of loose-fitting pants.
    Don't get stupid drunk.
    Don't take candy from strangers.

    My post probably sounds pretty negative, but I hope not to cast a black cloud on your trip. It will be a fun trip, if you behave yourself and don't make yourself an easy target. Try to get out of Manila while you're there; there are much more beautiful things to see in the Philippines than Manila.
     
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  9. Glenn Holland

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    Dec 26, 2014
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    Sounds like Manila is a lot like Mexico where there's rampant corruption in law enforcement ("The Federallies" as they are known) and organized crime of all varieties.
     
  10. nsaspook

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    You have the best of both worlds there. Spanish corruption and American greed with an Asian flavor. It's easy to get things done there if you have the money and know who to bribe. The wife and I co-own a house with her sisters in the southern part of the country near Cubu. I've no plans to live there after retirement but it's nice place to visit in the winter here and cheap if you already have a place to stay. The beaches are some of the best in the world.
    http://www.bohol.ph/gallery5.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  11. strantor

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    I'm sure there is organized crime in Manila, as there is everywhere, but I didn't see any of it. I don't think "gangs" or cartels are an appreciable problem there, but I could be wrong. From what I observed, it's mainly petty crime brought on by poverty; theft, robbery, etc. The police force probably represents the largest organized crime syndicate in Manila, but even their crimes are petty (extortion, entrapment, bribery). Outside of Manila, especially in the southern provinces (specifically Mindanao), there is a high concentration of Islamic population, and all the radical-ness that goes along with places like that (I'll flame anyone who attempts to insinuate that I just insinuated that all Muslims are radicals) - mass murders, beheadings, etc.
     
  12. nsaspook

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    It's a shame that Mindanao is so dangerous today, I was there 35 years ago and it's such a wonderful place (Zamboanga City) to visit with the Islamic influence on building and temples. The last time (89) I was in the Philippines in a 'official' capacity we were banned from travel outside Luzon without special authorization of the Embassy due to the terrorist threat from MILF(s).
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  13. JoeJester

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    It's a good thing you added that link, because you might have run across the urban dictionary version of that acronym in Luzon.
     
  14. nsaspook

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    Both can be a danger to your manhood.
     
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