Living in The Philippines > Expat life in Philippines


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I have not even looked this up yet on purpose.

But I know that most governments warn it's citizens from travel to Mindanao, Negros, Bohol, Cebu, Palawan, and basically anywhere, save Luzon. Mindanao and Visayas are all no go zones.

Which is funny, because, contrary to popular belief, that majority of terror attacks occur in Manila.

There seem to be a lot misconceptions foreigners have about crime and terrorism in the Philippines. Just wanted to go over those with you guys and get your input. Here goes:

"Davao City, despite being nestled in one of the most dangerous locations on the planet, is the safest city in the country!"

Davao has the highest murder rate in the nation, and the second highest rape.

  "Abu Sayyaf is only in Mindanao." 

This compilation of a series of articles makes it look like Abu Sayyaf basically owns Bohol:

Foreigners abducted in Palawan:

Samal Island resort by Davao City:

Not only is terrorism not isolated to Mindanao, there is more than Abu Sayyaf:

"It's more dangerous to walk down the streets of Detroit than the Philippines!"

Well, you are trying to compare one city, with a country. Detroit is a nasty place. But all Americans do not live there. New Orleans is way worse. But again, who lives there? America is mostly small towns that are pretty safe. The same cannot be said of the Philippines. Small towns still have things like---terrorists! Then you have to consider the fact that if you are European-American in the Philippines, the chance of crime happening to you goes up 9,000%, compared to a local. Many data suggest that Manila is safer for foreigners than the Provinces.

As for overall danger? Murder happens roughly TWICE to THREE TIMES as much in the Philippines than America:

And murder is MANY times higher in the Philippines than that of Europe:

What about the entire region? I heard Thailand was more dangerous? What about those evil Muslim nations like Indonesia and Malaysia?

Nope. Philippines is #1 in terrorism. Does that map show that Manila is safe? Nope. Here is another. "Abu Sayyaf Operational Areas":

Again, crime statistics are amplified for foreigners than locals.

Also, Abu Sayyaf is only ONE group or terrorists in the Philippines.

You Have Abu Sayyaf Group, which is tied to ISIS and Al Qaeda, New People's Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, Indigenous Peoples Federal Army, Alex Boncayao Brigade, 6 April Liberation Movement, Farmers Movement Of The Philippines, Reform Of The Armed Forces Movement, Anti Communist Vigilante Patrol, Anti-Drug Vigilantes, Bangsamoro National Liberation Army, Partido Marxista Leninista Ng Pilipinas, Al Khobar, Moro National Liberation Front Splinter Group, Pentagon Kidnap Group, Kabataang Makabayan, Kawal Ng Pilipinas, Young Officer Union Of The New Generation And Reformist Armed Forces Of The Philippines, Alcubar Group...

Just to name a few.

And this is not counting bandits, gangs, romance scams, and just random violent acts.


I am just scratching the surface here. And I telling you to be scared? Yes! Am I saying no foreigner should live in the Philippines? No. But some should not. Many would be better if they never set foot on the islands. Yet some live happy lives, without incident. I am abroad now, crazily planning our final and permanent trip back. I am relatively young, work, and have a family. And I am not rich. I cannot say anything on here to incriminate myself. However, I have been abducted. I have been stabbed. Shot. I have taken lives in the Philippines, in order to protect my own. I have been in jail over incidents where I was the victim.

Why I am happy in the Philippines is for personal reasons. I don't like living in America for my own reasons. The past, you know? Nothing political. If I had a chance to live in Japan or Italy or something, maybe I would never consider the Philippines. But it is my fate. I am just saying, we need to discuss these issues. People need to know what is going on. And, if they STILL want to be in the Philippines, OK, sure. But too many foreigners come to the RP, think it is a Paradise, where everyone sits on a beach drinking San Mig, smiling, happy, carefree. Where the people are happy and honest. The women are perfect wives, and so on and so on. Not to mention the "great weather". Man, it is always hot and humid! I can't even breathe the air. Ha ha.

I love the Philippines. But it is not perfect. There are risks. This is just a reminder. I have been reading a lot about foreigners dying lately and it just makes me mad. Make sure you know the risks, be prepared, plan accordingly, and then enjoy it if it is where you want to be. The Philippines is my home, for good and for bad. And there is good.

Anyhow, that is it for my manifesto. I hope people got the message and did not just get offended!

and your point is?
If we post news stories from some of the high crime areas of the U.S. and some bad areas in other countries they would likely be many times worse but since this forum is about the Philippines, no need to post any of those.


--- Quote from: Lee2 on March 02, 2018, 03:24:29 AM ---and your point is?
If we post news stories from some of the high crime areas of the U.S. and some bad areas in other countries they would likely be many times worse but since this forum is about the Philippines, no need to post any of those.

--- End quote ---

There are not dozens of terror groups and anti-government insurgency groups in the USA. It is not about "high crime areas". Terrorism is not the same as drug-dealing or stealing a TV.

And, as I said, there are high crime areas in the USA, and then there are safe areas.

You do not generally get that in the Philippines. A millionaire could be surrounded by illegal squatters and high crime. There are no safe areas. Unless you are a millionaire and live in a high grade subdivision.

I stated my point. Don't forget about the stuff that goes on. Consider it.

It is EXTREMELY dangerous to imply that the Philippines and the USA are equal to each other.


--- Quote from: UNGGOY on March 02, 2018, 05:04:44 AM ---There are not dozens of terror groups and anti-government insurgency groups in the USA. It is not about "high crime areas". Terrorism is not the same as drug-dealing or stealing a TV.
--- End quote ---

That opinion is as inaccurate as it is ludicrous.  Clearly you are mis-informed.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of "terror" and "anti-government" groups in the U.S.  Case in point.  The Whiskey Rebellion.

"Terrorism" is a tactic.  The use of violence, or the threat of, to accomplish a goal.   Terrorism has been used for every purpose under the sun since the dawn of human-kind.

Here is just one recent, relevant example.  MS-13 routinely uses terroristic methods throughout the U.S. to control and harvest their territories.   

Their leadership does not distinguish between profits reaped from illicit substances, human slavery, theft,  or violence.  Its just power to them.  They are but one of 10 organized entities that I can name off of the top of my head.  Some of which enjoy public sponsorship.

As to your argument of relative safety.  .......  Well I disagree.  I have lived in both the cities and provinces for many years.

In the U.S. you are lulled into a false sense of security.  You are safe until you are not.  That is true for the both the rural and urban areas.

Here in the R.P. there is no false perception.  You are only as safe as you can make yourself.  That is now and always has been the reality of the world.  Some folks see it.  Others allow themselves to be deceived.

I suggest you research a little deeper.  Be more thorough in your due diligence, more critical in your thinking.  Before holding forth  with your opinion.

Nice pictures by the way.  Thank you for posting them.

Great how some will find the bias bs and promote it.  Indonesia is safe?  My sister married a missionary's kid that grew up till he was 20 in Indonesia.  In 1992 he moved to the USA to start college.  It was dangerous back then and getting worse.  I talked to his dad about the stuff he had to deal with. 
Now days many of the Indonesian provincial governments are holding to sharia law FIRST, and legal law second, and are caning Christians for not upholding Sharia law.  But that is not terrorism?  How quaint for a simpleton to overlook such things. 
Just do some searches and see that this stuff is going on in other places also.  Have you heard of Boko Haram? 
Basically, let's stick to the Philippines.  100 million strong in population when adding all the tourists and such that also reside here.  Been here for nearly 5 years now.  I have never felt and ounce of fear at any time.  Despite living in a very heavy NPA area that the NPA leader is from.  I lived in Chicago for 4 years and had more than just a few times that I was worried.  Don't care the time of day.  But, granted, I live in a town with 100K in it, not millions like Chicago.  So let's flip it.  In a 100k size town, never a minute of worry.  Having grown up near Muskegon, Michigan; a town with 35k, I have had more than a few experiences there that were nerve racking.  Apples to apples?  If not, why not? 
Anyone can cherry pick all the BS they want and present it as they want to.  The philippines is only unsafe for the idiots.  If you are going to choose to take a walk down dark streets in Manila in areas you do not know, you deserve to be mugged.  If you are going to be rude and talk trash to locals, while you are a guest in their country, you deserve any bad that comes your way. 
Be friendly, be smart...and the Philippines is safe.


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