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Do you ever feel like a target?

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As a westerner, do you ever feel paranoid in the Philippines?

One of the things I've noticed is I'm always on alert in the Phils, even walking down the road. It's not so much the people staring at you, as feeling like a walking target.

On the last trip we had a few people try to scam us. Most of the time you can spot these a mile off. Case in point our trike driver on Camiguin - a nice young lad who we looked after and who 1) tried to sell us land he didn't own and 2) tried to get us to fund the retrieval of Japanese gold from his back garden (estimated cost $20,000). So these are sometimes easy to spot and swat away gently - but it does make you paranoid.

Funnily enough it feels like much less of a problem in Manila, than it does in the provinces. Maybe westerners just blend in more in Manila.

Anyone else feel the same? Do you ever fully let down your guard in Philippines?

Mr. Freeze,

Just to let you know I am less than a week out from my first touchdown in PI after waiting for this for 16 years.
I have been to 3 continents and over a dozen or so more countries. The anxiety has been building for years just as my paranoia has even though I have been to much worse places. This is not all vacation but family ties are involved.

Thanx for throwing this under the magnifying glass and reinforcing I am not the only one it just me in the Twilight Zone all by myself. So instead of visiting the few places I thought I would I'll just stay in the nipa hut and drink red bull while the family ignorantly travels around in danger. The red bull tab will be on you.


Yes, there are scammers thinking that all Americans are dumb...and returning filipina's with foreign husbands as well.  It's easy....just don't give out money or just say....I'm not interested. As far as I am concerned in terms of attempted theft of properties, seems that most of it is in the Provinces....for me...North of Manila I guess because they think we just got off the boat....and are trusting to all.  The trust issue as far as I am between 0 and 1....when it concerns money. I learned that years ago while vacationing here. I have heard many attempted scams. Always borrowing you a check to hold for a week....that one...even in Manila recently asked of my wife while I was in the US for a few months. She has heard them all as well....we are not young nor naï there stupid attempts go nowhere. I told my wife if someone asks for a loan....send them to me....but she doesn't ....she just deals with it as she knows I won't be so nice. I always here means give with no expectation of return.  There are maybe one or two who might get a short term loan and they always repay us.  If I want to give someone something even's a gift with no return expected. I could write a book on all the BS I have experienced here....most of the so called scams or theft by deception have been done by relatives here. Some of it our fault as trying to help them....but some were backstabbers...and we do not see them anymore and I think God every day for it creates pressure and a headache.  We have had to disown some relatives do to problems with them ....always money because they are either lazy or have bad vices...gambling and it is better to not have those types of people around. It's better thoughts and experiences.  We live in Manila, but travel to the Northern provinces for vacation and other purposes....JL


--- Quote from: codefreeze on December 05, 2019, 10:26:56 PM ---As a westerner, do you ever feel paranoid in the Philippines?
--- End quote ---

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”  ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22.

When we first got here ..... there were a lot of scamming attempts.  I'd venture to say that scams outnumbered the sincere by a factor of three or four.

Yamashita's gold,  buy and sell business,  money pooling,  ill or no documented property,  you name it.  Most of the "creative investment opportunities" that we were presented were rudimentary .... easily discernible.

Now .... a decade later .... not so much.  I have learned,  folks in my community have learned. 

I don't think that it is a Filipino / Westerner thing so much as it is indicative of an over all lowering of morals.  A lessening of the cultural "glue" that used to stick us all together.

I live in Manila and a lot of my interactions are in a more western style environment. BGC. Makati. There are a lot more foreigners walking around and some locals have foreign bosses. If I have to take a taxi, about 15% try to scam you. I did have 2 random people approach me on the street and ask to get involved with their business. When I'm in the province, it does seem like the tricks increase vs the city.


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