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Author Topic: Do you ever feel like a target?  (Read 2627 times)

Offline codefreeze

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Do you ever feel like a target?
« on: December 05, 2019, 10:26:56 PM »
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?

Offline MotorSarge

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2019, 06:35:23 AM »
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 paranoid....is 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.

/r/
MS

Offline JFL

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2019, 07:06:40 AM »
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, scams...it 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 concerned....is between 0 and 1....when it concerns money. I learned that years ago while vacationing here. I have heard many attempted scams. Always borrowing money....giving 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 nave...so 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 say....loan 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 money.....it'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 that....as 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 now...my thoughts and experiences.  We live in Manila, but travel to the Northern provinces for vacation and other purposes....JL

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2019, 08:00:36 AM »
As a westerner, do you ever feel paranoid in the Philippines?


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.

Offline User444

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 05:45:35 PM »
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.
Never argue with an idiot who provides false information. First, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Offline codefreeze

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2019, 07:58:05 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys...

And so when people approach you do you get that sinking feeling of "here we go again" and raise the scam detectors? Or do you just accept it as part of life in Phils?

I must admit I found dealing with this "targeting" as quite draining, even though most of the scams are easy to spot and deal with. I felt like I could never fully relax...

Offline medic3500

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2019, 09:28:30 PM »
Without reading all the replies I decided to jump in and give my opinion on the original question. I've been here nine years now. The answer is a big YES. My head is on a swivel at all times when out in public. I can count on one hand the people I trust in this country whole heartily. Granted I live in Manila and in a normal Filipino neighborhood not a gated subdivision. I have been pickpocket, had my stuff stole from my apartment and guns pointed at me twice once from a trike driver and the other was road rage, my wife has been robbed twice. I never go into the local market alone as white man tax is always added. As a joke or what ever what you want to call it the wife and I will be a few meters apart in the market like Divisioria I will ask the price of something and then she will come up behind me and ask the same thing in Tagalog. She ALWAYS gets a better price call it white man tax or what ever. Do I hate the Philippines? absolutely not I think it's a great place if you are willing to except that you are a walking ATM and can say NO to all the scams. Now with all that I've said I have met some truly wonderful people even those in the provinces who would spend their hard earned money to accommodate you for a weekend.   

Offline JFL

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2019, 06:06:25 AM »
Medic, where in general do you live?  I haven't been robbed....at least by force nor had a gun pointed at me.  Now, we usually do not travel around Manila at night....unless have to but rarely do anyway. I found laws are a little more loose in the Provinces.  Dealing with land in the provinces is a somewhat risky venture, hardly any titles if any! No title insurance here so buyer be aware....go thru attorney and go to the Assessor's office and check things out and hopefully you will deal with good honest people. I know one guy who got fired inside the assessors office.....glad for him....who tried to screw a relative of mine...allowing an attorney....another dishonest person who should be in jail for it....but because of a whimpy judge just lets it go as they all know each other and that's what I find is a problem in provinces...at least in provinces North of Manila.  I find Manila although rougher is more strict and much more costly, but I just can't stand some of the dishonesty witnessed in the Provinces.  (I do think it is more stricter under Duterte especially in terms of gambling which is a problem)  However one result was that the monkey business which ensued with an employee of an assessor's office cost an attorney to lose his political bid in an election so Karma is working just fine. There are other land cases related to the assessor's office.  I met a lady in Manila who sued a judge for his misdeeds, cost her alot she said (a filipina)but got the judge removed and pension removed. The only thing she gained from to remove a dishonest judge from his job....which is a big feat in the PI. JL

Offline jjcabgou

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2019, 08:24:49 AM »
Complete opposite from most of the answers.  I have lived here for 6 years now, and never do I feel like a target, or always having to keep my head on a swivel.  I am wondering, is this the difference from living in a province or a relatively built up area?  I live in Tagaytay, and go to places like Manila, Sta Rosa, Dasma, etc..  all the time, and again never once have I felt uncomfortable or that I am a "target".   

Offline bigrod

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2019, 10:49:43 AM »
I have lived here in General Trias, Cavite for 9 1/2 years and never felt like a target.  Is it the same as living in the US, heck no, but I never expected it to be the same.  Having served 22 plus years in the military and living about 10 years overseas during that time, I knew what to expect living here.  As a foreigner you are considered rich whether you are or not.  To most Filipinos you are rich.  Will people try to scam you here, yes they will.  Will people try to scam you in the US, yes they will. So what is the difference?  Whether you live here or anyplace you need to use common sense at all times.  Would you go to bad neighborhoods in Chicago, NYC, Baltimore, etc?  Then why would you do it here.

Chuck
Life is  to short not to live it right the first time

Offline David690

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2019, 02:53:13 PM »
I have been visiting here for 5 years and living here in Davao full time for 2 years.  I do not feel like a target, nor have I ever been intimidated, robbed, scammed or cheated.  I have been an expat for most of my adult life, and I guess I learned a long time ago that things in other parts of the world work a lot differently from what they do in UK.  I take the same level of precautions and common sense in business dealings as I would anywhere else in the world.  I have bought 2 cars, bought 3 lots of land, built 2 houses, 5 lots of farmland for the wife to manage, had a boat built etc etc., and the whole procedure in all of my transactions have been straightforward and honest.  All taxis in Davao are on the meter so no problem there.  Wife buys anything we need from the local markets, which isn't much.  Most of the household shopping is from Supermarkets where pricing is clear to all. Our cars are serviced at the main dealers, which although maybe a bit more expensive than local garages, their workmanship till now has always been great and the costs inline with anticipated.  From the viewpoint of personal safety, I feel a lot safer here walking the streets at night than I would in my hometown of London.
Londoner at heart

Offline M.C.A.

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2019, 10:25:15 PM »
I have been robbed twice once at knife point inside a bar that all of a sudden got very crowded so for sure I keep a vigilance the other time a gang of teens got me at an intersection as I got out of jeepeny and two other times I had bullets flying past my head... right outside the main gate this happened in Subic Bay many years ago when we had the base there.

I've been here 9 years and so far it's been okay I don't talk much or at all with strangers unless it's a business interaction or riding with public transportation and I also don't look at people that are trying to get my attention... that could be just one way to avoid most of the pests but then again hardly anyone speaks English in my area and for sure there doesn't' appear to be any Westerners in our municipality or surrounding areas, the only Americans I talk with regular are the Mormon Missionary's and even they are amazed to see a fellow American.
My views would be from someone who lives out in the province close to in-laws on a pension.  Norwegian and French heritage.

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2019, 12:02:00 PM »
I have been robbed twice once at knife point

About a year after we moved here, over a two week period,  our dogs would alert at odd times of the day or night.

Early one morning they went off.  I went out to investigate and flushed a younger guy out of a clump of saw grass.  He took off running and hid in a Mango / Banana oasis in the adjoining rice field.

So I went into the dome and got my stabilized scope.   

(For those of you who don't know ..... you can pick up a really powerful rifle scope for cheap from all sorts of surplus outlets.  Scopes with some flaw, or aged out,  not good enough to rifle mount anymore. 

Still very functional as viewing devices.  Mount one of those on a "rifle stock" like mount and you have a spotters scope that puts binoculars to shame.  However ..... From a distance they sure do look like sniper setup.)

I had built one of these, and used it to vector the Tanud, (my neighbor), onto this "scout".

The whole time the he was being questioned ... he swore up and down that I was trying to shoot him.

Have not had much problem after that.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 12:09:20 PM by lost_in_samoa »

Offline M.C.A.

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2019, 01:36:55 PM »
Lost In Somoa I have a pair of bushnell binoculars but the kids took the eye pieces off so it's worthless but you've given me an idea I could use another one.

The only time I find people hanging out by the bushes or banana trees is to try and rob my Wifi signal and their usually in-laws but I've noticed many others trying to break in they use applications to do this.
My views would be from someone who lives out in the province close to in-laws on a pension.  Norwegian and French heritage.

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Do you ever feel like a target?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2019, 03:08:02 PM »
{Hijack}

you've given me an idea I could use another one.

Happy to help.

My setup is a Redfield 20X scope from the '70's.  Relative bought it for a dollar at a yard sale and BB'd it to us.  Cross-hairs were broken.  I took it apart and re-strung the cross hatch with some micro thin magnet wire from a junk inductor and a couple drops of JB Weld epoxy. 

It appears fine when you look through it, but it would never zero in.  Something is outta whack.

So I machined up a pseudo stock mount with some surprisingly good lumber that was part of a door frame from the original farm Bahai Kubo.  Folk's tell me its Nara and it must be from the 50's or 60's.  Heavy,  hard ..... HARD ..... damned wood.

Our back fence row is 272 meters away.  We frequently pasture livestock back there.  Its nice to be able to count the flies on the Baka.

rob my Wifi signal

Yeah.... us too.  I don't mind folks scrounging a little bandwidth from us so much.  Its what they do online that can be traced back that I worry about.

I switched over to mac adx access filtering at the router.

{/Hijack}

« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 03:37:31 PM by lost_in_samoa »