Is The Philippines Safe? Places You Should Avoid

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Find out which provinces in the Philippines you should avoid before you book your trip. From military areas to kidnapping hotspots, here is everything travelers need to know.


A soldier in camouflage in the Philippines Photo © iStock/suc

While most people you will meet in the Philippines are super friendly and the destinations you visit are incredibly beautiful, there are a few areas that are unsafe for travelers. Here's a list of places to avoid, to make your visit to the Philippines safe.

Military areas in the Philippines

The President of the Philippines declared martial law in the south of the country on 23 May 2017, following an attack on government facilities in the city of Marawi by ISIS insurgents. The military rule, superceding civil law, was in place for two and a half years and ended on 31 December 2019.

The military is an ever-present force in the Philippines, mainly due to the high risk of terrorism. Even when a ceasefire has been called, violence could flare up without warning. So, regardless of the current state of affairs during your stay, it‘s best to avoid these areas altogether.

Terrorism risk in the Philippines

Terrorism is perhaps the biggest threat to tourist safety in the Philippines and continues to be an ongoing problem.

The whole of the far south is a no-go zone: the areas of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, and the Zamboanga Peninsula are all considered extremely dangerous and travelers are advised to stay away. The terrorist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been blamed for numerous violent incidents, kidnappings, and frequent clashes with the Filipino security forces.

Spin-off terrorist groups, including the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jema‘ah Islamiyah, have broken away from MILF, and are particularly dangerous. They are responsible for bombings which have resulted in property damage, injury and death. The more rural areas of the country, including the island of Luzon to the north, should be avoided as it has seen the increased presence of the terrorist organization, The New People‘s Army (NPA).

Over the past few years, terrorist acts, involving explosive devices in North Cotabato Province, Basilan, Isabela City, Jolo, Cotabato City, Makati and the Zamboanga airport, have resulted in 41 deaths, and severe injury to well over 100 more. Most of the bombings took place on public transportation, and in crowded locations including restaurants and cathedrals.

The unpredictability of terrorist acts makes them much more dangerous, so steer clear of the locations where they are more likely to occur.

A street basketball match in Manila
A street basketball match in Manila. Photo credit: Flickr/Marcin Gabruk

Will I get kidnapped in the Philippines?

The risk of kidnap is especially hazardous for visitors because terror groups target travelers from overseas for the high-profile publicity, and the large ransom they can obtain from relatively wealthy families. Thankfully, these crimes are not widespread. The following locations carry a higher risk of kidnapping and should be avoided:

  • Sarangani Province
  • North Cotabato Province
  • South Cotabato Province
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat Province
  • Lanao del Sur Province
  • Lanao del Norte Province
  • Iligan City
  • Pangutaran Island.

Additionally, several foreigners have been captured in Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Patikul and Jolo in recent years.

Barbed wire at Mendiola Street, a thoroughfare in the district of San Miguel, Manila
Barbed wire at Mendiola Street, a thoroughfare in the district of San Miguel, Manila. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Ramon FVelasquez

Is the Philippines dangerous?

If you stick to destinations that are popular among travelers, and follow the advice of your Government's travel advisory, you will have a safe and enjoyable time in the Philippines. Click here to read our personal safety tips to consider.

Overall, the southern region of the Philippines is dangerous, and should be avoided. As of January 2022, the US Government's travel advice to its citizens is Do Not Travel to the Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping, or Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest. They have also issued advice to Reconsider Travel to other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

The US Government advice, repeated by other foreign departments including Australia’s DFAT, is for travelers to avoid these areas, to review personal security plans, to remain alert to their surroundings, monitor local news reports for updates and be vigilant.

Kidnappings are difficult to predict and therefore can be challenging to avoid. Travel in groups and stay away from areas that have seen an increase in recent kidnapping incidents. There are plenty of beautiful locations throughout the Philippines that are trouble-free.

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  • Alton Barbour said

    I have been to the Philippines many times. I have a two and half years old son there. He is in Aurora. The most problem I have had is with money changers trying to rip me off. They assume a foreigner is afraid. I kicked a money changers ass and his accomplices ass right in the street in Malate. The people there applauded me and even the police just laughed. A vender gave me pork on a stick. I have been to many places on Luzon, Cebu, Mindanao and Negros Occidental. Every now and then a taxi will try to get over on you. But just stand firm and you will be O.K. I love going to the Philippines and I like the excitement of going where you're suppose not to go. Kidnap me, I have a lesson to teach you. Randy Barbour


  • brian said



  • Stephane said

    A guy I know told me he went in Zamboanga. There was a bunch of teenagers who were running after him with knives and machetes. I`m not making that up. Avoid Zamboanga at many cost.


  • Craig T. Jacob said

    There are no safe places on this rock we call earth . Having said that , use common sense and always be aware of your surroundings . If your to scared go out in your back yard and find a rock to crawl under. Because the terrorist won. There is one thing I know for sure none of us are getting out alive so relax and enjoy the ride. Its not like you can stop this rock and get off anyway.right.


  • Bob said

    I have been to Iligan city 8 times and will be there again in a month and have never had any problems. I have always been treated like gold. just keep your wits about you and be careful and keep someone that lives there close to you and you will be fine. It's a lot more dangerous in the big cities of the US then it is in Iligan. just my humble experienced opinion.


  • Joshua P said

    Is it really any more dangerous than any major city in the US or Great Britain?
    I have walked around streets and city centers of places like London, Manchester and Liverpool and I have witnessed some bad shit going on.


  • Moonshine said

    Follow your countries guidelines do not go chasing girls in the south as you will have future problems the kidnappers have lookouts in the city and province looking for high wealth individuals and they do not know your skint and you can get kidnapped and a the drop of a hat Abu Sayf have you on a boat to Sulu. If your looking for a girl say on the dating sites find one in Bohol or further North not Mindanao. If your going on holiday go to Boracay it is safer and beautiful white sand take your new friend their.


  • Fred said

    I am moving full time to Mindanao, a small village not far from Dipolog, I have been there many times and NEVER had any problems at all. Matter of fact people are far more friendly than my home now in Miami Florida.
    I love to take road trips and would like to drive all over Mindanao. Where are the places I should avoid?
    My wife is Filipino and will always be with me.
    thanks in advance


  • Darcy said

    Hello, me and my friend (two 22 year old girls) are looking to travel around the philappines this summer. Just wanted to know if it is safe and places to really avoid. Wanted to go to Manila, Palawan, mindora and Luzon. Thanks


  • dude said

    Is Olongapo a safe place?


  • rod said

    anyone been to tucurong city and surrounding villages? is it safe? ill be staying with a Filipino family.


  • sulta kudarat local said

    please avoid Zamboanga,Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato.In Maguindanao,the safest places for foreigners to enjoy our beaches are Davao city(enjoy Samal Island), Cagayan de Oro city and from Cagayan de Oro go to Camiguin Island by boat(30 mins trip).I want to highly recommend Boracay(1.White beach-nightlife/bars/resto, 2. Bulabog beach-watersports, 3.Puka beach-quiet,peaceful atmosphere).Then Palawan(you can choose Coron,El Nido ,or Puerto Princesa).You can also check Cebu and you can take a ferry from Cebu to Bohol..You can also go to Puerto Galera,Mindoro(choose Sabang for diving/watersports,or Whitebeach for bars/resto.In Manila go to JAM busliner located at Taft Buendia cost P170 up to Batangas pier. Batangas pier to Puerto Galera pier is P250 plus environmental fee P100. If you will choose Father & Sons ferry,they have a free shuttle/van waiting in Puerto Galera pier to bring you in Whitebeach.
    My husband is foreigner.I never gamble his safety.We just stay in Davao and asked my family from Sultan Kudarat to travel in Davao to get together and have a good time


  • Chris said

    Darcy you will be fine. Try not to stay in Manila too long as there are too many other places to see. Palawan, Mindoro and Luzon are all beautiful. Try traveling the Zambales coastline and also head up to Baguio and the Ifugao terraces.

    Dude Olongapo is safe - just be respectful to the locals and learn some tagalog! Maybe just stay off Suzuki Beach, Barretto after dark

    Ingat kayo


  • pangasinan to davao said

    davao city is safe to foreigners if your looking for beaches davao city is the place, baguio city and pangasinan also are safe places to go...


  • John said

    Try to include Dahilayan Bukidnon if you have in your itinerary places like Cagayan De Oro or Davao. Dahilayan has an EcoFarm a very relaxing place for everybody and also those with their families, a safe haven away from the busy cities...


  • Kev said

    I have been Travelling regularly to Mindanao for the last 7 years and have never had any problems. Just use common sense and avoid known trouble spots. I have spent time at all the usual places and some not so usual including Camiguin,Bohol,Siargao Island, Siquijor,Davao etc.
    On my next trip I have been invited to the General Santos area by a very good friend.Normally I would jump at the chance of visiting somewhere new but in view of the recent problems in that area even I am a little wary of the trip.Any advice from locals there would be appreciated


  • Anon said

    I am a retired missionary, visiting labason, as an America, will l be safe? vvisiting a mission there-please help! Brother Ray.. .


  • mike said

    I will be traveling to general santos. Is it safe?


  • Danielle Jaramilla said

    San fernando la union or san juan la union( REALLY close by each other) Is a very nice, peaceful place to travel to and it's also VERY safe! The beach is an awesome place to unwind and watch the
    sunset! Poro Point is a great place to stay at, while there! CSI is the main shopping/grocery mall there. San Juan is a foreigner hit spot! It is the surfing capital of the Philippines! I'm actually born and half raised there! I was 7 when I moved to the U.S from san fernando la union! Many foreigners have enjoyed there stay in la union! Great, trustworthy, honest people!!! Many came back safe and sound!! My family is planning to go this summer! Excited for it!! :-D


  • Morten said

    I have been to Philippines numerous times and never been in trouble. I have visitied Manila (spend 2 days before returning home for shopping but dont vaste time there), Cebu area, Bohol, Puerto Galera, Palawan mostly not too far from Puerto Princesa, Dumaguete and Mindanao - mostly on the Zamboanga area from Ozamis, Tambulig, Molave, Dipolog - and of corse Boracay.
    I follow a few just common simple rules: I dont get too drunk, do not draw attention to yourself, if you feel something is spooky then follow your gut feeling, respect other people, do not do around alone but get along with people you know, if trouble then walk away.
    I love the Philippines and return yearly. Just use common sense and stay away from Basilan and Cotabato area. Enjoy your travel and keep on smiling even after you have returned home!


  • Kat said

    I am from General Santos City and I can assure everyone that it is safe down here.


  • Grant Harrison said

    I'm to travel to iligan city is that a safe place for an American


  • Leah said

    Hi,im from davao im proud to say thats its very safe there,u can even walk in the middle of the night without worrying something might happen to you,im here in cebu right now and i can say that its still dangerous here especially at night,all i can say davao is the best.


  • Clash said

    Dumaguete is such a peaceful city. Although there's not much anything to do but when you stroll around the city, you the most iconic sceneries. The people are really friendly, just respect the local and you'll be good. I promise it's one of the best cities of PH. Not to mention it's a desirable city for senior citizens. Thanks for reading Mate.


  • Eugenie said


    Ologapo City is safe. Further north in Iba along the South China Sea is safe and magnificent country. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iba for two years, 2006-2008. I traveled by bus to Olongapo often for staff meetings. Subic is safe. Use common sense anywhere in the world. Be polite and respectful, like you'd want to be treated. Of course, there are disreputable people anywhere. But most people in the Philippines are friendly and like Americans. When I was there i was in my fifties, white, female working on business start-up and building water systems, usually traveled alone for work. Although culturally women usually travel, at a minimum, in pairs. A word to the wise.

    Our State Department suggests avoiding Mindanao because of political/military concerns.


  • tooba shadan said

    Is solana tuguegarao city is safe?for studying purpose in phillipines


  • ChuckUSA said

    How about Baguio city, I might take a trip there and Cebu City too. How about bribes I hear about in the Philippines ? Thanks in advance


  • Anon said

    the Philippines is a beautiful place. Personally I wouldn't go any where near the south. Don't flash your cash and jewellery all over the place. Smile be nice and you will be fine. Everyone says hello and smiles. Hard to keep up with them all but good to try. Never smiled so much in my life. I bought a lot on a golf course in lipa batangas and will hopefully be building my house next year to retire early to the sun. Enjoy be nice. Smile a bit now and then. You will love it.


  • Carl said

    One other thing. Be polite hey might be smaller than you but they are nice till you piss them off. Then you better walk away quick. I was there for 6 months last year and didn't want to come back. People are great. Made God knows how many new friends. They are amazing people. Haggle for a fair price. But remember they have to eat too. They will charge you double or treble if they get the chance tho to be fair lol. Half it and you are ok I found. Or if you have a Philippine gf. Get her to pay. It's a lot easier


  • Carl said

    they all will think you are a millionaire. And compared to most of them you might as well be. Some of them have a little money some have a lot. But most live day to day scraping a living however they can. A few peso is nothing to us but could mean the difference between eating that day to them. I love the place and the people. Just be wary. Keep your wits about you all the time. It's easier to give a few peso instead of saying no to some beggars that are quite persistent when they see a white face


  • Amera Linzag said

    Just visit Davao and you're 100% safe..


  • DPK said

    I'd say foreigners can be in danger in certain situations in the Phils, but also in certain areas. The Ermita-Malate area of Manila is a cesspool and not safe. The provinces are better but well, keep in mind that the Phils allows private gun ownership.


  • JM said

    Filipina born and raised in the U.S. My dad who was a privilege child, was born in Tagaytay. BEAUTIFUL. The views are amazing. It's like New York City mixed with ocean views, the streets of Paris all that luxurious stuff. It's kind of pricey there. It's basically a big ass spa. Worth it, this is where all the famous go. Everyone is friendly. But my dad moved to Makati City and it's also beautiful. They are safe to go to since they are the places in the Philippines with more money, it's the more luxury spots of the Philippines. I had no troubles when I was there and trust me, they can smell foriegners. But if you are looking for more artsy adventures, my mom was raised in Luzon. Beautiful mountains. Such open space. People there are so down to earth. It's the province side of the Philippines and I also love it. My cousins live in Manila, and I do not like it l. I live in Jersey and it's basically Manila is the Camden of the Philippines. Nothing ever happened to me, but it felt kind of sketchy you know. If you really want to try only going their during the day. Because other then that the city is pretty cool. I only go to the Philippines for family, but I was always taught to NOT STEP FOOT IN ANY PARTS OF MINDANAO. DO NOT GO TO MINDANAO.
    My parents who are natives of the Philippines say it's very dangerous. DO NOT GO THERE.
    MINDANAO HAS A HIGH RATE OF CRIME. All natives up north know this.
    But just remember, Filipinos are suckers for corny jokes. Be wise with your money. Other than that, I really recommend Tagaytay, Makati City and Luzon!!! Always ask a native. Lol I've been reading and showing comments on here to natives of the Philippines... they suprise them!


  • RJ said

    well, my family originally from caribbean islands but i have live in the usa most of my life. i have been to the philippines many times over the years beginning in 1998. and have continue to visit phils from time to time over the years 2001, 2004, and 2006, 2011, & recently 2014. each time i went to visit different places (i.e. manila, cebu, ormoc, iloilo, isabela, davao, bagiuo, and mindanao).

    i have never once had a problem anywhere i went, but once being law-enforcement im always very cautious of my surroundings. during my travels i have met many foreigners, even in places where they were warned to i have very serious question but i guess most people dont to talk about race. my question is "TO ANYONE" are there certain countries, or races that are more likely to get kidnapped then others??


  • Carl said

    i think you just need to be aware of your surroundings and be a little bit careful. Don't be flash and attract attention to yourself. You will get enough attention for just been a foreigner. Every one will want to talk to you. They are nice people just don't piss them off. You will regret it. I have spent a lot of time there in the last few years and I love it. And one day I will move there for good. Kidnapping is rare go to the best places and you will be ok. Tagaytay is absolutely fantastic and the views out of this world. And 100 % safe if you are a good boy lol


  • Noah Zark said

    Alton Barbour is an Idiot. I am an American living in Cebu for 28 years. This guy beat up money changers in the street? And the police laughed. Bull shit. Why would you use money changers in the street anyway? The whole story is ludicrous. And a vendor gave him pork on a stick! Yeah right. These folks are like folks anywhere else. They will protect their own. In a heartbeat. And daring somebody to Kidnap him? Ha ha ha. So go where they do it pal, and then tell us about the lesson you taught them. I have watched many many cowboys come over here thinking they are superman, and I've seen them stabbed with bbq sticks, knives, shot, and even beaten to death. Are you still alive Alton Barbour? You big mouthed exaggerating sack of caribou dung. We certainly don't need you here.


  • rick said

    Whatcabout safety in Liloy Zamboanga del norte?


  • Lu Mahalo said

    I would like to travel to these three destinations in Mindanao:

    Bayugan, Agusan del Sur

    Bislig, Surigao del Sur

    Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte

    I am a Caucasian American...Is it safe?

    Or, should I limit my stay to Davao?

    If any of my choices are safe, what would be the best mode of travel?

    PS: I know the NPA just assassinated a law enforcement person in Bislig, also wounding his daughter.

    Also, I have heard that the NPA sets up roadside check points.


  • Ajron said

    Hi i will travel to philipphine in september.I will have 3weeks and i wont see and reavel much is possible. I have plan and some information and i working on it. But problem is i am alone. I work now in china and its will my holiday before i go home. If somone planing travel on this time and wont join in i will happy. [email protected]


  • Stacey said

    Hi, is it safe to walk around in Manila town with a toddler? Im sorry,this might be a silly question. Thanks!


  • Luke said

    I am visiting Manila shortly and was going to rent a car and drive north 4 (hours north) to see a friend, some people have said its not safe! Is this true?


  • Tish said

    My brother has met a girl on the internet and is insisting on going to meet her. He is going to kabankalan in negros occidental. How safe will he be?


  • Baloch said

    Hi, I am planning to travel to the Philippines very soon, but having read about the above comments, I am feeling as if I would be going in to the war zone. Though it's true that you might encounter some bag guys who would try to snatch your bags or mobile phones or anything like that... but the best thing to avoid these situations re to be in the crowded places. Just don't go out alone after dark... and the other thing I am concern about the foods there... I would be going to Manila, Baguio and Boracay... waiting for your valued suggestions...


  • RandT said

    Daughter (Canadian)is planning to go to Leyte in October to volunteer with the 2013 typhoon rebuild project. Any advice, feedback is really welcome (specific to safety, weather, ) is appreciated!


  • Jeff said

    I am plannig to go to Manila and stay in Makati for 10 days to meet a girl. Please advise me. Should I be concerned? Can i go to my hotel by a taxi by myself? Should I be concerned with restaurant food? Any advice? I appreciate it.


  • Carl said

    if you already know this girl you should be ok. Just be careful not to flash jewelry and money and you should be fine. Relax and have some fun I was there last year and it was great


  • Michael Psillakis said

    No more dangerous than crossing your own street. Media hype crap.
    One of the safest countries I've been to.


  • jas said

    Be careful meeting women/men off the web. Filipinas are known to meet a foreigner and have him set up. Generally that is from leaving a bar and going to a hotel. Then her hubby will pop out and demand his money. Never take a drink that you didnt see poured or opened the seal yourself as its common for something to be slipped in your drink and you later wake up robbed or worse assaulted. I have heard of taxis putting a sleeping agent in the air to rob foreigners as well( idk if thats true or not). Be careful at atms. Scammers wait for you to leave the atm or they have a device attached to the atm. I have been to cebu area and further south to dipolog and surrounding areas. Make sure hotel gives you a reciept when you pay. They like to charge you again(i experienced this) as well as other places. I never had any trouble. But then again just use common sense and you will be safe.


  • Jerry Day said

    I have spent a lot of time in the Philippines, mostly in Davao Del Norte.I have traveled to General Santos City, and stayed in Kiamba for several weeks.I have stayed in Manila, and also Batanags and Baguio for months at a time.I'm always with my wife or her family and never a problem.Just show respect and be kind to everyone.I don't go to bars or look for prostitutes.Be a person of good moral character and you will be respected.Make friends with the children and they and their parents will love you.So always smilie and remain humble.


  • mark said

    ive lived in philippines for 6 months when i met my future wife. i hate the place. its dodgy and dangerous and most people there are deceitful and sneaky. they befriend you so you can give them money. even the wife of a man who was kidnapped set up her own husband. hopefully i will never have to go back to that god forsaken place. and if you want to live in a nice safe place and live like a westerner it cost more than australia. so dont be fooled its cheap to live there. only if you live like a filipina and ride a polluted jeepney.


  • mel said

    Just like any big cities of the world, you need to be careful when out and about. Be street smart and avoid high risk areas, that includes dodgy bars and stay away from 'pretty women' in the bars. If they are that pretty, that means they are taken or you could be set up for worse. All these are common sense. I'm a world traveller and the worst hassles I have experienced were from the streets of Rome. If you are decent and respectful, visiting only for sights and culture, you will be spoilt for choice on places to visit. Philippines is world known for outstanding white, fine powdery type beaches in Boracay and Palawan and world heritage sites of rice terraces in Baguio and Ilocos up north of the country amongst others. When we go there to visit, we go to high end hotels/ resorts as security is heightened and facilities are obviously incomparable. It's holiday afterall.


  • charles said

    The thing to remember about the phils , especially those of us from Europe is the availability of firearms in the phils. a drunken argument in a bar in the london or berlin the worst scenario is a black eye and bruises or that you might get knifed depending on how bad the area your in. but you don't have the same ability to size up up areas and people as you wound at home or in the western parts of the world. so learn to be diplomatic and bite your tongue some times its better to walk away even if it hurts your pride. local knowledge and friends are important on nights out the can spot the danger signs long before you can,, that said , i have never had any problems in the phils. just use your brains and don't make yourself look like a target . wear a money belt . keep a small amount in your pockets. dont walk around like your lost even if you are,(walk with purpose)but most of all have fun . pinoys are lovely warm kind people who like to help the fellow human beings ,


  • james said

    I met a girl online from the Philippines.she lives in cebu and i heard cebu is a nice Christian city but it has some gangs but everything should be ok if u travel there.just stay to yourself and go meet your gf and marry her there. She will make sure u dont get lost and she will help u with anything


  • Doc said

    I've lived in the Philippines for a total of 7 years, 5 in Or. Mindoro and now 2 in Mindanao, So Cotobato to be exact. I've been all over the Philippines and the people in Mindanao are the friendliest and most welcoming in all the Philippines IMHO. I suspect the article above used information from an old US State Dept or British Foreign Office site. Davao in southern Mindanao was recently named the safest city in the Philippines and the 4th safest IN THE WORLD. If you go there and walk around at night you'll know why. General Santos is quite safe. I've done some checking to allay the fears of friends and there are many 2nd or 3rd tier cities (population size) in the US with higher murder and violent crime rates than many areas of Mindanao including So. Cotobato. There is an area which is the Muslim area, its easy to google, I don't go there because I'm not looking for trouble. I hear some bad stuff about Zamboanga from people who live there and several who have visited so I don't go there. I have travelled all continents except Antarctica and have a traveller's eye so I'm not naive. I don't venture into areas like I used to but I must say, in the past 2 years, I haven't looked down a street or into an area that made me turn around and leave. Of course, like anywhere, you must use common sense. You are a guest in this country, behave like a guest. Don't get blind drunk in a strange place, I've seen people do it and wonder how they survive. The people are poor and you are thought to be rich so don't get angry if they charge you a bit extra; this is most common in areas with large foreign resident or tourist numbers. Remember, you're usually talking less than a dollar or euro even in the taxis in Manila. Don't act like an obnoxious rich guy, if you're not one back home you're not one here so don't act like it. Men, be wary of bargirls and street girls. They may be sweeter than a working girl back home but they're still working girls and get paid to lie. Many have drug abuse issues. Most of what I've said, you can apply to any country in the world. Bottom line, use your head, treat the people with respect and a smile, have fun.You'll go far.


  • franky said

    i'm going to ipil zamboanga ,many of filipina friends say its not safe there , is this treu


  • charly said

    I want viting my girlfriend in iligan city, close to the mercy community Hospital.
    She was working for years in europe and went back to phil.
    she said iligan is sure or me and she will protecting me ^^
    I said that the abu sayyaf will like me tall blond german like hell :)
    She was laughing and said that is no problem.

    My question is now... im in danger (if im in danger there at all) only as tourist or also if im only here to visit my gf?

    I never was before in phil. I only know that the southpart (Mindanao) is well known for terrorits. jolo and so on...


  • Garry said

    Pretty much what Doc said above. Just be aware of your surroundings. I've spent many months at my wife's home town in Tagum City and in Davao City. Don't wear jewelry or watches. I keep my wallet in my front pocket. Only incident for me was my cell phone was lifted out of my back pocket at a bus station. I actually felt it happen, turned around and it was 3 young teenage girls and 4 guys walking away, looking back at me. One of the girls had a small knife in her hand, she made it quite known. The phone was a really cheap piece of junk I bought specifically for walking outside, not worth being hurt or killed over. I've been to Zamboanga and General Santos City and have always felt less comfortable - like I am far more scrutinized by the local population.


  • Juan Miguel Ortiz said

    You can't rely on these poorly written articles.


  • Ben said


    In 2010, Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, A spate of violent crimes against foreigners threatens to undermine the Philippine government's drive to lure more foreign investors, tourists and retirees. Previously, only rebel-infested areas on the southern island of Mindanao were considered high-risk, but recent assaults on foreigners have been launched in the capital Manila and other places popular with international tourists. In July 2010, US expatriate Frederick Boucher and his family were attacked by five armed men shortly after they arrived at the capital's Ninoy Aquino International Airport. They were held at gunpoint and their vehicle was forcibly stolen after the suspects repeatedly bumped into the rear of their vehicle. Police investigators believe they were likely marked by "spotters" situated at the airport working on behalf of criminal gangs. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010 |::|]

    “Other high-profile carjacking cases in July included assaults against a popular local actor, a former Philippine ambassador and a Japanese business executive from Toshiba Philippines. Still, Philippine officials bristle at the frequent depiction of the Philippines as a dangerous place for tourists and investors. In part, that's because foreigners are being singled out by Filipino gangs and syndicates. For instance, on July 22, retired US Air Force Sergeant Albert Mitchell, his wife and their three housemaids were killed in a robbery in their home in Angeles City, outside of the national capital. The suspect, Mark Dizon, was arrested on July 27. He has since been accused in the murder and robbery of two other foreigners: 60-year-old South African national Geoffrey Allan Bennun and 51-year-old Briton James Bolton Porter and their respective live-in partners. |::|

    “Officials are grappling to explain the attacks. Some sociologists attribute the crime to widely held Filipino perceptions that most foreigners, especially Caucasians, are rich. This notion is perpetuated by the media in movies and TV shows. They often view Filipinos with relatives in the US or abroad as comparatively better off. For instance, on July 19 four gunmen tailed and rammed the vehicle of a wealthy local family returning from a vacation in the US. When they stopped to inspect the damage, assailants held the family at gunpoint and shot businessman Jorge Bernas, a distant relative of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, before stealing their van. |::|

    “To be sure, some foreigners have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Briton Charles McKerchar, 69, was recently injured during a failed assassination attempt on Sulu Governor Sakur Tan at the Zamboanga City's airport on August 5. McKerchar, who is married to a Filipino, was at the airport to retrieve an acquaintance. He is now in a serious but stable condition. Police officials suggest that most of the violence against foreigners is motivated by a get-rich-quick mentality shared by many criminal gangs and syndicates.”

    Foreigners Who Say the Crime Problem in the Philippines is Overstated

    Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “Not are all foreigners resident in the Philippines cowering in fear. James Musslewhite, an American expat from Houston who now lives in Mindanao and writes a blog about the Philippines, thinks that despite the recent negative news many foreigners living in the Philippines still believe its safer in Manila than in most US urban areas. "I feel safer walking in many streets in the Philippines than in the US," he said. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010]

    Bob wrote in his blog “My wife and I feel safe living in the Philippines. Now we live in a house we built in a rural area, on a dead end road with no close neighbors. When we first moved to Iloilo City we lived in an unusually secure private compound in Iloilo City. We didn’t even have to consider security. We could leave our doors open if we want to. We have ridden jeepneys everywhere. I have literally walked more than a thousand of miles on the streets of Iloilo City and lonely rural paths in the country. I have never had the slightest problem. No one has robbed me or threatened me or tried to pick my pocket or done anything but treat me with respect and kindness. The worst crime we have been a victim of is being overcharged for shrimp in the public market. Many expats have similar experiences. [Source:]

    Foreign Kidnapping Victims

    Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese nationals have been the targets of kidnappings. The capture and release or two kidnappers who kidnapped a Japanese businessman in November 1986, almost set off an international incident between Japan and the Philippines.

    The ransoms paid for foreigners tend to be much more than those paid for locals. In June 2001, a Singaporean woman paid $165,745 to Filipino kidnappers to free her husband. “I was cornered into a situation where I had to make a decision for the safety of my husband,” she told a Singaporean newspaper.

    In 1996, the son of the military attaché of Taiwan's unofficial embassy was released unharmed after a ransom of $38,500 was paid. Explaining why he drive home with a flat tire, one Taiwanese businessman in Manila told AFP, “Buying a new car is much cheaper than paying ransom.”

    The foreigners don’t have to be wealthy. In 2001, the notorious “Pentagon” kidnapping gang abducted four Chinese nationals working on road project. Two were killed in a rescue attempt. One escaped. The other was freed with the assistance of the Libyan government.

    In 2010, Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “Foreign kidnappings are also on the rise. On April 4, Swiss businessman Carl Reith was kidnapped from his beach home in Zamboanga on Mindanao island. He was rescued by the police two months later in a raid that killed one of the suspects. On April 11, Salvacion Gorenio, an American national, was kidnapped near her house in Cavite, a province just outside Metro Manila. After nearly a month in captivity she was rescued by the police in an operation that killed all three suspects. In July, Japanese national Amir Katayama Mamaito, a treasure hunter who operated a local pharmacy, was kidnapped in southern Sulu province. He is still being held at an unknown location. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010]

    According to Pete Troillo, director of business intelligence at Pacific Strategies and Assessments Inc, a risk consulting firm, at least 33 foreigners were kidnapped in the Philippines last year, mostly Indian nationals. Indians are considered prime targets because many of them are engaged in small-time informal lending and hence often carry large amounts of cash. Chinese, Korean and American nationals, all of whom are believed capable of paying high ransoms, have also been frequently targeted, Troillo said. Including local victims, 139 people were kidnapped in the Philippines last year, up slightly from the 135 snatched in 2008. [Ibid]

    Bob wrote in his blog “If you are a Caucasian foreigner and stay out of dangerous areas in Mindanao, you probably don’t need to worry about being kidnapped. Except for Mindanao, kidnappers generally target rich Chinese-Filipinos (Chinoys). Generally, they pay ransom without going to the police. The police have been reported to be involved in such kidnappings. Some foreign businessmen and aid workers have been kidnapped, usually Japanese. Remember, the vast majority of retirees are pensioners who live on modest retirement pensions — not good kidnap ransom targets. Kidnapping a rich Chinoy businessman really boils down to negotiations over the size of the ransom. Kidnapping a foreigner invites complications. [Source:]

    High Murder Rate of Foreigners in the Philippines

    Bob wrote in his blog “I’ve been following news of murders of foreigners in the Philippines for several years. There are quite a few, considering how few foreigners there are in the Philippines. Here are a few observations which might be of help to anticipate problems. Most violence against foreigners is not perpetrated out of desperation by the poor Filipino whose family needs food or medicine. Perhaps we are projecting on to Filipinos our own perceptions of what we would do in such circumstances. Most provincial Filipinos would never commit such acts. They accept what comes their way as part of God’s plan. [Source:]

    I believe that murders are generally not by the desperate acting out of real need, but rather by those as a way to “get rich quick”, often by maids, casual workers and boyfriends who have some knowledge, association and access to the foreigner victims. The operative influences are greed, sex, booze and shabu (methamphetamine) — not helping a sick or hungry family member.

    Almost all the murders of foreigners I have read of have occurred in the foreigner’s hotel or apartment or home, not in bars, not on the streets, not by the Muslim extremists. Most of these murders been been committed by people the victim knew or people associated with these people, not by a strangers breaking into their house.

    By far, the most common perpetrators are: 1) the boyfriend of the foreigner’s wife or young girlfriend; 2) the maid’s boyfriend; 3) some relative of the girlfriend, wife or the maid. 4) Ex-employees are another possibility. These murderers usually don’t break in. They are let in, either knowingly by the foreigner or by one of the other parties mentioned, or they take advantage of security vulnerabilities they have observed or learned of. The foreigner is killed because he resists or because the robber is known to him and he does not want to be caught. Sometimes the accomplice maid or girlfriend is “tied-up” and reports the crime to neighbors or police when she gets free. I have read of many of foreigners murdered in this way.

    How to Avoid Being Murdered if You Are a Foreigners in the Philippines

    Bob wrote in his blog “A stable, monogamous married life is prudent. A taste for young boys has gotten many foreigners into trouble. Chasing young women can also expose you to all sorts of dangers; from her jealous or conniving boyfriend or from her family. If you live in a city, living in a gated, guarded subdivision probably is safer. It’s not perfect, but low-life characters may find it a bit harder, bit more intimidating, more frightening to get in at night, and a bit harder to flee. This only applies to subdivisions with real security including roving patrols at night. It’s no accident that Filipinos move to such subdivisions if they can afford it. Many subdivisions put up a show of security with a fancy guardhouse, but often anyone is allowed in. [Source:]

    Secure subdivisions don’t exist outside the bigger cities and may be less necessary, but don’t fool yourself. Many foreigners have been killed in their bucolic rural homes. Foreigners like my wife and I can happily report that they have lived in such and such a place for two or three or five years and have never had a problem. We don’t feel such anecdotal tidbits really prove anything.

    Observe how affluent Filipinos provide for their security. As mentioned earlier. foreigners sometimes belittle walls, and gated subdivisions and other security precautions that seem over-done or distasteful from an American or European perspective, as though they know better than Filipinos what the dangers are and how to provide security.

    Here a few specific security suggestions: 1) Keep gates locked at all times and doors at night. Night means after dark. 2) Don’t leave your home unattended for any extended period of time and certainly not overnight. If you are away, have a family member or trusted maid stay in the home. 3) Maintain good control over who comes into your compound or house, especially at night. Unless you really trust your maid, make sure she can’t let people in. Once again, if you are murdered, it’s probably because you or someone else let the killer in. Recently a foreign retiree was watching TV with his wife. The dog started to bark. The man opened the door to see what the problem was. He was immediately stabbed in the stomach by an intruder waiting there. He died on the way to a hospital. 4) Have one or more noisy dogs. Have the police emergency number programmed into your cellphone and keep your cellphone in your bedroom. Consider a secure bedroom door and don’t challenge any burglar. If someone breaks in, stay in your bedroom and let them steal what they like. Have a very loud panic alarm and lights when can be switched on from your locked bedroom.

    In one comment Jerry says, “It is definitely unwise to join a ‘inuman’ or ‘drinking’ party by yourself. Especially if you don’t know the people really well.” We concur with this advice 110 percent. When you are with inebriated men and women and you are also inebriated, a wrong move or comment can easily escalate into something violent. A comment or flirtation which would be acceptable in your home may provoke anger in another culture.

    If you do have a lot of money, keep it in a foreign bank. Information about your bank balances in your Philippine bank are not necessarily secure. Don’t brag about or discuss your finances with any one, including other foreigners. Make sure everyone is aware that you are living off of a pension, that when you die the money stops. Don’t have a safe in the house. Everyone will assume it is full of money, even if it’s not. Don’t withdraw large amounts of cash from your bank account. There have been cases where bank employees sent text messages about large withdrawals to accomplices outside the bank. The foreigner was robbed at gunpoint. Pay for major purchases (vehicle, house) with a manager’s check from your Philippine bank.

    Murders of Foreigners in the Philippines

    In August 2004, a 41-year-old Japanese man was shot to death by four robbers trying to steal his luggage soon after he arrived in Manila from Japan. The man, who came to the Philippines often to visit his daughter, was handcuffed in a van and shot at least seven times in front his 10-year-old and 13-year-old sons. In April 2003, a Japanese man was stabbed to death in an apartment building in the Makati suburb of Manila. The man was a 42-year-old engineer with a 27-year-old Filipina wife.

    In the early 2000s, a South Korean diplomat was found in the streets of Manila hours after Filipino befriended him and invited him for drinks. A Filipino named Norbero Manero was imprisoned for killing and eating a Italian priest.

    In September 2012, “Robbers at a convenience store in Manila shot dead an American executive of an English language training center. Associated Press reported: “Police said Robert Edward Armstrong was inside the Manila store on Sunday when four robbers ordered the employees and at least three customers into the storage room while they emptied the cash register. Police officer Alonzo Layugan said 45-year-old Armstrong was shot when he tried to dash out of the store. Layugan said that the wounded American managed to get into his car but one of the robbers shot him again. Armstrong was declared dead at a hospital. Police said the other customers and employees were unharmed. The robbers are still at large. [Source: Associated Press, September 3, 2012]

    According to Brain Twister; “The murder of foreigners rose after President Gloria Arroyo signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in July 2006. In the Philippines, they will murder anyone for the smallest reason and many murders go unsolved. The Philippines has the third worst murder solving record of killed journalists in the world behind Mexico and Iraq. [Source: Brain Twister, Topix, August 18, 2013]

    Foreigners Murdered in the Philippines

    The following is a list of foreigner murders or acts of terrorism committed between 2003 and 2013. Many more are committed and not reported in the regional or national news: AITKIN, Phillip Andrew b: abt 1963 in Australia (British passport - dual) d: 20 Oct 2008 in Guadalupe Village, Lanang, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines; AKSNES, Nils Frode Steen b: abt 1958 in Norway d: 20 Jul 2009 in Grantville Subdivision, Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines; ANG, Luis b: abt 1953 in Chinese National d: 18 Oct 2011 in Tondo District, Metro Manila, Philippines; ATKINS, Paul Raymond b: abt 1949 in Stoke On Trent, England d: 18 Oct 2011 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BALMER, David b: abt 1955 in Northern Ireland d: Sep 2009 in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BASHAM, James K b: 14 May 1947 in Jefferson County, Kentucky d: 19 Sep 2010 in Barangay Pampang, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BAYLEY, Graham b: abt 1952 in of Staffordshire, England d: 31 Dec 2010 in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Luzon, Philippines; BENNUN OR BANNAN, Geoffrey Allan b: abt 1950 in Canadian passport d: 12 Jul 2010 in Clarkview, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BROWN, Ivan Royal b: abt 1943 in /of Bentleigh Court, Australia d: 24 Sep 2008 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BUCHNER, Donald b: in United States d: 26 Sep 1989 in near Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines; BUENAFLOR, Raymond Cesar b: 18 Oct 1938 in of the U.S. d: 10 Feb 2010 in Barangay Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga; BUHLER, Ronald Barsh b: abt 1952 in Germany d: 26 May 2010 in Village 3. Talakag, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines; BUJNOWSKI, George Harold b: 22 May 1947 in prob Massachusetts d: 26 Aug 2009 in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines; BURNEY, Jim b: abt 1944 in Australia d: 25 May 2009 in Tangalan, Aklan, Philippines; BURNHAM, "Hostage" Martin "Missionary" b: abt 1960 in of Rose Hill, Butler County, Kansas d: 7 Jun 2002 in Mindanao, Philippines. [Source: Brain Twister, Topix, August 18, 2013]

    CABURNAY, Orlando Barrozo b: 19 Aug 1952 in /of Greatmills, St. Mary's County, Maryland d: 27 Jun 2011 in Brgy. Sampaguita, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines; CAMPBELL, Julia "Peace Corps" b: 25 Jan 1967 in of Fairfax, Fairfax County, Virginia d: 8 Apr 2007 in Brgy. Batad, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines; CARZEDDA, Fr Salvatore b: in Italy d: 1992 in Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines; CASTEEN, Leamon Wesley Jr b: 23 Jan 1935 in South Carolina d: 30 Mar 2011 in Sanciangko Street, Cebu City, Cebu, Phillipines; CHANDER, Subash "Lucky" b: abt 1977 in India d: bef 26 Sep 2010 in Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines; CHANG, Suk-hi (plus two unamed) b: abt 1954 in South Korea d: 27 Jul 2008 in Kabalan village, Olongapo City, Philippines; CHO, Rev. Te-Hwan "Missionary" b: in South Korea d: 22 Aug 2010 in Manila, Philippines; CHOI, In-Soo b: in South Korea d: 2 Dec 2011 in Hospital, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines; CO, Shahani "Raymond" b: in Chinese National d: 28 Nov 2010 in Fontana Leisure Parks/Casino, CEZ, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; CONEJAR, Rodgen b: abt 1954 in Australia d: 11 Nov 2011 in Bunawan Brook, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; COWPERTHWAITE, John James b: abt 1944 in England d: 2 May 2004 in villa La Dolce Vita, Mt. Luho, Balabag, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines; DAVIS, Sgt Randy b: abt 1957 in United States d: 28 Oct 1987 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; DAVIS, Steven "Steve" b: in England d: 2002 in Manila, Philippines; DEBONO, Joseph Mary b: abt 1938 in Australia d: 7 Aug 2011 in Ano, Brgy. Banilad, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines; DIEFENBACKED, Benn b: in Europe d: bet Jan and Sep 2011 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; DOLAN, Owen b: in New Zealand d: 15 Aug 2001 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; DVORAK, Richard Kevin b: 12 Apr 1961 in Missouri d: 27 Aug 2003 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; Ex-pat aka "Santa Claus” b: in United States d: 2000 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines.

    FAHEY, Kenneth b: abt 1953 in /of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia d: 24 Feb 2009 in near Ayungon, Negros Oriental, Philippines; FAUST, A1C Steven M b: 11 Sep 1965 in Deer Park, Harris County, Texas d: 28 Oct 1987 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; FAVALI, Fr. Tullio b: in Italy d: 1985 in Tulunan, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines; FORSTENHAUSLER, Anton b: abt 1941 in Germany d: 2 May 2004 in villa La Dolce Vita, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines; FRONDA, Julius b: abt 1960 in /a U.S. Citizen d: 14 Mar 2011 in #284 Unson St., San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines; FRONDA, Zenaida b: abt 1937 in /a U.S. Citizen d: 14 Mar 2011 in #284 Unson St., San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines; FU, Cheuk-Yan b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; FUNG, Kwok Che b: abt 1949 in of Hong Kong d: abt 8 Apr 2011 in Sitio Cantimog, Brgy. Libhu, Maasin City, Leyte, Philippines; GRAHAM, James Kermit b: in United States d: in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; HA, Yang-Kang b: in South Korea d: 30 Jan 2010 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; HAESSLER, Kartsen b: abt 1963 in of Wolfsburg, Germany d: Nov 2006 in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; HAMMER, John d: abt 2000 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; HOLTZ, Hans b: abt 1954 in Germany d: 14 Apr 2006 in Clark Ave, Villasol Subd, Brgy Arunas, Angeles City, Philippines; HOLZ, Werner b: abt 1947 in of Melbourne, Australia d: 6 Jan 2009 in Ajuy, Iloilo, Philippines; HONDA, Hiromi b: abt 1951 in Japan d: abt 30 Jan 2010 in Manila, Philippines; HUANG, Shao-Huai b: abt 1964 in Chinese National d: 9 Jul 2011 in St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City, Luzon, Philippines; HYDE, William P "Missionary" b: 3 Feb 1944 in of Iowa d: 4 Mar 2003 in Davao City, Mindano, Philippines; HYUNG, Hur b: abt 1952 in South Korea d: 28 Sep 2011 in San Juan City, Manila, Philippines.

    More Foreigners Murdered in the Philippines

    IMOTO, Kazuya b: abt 1961 in Yoshimizu-Cho, Kyoto, Japan d: 8 Jun 2010 in Subic Techno Park, Subic Bay, Philippines; ISHERWOORD, Jane b: abt 1947 in England d: 30 Oct 2010 in Dau Street, Pilar Village, Las Piñas City, NCR, Philippines; JARMAN, Leonard b: abt 1940 in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, United Kingdom d: 31 Aug 2007 in Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, Philippines; JOHNSON, SFC Mark Wayne "Green Beret" b: 7 Jun 1962 in Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan d: 2 Oct 2002 in Malagutay, Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines; JONES, Bruce Anthony b: abt 1960 in England d: 21 Sep 2010 in Brgy. Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; KAKARA, James Thomas b: 25 Feb 1950 in Los Angeles County, California d: 24 Dec 2011 in Viva Road, Barangay Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines; KANG, Ha-Young b: in South Korea d: 30 Jan 2010 in Clark economic zone, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; KESSLER, Martin b: abt 1963 in Germany d: May 2009 in Quezon City, Philippines; KIM, Jae-Chun Lee b: in South Korea d: 16 Dec 2011 in Sta Barbara, Piat, Cagayan, Luzon, Philippines; KIM, Min-Jung b: abt 1988 in South Korea d: 24 May 2011 in in Eurotel, Pedro Gil Street, Malate, Metro Manila, Philippines; KIM, Young-Dal b: abt 1954 in South Korea d: 26 Jul 2011 in Ternate, Cavite, Philippines; KINDY, Steven "Steve" aka Candy b: 12 Mar 1969 in of Midland, Midland County, Michigan d: 20 Sep 2010 in Mahayahay, Iligan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines; KO, Jaem-Young b: abt 1962 in South Korea d: abt 20 Jul 2010 in Villasol Subd., Brgy. Anunas, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; KRUSE, Herman b: abt 1941 in Germany d: 3 Jul 2009 in Daan Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines; KUMAR, Anil b: abt 1975 in India d: 20 May 2007 in Lucban town, Quezon, Luzon, Philippines. [Source: Brain Twister, Topix, August 18, 2013]

    LAVERI, William "Bill" b: 20 Aug 1939 in prob Connecticut d: 28 Jul 2011 in Sta. Maria 1, Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; LEE, Hyen-Koung b: in South Korea d: 26 Dec 2007 in Brgy. Manibaug, Paralaya, Pampanga, Philippines; LEUNG, Doris Chung-See b: abt 1989 in of Hong Kong (Canadian Passport) d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; LEUNG, Jessie Song-yi b: abt 1996 in of Hong Kong (Canadian Passport) d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; LEUNG, Ken Kam-wing b: in of Hong Kong (Canadian Passport) d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; LIM, Kyong Il b: abt 1979 in South Korea d: 30 Jan 2011 in Ayala Alabang Village, Metro Manila, Philippines; LINGLEY, Barry Ernest b: 7 May 1950 in /of San Jose, Santa Clara County, California d: 27 Jun 2011 in Brgy. Cristo Rey, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines; LOBKI, Antonio Henricos b: abt 1919 in Netherlands d: 6 Jan 2009 in Barangay Liboron, Carcar City, Cebu, Phillipines; MAGELLAN, Ferdinand b: c 1480 in Sabrosa, Portugal d: 27 Apr 1521 in Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines; MANGANTI, Ret. Sgt. Herculano b: abt 1927 in Philippines with U.S. Citizenship d: 28 Oct 1987 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; MASA, Tse b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; MAXWELL, Charles "Charlie" b: abt 1948 in of Longbridge Deverill, Warminster, Wiltshire, England d: 12 Apr 2009 in Ubay, Bohol, Philippines; MAZZA, Sergio Sandro b: abt 1972 in of Berlin, Germany d: 10 Jun 2010 in Legaspi Village, Makati, Manila, Philippines; MCDONALD, John Lorne b: abt 1983 in of Aberdeen, Lancashire, England d: 5 Sep 2010 in Angona, Rizal, Philippines; MELTON, Jerry b: abt 1957 in United States d: 5 Mar 2009 in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Philippines; MICHALSKI, Dr Frank Joseph M.D. b: 28 Sep 1938 in of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida d: 10 Aug 2009 in Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines; MIDDLETON, Carl Roy b: abt 1968 in of England d: 19 Jun 2010 in Tayaw Lodge, Baguio City, Philippines; MILLER, William Henry "Billy" b: abt 1966 in United States d: 16 Dec 2010 in Barangay Capaya, Angeles City, Philippines; MITCHELL, Albert Raye Sr b: 28 Nov 1937 in Highpoint, Guilford County, North Carolina d: 22 Jul 2010 in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; MURDOCH, Gordan David b: abt 1939 in of Batemans Bay, Australia d: 16 Feb 1981 in Mindanao, Philippines.

    NICHOLAS, Anthony b: abt 1946 in of London, England d: 6 Sep 2010 in Sitio Matlag, Barangay 4, Sipalay, Negros Occidental, Philippines; NOE, Victor Eugene b: 31 Jan 1946 in of Indiana d: 24 Jul 2006 in R. Duterte Street, Banawa, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines; OH, Young-Kwan b: abt 1969 in South Korea d: 26 Dec 2007 in Brgy. Manibaug, Paralaya, Pampanga, Philippines; PERIDER, Pierre b: in Belguim d: 22 Apr 2009 in Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway in Batangas, Luzon, Philippines; PORTER, James Bolton b: abt 1960 in of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England d: 16 Jul 2010 in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; R, Richard b: abt 1940 in of Canton, Switzerland d: 12 May 2010 in /near Manila, Philippines; RASAY, Mikael Troy Johansen b: abt 1993 in of Oslo, Norway d: 31 Jul 2011 in Timog Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines; REICH, Alexander b: abt 1987 in /of Brüttisellen, in canton Zurich, Switzerland d: 22 Sep 2011 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines; REUTENBERG, Darcy Hanz "Missionary" b: abt 1958 in Canada d: 26 Jun 2011 in Barangay Adlawon, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines; ROBERTS, Paul Anthony b: abt 1949 in England d: 28 Jun 2009 in Barangay Canigao, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines; ROWE, COL James Nicholas b: 8 Feb 1938 in McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas d: 21 Apr 1989 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines; SABERO, Guillermo b: abt 1961 in of Corona, Riverside County, California d: abt 12 Jun 2001 in Basilan Island, Mindanao, Philippines; SCHOENI, Manfred b: abt 1944 in Switzerland d: 2 May 2004 in villa La Dolce Vita, Mt. Luho, Balabag, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines; SELVARAJ, Palaniappen b: abt 1955 in Malaysia d: 18 Jun 2009 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; SHINDA, Surinder b: in Jalandhar, Punjab, India d: Jul 2006 in Manila, Philippines; SIEPKAMP, Hans van de b: 10 Feb 1952 in Voorburg, Leidschendam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands d: 15 Dec 2011 in Sta. Maria 1, Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; SINGH, Charmjewd b: in India d: 25 Nov 2010 in President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao, Philippines; SINGH, Gurmail b: abt 1969 in Kot-Bhaktu, Bathinda, Punjabi, India d: 22 Jan 2011 in Manila, Philippines; SINGH, Manjeat b: abt 1984 in India d: 15 Nov 2011 in Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; SINGH, Mohinder b: in India d: 25 Feb 2011 in Manila, Philippines; SINGH, Pardeep b: abt 1985 in India d: 5 Mar 2011 in Angono, Rizal, Philippines; SINGH, Raja b: abt 1974 in India d: 10 Aug 2011 in Brgy. Lower Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines; SINGH, Satinder b: abt 1984 in India d: 10 Jun 2010 in Panabo, Davao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines; SINGH, Sokhdib b: in India d: 5 Oct 2010 in Brgy. Lag-asan, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, Philippines; SINGH, Sukhinder b: abt 1985 in India d: 15 Nov 2011 in Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; SMITH, Brian Thomas b: 20 Feb 1960 in Grinnell, Poweshiek County, Iowa d: 30 Jan 2002 in Mt. Pinatubo, Porac, Pampanga, Philippines; SO, Richard b: abt 1955 in Chinese d: 24 Sep 2010 in Haven Hotel, Brgy. Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; STEIN, Nils Aksnes Frodei b: abt 1958 in Norway d: 20 Jul 2009 in Subd. Jugan, Consolacion town, Cebu, Philippines; SUBHASH, Chandre Bhati b: abt 1974 in India d: 7 Dec 2011 in Purok 2, Brgy. Naggasican, Santiago City, Isabela, Philippines; SUNG, Jung-Hak b: abt 1982 in South Korea d: 7 Aug 2010 in Brgy. Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines.

    TENTORIO, Fr. Fausto b: abt 1952 in Italy d: 17 Oct 2011 in Arakan, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines; THOMPSON, William b: in United States d: 26 Sep 1989 in near Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines; THORPE, Thomas Michael b: 26 Dec 1979 in Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York d: 13 Aug 2009 in Fields Ave., Balibago, Angeles City, Pampamga, Philippines; ; U.S. STATE DEPT FILE, Two Unnamed American(s) b: in U.S. Citizen d: 25 Mar 2010 in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines; ; US NAVY, Two "Sebees" b: in of United States d: 29 Sep 2009 in near Indanan, Sulu, Jolo Island, Philippines; VIKSTEN, Alfonso Melker b: abt 1947 in Sweden d: 7 Jun 2008 in Sitio Catap, Brgy. Banlot, Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines; WANG, Guilin b: abt 1964 in Chinese National d: 18 Dec 2001 in Nueva Ecija province, North Luzon, Philippines; WILLIAMS, Martin b: abt 1966 in of Liverpool, England d: 24 Mar 2009 in Boloc-boloc Spring, Brgy. Mansasa, Pangalo, Bohol, Philippines; WONG, Tze-Iam b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; YEUNG, Yee-kam b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; YEUNG, Yee-Wa b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines;

    Peace Corps Volunteer Beaten to Death in the Rural Philippines

    In April 2007, an American Peace Corps volunteer, Julia Campbell, 40, of Fairfax, Va., disappeared during a solo hike to Ifugao province's famed mountainside rice terraces. Initially it was thought that she might have fallen and been carried away a rushing stream but later her killers confessed on television to what he did. Associated Press reported: “The man suspected of killing a Peace Corps volunteer who was beaten to death and buried in a shallow grave gave himself up and confessed on television, saying he would accept "whatever punishment you will impose on me." Juan Duntugan claimed he was fuming about a running feud with a neighbor when Julia Campbell bumped into him from behind, causing him to drop a bundle of clothes he was carrying. "My mind went blank," Duntugan told ABS-CBN television. "I did not know who she was or what she was. I got a rock and I hit her on the head. If I can change my body for hers, I will do it. But that's not possible. Whatever punishment you will impose on me, I will accept it." [Source: Associated Press, April 27, 2007 ><]

    “Apparently referring to speculation that Campbell may have been killed during an attempted rape or robbery, Duntugan said: "I admit it, yes. I killed her, but I did not do whatever other people are thinking I did." National police chief Oscar Calderon said police were "documenting his statement in the presence of a lawyer." Senior Superintendent Pedro Ganir, police chief of northern Ifugao province, where Campbell's body was found April 18, told The Associated Press that Duntugan's mother persuaded him to turn himself in and his uncle delivered him to the police station in the provincial capital of Lagawe. "We provided him security so that he will not be harmed," Ganir said. ><

    “Duntugan's wife had sold Campbell a soft drink before her hike, and a boy has told police that he saw him near the grave that day. Duntugan, a woodcarver who lives in the area, went into hiding the next day. A police autopsy showed that Campbell, who worked as a freelance journalist for The New York Times and other media organizations, was killed by multiple blows to the head, and that her arms were injured, indicating she tried to ward off an attack. ><

    “Campbell worked in Bicol as an English teacher. The Bicol region, southeast of Manila, includes Albay's provincial capital Legazpi and Donsol township in nearby Sorsogon province, which is famous for whale sharks and is where Campbell helped launch an ecology awareness campaign.

    Philippines a Death Trap for Koreans?

    The Philippines is a popular destination for South Korean students, businessmen and retirees. In 2013, twelve Koreans were shot or stabbed to death. Four had been killed by April 2014. In all the cases no suspects had been taken into custody. Kim Se-jeong wrote in the Korean Times, “The foreign ministry dismissed a claim that Koreans were being targeted. "The Philippine's criminal system is weak, and, without exception, the number of crimes and killings of visitors is rising for Chinese, Japanese and Americans alike. Each visitor should stay vigilant." Experts opine that the Koreans are often victims of contract killings organized by their compatriots. [Source: Kim Se-jeong, Korean Times, April 10, 2014 <>]

    “In early April 2014, a 21-year-old student, was found dead outside Manila. She had been kidnapped more than a month ago. Her body was found in the hideout of her kidnappers, who reportedly called her brother for a ransom. No information is available about the identity of the kidnappers and their motivation. In February, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Korean man was found dead on a highway near Benguet, north of Manila. The police found gunshot wounds on his body. <>

    On April 6, a 45-year-old South Korean businessman was fatally shot while eating dinner with his family at an outdoor restaurant in Angeles City by an unknown gunman who escaped on a motorcycle. Last February, a 65-year-old Korean tourist was also fatally shot in Angeles City by unidentified assailants. Since 2009, there have been 40 Koreans killed in the Philippines. Between 2009 and 2013, 44 percent of some 160 murder cases of Korean nationals abroad occurred in the Philippines, according to the foreign ministry. [Source: Manila Bulletin, April 13, 2014]

    In February 2014, a South Korean tourist died after he was shot by one of two men on a motorcycle in Barangay Anunas in this city. Jun Malig of the Inquirer Central Luzon wrote: “Investigators said the victim, Her Tae Suk, 65, was walking toward the Prism Hotel on Clarkview Avenue with three other Koreans at 7:45 p.m. when the assailants approached them. One of the men then drew a 9-mm pistol and shot Her several times. Police have yet to determine what prompted the attack. Her’s companions -– Lee Jae Woo, 37; Jung Jon Gik, 37; and Park Jeung Keun, 37 — were unhurt and were able to run away when the shooting started. The Korean Community Association of Central Luzon, which has offices at “Korean Town,” a district on the Fil-Am Friendship Highway where most Koreans in the city live, has been airing its concern about criminals victimizing South Koreans living in this city and other parts of the region. A month earlier two men on a motorcycle shot and wounded a Korean. The killers took $20,000 the Korean had withdrew from a bank in Angeles City. [Source:Jun Malig, Inquirer Central Luzon, February 19, 2014]

    Some experts pointed their finger at Korean criminals there, saying that more protection is needed for travelers. "It is highly possible that there are Koreans behind these crimes," said Professor Kim Dong-yeob at Busan University of Foreign Studies. “According to him, the majority of cases involving Korean victims are contract killings. "Many Koreans flying to the Philippines have a reason to flee Korea. Many are gang members escaping law enforcement. What they end up doing is paying people to swindle money from Koreans. businessmen, students and tourists." Cho Yang-eun, a leader of Korean organized gang named "Yangeunyi" is one example. He was detained in November last year in the northern Philippines. According to the National Police Agency, 170 criminals on its wanted list are currently in the Philippines. <>

    A Korean running a private youth hostel in the Philippines echoed the professor. "The cause of crimes involving Korean nationals happening in the Philippines is either a contract killing or a random one targeting wealthy Koreans," she said, declining to be named. Prof. Park noted understanding the country could explain rampant killings higher than neighboring countries. "You can own a gun in the Philippines. Also, it is a Catholic country, meaning people probably feel freer than those visiting Malaysia or Indonesia which are Muslim countries. And take Thailand, for example. They have better protection for foreign tourists," Park said. <.

    South Korea Sends Investigators After Student Found Dead

    “In early April 2014, a 21-year-old student, was found dead outside Manila. She had been kidnapped more than a month ago. Her body was found in the hideout of her kidnappers, who reportedly called her brother for a ransom. The Manila Bulletin reported: “The 21-year-old female South Korean college student was found dead after being abducted in Pasay City on March 3 while on her way to meet a friend. Her decomposing body was reportedly found in the hideout of her abductors. The exact details of the Korean student's death have not been released other than that she was identified by her clothing. The victim's younger brother, who was also in the Philippines, attempted to identify his sister, but was unable to do so because her body was so badly decomposed. [Source: Manila Bulletin, April 13, 2014]

    “The abduction, which took place over a month ago, was not reported as authorities were supposedly working out the safe release of the victim. Local police said there appeared to have been at least three kidnappers, including the taxi driver. No additional information is available about the identity of the kidnappers and their motivation.

    “Her body was found in the hiding place of the abductors Tuesday night despite our utmost efforts to win her safe release,” an official quoted by Yonhap said. The hiding place was located about an hour car ride north of the capital. The abduction became known when one of the abductors called the friend she was to meet and demanded a hefty ransom, according to the official. [Yonhap]

    South Korean dispatched a team of investigators led by a high-level official to the Philippines to look into the recent death of the South Korean. At the same time, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations Cho Tai-young said his government is calling on relevant Philippine authorities to "conduct an investigation in a thorough manner to find accomplices other than those already arrested." "The ROK government will keep working closely with the Philippine side in this regard," said Cho in a press briefing held in Seoul last Thursday. A transcript of his remarks was posted in the official South Korean foreign ministry website.

    Frat ‘Hitman’ Assassination and Other Murders Involving Japanese

    Alleged fraternity hitman Aristotle “Ares” Aves was charged yesterday for the murder of Japanese national Taroh Suda. Chito O. Aragon reported: Senior Supt. Jose Jorge Corpuz of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Vsiayas (CIDG-7) said Mandaue City police filed the charges after it was determined that the bullet that killed Suda on July 18, 2007 matched the gun found on Aves when he was arrested Dec. 3, 2007. Corpuz said Aves, a member of the Alpha Kappa Rho (Akrho) fraternity, had served as a gun-for-hire for a mastermind who wanted Suda dead. He declined to name the mastermind, but said Suda's death was “business-related.” Seven others, all Akrho, were named co-accused. [Source: Chito O. Aragon, January 25, 2008]

    In 2005, a Japanese man was found hacked to death in his home in the northern Philippines. Kyodo reported: “The blood-soaked body of the victim, identified as Shinya Takemoto, 59, was found dead by his Filipino wife, Maryjane Juan, at 3:55 a.m. Saturday at their home in Solsona municipality of Ilocos Norte province. [Source: Kyodo, May, 9, 2005]

    In May 2014, five men were charged with robbing and killing a Japanese engineer who was on his way to visit his Filipina girlfriend in Nueva Ecija. Dino Balabo wrote in the Philippine Star, Superintendent Fitz Macariola, police chief of San Miguel, Bulacan, identified three of the suspects as Bartolome Alvaro, his brother-in-law Armand Lubong, and Junior Casano. The two others are now being hunted down. Citing investigation reports, Macariola said Alvaro picked up 60-year-old Katsushige Fujinaga at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and were to drive him to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija to meet with his girlfriend. However, upon reaching the Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Sacdalan, San Miguel town, the Japanese engineer and Alvaro were robbed by four men riding a tricycle at around 7:30 p.m. [Source: Dino Balabo, Philippine Star, May 1, 2014]

    “Fujinaga refused to give his bag containing cash and other valuables and was stabbed dead. According to Macariola, investigators became suspicious of Alvaro’s account of the circumstances leading to Fujinaga’s death. Upon further questioning, Alvaro eventually admitted his involvement in the crime and identified his cohorts. Follow-up police operations led to the arrest of Lubong and Casano in Barangay Tigpalas, San Miguel town. The tricycle used by the suspects, a Kawasaki Bajaj 100 CT100, with license plate 3802-DO was recovered. The vehicle had bloodstains on it. The two suspects yielded 26 10,000 yen bills, two 5,000 yen bills, and three 1,000 yen bills, amounting to 273,000 yen, as well as P18,000 cash and $56. Macariola said Alvaro and Lubong hatched the plan to rob Fujinaga, but not to kill him. The suspects though said everything went awry when the Japanese refused to give his bag. Police have filed robbery and homicide charges against Alvaro, Lubong and Casano while still tracking down their two accomplices.” [Ibid]

    Kyodo reported: “Fujinaga, an engineer from Ibaraki Prefecture, had just arrived from Japan to visit his Filipino girlfriend. Fujinaga was stabbed multiple times with a double-edged kitchen knife, a butterfly knife and an ice pick, he said. Police said the main suspect is the regular driver of the victim’s 32-year-old Filipino girlfriend, who had requested that he fetch him from the airport.

    In May 2010, Kyodo reported: “ A Japanese national was killed before, apparently stabbed to death by two suspected robbers in the southern Philippine city Zamboanga, police said. The victim was identified as Tokio Miyake, 71, a pensioner from Okayama Prefecture who has been a resident of Zamboanga in western Mindanao for around 15 years, police investigator Mario Lafuente told Kyodo News. Lafuente said Miyake sustained a fatal wound on the left part of his chest caused by an ice pick. He died on the spot. [Source: Kyodo News, May 14, 2010]

    Japanese Murdered in Plots Involving Their Spouses

    In January 2013, a Filipina and her son were arrested along with three other suspects for the gun-for-hire murder of the woman’s Japanese husband. AFP reported: “Hideo Niikura was shot dead by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Dasmariñas, a town about 35 kilometers south of Manila on December 29, a police statement said. His wife Merlinda Soria, 46, confessed she and an adult son by another man had plotted the killing, the statement said. The son and one of his friends paid a third man P100,000 (just under $2,500) to commit the murder, according to the statement, which added that the son’s friend also corroborated the woman’s deposition after their arrest.[Source: Agence France-Presse, January 5, 2013]

    “Police said the four were detained in separate police raids in Dasmariñas, along with another male suspect also implicated in the conspiracy. Police seized two semi-automatic pistols from the alleged gunman and the woman’s son, it said. The statement said mother and son plotted to have her husband killed “over money matters and alleged physical abuses”, but did not elaborate. Local police sources said the couple met in Manila around 1990, got married seven years ago and have a five-year-old child. The husband decided to permanently relocate to Dasmariñas in September 2012.” [Ibid]

    In March 2012, a 32-year-old Japanese woman was killed by her Filipino husband after she berated him for coming home drunk in the late at night. Jhunnex Napallacan wrote in the Inquirer Visayas, “Kotoka Kajii Denila, a Tokyo native and mother of a 9-month old girl, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital. Police arrested Dexter Louie Denila, 27, a native of Tagum, Davao del Norte, a few hours after the suspect fled the scene. [Source: Jhunnex Napallacan. Inquirer Visayas. March 26th, 2012 ^^]

    “Winston Ybañez, Lapu-Lapu City police homicide investigator, said that before the killing, Dexter was in a drinking session with his friends at a basketball court a few blocks from their house in Dominique Subdivision, Sitio Sudtongan, Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City. Ybañez said a drunken Dexter went home at around 2:45 a.m. and knocked on the door of their house several times before Kotoka went down to let him in. “The victim allegedly scolded the suspect for coming home late,” Ybañez said. After scolding her husband, Kotoka went upstairs to go back to sleep in their bedroom on the second floor. But Dexter went to the kitchen, got a knife, and followed his wife upstairs, Ybañez said. The suspect then stabbed Kotoka before she could enter their bedroom, he added. ^^

    “House help Jupel Baldoseno, who was sleeping on the ground floor, told police he was awakened by Kotoka’s shouting. When he rushed upstairs, he saw Dexter repeatedly stabbing the victim. Baldoseno said he rushed out of the house to ask help from neighbors. But by the time the neighbors and the police arrived, Dexter had already fled, bringing with him the murder weapon, according to Ybañez. ^^

    “Dexter was arrested at past 7 a.m. by policemen from Lapu-Lapu City police station 4. Yabañez said the suspect was seen just roaming outside the subdivision, the murder weapon no longer in his possession. The police official theorized Dexter was not only drunk but could also have been high on drugs because he could not respond properly to their questions. The suspect claimed innocence, saying just saw his wife on the floor with several stab wounds and that he merely took the knife from her body. The couple’s infant was taken into custody by the Lapu-Lapu City women’s desk and would be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Ybañez said that based on initial information, the couple got married last April 2011. Dexter was jobless while Kotoka was reportedly engaged in an unspecified business here, he added.” ^^

    Three Filipinos Held for Dumping Japanese Man at Sea

    In August 2014, three Filipino men were detained after confessing to dumping the bodies of a missing Japanese man and his Filipina girlfriend at sea. Asia News Network reported: “The men disposed of the bodies of Japanese businessman Yuji Okada and his girlfriend in early July on the orders of a Filipino suspect who remains at large, the department's National Bureau of Investigation said. The men initially buried the bodies on a sandy riverbank east of Manila, but later dug them up after a stray dog disturbed the site, said senior investigator Joel Tovera. "They loaded the bodies on a boat and sailed to Polillo island, where the by then bloated bodies were strapped to sandbags and dropped into the water," he told a news conference. [Source: Asia News Network, August 14, 2014]

    “Okada and his girlfriend are still registered as missing as no bodies have been found, Tovera added. Tovera said the authorities are looking for a total of four Filipino suspects, in addition to those already arrested over the couple's disappearance. The couple were apparently killed by a Filipino man and his Filipina girlfriend at Okada's suburban Manila home on June 28 after an unspecified argument with Okada's girlfriend, Tovera said. The male suspect's father later loaded the bodies into the trunk of his car, while another man drove the bodies to the riverbank, about 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) east of Manila for disposal two days later. Tovera said the three men who confessed to dumping the bodies at sea were pricked by conscience.” [Ibid]

    Canadian Kills Two and Shoots Self in Cebu Courthouse

    Foreign also explode in murderous rages in the Philippines. In January 2013, Jhunnex Napallacan wrote in the Inquirer Visayas, “A physician and a lawyer were killed while a female prosecutor was wounded when a Canadian national went on a shooting rampage inside the Palace of Justice about 8:30 a.m., the authorities said. Police said the suspect, identified as John Pope, shot himself when he reached the ground floor of the building located inside the Capitol compound in Cebu City. He expired about two-and-a-half hours later at the Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. [Source: Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas, January 22, 2013 ==]

    “Regional prosecutor Fernando Gubalane said Pope, who police said was armed with a .38-caliber pistol, shot lawyer Juvian Achas and Dr. Rene Rafols inside Branch 6 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities located on the fourth floor. On his way down he met Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Maria Theresa Casiño on the stairs near the court’s Branch 1 and shot her in the head, Gubalane said. Achas and Rafols died on the spot, Gubalane said, adding that Casiño was fighting for her life at Chong Chua Hospital in Cebu City. ==

    “Gubalane said Pope was facing several cases at the Palace of Justice filed by his neighbors in Barangay (village) Guadalupe, Cebu City. Gubalane said investigators had yet to determine why Pope shot Casiño and the two others. He described Casiño as a “good prosecutor” and friendly. ==

    Image Sources:

    Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Philippines Department of Tourism, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

    © 2008 Jeffrey Hays

    Last updated June 2015


  • Dex said

    Hi, Im going to Midsayap Koronadal and General santos, am i safe in these places? especially Midsayap.


  • william said

    I have a question, I am considering travelling to the Philippines this December going to the Cebu area and possibly the island of Siquijor, since they are close to northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula, does anyone know of any instances of problems for tourists (ie: kidnapping, terrorism, pirates) in those areas? The Australian gov’t posted ‘Recent attacks have also created concerns that these groups have the capability to target locations frequented by tourists in southern Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor’ . I am aware of the risks when travelling and of course nothing can be guaranteed but would like some more information.

    Thank you.


  • chin said

    I'm from Mindanao,particularly in Zamboanga and living in cebu right now, Cebu is a nice place to visit and a lot of foreigner is living here too. I could see no threat for Foreigners to visit here..about Sijuijor, I've never been there eversince, but I have friends who visited there and they had fun and safe. Mindanao is a nice place. Not all place there are dangerous but better be alert, there is no such place is secure but what matters most is we always ask God to cover and be with us always to guide and direct us wherever we go.


  • Doug said

    Travelling to Polanco in January, how safe is it, it's near Dipolog


  • steve said

    I live most of the year in Davao near Puan and have been to Cabadbaran, Byugan, Butuan City, and Hinatuan all on mindanao, never having a problem.Also went to Eden Park. The people have a lot of respect and are very friendly. Luzon around Bataan Maravelis Orani also never had a problem. Mt. Samat is awesome to visit. Just pay attention to your surroundings as I do being from Miami anyway. Good luck in your travels.


  • Jennifer said

    My bf and I are planning in traveling to Puerto Princesa and El Nido in Palawan in mid-Feb 2016. How safe is it to travel there now?


  • simon said

    I have been bullion , sultan kudarat, davao etc , and have not had a problem , i walk the streets on my own , so am always confused by comments.


  • john turner said

    Sorry i was in all no go zone in philippines,and i was there from march to october15, never had any problems what so ever,i drove car,i walk the streets,i lives in mids of muslims n non muslims area 24 hours 7 days a week with male,female,transgender people too the most beautiful people i ever been with,yes i understand poverty,is very deep,n sorry to say catolic christan do sale body even thier mothers fathers daughter,never took they advantage need knowledge,help solve poverty in whole philippines helphelphelp


  • Duane said

    I am an American, getting married in Feb 2016 near Tagum, I will be in kapalong, After reading the travel advisories I am scared and am thinking on cancelling our wedding, my fiance who is a filipina is upset. what do I do?


  • Bryan said

    Duane, I'm guessing that you met your wife-to-be online? If you've been "dating" for at least a year and have met her family (seen them multiple times on cam), I would go for it. None of us are going to live forever and if it's your time, it's your time. If you love her enough to make a lifetime commitment to her, wouldn't you do anything it takes to be with her? In my thinking, if you wouldn't, you don't really love her. I would, without question, go to her. Follow the advise of others on this site of where to go and what to do and what not do. Meet her and marry her somewhere else in the Philippines if you don't feel safe. Can you blame her for being upset? You have given her a hope and a dream and made her fall in love with you then want to walk away. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Obviously, it is your decision, but if you have faith and belief in God, and in your relationship with her, it's an easy decision. If I were you, I would get airfare, hotel reservations, make an appointment with the doctor for a backbone transplant, and go. Good luck in your decision. God speed to you both.


  • mike said

    I am a white (Caucasian) European and have continuously resided in Mindanao for the past 8 years. I am sick of reading all the scare-mongering words emitted from the self-appointed travel experts who may (or may not) visit the Philippines regularly. Let these same bores write about New York, New Orleans and oh so many other USA places. then of course there is Paris, Brussels, Rome, Kosovo, Ibiza, London etc etc. So you recommend others to stay clear of many places in the Phils Well I highly recommend you guys to seal your lips and stay away from Philippines. Go where its guaranteed to be safe haha where is that place


  • PhilSylvester said

    we don't single out Philippines, we make strong recommendations about travel safety to lots of places - including the ones you name. You are right in that some extent no place is safe - have a look at all the sharp knives in your kitchen - it's about how you behave around those potential threats. We are making people aware of the threats so they can arm themselves to avoid trouble.
    As a resident you've obviously learned ways to behave that lower your risk, a recent visitor may not have those skills.
    While you may say it's scare-mongering, and I'd happily publish details you could provide about how to travel there safely, the official government assessments are not so forgiving. Please have a look at DFAT (Australia) as an example
    They say: "Central and western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula, and the Sulu Archipelago and southern Sulu Sea area, do not travel
    We advise against all travel here due to the very high risk. If you do travel, you should typically seek professional security advice. Be aware that regular travel insurance policies will be void and that the Australian Government is unlikely to be able to provide consular assistance."
    Seems pretty clear to me, and this is government level advice - hardly scare-mongering.


  • Victor Siroky said

    I have a need to travel this coming Saturday to Cagayan do Oro, then take a private van to Iligan City to stay there for two days. Then back to CGO Airport on Monday by private van driven by the family friend. I am from Europe and have travelled to many parts of Europe, Brasil, Mexico. How safe with this 2-day trip be for me to Iligan City??


  • noel said

    @victor -have been to cdo and illigan a few times ,visit maria christina falls and tinago falls in illigan ,if there is a way for you to message me -then would ahppily share any info


  • Graham said

    I stayed in Dipolog for a month,June to
    July,l saw NO trouble,talked to foriengers
    who lived there,they felt it was safe.
    There was a kiddnapping of a pizza shop
    owner in Dipolog buy a gang last
    October.l still think it is safe to go
    there,l will go back in three months for
    a month,my girlfried lives there.


  • noel said

    @phil -out of interest -what parts of the philippines and mindanao in particulare have you visited?


  • Jason said

    My wife and I are planning moving to manila to start a business I would like to know of places which is safe to do so and to stay


  • Darren said

    I been to Davao three times and really it is a safe city to visit, I have tested everything from small shop venders to taxi drivers and Never! I been charged more than the Local price. This is legit as my gf and brothers also gave me the cost before I headed off myself for the day.
    The fact that crime is low and traffic is decent compared to Manila and Cebu, I would recommend Davao to anyone that likes Peace and Honest People.
    Just do not be a criminal and you will be safe.
    But do not think that you can just roam around Samal Island freely at night since there was a kidnapping in October. But if your using common sense you wont sit on a Yacht attracting these people and just blend in with the people instead of showing off what you have. Just be nice in the City and you will be treated with so much respect.


  • David said

    It's like anything else. If you act afraid, they will be all over you. If you act stone cold confident and in control, they will move on to someone else. Try it -- walk through a barangay being a badass sometime. You won't run into any trouble at all.


  • Bruce said

    For william, Siquijor along the coast is mostly owned by Europeans but lodging operated by the people who were born there. Last time I was there we had no plan just got of the ship from Durmaguete and walked into town hoping to find lodging. Nothing doing but a 3 wheel driver told me he could maybe help but was not sure. No charge and a ride to his sister who ran a place for a European and as luck would have it she had a reasonably priced room, air con included, for us due to a no show. We shared communal meals or not as we wished and enjoyed advice on how to experience the island. First night we had nothing to contribute but we got feed anyways, after that we made sure contributed our share. She gave us good advice on renting scooters and what to watch out for as we motored around. Mostly what corners to slow down before entering and what were the accessible beaches and items of interest to view like churches. My wife is a Philippine born Canadian and as such is a devout Catholic. I am a Anglo Saxon descendant, generations old naturally born Canadian but to the people of the Philippines we are both foreigners. That is what you need to remember if you are traveling with a Philippa who lives abroad. She will be identified as a foreigner so don't count on that to protect you. Spatial awareness is your friend just like at home. When it was time to go home I asked for the same fellow that brought me there and when we arrived at the dock paid him triple the usual fee and told him how much I appreciated his caring for a fellow human with a problem. My experience is that you are safe in Siquijor. Heck, they even have a Jehovah Witness hall in the center of the island. One day after we got back to San Mateo Rizal (our house in the Philippines) there was an earthquake that destroy the airport in Durmaguete. That day we flew back to Canada feeling very lucky.


  • John DuBois said

    I was thinking of meeting this girl I met online , who is from pagadian city. She plans to move to cebu with her sister this april. Anyway I broke up with one of her friends not too long ago cause I was being swindled cause I found out that one had a husband and an Australian boyfriend on the side. The girl I like at present had a relationship with a bad character on drugs and alcohol 6 months ago in past I'm told, but she broke up with him and that was that. I'm really considering extreme caution as I'm reading all this mentioned in comments. Also, I'm right weary now as this girl used to be Muslim and had a husband (live in partner)at one time, who was Muslim. Her two friends are scammers and she was unaware of them being so. One of them I broke up with as I mentioned in the beginning. In regard to what I'm reading, I could be getting set up. I really don't know.


  • mart said

    Stating that you "feel safe" or you have been somewhere several times and never had any problems is just meaningless nonsense, people want to know if it is safe, what is the threat to that particular area? I would say from my limited experience, that general crime and corruption is all over Mindanao as with all the Philippines, so no need to compare that with U.S etc, so we are left with terrorist activity, which is in varying degrees depending on where exactly you go. Personally I prefer Cagayan, however I am never oblivious to the dangers, I am almost always armed, I do not spend too much time is crowded popular places and do not stray too far into Moslem areas. I used to spend a lot of time in Iligan but have reduced this to infrequent visits, an increasing moslem population and too close to Marawi for my liking.


  • jamilbrillantes said

    I am born and raised in Cotabato City currently here in United States. Cotabato City for me is home. The fact that everyone even my countrymen is afraid of even going to my beloved city. I've heard a lot of negative comments that persuades other people not to come. It is normal for a innovating city to have crimes. As a matter of fact, New York and or Manila has probably lots of crime rates compare to Cotabato city. Do you know that the biggest and most prestigious Mosque in the whole Philippine Archipelago lies in Cotabato city. The rich culture and tradition of one of the oldest tribes in the Philippines can still be contemplate in Cotabato city. If you started thinking a certain place is dangerous, your mind is already corrupt. Give it a try, Try to be more spontaneous and try to find out by yourself if it's really true. Visit Cotabato City. You will be amazed and astonished.


  • Australian National Security said

    Abu Sayyaf Group
    (Also known as: Abou Sayaf Armed Band; Abou Sayyef Group; Abu Sayaff Group; Al-Harakat Al-Aslamiya; Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyya; Al-Harakat-ul Al-Islamiyya; Al-Harakatul-Islamia; Mujahideen Commando Freedom Fighters)

    Listed in Australia 14 November 2002, re-listed 5 November 2004, 3 November 2006, 1 November 2008, 29 October 2010 and 12 July 2013.

    This statement is based on publicly available information about the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). To the Australian Government's knowledge, this information is accurate and reliable and has been corroborated by classified information.

    Basis for listing a terrorist organisation
    Division 102 of the Criminal Code provides that for an organisation to be listed as a terrorist organisation, the Attorney-General must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation:

    is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, or assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur); or
    advocates the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur).

    Details of the organisation

    ASG was founded in 1991 as a separatist militant Islamist movement by Filipino national Abdurajak Janjalani. ASG remains influenced by its founding objective of creating an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines areas of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

    Following the deaths over the last decade of a number of its key senior leaders, including former Emir, Khadaffy Janjalani, in September 2006, ASG has continued to fragment. It remains unclear whether a single figure now leads the group. However, a number of key leadership figures have extensive operational experience and are capable of conducting their own independent operations—including Radullan Sahiron, Isnilon Hapilon, Yasir Igasan and Khair Mundos.

    Since its inception, ASG has been composed of loosely-affiliated sub-groups, mostly organised along traditional clan and familial lines. ASG membership consists primarily of young Filipino Muslims from the Sulu archipelago, though the group also attracts poverty‑stricken Muslims from across the southern Philippines. ASG membership at times has included foreign jihadists.

    ASG recruitment efforts have ensured membership numbers remain at approximately 400 fighters, spread predominantly across the Sulu Archipelago. However, membership numbers fluctuate in response to successful terrorist operations and pressure from the Philippine military, which dictate the available resources and relative incentives of membership.

    ASG views kidnap-for-ransom and extortion ventures as profitable operational tactics. Kidnappings, in particular, have been a trademark of ASG since its creation and represent the main funding mechanism for the group.These activities help support members' livelihood and provide resources for ASG's terrorist activities, including its capacity to oppose military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). ASG has also received funds from other Islamist terrorist organisations and enjoys support from elements of the local population of Jolo and Basilan.

    Terrorist activity of the organisation

    Directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning or assisting in the doing of terrorist acts
    ASG has been responsible for the planning and conduct of terrorist attacks and kidnappings against a wide range of targets, including Philippine security forces and foreign interests, in Western Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, and Malaysia's Sabah State.Recent attacks, including bombings, have largely been motivated by financial gain rather than purely political, religious or ideological purposes. However, some of the proceeds of these attacks are used to support ASG's on-going operations in pursuit of an independent Islamic state—and the choice of victims remains influenced by this objective.

    ASG has been linked to numerous kidnappings in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City and other areas in Western Mindanao. Westerners and other wealthy foreign nationals, as well as local politicians, business people, and civilians feature among the broad range of kidnap targets. Kidnappings reliably attributed to ASG since its re‑listing by the Australian Government as a terrorist organisation on 29 October 2010 include:

    On 5 December 2011, Australian national Warren Richard Rodwell was abducted from his residence in Ipil, Mindanao. In a January 2013 proof-of-life video of Mr Rodwell uploaded to YouTube, his captors stated he was being held by members of Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyya (ASG) and that money gained from his kidnapping was to be used for future operations. Mr Rodwell was released by his captors in March 2013.

    1 February 2012: a Swiss and Dutch national were kidnapped along with their Filipino guide off the Tawi-Tawi islands. Following their initial abduction, Philippine authorities stated that the victims were seen in the custody of ASG militants.

    12 July 2011: two US nationals were kidnapped near Zamboanga City by ASG militants.
    ASG has been linked to numerous large-scale attacks over the past decade, including the 27 February 2004 bombing of the Superferry in Manila harbour, killing 114 people, and the 14 February 2005 coordinated bombings in the cities of Makati, Davao and General Santos, killing 11 people.

    Recent attacks attributed to ASG include:
    28 July 2012: seven soldiers were killed during an armed clash with ASG in the village of Panglayahan, Jolo.
    10 July 2012: six rubber plantation workers were killed when suspected ASG fighters ambushed a vehicle ferrying workers in Tumahubong, Basilan.
    28 November 2011: three people were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated at a wedding ceremony in a hotel in Zamboanga City.
    10 March 2011: five people were killed when an IED detonated outside an elementary school in San Raymundo village, Jolo, Sulu.


  • Wild_w said

    Me and my wife own some lands in Zamboanga peninsula ,where her family is from. We have good connections with local authorities, police and army: christian and muslim.
    I can tell you that it's not very safe in Mindanao. Ozamis ,Illigan and up to Cagayan de Oro and further up to the tip of Surigao is fine,you shouldn't fear anything.Davao and whole east coast of mindanao is also very fine. Middle Mindanao I would strongly insist to avoid ( Cotobato S+N,Sultan Kudarat,Lanao S+N,Maguindanao) and areas close to these .Armed rebel groups ,constant conflict with PH goverment.It's scary in there,believe me. Zamboanga peninsula is also risky, many different bad things happening(some kidnapings, some shootings, rido..). You are safe inside bigger cities like Zamboanga, Pagadian , Dipolog, but keep low profile , have some armed people around (guards) if possible. South from Zamboanga towards Malaysia is absolute NO GO. Chances to not get kidnapped is very little, it's home to Abu Sayyaf (ISIS) ,some of their family members or friends or other related groups will contact each other and you are gone in matter of hours.
    In the end of the day I would not advice anyone to travel to any areas that have some of terror risks. I know some foreigners who live in these areas with their wifes/gf ,but they stay in the cities, doesn't go out much so not getting spotted. Becouse once wrong people spots you,finds out where you are staying, and you are staying there long- there is a risk that one night couple armed men will stream in your house, put a gun to your head and lead to the car.Which will drive you to the shore where motorboat fast will bring you to Basilan or Jolo(deep up the mountain jungle) and there will come an youtube video where you will ask your family or goverment to pay multimilion dollar ransom to get you out of there. And as everybody knows:No ransom - no head... SO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU EXPLORE THIS BEAUTIFUL BANGSAMORO ;)


  • tigg said

    Very unfair to say that for South Cotabato. Lots of expats living there, some even known ex militaries. Majority Ilonggo people and very friendly. Foreigners have good investments there farm, big houses, maids, muslim workers, some even rumoured as childbride hunters but still up and about to this day. We have properties there, retired American. Moved to Bukidnon for cooler climate. I will avoid high muslim populated areas in Mindanao, the rest just always use common sense and avoid being overly friendly as it would be misinterpreted as stupidity.


  • Saa said

    I will go to cotabato area and will visit it safe?


  • Dass said

    Wild_w's comment is extremely spot on. BE CAREFUL, PEOPLE, read that and remember that comment. You don't want to get kidnapped, be humiliated, have to forget any help from on your country and be beheaded on video. Be extremely careful in Mindanao and in Zamboanga peninsula, and further south from that: DON'T GO!


  • Jhen said

    Philippines is a safe for traveler to luzon visaya and davao area only avoid going in mindanao.


  • jose said

    as of this date..take w wild comments...for they are mostly accurate....when in mindanao try to be in very low not show any jewelry and flash money...have common sense when dealing with the locals...and just be nice
    and enjoy!


  • celinski said

    hi... is subic bay in o.ongapo safe for foreigners? is riding a jeepney advisable from victory liner bus station to free port a good idea? thanks


  • Troy said

    Hi. I will be traveling to tambulig , Zamboanga del sur Philippanes during Christmas this December .. Can anyone tell me what to expect???
    Should I be nervous to go there???


  • Dude said

    I am a foreigner retired in Philippines 3 years now. Nothing is safe here. Going out, even with a body guard is a risk you take and years can go by and nothing happen but, it is a matter of playing with the odds. I leave home only for appointments, gym close to my home, take my kids to school, watch a movie, go to the malls with security, all in the proximity of 1 to 2 hours from my home. I always return home before 3 PM due to not only heavy traffic but, the thousands of inconsiderate aninals vehind the steering wheels all over the country (not only in manila). I do not go out to eat as food poisoning seems to be normal. I had visited 5 stars hotels restaurants and seen cooks going to the rest room urinate or defecate, and do not wash their hands prior to return back to the kitchen. I do not go out since, neither rich, middle class or poor locals would ever pull their wallets to pay at least for one round or either tea, beer wine or whiskey. Do not buy a used car as locals (rich or poor, educated and non educated) do not understand the term "DEPRECIATION OF GOODS" they will try to sell you a 5 years old car almost at the same price as a new one. If you have somebody, have him or her paying for stuff becasue, the minute they see your fae the price is 3 tiems more the regular price. Do not lend money, do not lend money do not lend money...,you will never get it back and if you ask, expect lies and bullshit excuses LIKE, MY GREAT GRANDFATHER'S DONKEY OR KARABAO IS SICK AND NEEDS AND X RAY. I met some great human beings that ask for nothing and are loyal but, that normally happens with more elder and academically educated people whom happen to also have good manners. I enjoy myself more when I take a flight to Hong Kong, Japan, Guam, Japan because, drivers tend to be more civilized and it is safer to go out with my family and enjoy REAL GOOD FOOD. In 3 years, I gave up looking for a good stake house since, portions are ridiculous small, they burn the meat and food taste watery, salted when it should be salted and the worst spagetti sauce I had ever eaten is the local. It seems they pour sugar on the spagetti tomato sauce. I love the Bacolod Inasal style of cooking (the only one) when it is cooked at home. A foreigner is not allowed to have a fire arm for self defense and be careful at the aitport as custms agents plant live ammonition in the baggage to bribe travelers for up to $1,000 USD and the other thing they do is to damage your passport with white out to bribe you


  • Darrell said

    I lived in the Philippines off and on for approximately 4 years. Primarily in the Cebu, Iloilo or Rizal areas. Never had a problem with crime. Food was great. People were great and more friendly then most I have known back in Texas. I prefer the idea of living in the Philippines to living in the US. My wife if from the Philippines and within the next few years we will be retiring there along with our young son (he will be approximately 6 years old at that time) and I have no concerns at this time regarding any of our safety there.


  • h ryall said

    10/6 Anywhere south of cebu becomes increasingly unsafe. For god's sake, look at the statistics, read the Western govt warnings! How stupid must you be to ignore documented advice? In April, 2016, 1 Canadian was beheaded. In 3 day, 2 more are scheduled for beheading by the savages of muslim-based Abu Sayyaf. Anyone who la-dee-da goes to these areas is reckless of his own welfare. And to those who say they spent time there safely: yes, you think this bcz nothing happened, but you may have been moments from death and not known it. A kidnapping plan put off by the coincidence of passing police; an armed robbery put off because you happened to enter your hotel.


  • z man said

    The entire region of Mindanao, and all the southern islands, are to be avoided by anyone with common sense and a preference to live. In fact, anywhere in The Phlpns can be dangerous bcz terrorists circulate (do your research), but the southern regions are to be strictly avoided by any sensible foreigner.


  • Justme said

    We booked a villa in Bohol for a week in March 2017, but I'm getting concerned now and wondering we should cancel?


  • Gwen said

    Bohol is very safe. You need not worry Justme.


  • Justme said

    it's just that Bohol doesn't look that far away from the southern islands and you'll never know where they will strike next.


  • commander BS said

    I havelived in Phil for 3 years. I now have a 1 month old son. I am looking to leave Mindanao as I cosider the threat as increasing due to British and American activities in the middle east pissing everyone off. Politics here is all about headlines and I dont want to be a headline. I will move to Cebu or North Manila . U am always very polite but am always aware of the underlying dislike that most males have for foreigners in general. Sad as it is the truth is we are tolerated because we have more money and the Phil people want it. Unlike its Asian neighbors The government dont promote modernization much and as a result western finance is not very apparent. China on the other hand are flat out building hotels and shopping malls . Wake up Philippines you arebeing left behind.


  • mark said

    Mintal ,tugbok, calinan, BUDA highway, malaybalay valencia, cagayan is also very safe. everything to the right on the map is relatively safe. everything to the left on the map its good to get info beforehand. Like i went to kidapawan, Gen.santos, Sarangani bay multiple times, never a problem,almost dull, but around ellection time its dangerous there. Panabo,mati, san fransisco,butuan, Surigao,siargoa all very safe. there is only NPA there. Did business with them (rotan),drank with them, never a problem. Tell them your from the netherlands cause their leader lives over there. NPA most of the times only wants tax from big coorperations or to kidnap mayor or chief of police.

    I live already 7 years in davao. and i felt more threathened in netherlands and america where i also lived.


  • Safety said

    If you're an avid fan of getting beheaded, then the Philippines is the place for you!!!


  • justme said

    sure, and if you're a fan of being shot at, then the US would be the place to be . (duh)


  • esse said

    I'm planning to travel to meet my girlfriend in ormoc city, is it a safe place? and whats the best and safe way to go to from manila?


  • peter west said

    People should grow up,I been philippines 7years in a row I met everytime beautiful people.this is why the phippines has tourism dropping away from it.radicals,muslims they all have there beliefs,if you keep putting them down off course they will stand and fight.I never been afraid of philipinos in my life there all beautiful people,not alot of pesos but always happy.this is there land respect it and them and they will respect you.god bless you like put these radicals down,what you expect them to do,there only humon too.religion is the thing that starts wars.god never singled him self out to just a chosen few,he is the father to all of us,start respecting more people regardless race or color then you will have a better world.


  • Poulo said

    Well, i was in Phils 30 times in the period between 2000 and 2012, planning to go there soon again, but don't know yet where to go, my best friends live in Davao now, but i would rather choose Cebu, because even Davao seems to be safe, still it's on Mindanao, and since it's practically the same everywhere to live, than why choose exactly a place in Mindanao i wonder?
    Second (and im sure im gonna get a ton load of shit over me now), IF i was a Filipino, i would hate american's for what they are doing there in Phils, in all my travels i talked to them a lot, and most of them have the same reason to go to Phils, they go on a datingsite, line up like about 10 girls, make an excuse to their wife (whatever kind of excuse it might be), go to Phils, meet girl nr 1, give them a lot of empty promisses in order to f**k them asap, if possible take their virginity away, make an excuse they need to visit an american friend for a few days (but will be back of course), go to girl nr 2 and do the same thing, etc, etc, to go back to their wife again after leaving behind 10 girls, from who 4 lost their virginity, another 4 left with a psycholical problem, and 2 perhaps pregnant or in fear if they get their period or not!
    Well,for me it's really amazing how those Filipino's still see americans as some sort of God, but it's getting less, that's what i noticed during the years, the same as all those problems all over the world always seem to start with an american conflict, lots of shit started with that bush guy who was desperate to make a war against Iraq, a useless war seems looking back to it, but the beginning of a new terrorist decade, the IS seems born after that. Those americans seem to think they own the world or so, and see Philippines as 1 big playgarden, just to have a lot of fun for a few weeks and leave people behind in desperation and feeling "used".
    So if u ask me why Filipino's deep down inside hate all foreigners, and try to cheat them, rob them, even kill them, etc, than in my eyes it's partly because of the way we treat them ourselves, lots of Filipino's have a daughter, niece, relative, friend or acquaintance who has been fooled or mistreatened by a foreigner as mentioned above, so of course their hate rises up....
    Same as our hate againt muslims rises for what they are doing in our countries, how they use our facilties, our daughters and all....., just imagine what we are doing in Phils and how they feel....
    Just telling u all here what i have experienced and noticed during all my visits to Phils and hearing all the stories there.


  • Joseph said

    I just moved to Cagayan de Oro. I lived in Iligan City for 2 years. Other than a few minor insults tossed my way (that I gave back in spades), that city was pretty safe for me.


  • YeahWeDoThat said

    Lining up multiple Pinays online, pounding them, popping them (when possible), dumping them & humping on to the next cherry.... That definately happens as I've seen it done. You have to admit, those brown little cherries are sweet though...


  • Ok-I-Dont-Really-Do-That said

    "Lining up multiple Pinays online, pounding them, popping them (when possible), dumping them & humping on to the next cherry.... That definately happens as I've seen it done. You have to admit, those brown little cherries are sweet though..."

    Honestly I was expecting some sort of filter on here or verfication email, soooo sorry about that last comment. I've never did that, but I have a Filipina wife and I have heard guys tell me they did this. I guess the bottom line is that all people are really the same... Someone much earlier said it best "if your not a rich jerk back home, than your not rich here either so dont act like it".

    When you go to the Philippines, understand that you are a target if your white. Think about it, everyone around you doesnt have money to even buy rice (seriously rice is a commodity in the Philippines - people talk in terms of comparing the money you spend to the amount of rice they could by). So yes, if your willing to waste a couple months salary, you can act like your rich for a few weeks. And you can even hit a few belats that are rather nice and clean. But you're going to have to live with the fact that your still a loser when you get home and the only reason the girls you were with ever looked at you is because they couldnt afford to eat otherwise... Some guys may like that, most of us didnt / dont.

    If your not a perv and your looking for an honest vacation, there are some very beautiful places to visit. Most of the advise on here is legit - go to boracay -... Generally speaking you are going to be fine. However you are still going to be a target for getting charged extra money for everything, but again its usually less than a dollar or two. Pay it, move on, enjoy yourself.

    Most people who get into trouble have been in one place to long and ALLOWED people into their personal business. Dont tell people how much money you have, dont give away details. And if you happen to get held up, JUST GIVE them the money (ive been there 4 times and this has never happened to me and I have been in several places I shouldnt have been in, thats just how I roll).

    Lastly, Muslims SUCK!!! Lets face it, the founder of their religion married a 7 year old girl (Ayesha) and took her verginity at 9!!! Nuff' said... How can you refute that??? (Google Ayan Hersey Ali) and yes I know its not spelled right, but that'll get you close enough!!!

    Good Luk!


  • Jjs said

    Don't come to Philippines without a guitar or some kind of instrument, some spare strings and an extra bank card or two in case you lose one. Have travelled to Mindanao 7 times and also to Manila, and Palawan.

    The greatest "danger" is perhaps . . . shock . . . from handling electrical connectors, especially outdoor connectors in humid conditions. TAKE CARE with the mains supply, especially at the beach with wet hands and in all too common bare feet !!!
    Never touch any metal on any connector / charger / USB lead. Don't touch the metal case on a phone or camera that's being charged. Even indoors. (Am a scientist) If the neutral wire is not quite 0 V to ground you could get a shock depending on how things are wired. Also the plug can be inserted reversed into the sockets, unlike in the UK. I have had some terrible shocks here. Once, I touched the metalised plastic case of my charging camera indoors and it sent me across the room. Beware of certain possibly substandard electrical goods from the big neighbour.
    The Philippines are extremely talented musically. I have visited Mindanao regularly. South Cotabato, Davao, General Santos. Whatever instrument you play barring a double bass or piano: Pack it or regret it !!! oh and the trad muslim players are fantastic. Better than Brit Pop any day.


  • jjs said

    I talk Tagalog as much as possible. Getting better every day. Been learning for four about years. Last year I met a guy married to a philippina who said after ten years: "You will always be a foreigner". I asked him how much Tagalog he spoke and he said he knew none and that everyone spoke English anyway. The apathy of the typical English speaking monoglot. Filipinos almost never talk to each other in English, neither do the French nor even the Dutch. Not learning the lingo after years in any country could be construed as disrespectful and indicative of a lack of interest in the people and culture. Could this be the start of potential trouble, confrontations and misunderstandings?


  • Jerry Hanson said

    Last September, 2015, two Canadians, a Norwegian Resort Owner and his girlfriend were kidnapped from their Sailboat off the coast of Samal Island near Mindinao. After two videos were released for proof of life a ransome of $6,500,000 USD was demanded for each of the victims release. No ransome was paid and sadly, in the Spring of 2016, the first Canadian man was beheaded. One month later or so, the other man was beheaded.


  • Stefan Reichegger said

    I planned to go to Molave to visit a friend and as this city is in the middle of Mindanao I wanted to ask if this place might be safe? I dont plan to travel around and will mainly stay there over the whole time. Is there also a lot of danger in the countryside of this area?


  • I've Been To Mindanao Twice said

    TO: Stefan Reichegger said 2 days ago
    I planned to go to Molave to visit a friend and as this city is in the middle of Mindanao I wanted to ask if this place might be safe? I dont plan to travel around and will mainly stay there over the whole time. Is there also a lot of danger in the countryside of this area?

    I've been to Mindanao twice with family and I personally would not be comfortable with going so deep into the island. I've stayed close to the coast (Ozamiz) when I went and Molave is quite a bit further inland than I'd be willing to go.

    However, this is a decision you will have to make so the key here is going to be the relationship you have with your "friend". If this were family that you are going to see, I would still be cautious, but family has a vested interest in keeping you safe as ALL fil-am families I know send money back home, money that mostly stops if the husband gets beheaded on vacation.

    IF this "friend" is someone you met online and you are going to see them for the first time, then simply buy them a plane ticket (probably from Ozamiz) and have them meet you in a safer place like Boracay. Doing that will mean that you have a better time on vacation, will still get to meet your "friend" and you will be MUCH safer.

    If you have never been to the Philippines, you cannot possibly understand how desperate people are. Entire families can live a year or more on what it will cost you to fly there. They can take your wallet and live a nice life, buy a house.

    All I am saying is that you need to be careful and REALLY consider how much your life means to your "friend" when compared to their own wellbeing. And again, if you met online it is very possible that you don't know all the real details. I've met over a hundred Pinays online who lied their asses off. I also met one who is an amazing wife and an amazing mother to our kids!!

    There are MANY, MANY more bad and desperate women than their are wives. You cant turn a bar girl into a wife and you cannot possibly know if one of these girls have something bad planned for you until you meet them face to face for at least 2 weeks.

    This may sound like BS, but I met a Pinay online who actually told me "my goal is to kill an American like you". She also happened to be married - I only found out after sending her over $500

    So tell me a little more about your "friend" and I may be able to give you a little more advice based on my 2 trips, 10 years of being married to a Pinay and the things I've learned from 100+ Filipina / American couples we've met.


  • ourabi khalil said

    philippines is awesome..ive been there 5 times already each time i stay couple of a car and travel around from manila south all the way till la union in the north..really friendly ppl they love foreigners...never had any problem there..just dont go south of philippines everywhere else is safe..looking forward to go back this december


  • David Greener said

    Don't listen to the scare stories follow advise by your governments on travel to the Philippines and you should be fine. I have traveled around the country and lived there for a number of Years. The sight of poverty can be a shock to some but the majority of the people have a heart of gold.


  • Gary said

    Really you are talking a load rubbish we lived in Zamboanga city for 9 yrs with out any problems ppl pass comments when most you haven't been there just like old women you hear something and it gets bigger and bigger stop talking like old women and visit it we went shopping every day in town to beaches im white 5/11 tall so stick out a bit grow up and use common sense if you have any, visit place i go bk every yr for holiday and we have home there 5,000 SQR MTR with house and great garden i retire in 5 yrs so going bk again to live there visit place Zamboanga city and see for yourself even pinoys run zamboanga city down you really should stop doing that, the ppl friendly and city is great :) Gary/


  • Kirk said

    I have NEVER read so much rubbish in all my life, especially from some of the comments also... Having lived here on the south island. I can tell you it is as safe as any of the other islands!

    Also you can date the women on the south island, they will not try to kill you, I know this from experience as my wife is from here and we now have a lovely child also...

    Also another thing, people get murdered all over the world! So you are more likely to get killed in Europe more than you would here.

    It is all down to common sense, and I can see from the person that wrote this, that they do not have any common sense at all... Since the new president came into power, and gave the new instructions to shot to kill ANY drug dealer, or kidnapper. As you can guess the level of crime has dropped so much.

    I even have my own car here, and drive out on my own! The truth of the matter is this, treat a people with respect and you too will have respect. Treat a people like crap and as in any place you live and they will treat you the same way. Karma is real!

    But honestly the chap that wrote this, is talking so much crap...


  • Mike said

    Among all the countries I'v visited, the Philippines is by far the worst one I went. Stay the way out of there and visit it on google street instead (It's now on). I saw so many crazy things there that I would never be able to tell them all. It's all the time and it's everywhere you look at. Filipinos always do stupid and none sense things. Some put barbwire on the entry door of their hovel where no one civilized would dare to enter. Some are fishing in the most polluted waters.
    Some eat rotten food... It's a TOTAL MESS!!

    Cities in the Philippines are terribly ugly and they stinks a lot. It's fine there to pee and shit anywhere. It's very far to be civilized. Everywhere you look at, you see some none sense and poverty. Houses are completely disgusting. You see those damn ugly rooftops with some tires on it lol. People there are so fucking stupid and lazy that they put tires on their roofs to keep them in place. Also, trying to have a smart conversation with a Filipino is a mission impossible. They're so fucking stupid and ignorant about life. They can't understand even the most simple things. We must to speak to them like we speak to small babies. For example tell them: Did.... the.... food.....was..... good???? Only use short and simple sentences otherwise they'll get lost. Here where I live there are few homeless people. Especially in the downtown. sometimes they ask money but if you don't give them, they don't make problems. In the Philippines, it's full of homeless and very poor people. They're never shy to ask you money and they insist A LOT!!! Sometimes they even fallow you until you give them some. They start to telling you stories for you to petty them.
    food there is absolutely disgusting. You really need to go in fancy restaurants if you want to eat something edible. Filipinos are born there and they are used to mediocrity The Phil government do not offer 0.05 percent of the services we have here in the States. As soon you arrive there, you're on your own and there's absolutely nobody you can rely on. The Philippines is not a bad country but a mediocre country. Everything there suck. It's very primitive, ugly, old fashion, conservative. No wonder why they all want to leave.


  • tammy said

    travelling to Bohol and Siquijor in September.. are they safe areas? im worried


  • Steve said

    I was in Surigau del sur, Mindinao in June. It's a shame that the Whole of Mindinao get painted with the same brush. Specifically we stayed in Cantilan, a really fantastic little town with great sandy beaches and offshore coral reefs and Islands. The locals could really do with tourist revenue. Never felt safer, and typically I have been threatened a lot more in my home town of Brisbane, Australia. I think governments need to review/update travel advices and break mindanao into no-go zones. It's not fair to the locals who are trying to run tourist business in "safe places" in Mindanao i.e. north from Butuan and across to cagwait.

    thats my 2 cents worth. heading back later in the year to surf. theres excellent waves from September to April


  • Patrick said

    World Nomads lists Iligan City as unsafe for travelers. There is wisdom in their admonition. I was in Iligan City for a week (white American) because my wife is from there. I was not allowed to go out alone. Her family made it clear it was not safe. That confirms the World Nomads' advice. Others may rant and rave otherwise, but each traveler must ask "what makes the most sense?" All cities are dangerous in particular parts, but Iligan City is dangerous in general because of the poverty and Moslem extremists that can find refuge in the nearby Muslim autonomous region.


  • erolthelovelyone said

    How about the middle of the map guys??? MARAMAG,BUKINDON, VALENCE CITY,,..???
    I am to meet a gf met on Facebook ',, I have been to Manila and few places up north,but never south.I am from the UK and the foreign office says don't travel unless essential. What's essential in their criteria, no idea. ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺Any info or advice? My main concern is kidnapping. I near missed Istanbul airport bombing by a week. I have been there during unrest and military coup ,you get caught out that's a luck might be the same for kidnap. Shame really.


  • Stefan said

    I've Been To Mindanao Twice,
    Thank you for your advice. I decided to delay my trip to april because then there are a bit more toursists there. Regarding my trip I am going to meet a gird. But as I know her now already for more then a year and did many skype conversations with here I am quit sure that she and her familys wil have no interest to jurt me.
    Then I also had the luck that since now she did not ask me one time to send money even if also she and her family are very poor.
    What I heard about Molave I only have to be very careful but I will not go there with a lot of money and show them how rich we are anyway so I hope it will be ok.


  • Zach said

    So annoying people keep saying don too to mindanao! Thats all I did! This past summer I traveled all throughout northern mindanao from CDO all the way to The Enchanted River In Surigao. I traveled by bus with 40 other people and we never experienced any trouble besides some janky hotels on the way to Surigao, and some wooden bridges that we thankfully made over even though we exceeded the weight limit by hella. AlL I must say is every place has danger, but the Philippines is relatively safe along as you are nice, not flashy, and not an asshole. I love the philippines, and I cant wait to return. I miss all my family there. But one thing forsake is me personally I hate Manilla. Not a real representation of the PI. Very pricey and superficial. Im biased though as my mom grew up in Carmen. Travel around and discover there beautiful place yourself.


  • Butch said

    Does anyone know how safe it is in Bataan, particularly in Limay. I want to go there to see my future wife. Of course I will have to stop in Manlla and have her meet me there first Any good advice is very welcome. I am white american


  • alvin said

    this needs to be update, Philippines is more safer now!


  • Hailey said

    ha now there's a laugh


  • peter Collins said

    Is it relitvely safe in Surigao City


  • Mike said

    deo your a criminal you may think it's free to you but it's not you'll understand one day when it's time to pay for your free ride if you are in fact able to do what you are saying I know that old school directv cards could be programmed to get free channel programs but it still costs someone something somewhere somehow. Just like food stamps Obama phones Obamacare and enjoy


  • Scott R said

    ok so i heard mindinao bad place, i took a trip to a small place called molave before there. it was great. i live in cebu and i have a friend from cagayan de ora. she swears it is safe for me but i have doubts, we have traveled the philippines, manila, my home in cebu, bohol, ect. she wants me to go to cagagen de ora for xmas is it safe or no?


  • Shane said

    A few years ago I flew from Cebu to Cagayan De Oro, and caught a local bus to the Camiguin island ferry terminal.
    It was a lovely place, nice beaches and waterfalls, great seafood, friendly locals, and pretty much no tourists. My hostel offered me a tour around the island on a motorbike and all the locals were waving at me as we went past. It was obvious they were excited to see a traveller in their little corner of the country.
    While Cagayan De Oro wasn't exactly the nicest looking city around, I never felt unsafe at any time.

    I was in Manila earlier this year on a 3-day stopover, did a bit of research and found that catching taxis using Grab or Uber app got me around the city really easily and safely. Most trips cost me 200 PHP each, and to the airport from Chinatown cost me 500 PHP. Again, at no time did I feel unsafe. Although I was told not to walk around in the night, so I didn't


  • Mary said

    My 15 year old son has been invited to spend Christmas with a school friend's family in Mindoro, one of the northern islands. After reading the British Embassy advice not to travel to Southern Philippines, of course as a mum I am worried about the whole of the Philippines. Do you think it is very safe - I'd love him to have this experience, but not if he is in any danger at all. Thanks.


  • Chris said

    So I am reading all the comments and kind of concerned, then I see on the news just now that people are rioting outside the US Embasy in Manila due to the US Military Bases.

    I am traveling with my family to Manila in March. We will be going to Tagaytay and then to El Nindo on Palawan. Is this such a good idea right now???


  • Jeff said

    I have lived in Cebu for 2 years. I have traveled around Philippines without any problems BUT there are dangers and I have lost respect for the much of the Philippines in general when I see how Filipino men truly are. My girlfriend ( as all pinays ) has been bullied and harassed by Filipino men and boys her whole life. As a school girl, as a high school student, as a college student, at her place of employment and even walking down the street by employees of businesses she walks past. I have found that Filipino men are abusive, disrespectful , disgusting pigs as to how they treat Filipinas. It truly is very sad! No wonder so many Filipina want to marry foreigners.


  • Danny said

    Since the recent bombing in Davao and Cebu, supposedly two of the safest cities in the Philippines, every city is on a heightened alert. General Santos City is considered to be the next target after Davao and road blocks are set up all around the city.
    We have a mission in General Santos City and we have 2 Philippine National Police on our staff as well as a retired Master Sergeant. I am normally allowed to roam around freely, but on occasion our PNP will request that I stay within the walls of our compound.
    As far as safety, I would much rather be here than, lets say Chicago, New York or LA where the toughest gun laws exist.


  • lukas williams said

    Hello I'm heading to Dipolog and Sindangan, can i have peoples opinions on that area please. I feel confident ill be safe.
    Thank you


  • Jim said

    Hi there,

    I'm travelling to Cebu and then onto El Nido next week with my Girlfriend. We are concerned given the US embassy's latest warning regarding a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping there. What are peoples thoughts? Are we safe to stay with our booking?



  • lorna said

    you are safe in cebu


  • jasmine said

    Hi everyone,

    I have plans to travel to Palawan in December 9El Nido and Coron) and then fly to Siargoa via Cebu.

    Based on the travel warning, i may avoid Siargoa as it is in the Mindenou region. I am travelling alone and safety is key. I have done enough research to know palawan will be filled with tourists over christmas and normally I like to take the road less traveled, in this particular case, i think I'll stick to just Palawan. Safety in numbers say.

    Any insight anyone has I would be most grateful.


    Jasmine .


  • Ilyas Ahmadi said

    Travelling Nov 20 2016 - 27 Dec 2016 Philippines.

    Reading many comments above.

    Dear Travelllers, please dont stress.

    Just follow basic rules of safety and you should be fine.
    Watch Travel vlogs of people travelling in Philippines to get an idea of the environment.
    Philippine is going thru a massive crime clean up at the moment. Which means massive law enforcement presence.

    I am an Australian and I have backpacked all over SEA, and trust me, every country has its own unsafe features. Even Australia, everything will try to kill you here, even our little crawling maggots haha.

    Have trust in God and be brave. Dont limit your self from exploring the beauty of mother earth. I mean I love to be couch potato and save money but nah. I get up and risk some safety and receive the rewards.

    Cheers guys.


  • Hassan said

    I'm traveling to Manila in January and a bit concerned with the extra judicial killings concerning their war on drugs. I understand over 4,000 people have been killed including street children. How much more safer would it be for a foreigner? I'm staying for a week and would like to know what to expect when I arrive. I try not to look at the dark side of things but the killings hasn't ceased. Nevertheless something deep inside of me is saying I have to go. Its another piece to the puzzle of happiness.


  • sue said

    My friends and I are all Western. We are considering going to Cebu, Palawan, Bohol, Banaue, Borocay and Mindoro in January. We will limit the list of places we visit dependent on which is considered the safest. We will have to fly to Manilla and then either fly or catch a bus to other destinations. I am now however extremely concerned whether any of these places are safe to visit considering the current situation in the Phillipines. Is it safe?? Please help!


  • Zed said

    Check your governments travel advisories first.
    Beyond that:
    Do you plan to engage in the manufacture or dealing of drugs in the Phil? If you are, cancel your plans. if you are not, I'd say keep your plans, use common sense and enjoy your travels!
    Oh, and it's Manila :-)


  • John said

    Travelling to General santos with my son
    Safe ?
    We are Australian


  • Jim said

    I have lived in the Philippines for 3 years, prior to that China which I consider the safest country in the world. I have never felt threatened in the Philippines either. But I don't do stupid things like walk through a park at midnight, or go party with locals in an area I don't know, or give information to people that have no need to know.

    Let me put things in perspective, I was assaulted in front of my home in broad daylight in the USA. Many times I felt threatened prior to that. I always felt that a bad choice of words, no matter how innocent could be the death of me. Unless I was in an upscale place in the USA, I didn't feel safe at night. I consider the States to be far more dangerous then the Philippines. What is really terrible, is I would hate to be black living in the states. That is not a racist statement, it is the truth, so for blacks, the most dangerous country on the planet I would say is the USA.


  • Bob New York said

    Best vacations I have ever had anywhere have been in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao. Quite contrary to your information and that of others ( many who have never even been to Mindanao ) I have never had any problems in Iligan City. Some nice touristy places, so many restaurants you'll probably never have time to try them all, nice people with hospitality hard to match anywhere else.

    I consider Iligan City as a place waiting to be discovered by the rest of the world.


  • Seth said

    I'm a filipino-american (half caucasian half asian) born and raised here in manila and I also travel a lot.

    If you guys wondering if it's safe to travel in the philippines I could say yes. check the entire PH map that consists of 3 big group of islands. Luzon (upper island) Visayas (middle) Mindanao (southern). I could say almost all of the areas in luzon and visayas are safe but when it comes to mindanao it's like 15 to 20% of the area is unsafe.

    you don't have to worry about luzon and visayas majority of the places there are safe unless you go to the red districts at night alone and get drunk. It's like you're inviting the entire wolfpack into a feast. Anyway, follow some advises that's already been posted above. bring some common sense with you and be respectful to the locals and you'll be fine. I've been to Los Angeles California and brooklyn NY two weeks ago and I could say that it's 5 times more dangerous in LA (hollywood blvd and inglewood) and some part of NY (especially bronx) than Manila.

    but if you're going to visit mindanao then that's another story. make sure to be more careful on following places like:
    -some part of zamboanga
    -some part of jolo

    Then the rest are safe areas in mindanao especially davao. It's 101% safe there.

    Also I would like to give you some advise when it comes to meeting a friend in the philippines. If they are living on the places listed on the said areas above I suggest you to just buy them plane tickets and meet them somewhere in Visayas like boracay, cebu etc... rather than taking the risk of going to a place you're not familiar with (especially if you're meeting them for the first time.)

    two way ticket would cost you like 30 to 100 USD depends on the season. if they're coming from mindanao to meet you somewhere in visayas.

    Good luck and enjoy your trip.


  • seth said


    If you're planning to engage yourself in drug dealing then I think you really have to cancel your trip but if you're not, then you don't have to worry about anything. Just respect the locals and bring a little amount of common sense and you'll be fine.


    I hope that you're aware that some of those places can't be traveled by bus if you're coming from manila.

    just in case:

    -Manila / palawan / banaue and mindoro are within luzon
    -while boracay and bohol in visayas

    so you have to travel by plane if you're going to visayas from luzon

    anyway, you don't have to worry about the said areas. all are safe


  • Courtney Michelle Saure said

    You have your good places and "BAD" places. It's true that if u are at the wrong place at the wrong time then u just are. My mother in law was murdered in the marketplace in Batangas, Rosario it was all about some money and stuff outside of a regular trip. My mother in law was a filipina women from that region a villinueva. Soon after her death I as a white female went and stayed in that same area visited my daughters family and my family as well and I can honestly say I loved it there so much. We went to two little resorts there to go swimming and sing karaoke I asked my husband to remarry me there and stayed for a month. I stayed with family not in a hotel visited Filipino casino in Manila and that's a three and a half hour drive. Went to lipa city to shop and walk around and even went to the same market my mother in law was killed in and walked around. Went to cock fights and even to the grave yard to light a candle for some family members. I stayed that entire time with no problems at all I loved that trip so much that I decided to retire in the Philippines. Everyone was so kind and wonderful they truly were. So humble and helpful amazing food got some balut which is a must try. They even threw me a huge birthday party and had cakes from Goldie locks bakery. I have to say this now there are bad people every where and bad things happen everywhere. I hope no one lets what they hear keep them from going to such a beautiful country. I promise u won't regret it if u go.


  • Jack said

    If Hillsong band goes to GenSan, would it be safe for them?


  • Dan said

    As a white western guy married to a pinoy for years with two kids here in Luzon

    I've never heard so much Bullsxxt in my life. About some of the places on this list

    I've lived for years in Manila in Quezon City and been to places in Manila on business so rough most people wouldn't go near them
    and driven myself all over Luzon in my own car without bother and I also spend a huge amount of time up in the north of Luzon as we have land and house up there.
    Infact my whole family on my wife's side is from just outside Iligan City and our current home base / farm is less than 10km from the city centre
    I walk around in ilagan city on a daily basis on my own day and night and with or without my wife and kids . I wouldn't be able to shop or run errands if I didn't.!!!!
    I even wander through the wet markets and visit non tourist places like the barbers or dentist hardware supplies etcin the back streets regularly etc
    I also regularly use public transport trikes jeepneys and long distance buses up and down country day and night
    Never had a problem there or anywhere else in Phil and I've travelled a lot all around this great country
    Never heard of any tourists coming to harm in Iligan either !!!
    Of course you will attract attention if out in the provinces as not many tourists around of thebeaten track but seriously apart from the usual scams or bag snatching in busy areas which by the way happen regularly to natives as well as tourists
    Relax and chill out
    The Philippines is a great place to be and you are VERY Un lightly to come to serious harm unless you are involved with seriously dodgy business deals or illegal stuff.
    Just be aware of where you are and don't flash cash around you will be fine
    However I would second the advice to stay away from the Deep South its rough down there and people do get into serious bother or end up dead


  • Kiana said

    Hi, we are traveling to Siargao via Cebu for surfing in January 2017 and wonder if Siargao is safe in general...


  • Klaas-Harm de Boer said

    Hey I'm planning to travel to Manila next year in March and travel around in the Philippines for a few weeks. I'm a 28 year old male born in the Netherlands. I will be traveling alone. I have been reading up a bit about the situation in Philippines and of course in the news its sounds all really dangerous.
    Are there specific things I should be aware of when traveling there?

    Any do's and don'ts

    Thank you


  • Don said

    Two Canadians had their heads cut off with a knife in the most horrific way. Sure it was not in Manila or Boracay, but it was in the Philippines. It is something you would expect in Syria or Iraq or some ISIS stronghold...not in peaceful Philippines. It doesnt matter how you talk around this or rationalize it; the fact remains these two men had their heads cut off in the Philippines.


  • Alan said

    In response to Don above. In May 2013 Trooper Lee Rigby was attacked, mutilated and virtually beheaded by radical Muslim supporters. Where did this happen ? On Wellington Street, Woolwich, London.
    Sure, certain parts of Mindanao do carry an increased risk to foreigners but the point is the tentacles of radicalism spread very widely.
    I've just spent New Year in Dipolog with my fiancée and her family and I was given the most wonderful welcome by everyone I met. The only moment if you can call it that, was on New Years Eve when one drunken idiot shouted "hey you !" as we walked past him. I completely ignored him and the moment passed. Could easily have happened in London or anywhere else.
    Be alert, be aware, don't be flash and heed the warnings of where not to go (especially alone) and you'll be fine is my advice.


  • John said

    I have just left General Santos it is safe if you have family there and you know someone there.
    High caution is advised if travelling outside of main city area
    We were in Tupi to visit family but I did have security with a gun all the time.
    Don't travel alone anywhere down there
    That's just asking for trouble
    Majority of Phillipino are beautiful people
    But there is a minority's that are not


  • blue said

    to Tash, Iloilo is a very safe, clean and beautiful place. Don't be afraid to go there. You should explore and enjoy the place, go north to south and try different kinds of food and delicacies. Ilonggos are very hospitable and humble people. Any places in the world could not be safe to anyone but just be aware and conscious of you surroundings and treat people with respect and you'll be fine. Am sure, you'll love the place.

    To everyone whose judging the Philippines, not only that country is dangerous. Everywhere right now in all parts of the world has its own safety problems especially terrorism. Anywhere at anytime you could not be safe, so let's just enjoy the ride and live a happy life.


  • Emman said

    I live in the Zamboanga peninsula, and it's pretty safe, except for some areas like far south of Zamboanga del norte and Zamboanga sibugay, Zamboanga is Safe but do not go too late at night. No city is safe at night.


  • John said

    Luzon seems safe. The only problem is Mindanao. Perhaps Davao is ok stay in the city. Just be sensible,don't flash cash around. Don't get drunk and get loud. Be careful of women you meet. There are a lot of scams going around. If possible have some locals with you. DONT GO OUT ALONE AT NIGHT.


  • Alain said

    Only safe place on this rock called earth is the Seychelles - Free of crime & terrorism.


  • JD said

    Tasha, I recently returned from Iloilo. 4th visit in 8 years. Iloilo has been very friendly and laid back. The city seems to be a more of the working type of enviroment, people work hard here. However just like any crowded city, always remain aware of your belongings. There are a lot of security guards everywhere you go. If you do your errands and hanging out at the MALLS you will feel fairly safe: SM City, SM Jaro Mall, Atrium, Robinsons. For evenings check out Smallville. Speaking English or Tagalog is okay at most places, but I suggest learning a bit of Ilonggo or Visayan language. Be nice to people they are usually nice back at you. Great authentic food in Iloilo.


  • DaninMCI said

    Did the Terrorist hire a marketing firm to come up with "MILF" ? Just wondering :)


  • Michael Quane said

    I am an American married for 40 years to a Filipina nurse who I met in New York. I mention this just to go on record that this was no mail-order marriage. I have been to the Philippines a dozen times and have visited many provinces north and south. Some people have asked about Bohol. It's my favorite plce in the Philippines. Beautiful beaches, historic sites,, lovely people.and perfectly safe. Davao is in Mindanao but is very safe. Other safe places worth visiting are Boracay, Cebu, Puerto Galera, Batangas and Banaue. Manila, like any big city, has its problems, but if you are sensible enough to avoid scruffy situations, it is safe. Stay in a good hotel like the Shangri-la and you'll find it worth the price. Luxury at much less cost than the US or Europe. We have a gated condo in the middle class Paranaque neighborhood to escape the US winters. The only drawback is the traffic. My wife is from Manila but has relatives in Mindoro and Batangas. They treat us seniors like royalty. Always willing to help and not looking for money. We've been all over the world and I can say we feel just as safe in the Philippines as we do in the US, Germany, France or Italy.


  • Ian Tesaluna said

    Visit Davao City, the second largest city in the country and the 4th safest city in the world, base on months rating, increased it’s safety to 82.06% or a crime index of 17.94% with130 surveillance cameras installed around the city.

    It can be best described in three words
    - Clean, Progressive and Modern!

    Taxi drivers are well monitored by the local government (911) and the most disciplined people, lowest crime rate, cleanest potable water, And not only typhoon free but also never been visited a typhoon or any great disaster! And i agree that Davao City is the best to live!


  • Bob New York said

    I have vacationed in Iligan City ( Northern mindanao ) 12 times between 2008 and 2016. Best vacations I have ever had anywhere ! I have had no problems there but of course I use common sense and aware of my surroundings. Many great sites to see there and even more restaurants each time I visit.

    Northern Mindanao can be considered as reasonably safe as far as I am concerned, places such as Iligan City, Cagayan De Oro and others.


  • yuki said

    Been to the Philippines many times and travelled around the country a few times. A beautiful country with many wonderful places to visit. Its generally warm to hot all year round, even in the rainy season except for the higher altitude places such as Baguio city with Summer peaking mid March through to the end of May.

    Just as most have advised, if you are street smart, not rude and egotistical about how great your country is etc, you will generally be fine. Drugs are definitely a big no no. If you decide to do drugs there, i would definitely advise you not to but if you do, do so at your own risk. Think of a Casino... sure you can win, but if you keep playing, the Casino ultimately wins.

    Luzon and Visayas are overall safe although you may encounter areas that are questionable. The public areas of the Red light districts are safe as there are always people around and trouble is bad for business. Unfortunately Yes, some people will try to take advantage of you, will try to over charge you etc but if you play it smart, you will be fine. Better to loose some of your money over your life.

    tip: not sure with apple phones, on andriod phones, google maps will let you save portions of its maps onto your phone which you can use as your GPS. Don't rely on 3G reception there when you navigate around... its pretty useless a lot of the times. The locals use an application call waze but even then, reception there is pretty shit.

    As advised, there are part of Mindanao you will need to take extra precaution or maybe even avoid. Davao (which is in Mindanao) is the safest city in the Philippines and highly advisable to visit.

    Word of Caution: If you are there to meet a girl or meet girls, be careful. As much as Filipinos/Filipinas are perceived to be hospitable, friendly, kind, warm etc... there are many many many (yes i had to stress the word many) jealous Filipino's/Filipina's who will stab you, their family and friends in the back given the opportunity and right circumstances.

    Note: All, if not all, the ladies their have the "white knight in shiny armour" syndrome and Hollywood/Filipino/Korean Dramas has really clouded their mind about Love

    As much as i love the country and the people there, during my recent visits, i have started to see more of the ugly than the good as i meet more and more people and deepen my friendships there.

    I have particularly notice that if the local Filipino/Filipina has something good going on for them (ie a bf from abroad, good prospects), behind closed doors, many are very jealous and will try to bring them down to their own level (the tall poppy syndrome). They may even use the excuse "i'm only looking out for best interests etc"

    Be aware of the local ladies who have had their hearts broken, especially by the local men. The "Macho" culture there usually means that many men there are generally getting some other girls behind their partners backs. A lot of them will develop trust issues from their pasts and it will play Havoc on your relationship (through personal experience and other peoples experience that i know personally off)

    Unfortunately, i have noticed the majority of the country is ran by fear. For example - Bosses (local Filipinos) use fear as a basis to control their employees. A lot of them do not encourage growth and will throw you under the bus to save their own asses. Many in power abuse there right and will try to exploit their workers.

    note: The word borrow (money) does not imply returning.

    Overall, a wonderful country by and by.

    Happy holidays


  • Darrell said

    I was in northern Mindanao in December and January.Went to ozamis city for a month than back to Manila for another month.It is very safe in ozamis,the people are so friendly and happy.The only places I felt insecure was parts in Manila at night.Its much safer now in the phillipines since they have a great president that's cleaning up the corruption.I am a white Canadian and my girlfriend is from Ozamis city.Her family treated me so well and the people are so great.If you have a great family to be with in a country than you will be taken care of.I saw a lot of single white people by themselves as well.I love the people and the country so much ! Until next time !????


  • Chris said

    I am a pure Filipino but looks foreign due to my Caucasian features. I'm a backpacker and have traveled to almost all provinces in the Phil, except Batanes, Basilan, Sulu, & Tawi-Tawi. I would like to give everyone a very accurate information on the security of local and foreign travelers based on my experiences and conversation with the locals.

    1. Northern Luzon (everything north of Metro Manila: Ilocos Region, Cagayan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Batangas, etc) - Generally, these places are relatively safe for locals and foreigners, you'll have no problem with these places. Just stay away from getting drunk at night time and never disturb the locals. In a safety score of 1-5 where 5 is the highest, score would be 4.5 for locals and foreigners.

    2. Metro Manila - This place is safe day and night for locals and foreigners, but avoid walking in the non-touristic streets of Metro Manila at night and venture inside the slums of Metro Manila. Robberies, scams and pickpockets are common, you'll ran into them if you flash your valuables and look "rich". Try to avoid locals approaching you in a very friendly away. Only ask for directions and questions with security guards, workers of business establishments, and students. Threat of kidnapping and terrorism is low, but the risk of theft is high so please be cautious. In a safety score of 1-5, score would be 4 for day & night time in touristic places, and 3 for night time at non-touristic places.

    3. Southern Luzon (Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Bicol Region including Palawan, Romblon, Marinduque and Masbate) - Very safe for locals and foreigners just avoid going into very remote places. In a safety score of 1-5, score would be 4.5 day & night for all except Masbate; Masbate = 4 for day & 3 for night.

    4. Panay Island, Negros Island, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor - Very safe for locals and foreigners day and night. There might be a travel warning against traveling to Southern Cebu, but you'll have no problems in that area, no incident has ever took place there ever since I was born (I'm 23 y/o). In a safety score of 1-5, score would be 4.5 day & night time.

    5. Leyte, Biliran, Samar - Generally safe, just avoid going near the border of Northern and Eastern Samar as there is still a strong NPA activity there. Also avoid traveling to Samar at night (except if you're riding the bus going to Manila), Leyte and Biliran night travel is okay. Calbayog, Borongan, and Catbalogan City are safe at night though, only avoid the rural areas. Catarman is also safe, but NPA activity is still there, though not that strong. In a safety score of 1-5, Biliran & Leyte = 4 for day, 3.5 for night; Samar = 4 for day, 2.5 for night

    6. Zamboanga Peninsula (Zam del Norte, Zam del Sur, Zam Sibugay) - Dapitan and Dipolog City are safe and also the road going to Ozamiz. Dipolog to Pagadian road is safe to travel at day, okay at night. Pagadian City is safe, but outside Pagadian is just okay. Dipolog to Zamboanga road is okay at day, but not advisable to travel at night for foreigners. There is a threat of rebels in between Dipolog and Zamboanga City but not that big of a threat. Inside Zamboanga City is safe, despite its negative impression, but outside Zamboanga City is not. Generally, in a safety score of 1-5, Dapitan City = 4 for locals, 4 for foreigners (day) & 3 for night; Dipolog City = 4 for locals (day) & 3.5 for night, 3 for foreigners day & night; Pagadian City = 3 for locals & foreigners day and night; Ipil = 3 for locals; 2.5 for foreigners day & night; Zamboanga City = 3 for locals & foreigners (day), 2.5 for locals at night while 2 for foreigners at night. Most kidnappings happen in remote areas of Zamboanga so please do not venture out of Zamboanga in your own.

    7. Northern Mindanao (Misamis, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon, Surigao, Camiguin, Agusan) - these areas are safe for locals and foreigners, especially Camiguin Island. Iligan City, though identified by World Nomad as an unsafe place, is perfectly fine for locals and tourists. Just avoid staying out late at night. In a safety score of 1-5, score would be 4 for day, 3 for night time.

    8. Central West Mindanao (Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Cotabato provinces, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani) - these areas has a high muslim population, I'm not being racist here, but from what I observed, the areas frequented by Muslims are less-friendly to tourists (local and foreign) compared to Christian-dominated provinces in the Phil. But that doesn't mean these places are no-go areas. I would recommend to have a local guide in going through these areas esp Marawi and Cotabato. Be cautious in Cotabato as there is a low threat of bombing in crowded areas (markets, malls, etc). Be conservative and respect the culture of the people in going there. Gensan is relatively safe for locals and foreigners though. In a safety score of 1-5, Gensan = 3.5 for day locals and foreigners, 3 for locals (night) & 2.5 for foreigners (night); Cotabato City = 3 for locals (day), 2.5 for foreigners (day), 2 for locals & foreigners (night); Marawi City = 4 for Muslim locals (day), 3 for non-Muslim locals (day), 3 for Muslim locals (night), 2.5 for non-Muslim locals (night), 3 for Muslim foreigners (day), 2 for non-Muslim foreigners (day), 2.5 for Muslim foreigners (night), 1 for non-Muslim foreigners (night); Rest of Central West = 2.5 for locals (day), 2 for foreigners (day), 2 for locals (night), 1 for foreigners (night)

    9. Central East Mindanao (Davao Region & Compostela Valley) - Davao City is very safe but outside Davao is okay. Agusan is safe though. In a safety score of 1-5, Davao City = 4.5 for locals & foreigners day & night; Rest of Davao Region = 4 for day, 3 for night; Compostela Valley = 3.5 for day, 2.5 for night

    10. Southern Mindanao (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi) - I can't comment accurately on the situation there as I haven't been there in the first place, but based on actual convo with locals, this is what they said:

    Basilan - Isabela and Lamitan is okay to travel for a day tour only. Rest of Basilan don't roam around without a local guide. Stick to places with high military presence. Foreigners are not advised to go anywhere in Basilan though.

    Sulu - The most dangerous out of the three islands. Never set foot in Sulu without a local guide. Foreigners are not advised to go anywhere in Sulu.

    Tawi-Tawi - The least dangerous out of the three islands, but still considered a high risk area. A tour in Bongao and nearby islands is possible and can be somewhat safe for locals if you contact the local tourism office in advance. Foreigners are still not advised to go anywhere in Tawi-Tawi.


  • ROB said

    First time in Philippines December/January 2016/17
    spent 1 month in Palawan thee safest most beautiful
    island I have ever been ..
    Had no clue what I was doing never aware of where I was
    didn't so much as break a finger nail
    Thank you people of Palawan
    best vacation ever..


  • sam said

    As a local Filipina, I can say that much of the terrorism shouldn't bother tourists. Those being publicized in the news are simply exceptions and not daily events. I think though that what you should watch out for is petty crimes on the streets and tourist scams. It pays to know the moduses to have that safe travel in the Philippines.

    Check this out:


  • Jason said

    Hi Guys i could really use the advice.
    im 30 and heading into manila and Angeles city.
    after watching the media with the president going wild with
    the violence its kinda scared me abit .
    im not involved in any illlegal i like to go drinking in the bars
    and with the company of the local girls.

    will i be safe? im travelling alone. have things gotten worse since the president
    is now serious taking down anyone doing anything illegla. i always worry about
    corrupt people putting things in my pocket for me to pay my way out


  • Chris said

    Hey Jason, how can u say that the pres is going wild with the violence? there isn't any REAL, THREATENING VIOLENCE going on. . those people killed are involved in illegal drugs and was a subject of police operation. if u stay out from any illegal activities, you would have no problem visiting Angeles City.

    My advise for you would be to avoid getting drunk esp late at night as that would make you more vulnerable. You can enjoy Angeles as much as you would enjoy the place were you came from.

    And to end your doubts, you're more likely to be scammed or robbed than be killed by that "violence" you tend to believe.


  • MrBillD said

    I just moved back to the USA from the Phlippines because I didn't feel safe. I will share why I choose to return. The incident that shook me the most: My Filipina Girlfriend's sister went to the public market in Sibulan (North of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental) on Christmas eve and was punched in the stomach and robbed (they laughed as she bent over crying in pain) while others just watched. She was 5 months pregeant at the time. If they would do that to a Filipina I would hate to think what they would do to a foreigner.
    While I was in the emergency room waiting, a European foreigner was brought in by ambulance. He has scuba diving and started experiencing chest pains. When he got to the beach he suffered a heart attack. Luckily the dive master knew CPR and revived him. They arrived at the emergency room and was refused treatment until they paid money upfront. His wife kept telling them they had insurance for this but they said they don't take insurance. She did come up with a credit card and they gave him oxygen until the insurance company could make a payment. I saw him lie in a bed with only oxygen for 2 hours waiting. I was admitted to the hospital and couldn't wait around to see what happened.
    An American was shot 3 times in the chest and the police initially ruled it a suicide. With the reported Philippines murder rate about twice as high as America I wondered how much the actual murder rate really was.
    I loved the Philippines but didn't like the idea of not feeling safe. I will go back to the Philippines on vacations but will adopt some rules that may help insure my safety like rent a car instead of owning a motorcycle, have at least $ 20,000 dollars available for immediate use in case of medical problem, avoid areas and places a lot of festivals.


  • Laura said

    Hi there.

    I am due to be travelling to Bohol in the next few weeks. I've been to Bohol a few times and always known it to be safe. However, I feel that the situation has changed recently. Is it safe to travel there, given what has happened this week with the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf?


  • John Ferrara said

    My favorite country on Earth. The nicest people.


  • Johnny Brouwer said

    Hello everyone I will be going back to the Philippines in June this is my fourth trip there. I have fiancé living in paranaque sucat Manila yes I admit my first time travelling there I was worried but after staying there for one month I grew to love the Philippines and the people are very kind and friendly.
    A lot comments people put here are true yes there is crime yes there is trouble people but this is everywhere even here in Australia but we must understand the Filipino people are hard working and strugglers they do what they can to survive if ever I'm out with my partner I always give good tips because i know even the boys or girls calling a taxi for us are trying so I tip them and we have traveled many places there and everywhere we been we met a lot nice and bad but majority were nice people don't make judgment and don't be afraid. I love the Philippines and have started learning more Tagalog it might sound bad there but at least the president is trying to clean up the mess not like Donald trump making a mess hahahaha.
    My point is don't listen to all bad points because for every bad comment there is two good ones I say experience it and make your own judgment not what others think salamat


  • gary said

    hi I have lived in zamboanga city for over 11 yrs and it is very safe im white british all these ppl saying zamboanga city isent safe haven't even been there just what they have heard I go shopping walking beaches with my wife and family never ever have we had problems the comment about being chased by guys with knifes and other stuff all rubbish he must been eith hitting on guys girls or pissed either way 98% of pinoys in zamboanga city are nice ppl and more than willing to help


  • Mark said

    Zamboanga? Why is this brought up so much. There are many other places to visit in the PI without going there. I have worked there and liked the people of Zamboanga. I don't discount the positive reports of Zam but my 2 cents worth....stay away. The muslims have been known to burn large parts of the city, explode IEDs, kidnapp as a rite of passage. IMHO, it is not worth it. Bohol, in spite of the recent issue, is a much better option


  • i am not joe said

    Americans stop to shit on people and travelling would be safer for all caucasians.
    It is very insulting to be taken for american, because i am not.
    It is very funny to see the local poeple behavior changing when they learn thant i am not american. They are getting more friendly and more helpful.

    So please more respect for local people will help all caucasians !


  • Nick said

    i've been to General Santos twice and have safely returned home, i'm planning to go there again soon. The people there where really nice and there was even people who asked to take a picture with me (cause of my height 6"6) beside that haven't see any dangerous stuff.. on the other hand i was staying at my girlfriends family's house and we were planning a trip to Glan, the family was a bit worried about my safety going there and wanted a family member of them to come with me as a bodygaurd.. in the end we didn't do so and nothing happend either.. i would say in my opinion that General Santos isn't that bad, safe i won't say as i only bren there twice, but dangerous? I don't think so


  • hank said

    I am an A foreigner living in Angeles City area by Clark Air base, the main problems are trike drivers with their out rageous charges to go
    from place to place, they try all kinds of B.S. stories.
    Talk to people who have been here and they will tell you truth on normal trike cost from point A to B and stops in between. Best to use
    trike to take to point A, pay them, do what tou have to and get another trike and so on, Jeepney bus is reliable and very reasonable
    service, but you must know routes and area some, I have traveled to most of the major islands by both plane and ship, pros and cons of
    each, weather,time,cost,etc. I like ships and supercat,bullet express
    service, larger ships for longer trips if in no real hurry, Be prepared to
    say NO or stand your ground with locals anywhere, all will try their best to take some form of advantage of you being a foreigner. they
    seem to think all foreigners live on hollywood actors pay.
    RESPECT is earned both ways, use common sense and first instinct
    when traveling philippines, but is for nost part safe, there are many
    expat advuce sites on internet also about travel here, watch,listen
    and learn, then try to enjoy,
    One more thing here, Hospitals are nortorious for billing for services
    not needed and if you are foreigner, be prepared to pay CASH, and
    avoid private hospitals, all demand CASH payment and my insurance
    is no good here, even if insurance said yes in states, NOT SO. JUST
    BEEN LIVING HERE ABOUT 2 years now, always carry a basic first aid kit with you of possible in your travel pouch.


  • Gretch said

    Hi, Phil. Thank you for your insights and research. However, I hope that we exercise caution about generalizing "The whole of the far south: The areas of Mindanao" to be "all considered extremely dangerous" and in advising travelers against going to the entire region. In my opinion, it's unwise to make hasty generalizations of any place at all, unless one has spent a significant time there. That being said, as someone who was born and raised in the Philippines and have visited north to south, while I agree with you that there are several provinces in Mindanao that have long been ridden with terrorist attacks, there are also destinations in Mindanao that have been clear and safe for the longest time (Camiguin and Dinagat Islands, for example). Siargao is also a tourist favorite, as is South Cotabato. Terrorism, as a whole, is a threat to any nation. It is more publicized in the Philippines, but just because it happens to certain areas doesn't mean the problem persists in the entire region.


  • David said

    I was in the Philippines late last year and have found that the attitude toward foreigners (especially white people) has changed for the worse in some areas. I have been to the Philippines 5 times in the last 8 years as my wife was born there. I am Canadian and Caucasian.

    Metro Manila is generally safe with the areas around Mall of Asia, Roxas Blvd., Intramuros and Makati being the cleanest and safest parts. The only real nuisance for travellers in Manila are taxis trying to rip you off (albeit for a few bucks). Always demand that they have the meters on and don't take cabs where the drivers say the meter is broken or you will pay too much. Travel with a local if you can as they can help you to avoid getting ripped off.

    The areas of greater concern are in Bohol and Cagayan De Oro in Northern Mindanao and how these have become more unstable (and more unsafe) in the past few years. If you are a single white male (or are a single white male that likes to explore without a girlfriend or wife at your side) be prepared to be called a pedophile at least once. In one case near the Cogon Market in Cagayan De Oro a vendor even offered up his toddler daughter (as a crude joke) and asked if that is what I was looking for. I was ready to punch the guy but probably would have ended up in jail.

    Muslims also congregate around Cogon market and if looks could kill, well you get the point. I'd be scared for my life there at night. I did hear actual stories of white foreigners being found murdered near Cagayan De Oro when I was there but generally the news was that they were involved in something immoral or illegal (which may or may not have been based in fact). I think all white travellers should take caution when travelling there. Travel with a trusted local whenever you can. Shopping Malls are generally the safest places. Avoid most areas at night unless you are in a vehicle with someone you trust.

    The recent change in Bohol is the most troubling. Tagbilaran City is generally safe but someone in the main square did call me a pedophile there too... (I know that there are issues with foreigners coming to the islands and participating in immoral activities but some people automatically paint all white men with the same brush). Hearing this made me and would make anyone feel most unwelcome.

    The Chocolate Hills are safe but again hire a trusted driver and travel with locals that you know. Do not travel to remote areas of the island or to remote resorts on the far west of Panglao Island (attached to Bohol by a causeway and where some of the resorts are more remote). This is especially relevant as members of Abu Sayef have recently been captured or killed on Bohol.

    In Maribojoc (Just north of Tagbilaran) and where there is an old Spanish Tower we were surrounded by teens who were taunting me even though I was travelling with my local family. Someone even showed up with a gun just as we were leaving. While my wife and relatives brushed it off saying they were just trying to scare me, I would never travel back to that area or any other remote area on that island.

    In past trips, we have found Camiguin Island, Borocay and Mactan Island (near Cebu City) all to be mostly safe and clean but try and check recent travel reports for the most up to date safety information and areas to avoid.

    If I could give any recommendations to travellers to stay safe in the Philippines and not get ripped off, they would be as follows:

    1.) It may sound bad, but never trust a Filipino when they say an area is safe. Always research for yourself or if you're in an area and get a gut feeling that something is wrong, leave immediately. The area may be safe for them but white skin always draws attention and sometimes bad elements. It's not that Filipinos are being deceitful, they are just ignorant as to how many locals view foreigners. Right now Americans (and by default Canadians and Europeans) are viewed with some suspicion and in some areas are hated. NEVER travel alone to remote areas.
    2.) Avoid market areas especially in Cagayan De Oro as the area is crowded and many vendors come from Muslim areas outside of the City. NEVER go to this area at night. The areas around Limketkai Mall and Ayala Centrio Mall in Cagayan De Oro are generally safe but use common sense and travel with a trusted local if you can. If you are exploring other areas of the city, make sure you are with a trusted driver/guide.
    3.) Try to avoid taking taxis at night in Manila and don't use cabs that either refuse to use a meter or claim that a meter is broken. We had a taxi once at night who tried to take an extended route for extra fare. The amounts you may be ripped off are usually small but this can be aggravating as it occurs all the time (if you're white).
    4.) Stick as much as you can to major cities and major resort areas. Resorts catering specifically to foreigners will offer the cleanest and safest accommodation. Avoid remote beach resorts as these offer an opportunity for terrorist groups to access, kidnap and make a quick escape.

    In all cases better to be safe than sorry.

    Happy travels!


  • rbgalang said

    You've included Sarangani Province, whole of South Cotabato and General Santos City? Really? Stayed years there and I haven't experience any serious threat to my safety, except of course, I am always on the lookout for thieves or snatchers in the area. The South Coatabato area including Sarangani Province and General Santos City is safe. Just be wary of tricycle drivers who overcharge land fares. :)


  • Doug said

    Just got back from Dipolog after 3 weeks of volunteer work. I was always with a local as they wouldn't let me go anywhere alone, being protective of me. During the 3 weeks I never had any problems and the people are always friendly and willing to share the little they possess with you.
    All in all, I enjoyed my stay there and would willingly go back any time. This is my 4th time there and always as a volunteer, they appreciate the fact that I can easily sleep on a floor with no mattress. I show them respect and the respect is reciprocated always.
    Yes, there are some areas in Philli that I wouldn't travel to, but then again there are some areas here in Sydney that I wouldn't venture out to at night.
    I don't know what it is but once they know I'm Australian and not American, their attitude changes for the better.
    Travel, be safe and enjoy Philli


  • Vadim Petrov said

    Nice review.
    We also visited Bohol for few hours and the island is liked.

    We visited Ilha Grande last year. The island is very wonderful. I highly recommend it


  • Kyle said

    Im traveling to Pangasinan and Baguio are they safe ? Any tips for a white american that never has been.


  • dileepa said

    marikana city in piliphine
    safe for vist?


  • David said

    Travelled to Marikina and Antipolo last year. Both are relatively safe however we had a local driver and he was very helpful. Marikina near the shoe museum, mall and outlet stores felt safe and we had no issues there. Antipolo overall has some nice areas but I wouldn't go to the Antipolo market alone as a white person. Near the church seems ok but the other areas are dodgey.

    Also, I had someone try to swipe my iPad in a restaurant in a local mall in Antipolo and when confronted he claimed that he thought it was his.

    Always be mindful or where you are, avoid market areas where you might stand out in a crowd, use local guides/drivers and always keep an eye on your stuff. Only go out at night with people that you know and trust and never go out alone.


  • Yasmin Abraham said

    Four girls from London wanting to know if it's safe to travel to Palawan at the moment? We wanted to go tomorrow but people in borocay have told us it's very risky at the moment, especially as we are all blonde and stick out even though we are only planning on going to el nido and coron island, please let me know if you have any information, need to make a decision tonight!


  • Fil-Am1212 said

    Zamboanga is safe.. For filipinos. Not caucasians. Avoid Zamboanga, Iligan, Marawi and those kind of places. When in ph, Many people will try to rip you off because they think caucasians are rich and have money to burn. Avoid flirting with girls you do not know well because people will hate you and try to chase you with knives. terrorists usually aim for caucasians because they think the government of USA and UK will pay ransom. Dont go to a beach without a body guard, NEVER go alone at night. If you look different from everyone, Take caution. I was always a target for rape and kidnap. Many people stole from me. Pls take caution. Philippines is not safe for caucasians right now, (you can travel there but take caution, avoid zamboanga, iligan, marawi, general santos city because dry headed idiots dont stay in one place and wait for their victim to walk towards them) but hopefully the new president, du30 will wipe these criminals out soon.


  • Joel said

    hi all, is siargao island safe? heading there late july with my mate and both our girlfriends for a surf trip. things i need to look out for would also be a great help thank you.


  • dileepa said

    how about piliphine girls.can trust them


  • John bradley said

    My wife and I are going to palawan in November. We plan on spending 3 nights at Arena island. Any problems there?


  • Dana Flogerzi said

    Me and my wife are planning on going to Coron and El Nido as well mid June. We are coming from New Zealand. What is the latest vibe in the area we keep seeing various reports and warnings.


  • Jesse B said

    Hi There,

    Thanks for all the comments.

    I am a 30 year old caucasian male from Canada traveling with my girlfriend to the Philippines in late June / early July. We will travel from Cebu City -> Moalboal -> Oslob -> Dumaguete -> Cebu -> El Nido -> Cebu and then back home.

    It seems like we should be safe but just need to be mindful, as you always do when traveling. Any specific recommendations for us?

    Thanks in advance!


  • Charlie Parker said

    Hello, I was meant to be flying into Manila in a weeks time and flying straight to Puerto princesa. From there I was hoping to do some snorkelling excursions in Honda bay and take transport up to El Nido so see the beaches up there. Is this a safe area to visit so long as we don't travel alone and avoid busy locations or is it worth avoiding for now?
    We haven't booked any flights yet but would appreciate some advise on the matter as I am reading different things from different sources?
    Many thanks for any help!


  • Shirley Graham said

    Look; I live in So. California; home of Disneyland. A year or so ago, a terrorist couple shot people at a Christmas party here. There are bombings in Europe. Did anyone dare to tell folks to stop going to said regions? So, why on earth does USA say do not go to the Philippines? ISIS hates USA more than they hate the Philippines! I took my "very white" husband & 2 daughters to Palawan & Cebu in March 2017; not even realizing there are travel advisories not to go there! Good thing; coz we had soooo much fun & there was no hint of trouble anywhere! My Husband already wants to go back for another vacation as in NOW; kicking himself why he didnt go there years sooner, realizing he's been missing-out.
    So I say.... there is danger everywhere; terrorists will hit where least expected; not places where people are already prepared for them. It's your loss if you don't go to the Philippines. Go: just don't flash money around, pay attention to your surroundings and use common-sense; advice all should use.... even at Disneyland! :)


  • David said

    Currently writing this on my way home back to the States from El Nido. It was a joy (sarcasim!) receiving the State Depts tourism travel advisory just as we were boarding our plane to Manilia to start our vacation. As many many other people already said and I'll echo Shirley, tourism, violence, and crime is everywhere. Be smart. Be aware of your sourroundings and listen to your instinct.

    El Nido and the Philippino people are nothing but amazing. The place itself is absolutely awesome. Everything is dramatic. From the views, to the water, to the sunrises and sunsets. Took us 10 years to get to El Nido, because well life happened I guess, but I have nothing but great things to say.

    The only negative I could come up with was the reviews I read about El Nido. I guess some people don't get El Nido is pretty remote. This isn't Hawaii or even Bali. Sure we spent some extra bucks to stay at a nice resort for part of our trip but we were always reminded from time to time we are really far out there. Nonetheless, go with the flow and look up from your smartphone and soak it in. If anyone has any questions about El Nido feel free to hit me up. Dwebbts @ yahoo


  • random said

    mindanao is a craphole (you'll eventually get kidnapped & beheaded there). most places in Manila have prevalent crimes like robberies & scamming, ect., esp. on tourists. i'd suggest to tourists to watch out for their belongings & cash 'cause local people are like wolves here, no matter the place & time.


  • Khai said

    First I should say Philippines are a beautiful country with nice people, worth traveling there. Been there myself many times at many places.

    I see a lot of questions asking about the safety, whether it's possible to go here or there. So here is the answer for all:

    There is no clear answer, it's all about tolerated risk.
    To avoid problems with locals is best to use common sense, not walk run down places at night etc. Same as in big cities in America or Europe. Philippines are not really worse in this aspect (apart from having more of those run down places), regular person won't chase you with knife or gun, dangerous are mostly drunkies, drug users and sometimes group of teenagers looking for money. That's true for Manila, Zamboanga or Palawan.

    Different topic is terrorist threat- kidnappings, beheadings, bombings. That's where risk factor comes to play.
    Let's say in Western country the risk of becoming a victim of an terrorist is 1: 10 millions (I'm using random numbers, just for illustration). In Manila it's maybe 1:1 million and somewhere in Mindanao 1:10,000.
    See? Risk even in Mindanao is still small and there are 9,999 people, who can say "It's safe, I never had problems". But maybe for you 1000 times increased risk (10mil vs. 10,000) is too much.

    So please, don't rely on random strangers advising you on the internet. If you would like to experience mountain climbing, just go and climb, despite the fact that chance of fatal fall is much higher than walking the street. If you would like to experience Philippines just go and go to places where risk is acceptable for you. Nobody online can predict what happens to you tomorrow.


  • Rami said

    I live in ozamiz city for the past 3 years and been to almost every where in mindanao . Includes GS and zamboanga. Never had an issue . Only thing is try to blend in don't flash your money or treat people like shit . I went to marawi last year as a Muslim to celebrate Eid and was pleased to see my fellow filipino Muslim and their hospitality. This is media shit . Go there and don't be a pussy there is nothing to be afraid off


  • K.R said

    @Alton Barbour: Normally I don't comment on threads beyond a month or two old but I just saw your 5 year old comment and couldn't resist hoping somehow you will see this reply. Mr. sir...are an idiot and if you think you are beyond getting your ass kicked. I can show you some areas of the Philippines where the only thing stopping those folks from slitting your throat would be the ransom they might be able to get from your beat up and defiled idiotic self. The only "lesson" you would be teaching would be one of entertainment to your captors.

    For the rest of you thinking about visiting the Philippines, most of it is safe. Do your research and if you don't go around acting like Alton (Randy) Barbour (ie a total shit healed tool) and avoid the places your research tells you to avoid, you should have a very nice vacation as of this writing.


  • Shane said

    Hi, I am heading to Ozamiz city very soon because my fiance is there. We have met up in Manila many times and now I want to travel to see her hometown and meet her family.

    How safe is it to be there now ?

    I am a tall white Australian man and I expect i will stand out just because of my skin colour and height. I am used to travelling round the Asia Pacific region with work and so know not to flash your cash and keep it pretty low key when you are out and about. I also know to keep vigilant but not be paranoid.

    Hope to hear from anyone who lives in Ozamiz City now and who are also westerners.



  • Lorie said

    There is no place that safe in philippines avoid philippines! ???????????? And philippines is a very ugly country. Foreigners are not welcome and people are not nice they are always mad at foreigners????????????


  • hello123 said

    Zamboanga is a safe place based on my experience.


  • Bill said

    Am thinking of retiring to the philippines marrying my Filipina gf,she works at present in Taiwan, she lives in Midsayap is this a wise idea.


  • Aaron said

    Hello everyone
    I am East African, and I want to visit Pagadian City and Lakewood. I read news that it is not safe. Can anyone living there give me info?
    My girl friend is from Lakewood, she told me that, it is just news. But, she doesn't know Pagadian City very well. Because she is from Lakewood.
    Than you


  • Susan Moody said

    My son has booked a flight to go to Davoa City, Philippines June 2018 to visit a girl that he has never met. They met on a dating site and have been Facetiming since September 2017. He says he loves her, which is even scarier to me and his father. We are so scared for our safety and are afraid this is a scam. We are so afraid for his safely and would appreciate any information you can give us and steps to ensure his safety if he doesn't decide not to go. Thank you so much.


  • John said

    @Susan Moody Davao is a pretty safe place generally speaking provided your son is of good moral character. I'm more concerned about this girl. As you have undoubtedly read, there are many scammer girls. She may be a good girl, she may not be.. You and your husband should research her exhaustively. Find her social media accounts and dig through them. Translate her Facebook posts, see what she posts to her friends pages, figure out her real name, search her name in google & other engines, find out who her family and relatives are, search them also. Do a lot of facetime with her, pay attention to the background while video calling, pay attention to other people in her household, pay attention to the tone of her voice as she speaks to others in her house... Even if you don't know her native language, her body language combined with her attitude & tone speaks volumes. Search her local online Davao news outlets for her name or other family members names to see what kind of family she comes from (do they get arrested?), pay attention to the regularity of her facetime with your son, is it daily? Is it roughly the same time of day every day? Try catching her offguard out of her regular time. See if she appears online when she's supposed to be sleeping or doing other activities & if she is online, see if she contacts you or your son. Most pinay are all about family so if she's a good girl & serious about your son she will be asking him often if she can see you or talk to you. Additionally, if she's a truely decent girl she will not do anything even remotely sexual with your son in videochat. I myself am married to a pinay I met online. We moved rather quickly and I married her 7 months after we met on a dating site, it was during my 2nd trip to the Philippines to see her when we married. I stayed with her at her house for several weeks both times and met her whole family. I spent HUNDREDS of hours investigating her in every possible way. The effort payed off and I know my filipina asawa is a sweet, honest woman. I hope this helps you.


  • max said

    K.R, I could not agree more with you regarding your comments about Alton Barbour. I have lived in this country for 29 years and learned VERY early on to NEVER under estimate these people. Over the years I have seen many foreigners (usually American and Australian) who consider themselves smarter than the locals. ALL have come unstuck, two lost their lives.
    I am always very wary where ever I go but it has still not prevented me from having knives pulled on me twice, guns twice and attacked in broad daylight in a busy Manila street.
    If Mr Barbour thinks he is going to teach Filipinos a lesson he has a short future here. Who knows, perhaps he has already been knocked off.


  • Worried First Timer said

    Myself and two family members will be traveling to central Bohol, flying into Tagbilaran from Manila. I also have interest in visiting Kalibo.

    From everything I've read, and since I've never left the US, I'm worrying very much about our safety.


  • Fr Tom Martin said

    I have lived in Davao for over ten years. I retired to Davao as expat from Texas. I function in the city as any expat not affiliated with the church at all. I have never had a problem of any kind.

    I do take precautions such as - never on a deserted street day or night; constantly aware of my surroundings; seldom am out alone; never would take a ride from a stranger; never invite a stranger into my home and always remember I am a guest in the Philippines and act accordingly.

    Yes, there are terror threats, but do are they in France, Germany, Spain, U.S.A, England. Thst is the New world normal.

    I Go to the Toxas Night Market five Times a week. Friends have a stall there. It was the site of S bombing, but I feel as sage as pissible with police and military presented always there.

    I Go to SM Mall Echo Land once a week for a movie another bombing site. Security is strict and I have never had a problem. Simply stated terrorism is a threat every where these days.

    I would not travel outside if Davao snd I would not Go to General Santos for any reason, but u gave expat friends who live there and gave never encountered a problem.

    Davao City Administration is very strict and maintain law and order as well or better as Houston, Texas.

    It is each persons responsibilty nit to be careless when travelling it living abreast.


  • Lobertchen Cabrera said

    Hi guys i just want to ask and i want to know how safe to travel from manila to sorsogon and is it safe to travel from samar to leyte?
    i’m from manila by the way


  • TripHobo said

    No any place is safe for a tourist, until they keep themselves safe and know everything about the city they are travelling. That was an awesome information, one should know before visiting Philippines.


  • Lie said

    @ Aaron
    Hi, how's your travel in Lakewood and pagadian? I come from Pagadian City and its a nice and safe place even lots of people and foreigner says that its dangerous to go in Mindanao areas but not true! Because I see lots of foreigner staying and living in Pagadian now with their love ones. I hope you enjoyed your stay there and travel some places nearby.


  • Jen Nachor said

    Hello! My friend wants to take me to Angeles City, Philippines in 3 weeks. For a half Filipina is this a safe place to travel and stay?


  • Angelo said


    As a Filipino Citizen, we welcome all foreigners coming to our country.

    In my knowledge as a local, you should only avoid certain areas in Mindanao. Please use a map of the Philippines as a reference. I'll give you a brief description in every region in Mindanao:

    1. Maguindanao - As much as possible, avoid the area. Kidnappings, and other crimes occur here more likely, as presence of armed groups and local crime groups are located here. The presence of ISIS-affiliated groups, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and other local groups are located here.
    2. Basilan, Sulu, and Jolo Group of Islands - Same as in Maguindanao. Though, the armed major armed group here the Moro National Liberation Front is cooperating with the current government for peace and stability in there regions, avoid the areas as well.
    4. Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur - The most recent conflict happened in Marawi City, and there are history of Kidnappings here to. So please avoid the area as much as possible.
    3. Cotabato (both North and South) - Not as dangerous as Maguindanao and Basilan, but there are still some history about kidnappings there. The presence of the Communist New Peoples Army and some minor Islamic Militants groups are located there. If you want to come there, be sure that you trust your Filipino friend or GF there.
    4. Zamboanga del Norte and Sur - Areas are safe. But still extra vigilance is advised.
    5. Misamis Oriental and Occidental - Areas are safe. But still extra vigilance is advised.
    6. Sultan Kudarat - Extra Vigilance is advised.
    7. Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte (including Davao City) - Areas are safe. Heavy Military and Local Law Enforcement presence. Especially in Davao City. Minor New Peoples army presence.
    8. Davao de Oro (Compostela Valley) , Davao Oriental and Occidental - Major New Peoples Army camps are located here. Please avoid far flung areas from city centers.
    9. Bukidnon - Major New Peoples Army camps are also located here. Please avoid far flung areas from city centers.
    10. CARAGA (Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur) - Siargao Island is located in Surigao del Norte. Major New Peoples Army camps are also located scattered in the region. Please avoid far flung areas from city centers.

    These descriptions does not count the potentially petty crimes that MIGHT be committed against you during your visit, so please be on alert at all times.

    The rest of the Philippines are in modest terms, safe. Please exercise caution in dealing with my fellow Filipinos, as some of them outright wants to take advantage of you. Take for instance in Manila, wherein some Airport cab drivers would circle you around the city just to get a higher meter fee. As much as possible be in accompany with a Filipino, or a fellow mate that has been to the Philippines.

    Welcome to the Philippines! Mabuhay


  • Len said

    Nice site. Your right to heed advice if your a foreigner, and its true Philippines is a beautiful place. I've lived here 20 years so far and still going strong. I live 20 minutes from an over 1000 strong new peoples army camp in Zamboanga del Norte (Near Osmena). (Many sworn alliance to ISIS, and many spies) There are much larger camps now in south east Mindanao (Agusan area). Rules are don't do anything on a regular basis. Don't stay at the same hotel, pension for more than 2 days. Don't walk out alone and don't trust anyone. Bangsomoro is almost lost, everywhere south is next. Iligan will be the head city for Bangsomoro and it's the beginning of the collapse of Mindanao south. Spies are everywhere and training for terror is at a height. Terrorist units are now broken down into land attack teams on bikes, and boat attack teams training for the islands. Marawi was a super victory for the Philippines, but the next attacks will be back to attack cells. They are very well trained.
    I'm a lucky escapee of 2 attempts to be taken hostage. A very lucky escape from being murdered by an ex mayor and gang in Bukidnon, but got robbed by a Filipino woman who said she love me and married me. (Left me for the next foreigner 5 years later when I retired and wasn't bringing home the same money).
    So be careful guys, enjoy a beautiful country with some super people. Check out this site also. Might be some interesting bits for you also. ======= Be lucky..


  • Wild_w said

    As of today, Luzon , Visayas are safe. By saying safe I mean as safe as probably any place in any developing country. People are friendly, nice. Treat locals with respect as you probably prefer to be treated same way. Most likely you will end up paying little bit more than locals do for stuff in open markets etc( you will not feel it and still think it was a bargain). In Filipino eyes all foreigners are rich. If you visiting bigger cities and using taxi or grab, keep an eye you not overpaying ( mostly taxi in Manila). Otherways don't fear anything ,enjoy. Beautiful nature, great climate.
    Mindanao( southern island): Safety varies from province to province. All eastern coast is pretty fine for foreigners, there are armed communist groups that keep ambushing police and army units, but there haven't been any harm to any foreigner ever.So if you look at the map and draw a straight line from Cagayan de oro to Davao city, this area is fine. Middle Mindanao from Marawi to General Santos is the high risk area(General Santos city is safe, no problem there) but upwards is moslem populated areas, many armen groups, avoid the area, drive around through east coast if needed to travel towards Zamboanga peninsula. Need to tell that security has improved in recent years, but not enough if you are foreigner. North coast of Mindanao and Zamboanga peninsula is safe( Ozamis,Iligan,Cogayan de oro- all safe ). Zamboanga peninsula is relativly safe ,bigger cities like Zamboanga, Dipolog, Pagadian, Ipil you are safe at. Higher risk areas I would say are west and south coast of Zamboanga peninsula. Some piracy and kidnapings still happening from time to time(coastal areas are highly poppulated by muslim tribes, keep in mind). SULU, BASILAN, TAWI-TAWI are still NO GO AREAS, even for Filipinos, as a foreigner you should newer go more south than Zamboanga harbour. And keep away from southern tip of Palawan island ( near Malaysia) , there might be some risk, though nothing happened in recent years.


  • Holiday Packages said

    I like to visit new places. So i like to know about it, It will be very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing your experience with such kind of information.


  • Julio said

    I do not agree about Iligan city being dangerous. I spent 5 months there and traveled around the out city never had ANY problems and people are friendly. The only concern is that you see much more Muslims people than other places in Philippines.


  • Mary said

    Davao City is one of the safest place you can go to in the Philippines. The people here are very friendly and helpful too. Plus, the sites we have are breathtaking. One you should definitely check out is the Malagos Garden Resort and their chocolate museum.


  • Greg said

    i am an American and met a woman on line from Gingoog City. I have heard that Mindinao is unsafe in places ,but I would like to visit her after the Covid crisis is over. I plan to visit Butuan and Caguyan De Oro also.Just concerned about my safety in this area. Also plan to stay at Duka Bay. Any suggestions will be helpful.


  • steven said

    I was born in MArawi city in the 60's then left when i was 2 years old. I plan to travel by car hopefully after the Covid19 pandemic to visit my birthplace and then head up to Dapitan city to meet a family. Any suggestions regarding hotels/airB&B along the way and places to avoid? Thanks a lot!


  • Asia said

    How safe is Sibalom-Antique or Iloilo City? My grandmother is from this area and I have always wanted to visit where she grew up. I know her family had some issues with terrorism but that was over 50 years ago. I also have interest in getting a traditional tattoo from Whang-Od in Buscalan if possible. How safe is that area? Thank you!


  • Grace said

    I live in Bukidnon, Mindanao. It is no longer new to me that when I say I'm from Mindanao and they say it the place of the rebels, extremist and all the bad people. But I think it is no difference with any other places in the world. We also hear a lot about Africa, Latin America, Middle East, China, Korea and in fact, it is much terrible than the happenings here in Mindanao. I can only say to you all: Try to see the bright side of every places, the uniqueness of every culture, see our works of arts, the beauty of every people and places wherever you go. I am happy and grateful to those who have visited and appreciated our country, cause once you get to know us, you know what the real PHILIPPINE TRAP MEANS. God Bless us all!


  • Benjamin said

    ChuckUSA.. All I can say if you go to Cebu.. You will not regret... Cebu is one of the best place in Philippines... I am a Cebuano and been in many areas in Philippines... Safe place, people will not cheat or rob you... If you visit there and planning to rent some condo or houses


  • Benjamin said

    Rick & Lu Mahalo... Avoid Zamboanga at all cost.. I am a Filipino, I know that this place is not safe..


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  • Rod said

    I've travel in the Philippine many times and I have found the people really friendly. I have also travel in the no go places to see it for myself and there to the people are friendly. I guess what am trying to say is that your a visitor to their country and you should always respect the people that live there. Don't bring the attitude that you would have back at home that you might get away with. Be aware of your surrounding and be with someone always and use your common sense and enjoy yourself. MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES....


  • Dave said

    I went to Zamboanga to meet my wife's family. Not scary. I actually loved it, and the people were really good to me. Now if I didnt bring my wife, and did not speak casual Tagalog, things may have been different. Luckily im also hispanic and not white, although im 5'10" which is a giant there. I love the area though, and my 5' wife kept me safe. Good luck....


  • Cherry Popping said

    South Cotabato? Higher risk of kidnapping? Well, to tell you I'm currently residing in that area for 2 decades and I never feel unsafe. Yeah, there is a kidnapping issue but it was not so high as what this article was sayin'. Sure thing there is a lot of kidnapping around the world but what makes me angry is the fact that they list the places in the Mindanao area with the kidnapping issue. Is it too much World Nomads? Did you really make investigations with this or you just get it from irrelevant sources?


  • H. Biden said

    I don't get it, I never have a problem traveling; people usually give me money for nothing; A few million from Russians, millions from Ukraine, and billions from China... I think people are making it all up.

    Hunter B.


  • Sid Garcia said

    You can go anywhere in the Philippines, or to any part of the world, as long as you don't stick out like a sore thumb.
    Don't show them that you're carrying lots of money (This is the root of all evil).
    Be humble and try to get along with everyone... Smile and say hello, If they didn't respond to you, then go on with your business and keep your distance.


  • Robert Ness said

    At all cost avoid Bangued Abra in northern Luzon. Politics here is dirty and already this year six people have been shot dead and as this year is leading up to next years election, more deaths may follow. People here are not used to foreigners and are not over friendly. Also they will try and rip you off in shops and restaurants, unless of course you have a friendly local with you, then you will be fine. Hygiene standards here are poor and it is quite likely you could end with food poisoning. If anyone wants to visit northern Luzon, then head for places like Vigan or Laog.


  • Yarro said

    Hi...I really do want to visit the Philippines someday,to go see my long time friend who is a pediatrician there.she resides in Jolo,Sulu.But I am still skeptical about the safety of that region.I don't know if it'll be safe for me to go there,as I am black-an African from Nigeria.i know it's gonna be a tough ride,no doubt but not as the thought of something I don't know could happen,in a worse case scenario.


  • blur said

    Woah, I accidentally stumbled here lol. I enjoyed the shares of experience tho, anw i saw some who commented a long research of foreign involved crimes which is a rlly bad move because i'm sure that happens everywhere and are like 3x worse than here. Btw my mom is single, very out of context ikr lmao


  • Carl Gutierrez said

    Siargao Island is naturally a gem. Went there before pandemic and I really wanna go back.


  • Peter said

    DAVAO city is one of the safest cities in the world. I was there last in 2016. Its Mindanao so not all of Mindanao is dangerous. Be smart wherever you go but davao city is a great place to go with samal and talikud islands very close by for beautiful beaches


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