PDA

View Full Version : The Philippines for foreign visitors



webclinician
19th July 2012, 13:29
Been back to the Philippines last year and coming from the UK, things have changed and I would just like to share a few tips on how to enjoy your visit in my native country.

Airport
Pretty crowded. People will ask to take your bag for some fee. If you can carry your bag then just hold on to it.

Security-
There is no substitute to common sense. Don't go out alone in areas that you don't know. Go out with groups of people or only with people that you know.

Read the British advisory on areas that you should stay away from.

Money
Foreigners are seen as someone carrying money. For us here it may not be too much but a few pounds is a lot for some people.
Carry a spare change.
Put your money or wallet in front. Don't bring money bag It is like shouting out loud this is where my money is.

NO fancy jewelries.

Food
There is a wide variety of food. Enjoy it while it last.
If you want stomach bugs, go to street foods...plenty out there but I'm immunised already. Don't drink water in routine tap water.
You may not like "balut" but Filipinos don't care...they will shove it in your mouth if they have to.

It is not courteous to ask what you are eating but I know you will find a finer way of asking exactly what a food is made of. Sometimes they will find it funny to make you eat something and tell it afterwards...think about snake..

Talking about immunizatio
Have your immunization up to date
all hep vaccines, TB (very common) and everything else

Places to go
If you want pollution, vices, alcohol, girls, stay in Manila. Don't stay too late at night or wander in no man's land, thieves sleep on day and strike at night.
Go to provinces, mostly it is safer and energizing. Bring only a cheap camera.

Transport
Bring a change. Taxis mostly don't have change and expecting tips. They will negotiate but ask for the meters to be used. LRT and MRT is a nice experience, just don't stand near the edge as people tend to push one another even before the train comes. Literally, there is only a few inches away between the train and yourselves...a little bit of push and your next drop will be orthopaedics.

Public toilet
this is where your loose change will make sense. They don't have one so pay for it
Bring your own toilet paper

Hospitality
Filipino are very hospitable. They will give you the best food around. If you visit a poor family, hold back on your appetite as your left over will be given to their children.

Family
Unusually close family network. No privacy...can be good or bad depending on how you see it.

Money changer
Only inside the mall. Full stop

Gambling
Filipinos like to gamble. I played blackjack when I was 3. Played chess for money from 6-12 y.o
Lottery is big in Philippines and I have the same habit here. I operate online UK's best lottery syndicate. Don't need money much but habits are hard to die.

The point is we have a gambling culture and we hate to lose. It is not the best way to make friends especially if you play with big money (and many of them have only spare change to play)

If you have to gamble, choose something such as cockfighting for experience or just play for fun, and think that you are just giving them lose money.
Courtesy
Filipinos are not raised to answer back to elders. This leads to inability to reason out whilst keeping our emotion checked. Don't argue too much as they will think about it, not sleep well, analyze all scenarios and come back the next day to talk about it.

Just like what they say, people who can't think, they fight. Can't remember which sci-fi film I watched this.

Cock-fighting or sabong.
did I talk about gambling? Barbaric I know. But more than ethics, make sure you have a proper BCG vaccine working as tuberculosis is endemic in Philippines and this is a crowded area to be.

Women
women are just the same everywhere. Some are not good, some are fantastic but one quality that many filipinos have is that Filipino women can be a lifetime commitment.
No return no exchange. Till death do you part.
If you got the wrong one, it's a life sentence.

Sorry my ipad is running low on battery...I'll write again some other day.

grahamw48
19th July 2012, 13:41
Good post, with good advice ! :xxgrinning--00xx3:

Many thanks. :)

raynaputi
19th July 2012, 13:44
:xxgrinning--00xx3::xxgrinning--00xx3::xxgrinning--00xx3:

sars_notd_virus
19th July 2012, 15:23
Women
women are just the same everywhere. Some are not good, some are fantastic but one quality that many filipinos have is that Filipino women can be a lifetime commitment.
No return no exchange. Till death do you part.
If you got the wrong one, it's a life sentence.



yeah same goes for the male of the specie :yikes:;)

grahamw48
19th July 2012, 15:44
But you do get a bonus with a man...a dependant child. :icon_lol:

NotYou
19th July 2012, 22:50
It's great to see a post like that. I think it must be my 35th trip to the Phils this year. Last trip I had my mobile (cell) and wallet (about PhP 10 000) snatched by a gang of street kids in Ermita. The only time I have been a victim of crime, and I saw it coming, there must have been 8 kids aged from 6 to 16 years old so what could I do? The police were parked 50 feet away around the corner, and were more interested in having their photo taken with me at my hotel....hehehe. Who cares I will be back soon....

grahamw48
19th July 2012, 22:57
As you'll know, they're in league with the cops anyway.

They've been doing that stuff in Ermita for many years.

I remember getting my pocket picked there in 1990 ...probably by their parents. :rolleyes:

webclinician
20th July 2012, 00:20
As you'll know, they're in league with the cops anyway.

They've been doing that stuff in Ermita for many years.

I remember getting my pocket picked there in 1990 ...probably by their parents. :rolleyes:

Forgot to mention, if someone is unusually pushing/pressing on you...or you can feel a woman's bosom by ur side, chances are they have their hands in ur pocket.

By the way, which technique did they apply on u Graham?

grahamw48
20th July 2012, 00:32
My second trip there...surrounded by a bunch of kids with their hands out, others in my pockets of course. :rolleyes:

Only got a few hundred pesos because I'm a tight * * * *, so never carry much anyway.:D

A lesson learned though.

Peter D
20th July 2012, 12:37
I had my phone nicked in a fast food outlet in a mall , put it down on the counter for 1 second to pick up the food bags , a very respectable well dressed girl standing behind me distracted me and job done , didnt even realise for a few seconds but they dissapeared quicker than I could know what was happening . Lucky I had two days to go and managed until I got home but it was a pain , take a cheap phone and maybe a spare just in case . I found a tesco 10 mobile was able to use foreign sim cards ( not tried one in Philippines) without being unlocked but dont know if they have tightened up on this ?

grahamw48
20th July 2012, 13:03
The Tesco 10 mobile is exactly the one I took with me in February...to use there.
It's already unlocked, because does not come with a Sim.

Yes, you can just put a local 40 peso (Smart) Sim in it and it will work no probs.

You even get 30 free texts. :)

raynaputi
20th July 2012, 13:08
Just always remember that anything of small value you think it is in the UK, it's always a big value for someone in the Philippines (they can sell whatever they can get from you at a price).

CBM
20th July 2012, 14:18
The Tesco 10 mobile is exactly the one I took with me in February...to use there.
It's already unlocked, because does not come with a Sim.

Yes, you can just put a local 40 peso (Smart) Sim in it and it will work no probs.

You even get 30 free texts. :)

That's very well worth knowing. Thanks.

CBM
20th July 2012, 14:21
I've noticed that the "carry your bag for you Sir!" racket has got somewhat worse at NAIA Terminal One.

DaveW
21st July 2012, 08:01
I nearly had my phone and wallet stolen on Del Pilar st by a swarm of kids. I kicked one of the kids and I was the one who got into trouble.

grahamw48
21st July 2012, 10:47
I nearly had my phone and wallet stolen on Del Pilar st by a swarm of kids. I kicked one of the kids and I was the one who got into trouble.

Yes, never ever strike a local....and in particular a child (which would also get you arrested here...quite rightly).

It will cost you a lot more than a lost wallet. :NoNo:

NotYou
4th August 2012, 21:03
Oh I have been away, but...the one of the gang (aged about 10) asked me for food, I mumbled and then was swarmed by about 10 kids ages various. I felt their hands in my pockets, but thought my buttoned side pockets were 'safe'. They got the lot. Very quickly. I knew I could not start throttling one of them! So I asked for my cell back, keep the wallet and cash I said. The oldest did all the old 'not me' stuff acting the innocent, we both knew I'd been had. Then spent hours and hours at the police station....

lastlid
4th August 2012, 21:09
The carry your bag sir racket was something that peaced me right off. I am perfectly capable of carrying my own bags myself!

grahamw48
4th August 2012, 21:14
They've apparently put an increased police presence in Ermita.

At least the kids won't have to go as far to hand over the booty and get their commission. :rolleyes:

Arjie
5th August 2012, 09:19
Filipino women can be a lifetime commitment.
No return no exchange. Till death do you part.
If you got the wrong one, it's a life sentence.


Indeed!!!:xxgrinning--00xx3::icon_lol::xxgrinning--00xx3:

irishman12
5th August 2012, 19:01
Hi Webclinician ,while ur post is helpful to new visitors to phils -regular visitors will be well aware of most things, i have been going there for the last 7 yrs -people asking to take your bag has been around for long time -just like those offering other services when you walk around anywhere even on the islands . (If you want pollution, vices, alcohol, girls, stay in Manila. Don't stay too late at night or wander in no man's land, thieves sleep on day and strike at night.) are u saying none of these are outside of manila? theft is just as common during daytime -like the guy who was taken for 80000 peso in mall in cdo .
Have your immunization up to date
all hep vaccines, TB (very common) and everything else not saying shouldnt take prevention but i havent taken anyhting since first trip in 2005 and have visited mindanao several times. Money changer
Only inside the mall. Full stop -not true -inside the malls dont give best rates -mostly have used money changer on mabini st /malate where best rate is given -have walked around the streets of manila many times and havent had anything happen .Finally - Read the British advisory on areas that you should stay away from -they say to stay away from mindanao -im not british but maybe andy or john didnt read these before they decided to visit -i have been going there since 2005 .

andy222
5th August 2012, 20:26
I read them Irishman. I have been to Mindanao 6 times now and not had a bit of trouble in fact I feel safer there than I do in England. At the end of the day common sense prevails, Maybe it because my wife is always with me everywhere I go. I have to admit though I havnt visited right down the south it might be more of a risk down there.

irishman12
5th August 2012, 20:58
Last year we went from davao to general santos city -stayed one night there before going to gumasa beach in sarangani province -later we went to lake sebu in south cotobato and back to bukidnon by shorter route-passing thru many muslim areas but was probably travelling too fast for anyone to follow us:)