Stay Safe on a Philippine Vacation
Edited by Robbi, Eng, Christine Cruz, Dougie-1
There are definitely a lot of ways to Spend a Vacation in Multi-Island Philippines in the Philippines. However, it must always be remembered that the Philippines is overall not a safe place, especially to those who are not alert and rather complacent in protecting themselves.
Here are some tips to make your vacation safe and hassle-free:
- 1If it's alright in other places to just leave your bag unattended, it is not the same in the Philippines. Make sure that you carefully watch over your belongings all the time, even if you are inside the church.Always watch over your belongings.Advertisement
- 2There have already been a lot of cases where a stranger hypnotized a person and manipulated him to give out money. Only interact with people that you know or that you know why they are talking to you, and not with some random people on the road.Avoid talking to strangers, especially when it's unnecessary.Advertisement
- 3Bag snatching is a common problem in the Philippines. The same goes for your gadgets. Don't just flaunt it around the streets as that can immediately attract the attention of robbers.When walking along roads, keep your bags as close to your body as possible.
- 4Jewelries, just like cash and gadgets, are usually what thieves target to get around.If it can be avoided, refrain from wearing too much attractive jewelries when going around town, especially when you have to take public transportation.
- 5If you can, send it as a text message to a friend or relative, just so you can track the driver down later on if any unpleasant events occur.As soon as you take a taxi, take note of the plate number and other details written on the door of the taxi.
- 6Make sure that you use them in popular establishments and not at some random rundown shops along town. There had been many cases already where credit cards had been intentionally exchanged with each other, and the thief would do a luxurious shopping spree elsewhere until he has exhausted your credit limit.Take care of your credit cards and ATM cards and do not just use them in any shop.
- 7Never get swayed by random people offering to change your money. More often than not, they will give you fake money, if they give you anything at all. Some would even just run away after getting your money.Do your currency exchange at official sites like banks, foreign exchange counters at the malls, or at the airport.
- 8More often than not, drivers will hesitate to do anything unpleasant, because they know there are ways to trace them back or identify them when complaints are made later on. Avoid hailing taxi in remote areas where not too many people can see you.It is best to take taxi in areas where the security guard of the establishment takes note of the taxi number.
- 9There are several cases already where someone would just suddenly open the door and snatch your bag and other belongings.Always lock your doors when you're inside a taxi or a private car.
- 10It is more ideal to withdraw from those inside shopping malls, with a security guard around. As much as possible, avoid going for those standalone machines in the middle of a quiet area. Also, whenever you withdraw, make sure that no one is watching you as you type your PIN code into the machine.When withdrawing money from ATM machines, assess the location of the machine.
- 11A good number of these street kids are actually managed by a syndicate that pushes them to ask for money that will later on be used for drug abuse. Therefore, if you really want to help, food is ideal. In case you really want to give money, just remember that there are more valid institutions that can handle this. Besides, there had already been several cases in the past where as you take out your wallet to get some money to give, the kids will just suddenly grab your purse and run away.When street children come to you to ask for money, give food instead if you'd like to be charitable.
- 12Bring an amount that's just enough for what you need and leave the rest inside the hotel safe. The Philippines has become rather dependent on credit cards, so you can definitely use those instead of cash.If you can avoid carrying too much money when you go out, do so.
- 13Fixers are very prevalent in government offices and they pretend to help you in exchange for money. If they cannot provide you a receipt, then it's best to assume that what they are offering is not a legitimate service.If there is a need to transact with government institutions, let's say to get a visa or get a driving license, make sure that you get a receipt for things that you pay for.
- 14Although this is rather time consuming and it can get annoying that you have to open your bag each time you enter an establishment, just think of it as a way to also ensure your safety. These security guards are just doing their job in making sure people are safe. There had been some terrorist attacks already in the past, that's why they are being careful.Subject yourself to security checks, based on practice, when entering commercial establishments like shopping malls, banks, hotels, and the like.
- 15It is best to join a group instead of traveling independently.In case you are going to the woods for mountain climbing or trekking, consult your travel agent and check on the safety of the area.
- 16Traffic in the Philippines is not as organized as in other countries. Not all vehicles follow traffic regulations and a lot of counter flowing and swerving occur on the road. Better yet, when available, use footbridges instead.When crossing the streets, look at both sides and be alert.
- 17There had been some cases in the past already where people put certain drugs on people's drinks to make them sleep and then they get robbed thereafter. Be cautious when interacting with others.When going to bars, watch over your drinks.
- 18More often than not, you'll end up with a fake or defective product. Be discerning when making a purchase and remember that it's best to go to valid boutiques.Do not buy expensive products like gadgets and luxury bags from unofficial shops.Advertisement
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