Generally speaking the Philippines is a safe and welcoming Country so we do not want to cause alarm or unnecessary insecure feelings. However, every Country in the world has some dangers, annoyances, scams and bad people, so beware.
You are always responsible for your own safety, but we do want to explain some dangers and annoyances in the Country and offer you some tips that will help you and your Pretty Filipina, to have a safe, enjoyable and wonderful holiday, in a Country full of beautiful, friendly and hospitable people.
1. The most common scam involves confidence tricksters posing as a group of friends or a family and befriending (usually individual) travellers. They eventually invite them home or on a short excursion. The situation ends with the traveller being drugged and robbed. If you feel that a stranger is consistently over friendly to you, walk away. Beware as well of people who claim to have met you before or claim to be staying in your hotel
2. If someone approaches you in the street or another public place and introduces themselves as a police officer or an immigration official, this is almost definitely a scam. It goes something like this:
-They will tell you that there is a problem with your immigration Visa and that you both need to go back to your hotel room now to check your documentation. When you go back into your hotel room, the door will be closed and the rogue official will pull out a gun. At this stage, you will hand over all your valuables, documentation and money. DON’T FALL FOR IT! Go straight to a real Police Officer and report it, if that is practical.
3. Always avoid bad neighbourhoods and poorly lit streets, particularly at night time.
4. Your best safety mechanism is to be aware and alert, while using your intuition. “If in doubt, get out”.
5. Do not do drugs in the Philippines, penalties are very severe.
6. Do not get excessively drunk as you are more vulnerable to trouble.
7. Remember that you will need cash as there are no A.T.M machines or cash supplies in some parts of the country.
8. Make 3 copies of everything before you leave home including your Passport, travel itinerary and tickets, credit cards, driver’s licence and any other important documents. Copy the back of everything as well. This makes it easier for you to recover if any of your documents are stolen, but keep the copies in separate locations, and keep them safe. You can also consider making scans of your documents and e-mailing them as attachments to yourself to be printed when and if needed. You may be able to store your important documents in an online “safe” for more security. Also, only carry what documents, cards and cash that you need. Leave the rest in a safe deposit in your hotel room or in safe deposit behind hotel reception. If you are robbed, let them have it rather than get into a violent confrontation.
9. Keep your personal information secret. No one needs to know where you are staying, where you are going, and when you are doing it. No matter how trustworthy a person seems, it is not important that they know your personal information. If somebody asks where you are staying, then lie. When checking into a hotel, don’t say your room number out loud at any time. Ideally, the hotel clerk should be discreet a about it also (writing the room number on your key envelope) but if you think others heard your room number, simply ask to have it changed.
10. Do not drink the local tap water.
11. Do not portray yourself as wealthy or looking like a tourist, particularly in the extreme South of the Country. The Philippines is generally safe, but there is a separatist movement in the South of the Country.
12. Keep an eye on the news and be prepared to alter travel plans to avoid troubled spots. Typhoons, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, landslides and other natural disasters can wreak havoc with your travel plans.
Irish Embassy Address
Mrs. Noreen Trota
Honorary Consul General
3/F Max’s Building
70 Jupiter St
Bel Air 1
Makati City 1209
Tel: + 63 2 896 4668
Fax: + 63 2 897 8534
Have a great holiday with your Pretty Filipina, but be alert, aware and safe. You should consider subscribing to Pretty Filipinas help line. See tours section.