How safe is it on the Luzon Island, I was told most people carry weapons to defend them selves and americans are targeted by Abu Saieff. Is this true?
I spent 6 months backpacking round remote parts of the Philippines and never had a single bad experience. Advice like "Beware of over-friendly people" I dont really agree with - all Filipinos are over-friendly, that's just their nature and thats what so nice about the country!
There are a few dangerous places in the country but they are so remote and far off the tourist route that they're really not worth worrying about
You are right.... but things do happen here believe me...Thank God they don't happen very often. It's well worth carrying a cellphone that has a camera or a camera with you at all times. In the event you are involved in a road accident, take some pictures and get a witness, although they can disappear or change their story. I clipped a sidecar which was being repaired in the middle of a narrow road, l got out and went to look at it, there was not even a slight dent. The wheel of the sidecar was a good 20 feet away on a grassy bank. Later that evening l was called to the police station for hit a run! The next day l had a meeting with the Barangay Captain and the owner of the Tricycle. The man was an ex-Vice Mayor...he had a dossier with photos,..invoice for a write off sidecar...saying l had torn the wheel off the sidecar...can you imagine the impact to tear a wheel off! The photos which he had ask a policeman to take, showed the sidecar neatly parked by the side of the road with the wheel beside it. He had even got the Barangay Captain to attend the scene. There was only one thing that the man had forgot....My wife said "Come and look at our car"...of course there was not a scratch on it. You would have thought there might be some damage with the force required to tear a wheel off a tricycle. So it's alway a good idea to have your camera handy. It make a good story to tell over a beer...but you see some Filipinos are not that friendly, especially when there might be a' buck' in it for them. Enjoy your holiday.
Heading to the Philippines early next year and am not all worried about my safety, or at least no more so than usual, home or abroad.
I was hoping to fly from Davao in Mindanao to Manado on Sulawesi, Indonesia. Can anyone confirm both that this route is currently available and that South Mindanao is reasonably safe to travel through, not necessarally in?
Genuinely excited to travel in a country that sounds so warm, diverse, beautiful and inviting.
There arent enough positive adjectives to describe the Philippines but warm, diverse and beautiful are certainly 3 of them.
I traveled around South Mindanao and it was great. The people were among the friendliest, most hospitable anywhere, the scenery stunning and the array of ethnic minorities fascinating. Just do your homework before you go and make sure you avoid any spots that might be troublesome at the time of travel. These trouble spots are ususally so few and far between though that they needn't be of concern to tourists unless you're planning on going REALLY far off the beaten track. If you're sensible then chances are extremely small that anything'll go wrong unless ur unlucky and happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as with pretty much anywhere in the world!
Check out my Philippines blogs if you're interested, there's quite a long one on South Mindanao
Thanks for the reply Ed!
I have already read your bolgs from the Philippines and it was for this reason, because of your knowledge, that i asked the above question on this thread. I was particularly taken by your blog detailing your encounter with the tribal community on Mindoro; great writing, photo's and video. i respect your tenacity to travel the way you do and i respect the respect you clearly have for the regions and people you visit.
Reading your blogs of adventure anthropology is a beautifully lazy, vicarious pleasure, best enjoyed comfortably ensconsed with a glass of wine here on my sofa in Brighton! When traveling i certainly enjoy and actively seek "off the beaten track experiences" but none measure up to yours; I feel like the brave explorer visiting islotated Khamu and Tamoi tribes in the hills of Northern Laos who, though very far from uncontacted, see probably only a few westerners a year, compared with your trailblazing experiences! Must have been really inredible.
Anyway, I digress! Do you know if the flight detailed in my above post is still available?
Hehe thanks for the kind words 😊
The flight was available when I was there and I'd guess it still is, check Air Asia and Cebu Pacific websites, possiblt Garuda Indonesia too. I also have a feeling that very recently they may have re-opened the passenger ship line between Mindanao and Sulawesi though can't say for sure
I have a question for you Ed...Have you been to Zambales on your travels? The reason for asking is that there are hardly any birds here. There are so few varieties, l have found no satisfactory reason why. People say they are eaten...but l somehow l can't believe that can be the reason. I went on a boat trip, banca, along the coast at Pundquit, San Antonio. There is a rocky cliff face with waterfall, secluded bays which you can only get to by boat. It is very beautiful, during my trip which took several hours l never saw a single bird. I know people come from all over the world to see birds here in the Philippines but you won't see many here, it's puzzling.
Not sure why, sorry, have never been a bird watcher and although I planned to go to Zambales I ran out of time (6 months just isn't enough for a country like the Philippines!)