| TRAVEL ALERT |

The Philippines has been pictured through the media world wide as not a very safe place to travel. However the facts are quite different. To the most part, the Philippines is quite a safe country to visit. Probably, safer than most of the developed countries.

There are only a couple of places in Mindanao that tourists should not travel to. These areas are actually far away from any of the tourist destinations. These places are the central and western portions of the island of Mindanao in particular the islands of the Sulu Archipelago. In that part, avoid the islands of Basilan, Jolo and Tawi Tawi.

Out of the 7107 Islands in the Philippines, Siargao Island must be one of the safest and one of the most peaceful places in the world. Generally, the residents of the island treat each other with respect and courtesy. There is little crime though most locals try and overcharge foreigners for pretty much everything. Weather traveling to the Philippines for the first time or returning, you should always pay close attention to your personal security. Keep your eyes open especially in the cities and don’t be too showy with your money and appearance.

When traveling to any country, one has to be always alert. There are certainly elements to be aware of that always target naive and unprepared travelers. Here are a few travel alert tips that may save you money and unnecessary/unpleasant surprises: click below

 

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MANILA & CEBU AIRPORT TAXIS:

If you look for taxi always ask for a white meter taxi. Upon arrival at the airport most likely you will be directed to the yellow meter airport taxi stand. DO NOT USE THEM as they charge more than double the price of the white taxis. The white meter taxi stand is located at the departure terminal. So ask for direction to the departure area which is usually on the upper floor. Always follow these steps below:

  • Make sure that the taxi driver activates the meter. If not leave the taxi and get another one. Especially in Manila 8 out of 10 taxis will offer you a flat rate which is normally more than double of what the actual fare is. It is quite a bit better in Cebu.
  • Do not enter into a taxi that has a companion driver. That you may find sometimes in Manila at the airport. This could be a set up to steal from you and certainly overcharge you.
  • A taxi driver that gives you trouble write down the name of the tax. There are telephone numbers to report such taxis and the taxi driver can lose his taxi permit license.
  • Make sure you driver knows your destination. Some drivers don’t speak good English

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PURCHASING PRODUCTS:

  • Unless you buy goods in a Supermarket, a regular store or a Shopping Mall, always negotiate the price. If someone offers you a product for sure the first price they offer it to you is about double of the actual selling price. Don’t accept the first offer.
  • Brand name products that are offered to you on the road side are usually all fake.

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MONEY CHANGING:

  • Do not change money with individuals offering you a good rate. It is always a rip-off. Though they would count the money in front of you but when you recount it you have substantially less money than what they handed to you.
  • Avoid changing money at money changers offices. There maybe people watching you and follow you after the money change.
  • Change money at the airport or at a Bank. The best Bank to change money is Banco de Oro.  They have branches everywhere.
  • Changing a large amount of money let the money changer go to a bank with you and exchange there.

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NIGHT LIFE:

  • Never go alone
  • Don’t get drunk or high
  • Hide your large Bills and keep your wallet secure.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended – someone may try to slip something into your drink.
  • Don’t follow strange company to places you don’t know.
  • Be aware of overcharges of your drinks.
  • Don’t have unprotected sex – if you do, you may regret it for the rest of your life.

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CALL FOR HELP:

  • Always have a Philippine contact cell number with you in case you encounter problems or have a question. A good number to have is the Hotel number where you are staying.
  • If you are a guest of Patrick’s on the Beach take down our cell numbers from our CONTACT US page

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COMMUNICATION & CELL PHONES:

  • If you stay longer in the Philippines it is advisable to purchase a cheap cell phone for around P1,000. This way you can talk freely at any time with anyone in the Philippines.
  • The main carriers are SMART and GLOBE
  • TEXTING is the cheapest way to communicate – talking is P6 per minute for local calls.

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