Going to Dumaguete – A Change in Plans, Philippines

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  1. Take this video down. Don’t say you’ve hidden something. Better to say you put your stuff in a secure location. Hidden implies it’s still at your location. It’s possible thieves watch your videos. 

    1. @schwartzenheimer1 they stole a $20 bill I put in a calendar for someone in Pampanga. She did not receive anything. And someone else I sent a letter she never received the brown envelope which was only a bunch of papers. The mail  there is unsecure.

    2. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines If you don’t mind my saying so, Philippines mail is less than secure. My opinion is that you’d be much better off with the safe deposit box.

    3. There are amateur thieves and professional thieves, amateurs take what’s readily visible and professionals will look for hidden stuff anyway.  Not that it has to even be hidden AT the actual home.  I’m thinking to get a postal box at the mall for those items anyway, cheaper than a safe-deposit box.

    1. Not at all, just changing the itinerary.  Crime happens everywhere, some places more than others.. even certain houses, over and over with no regard for who is living there.

  2. Hi Henry sorry to hear that you got broken into. Just some info you know that you can buy on ebay for less then $10 a small battery operated motion sensor with built in SQEAL alarm and it’s bloody loud. It is the size of a packet of cigarettes. Once it is set you then have 60 secs to enter a code. You can activate it when you leave your room and ok i know that you can smash it but then again others may just  run. Also they sell SQEAL door stops as you are closing the door you just put your hand around and put  it on the floor,just behind the door.All are portable,small and cheap. Little cost for peace of mind.

    All the best from Australia

  3. sorry to hear about the break in, ya it’s a real piss’er to find the stuff stolen, thank god !!! your ok, passport,atm’s,etc, are all safe, like you said, it can and does happen everywhere

    1. Your standard license is good your first 90 days.  Meanwhile you can convert it to a PH license with a trip to the local LTO office.

  4. Sorry to hear about your misfortune Henry … tough break.  Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people … I’m sure you’ll have better luck in Dumaguete!  I bet you’ll be sleeping with that scooter by your side until you’re safely out of Moalboal … ha!

  5. Definate bummer! Now you lose your rent & deposit too. One thought, get a secondary wheel lock for the scooter. Excellent idea in the PI anyway.

    1. Normally that would be the case.. but with my landlord (Australian), he returned my deposit with no hassles at all.  He completely understood I’d not be spending another night there.

  6. Hi Henry! its me again. I dont know if I mentioned to you that I also came from Dumaguete aside from my original place which is Tagbilaran. There’s a lot of Expats there and I notice that the usual place where they hang out is at the boulevard, some karaoke bar,restaurants and fast food place well youll see them when you get there a walking distance from the pier. Let me know if you need some tips on where to go coz I know some places, infact I will be going there mostlikely before the next schoolyear.

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines Sorry about the robbery and happy to hear your attitude. Henry when I have been in the Philippines I had a copy of my passport, and another document as well as a small amount of cash in a plastic bag, in case of returning to find my hidden original gone. Just an idea. Good fortune in Dumaguete.

    2. You can do that, but it’s not always practical or safe.  If you get mugged, there goes your passport.  If it falls out of your pocket, gone.  If you go to the beach.. where will you put it?  Backpack?  That’s just begging for it to get stolen.  Carrying it around everywhere along with banking passbook, ACR card and vehicle docs on your person everywhere you go is not going to keep them safe either.

  7. Sorry about the burglary. I don’t really know  how you  gonna stop some determined  or desperate people to get your things.  Its most likely one of your nearby neighbours who has done the burglary . In regards to your scooters safety, I would suggest an improvised extra switch along the ignition wire that hidden  or not easy to see, and only you know where it is. It can be just a flick type switch. Good luck.

  8. Hey Henry, Sorry to here your place got robbed. I would recommend you do one of two things as a precaution.

    1. Buy a big padlock and chain and lock your scooter up until you get the new ignition. The guys who stole your key now know you are planning on going to Dumaguette so they might try their luck in stealing your scooter out there.
    2. Once your in Dumaguette, put the bike in the shop and don’t use it until the new ignition is in. You won’t have use of it for a month but at least it will be in a safer place than on the street where the thieves can steal it. Dumaguette might be bigger than Moalboal but it’s still some and any determined thief might get lucky and find out where you park your scooter. 

    Second option might suck but i’d rather walk and take local transport for a month than get the scooter stolen.

  9. I guess you should count your blessings that you weren’t in the apartment at the time and you’re safe, could have been more than just a few replaceable objects taken, like your life. Stay safe and be careful.

  10. Hi Henry, big fan of your videos, believe I’ve watched most of them at this stage. 
    Was just wondering did you tell the police or would contacting them be any any use? 

  11. Aarrg that totaly sucks. So sorry to hear that Henry.
    I can imagine how violated you feel.
    My question is the same as asked before.
    What about the lease on your apartment do you get the money back or is that lost together with the rest of you stuff?

    1. Yes, I got the deposit back with no hassles.  It is owned by Australians (married to Filipinas) and I got my money back without hesitation.  However, I will say that it’s something of a rarity.  Most places consider the deposit as ‘consumable’, to be used your last month of stay.. not returned in cash.

  12. Hi Henry. Grrr  lets hope they get theirs I am sure they will. Now best luck with your further adventures. I had to chuckle to myself while watching this video those wide boys on bikes cruising past behind you while you talked to your device for posting, I half expected your scooter to drive past as well.. Maybe a safety deposit box for your passport  and other important stuff ( Spare Key ) in the future ? And maybe also disable your scooter when parked until locks changed as that key could end up in Duma  . Take care.. ( Hope you did not take a big hit with Rent or contract already paid )

  13. If you were mechanically astute enough, you could disable your scooter
    buy taking off some integral part of the engine. Ask some mechanic
    somewhere how to do this?? I’m sure there is way. Would have been a
    great video if you caught them in the act !!!-

    1. I’ll be getting the ignition key changed and also a kill-switch installed.  First priority was moving the bike out of Moalboal.

  14. Oh man! Some people are just so….. urrgghhh!!!
    Buy a U-Lock for your Scooter… Its just good to have regardless. especially when parking it overnight ungaraged… even if its garaged, use it still.

  15. So, sorry to hear that you have been a victim of burglary.  You are wise to hide all your important documents like, pass ports and bank card seperately..I hope you reported it to the managements and  the authority so, that other tourist will be aware of them criminals..Words about crimes should go around that community.  You don’t deserve to be a victim unless, they’d been watching you..

  16. Henry, like everyone else, sorry you had your stuff stolen.  Tell me, is there a way to secure your items, bags and such inside your room, a separate closet to lock up, on your next apartment??   Glad you have your camera, computer, can not wait to see your travels into the next village, Rusty 

  17. Sorry to hear about the theft, I hate thieves with a passion. As far a storing pics etc. use one of the free cloud services such a DriveOne from Microsoft or Box or Drop Box  the usual capacity for free storage is 10 gigabytes. Also, I was wondering about Dumaguette as a place to live, so it will be nice to see your experience and views. Take care.

  18. I am so sorry of your bad luck. Maybe I’ll get to meet you in Dumaguete, since I’ll be there in a couple weeks myself. Be nice to sit down and have a chat with you. You are living the dream! And you are right this wouldn’t change my opinion of the Philippines, and you will have no problem blending in Dumaguete, and I will be looking forward to your thoughts of the city of gentle people. Hope to meet you soon. Safe travels.

  19. Dumanjug = “doo-mahn-hoog”

    I hate to be Debbie Downer here, but I decided long ago not to have my own house or apartment in the PI. I prefer a hotel with security. Unfortunately, your story proves me correct.

    Swiss guy lives in Sibonga, in a valley with no cellphone service. The entire family is killed, and the home burned to the ground. 

    Mactan Island, an American apparently invites someone in for a drinking session. There are no signs of forced entry. At some point he is strangled by a drinking “buddy” and robbed. He is found dead in his apartment.

    Who’s to say you don’t barge in, looking to thrash someone, and catch a knife or bolo in the neck?

    It seems you’ve done the smart thing and tried to limit your exposure or potential losses. (Hiding passport, ATM cards, etc.) Love your vids, but for me the bottom line is security. I suggest a hotel with a guard. You can get cheaper long-term rates.

  20. I wonder If the Philippines has the same silly laws about booby traps as the USA?Think how much fun it would be…..you know they will be back!!! In the meantime you found a local carpenter to make a tabletop sized mousetrap. You set it on your kitchen table. You covered it with a cloth ,then tied a cheap cellphone  on a short string to the trip mechanism. In comes the burglar ,to get your laptop he missed and whack…he’s got a broken arm to deal with for a couple months. 230  volts rigged across both scooter handle grips would have worked out as a “self contained burglar alarm” too. Especially funny because it would be the thief sounding the alarm! 🙂

    I remember the story about a guy in Philladelphia about 20 years ago …he got tired of having his car stolen.He rigged up his car so that the alarm would be more useful .It would lock the car doors…and the locks would stay locked. He caught someone in broad daylite at the Mcdonalds…pretty funny.

  21. My wife had her business burglarized in the Philippines. She contacted the police and used Philippine customs. They caught the kid and he worked for her to recover damages.
    How did she do it ? …well…you will have to learn a little about Philippine customs to find out. 🙂
    hint: my wife found it to be a little odd when she came here and discovered that we tip waitresses 10-15 percent. I told her to NEVER tip the police here…they get grumpy and indignant. 🙂

  22. Mr. Skippy only shows that he is less educated and broadminded than Mr. Henry. Elsewhere in the world, opportunists will always keep an eye to a stranger. Just take care and be alert always. 

  23. have you seen many filipinas with abs yet? from all the photos ive seen 99% have a little gut, that genetic or the american fast food they get now?

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines sons of bitches..whatch your back henry.but your gonna be wiser for it. glad to hear your okay.stay safe an thanks  for all the vids you share with all your friends.i pray for your path to be safe an prosperous.

    2. Yah.  I remember in seeing your vid that the system they had in place (spare keys on a pegboard) was the weak-link on the landlord’s part.  Those should have been in a secured place.  How long did it take for you to get a new place and equipment?

  24. Had that happen to me in Cebu. But got everything back and the guy went to jail. He was my next door neighbour. Hehe! Have a safer trip most crime in the Philippines is Just petty. No big worries.  

  25. Are you telling me next time I visit PI I will be seeing lots of locals walking around wearing Hawaiian shirts? 🙂 Been to duemagette several time and prefer the outskirts. Way to many college kids and motor cycles there for me. Glad you’re cash was in a bank.ATM is the way to go. Heap I was in PI more than Thailand because of English being spoken. Still like Thailand and so does my Filipino wife. 🙂 I have been so lucky in my travels but its only a matter of time.

  26. Henry, I’m glad you are okay minus a few items. I’m sorry to hear about this. I hope that you have a safe journey to Dumaguete. Hopefully karma will fall upon them and good luck will come to you. 

  27. WTF Skippy?! Less likely to be burglarized in Th? HUH! The girls are not as easy? WTF! There is no such place where burglaries do not occur. And there are as many tramps and HO’s in TH and the PH. Hate to burst your really naive bubble.

    Henry, get a Kryptonite-style lock that you can put through the rear wheel of your MC. The ignition key is not secure enough. A kill switch is a good idea.

  28. Hopefully, the thieves don’t know about your Youtube broadcasts and haven’t seen this video and your announcement about going to Dumaguete with the scooter..lol

  29. I had my motorbike stolen last month they ripped the ignition out. I hate thieves happens everywhere Im from Australia so happens here too. Its lucky (though u wont feel like your lucky) but not losing your ID passport etc is a blessing. best wishes for you move Henry just know people are thinking about you and wishing you well. Life is better with you in it.

  30. I wish those backpack had one of those exploding dyepacks you could activate. Like the ones banks use. Then you could tell everyone in town to look for the guys with red dye all over them. When there caught and everyone knows, its public shame that is the best punishment sometimes in those small towns.

  31. damn man that sucks. I would suggest bringing along one of those bicycle U locks all you need to do is lock it between your spokes and no one can steel the bike. especially on the back tire Similar to this. Cheep trick that even bikers in canada sometimes use

    so long as its around the tire then it cant spin. add a chain around a tree and your set. You usually see a lot of locals chaining their bikes because of the thefts. 



  32. Hey Henry, I know you have heard the whole “should of, would of, could of”.. Razor blades cut to shape to fit where prying hands would pry work well.. I used this technique when guarding a sub-floor apartment in uptown Minneapolis. Long story short, I had a bloody mess on my hands but nothing was missing. Also, you are a computer repairman so consider wireless bluetooth video cameras. Screw your receiving laptop to the underside of a table. Nobody ever looks there..  

  33. henry your the wrong man to rip off – now ill never stop in moal boal  – that place sucks.  i was concerned leaving my car for the day when i went to kawasen falls.  i guess i was lucky – ill never go to that sucky town again.

    1. At the falls, the “attendants” will watch your car if you pay them.. even though usually they don’t even work there.  But getting rude with them could result in slashed tires or other damages so.. it’s a trade-off.  I will probably return to Moalboal but pick a safer place next time, with more security.  The entire PH is full of desperate people willing to steal.  Every nice suburb has an entry gate guard, high walls and barbed wire for that very reason.  Every city has that bad 2% criminal element who has no respect for other people’s lives.

  34. My “solution” to potential problems like these: I live in a gated community. There’s guards at the gates, and a roving guard in the community. Our home has a tall fence, and locked gates that only we have the keys to. I’ve lived here for *years* and haven’t had a problem. 

    Of course, I live in Metro Manila – out in the provinces things can be a bit more interesting. I know the unspoiled beauty of the provinces can be compelling, but you just might be happier living in the suburbs of the big city. I’m living in a house; just 450 square meters, but it’s home. And I suspect I’m spending less per month than you do. When you come to visit you can see how I live and I’ll explain to you how it works. I love this country; life is good here.

  35. i thought that place looked vulnerable. however i am surprised they came thru the barred windows. the door looked like it could easily be kicked in. where there is  poverty, there is crime. at least you didn’t lose your documents and cards. what about your laptop? we may travel to the Philippines this summer. if so, and you’re in country, you’d be welcomed in our laguna home.

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines I’m sorry what happened to you Henry. Over here a friend of a friend got burgled when she was at work. In broad daylight they melted the lock/deadbolt, got in and took everything.

      If they are determined, nothing can stop them.

      Perhaps a rooming house would be an option. I find them to be the most secure in my decade long journey over here.

    2. The deadbolt did it’s job and even though they tried to carve out the wood and damaged the deadbolt, it kept the thick door shut.  They spent some energy getting through the bars on the small kitchen window, that is how they got in.  In the end, some places are ‘more secure’ than others but, given enough time, thieves will find a way in even if they have to sledgehammer through the wall.  One apartment in downtown Cebu was entered with an axe used to tear down the door.  Good locks are to keep honest people out, that’s about it.

  36. Henry! Better not to share videos which show`´s too much for your private life as living in an apartment and what you carry with you etc.  It is better that you keep your privacy as “in the jungle” somewhere near Tagbilaran you did! Too late to say, but have you had any thoughts that these people who did that naughty thing to you, might have been watching your video! Stay strong! God bless and help!

    1. While it’s a ‘possibility’.. actually the odds are low that some kids with few pesos spent their net cafe time looking at an expat site of videos rather than playing video games or cruising facebook.  It’s more likely they robbed my place because they noticed i was new in town and/or regularly rob places any chance they get.  But I will be keeping the location of my new apartment very vague.

  37. Sorry to hear about you being robbed Henry. You are right that it could happen anywhere. Glad you are safe, my friend. Thank you for sharing your videos. Always look forward to seeing what you are doing next. Take care Henry…..and enjoy your travels in the Philippines.

  38. The thieves were probably upset they didn’t get a gold Rolex, iPad, designer clothes, big flat screen LED TV. They think all foreigners are rich. It’s highly unlikely they watched your videos.

    If anything, your videos are a deterrent to burglary. Who would hack through bars on a window just to take some backpacks and a laptop? They probably thought they were going to get a big haul but walked away light. 

    Henry’s minimalism is the best deterrent to theft. 🙂

    1. Yep, I agree.  I travel light.  And not many thieves are going to spend their time choosing a target based on who they see in an online video.  More likely they will be using their few pesos to play a video game or goof around on facebook.

  39. sorry to hear that sucks  we  have been in moal boal diving ,, my wife Filipino   been to the disco ha ha  spent time in bahoal looking forward  to dumagetti and bay for sailors bon bonon  looking to retire in pi soon wife is from butuan  no don’t want to live near family haha  and wont own a house only rent travel  around ,, hey go to the falls in moal bhoal vey nice we spent 1 day  there had a good time,,  hard trail to the top bring good hiking shoes  or go on your but like my wife did with flip flops on OK later hope to  hear from u will chat   ttfn regards Bill and marra 

  40. Back up to the cloud… I use Dropbox.  I also have an i5 Laptop that is basically stupid I use LogMeIn to connect to my real computers at home.  We had 2 (failed) attempts at a break-in in 3 months at our 5th floor apartment in Manila.

    1. The building has a locked metal door at the bottom but anyone who is tall can reach over and release the lock (not good).  But each floor has a metal security gate that is usually locked.  In the one case, people had not closed the gate… in the other, it seems he had a key… perhaps a former tennant or trusted person (it was found on the floor).  I asked if all the floors were “keyed alike” and we have never gotten an answer.  I should have just tried each floor myself. No, there is no CCTV but there are cams on the street oprated by the Barangay… but since there was nothing stolen, they said they would not investigate. I am back in Toronto now but my GF is still there. I will return in the fall.

    2. How did they try to get in on the 5th floor, from inside the building or out?  Did neighbors notice them?  Any CCTV footage?

  41. i had a good friend that died at a very young age/car accident.we lived in a very small town and at his visitation someone ripped his place off for quite a bit of electronics and just about anything of value…talk about a piece of work of a puke/thief…sad sad sad.thanks for vids and keep punchin’…

  42. Well you seem calm man!Well do not be surprise that they have knife and shit and they use it also when they get corned…so much better that way..

  43. Was your apartment in Panagsama or Moalboal town?   Basdako, aka “White Beach” is probably the safest place to stay.  Sorry that happened.  

    Did you talk to the police?   Officer Romel Gako is trustworthy, if you need/want to deal with the police

    Hope youre enjoying Dumaguete

  44. Living in these areas is risky without security. Especially with poor people around you, they see you as a target. It happens everywhere. I am a pinoy too with dual citizenship but I have been a victim too not once but several times. Be careful and vigilant against those desperate souls. Put extra locks on your doors and maybe invest in a cheap audible intrusion alarm too. A small cheap alarm that emits a loud noise will usually scare those robbers away as it will attract attention and wake up the neighbors.

  45. ok  sad  but  happens 2 us all    …   met any corrupt police yet  ..  like he not wearing a helmet but wants 1000   cuz u have not got one   my filipino just passed her test / exams  told me its 1500 fine  i thought it was 150   . loosing scootter number plate  the big pain

  46. So%y to hear about the rob my man hope you get everything back. Glad to hear that I wont be going there to rent. I am trying to get things hear for me to come live there. I want to live in cebu and I am trying to save for the trip there and have m oney for rent too. Maybe you can tell me if vet can get hospital .

  47. The difference here and in the states is that they specifically scoped you out for burglary. They are probably neighbors which is worse. In the states people burglarize at random hoping the homeowner is away or the car owner is no where in sight. Anyway good that they only managed to steal a few token items. Sounds like Harry Houdini getting through those window bars.

    1. Oh wow sorry to hear that Henry.Older folks should elevate the minds of kids not put them up to steal people’s property.That’s why sometimes just better to wave and say goodbye to these women. They can be like snake in the grass.

    2. @Wayne Samuel i found out a few months after i moved, from an expat who got the chismis.. it was a few teenager friends of a woman i had met there, who happened to be the town lunatic.  just my luck.  she was the one who told them to wait in the dark until i left to get dinner in town.

    1. @easymoneynch i had a 3 month lease.  but the landlord (austrian guy, i think) refunded my 2 months back he felt bad about the place having one window that could be broken into.  it was a small window that even i thought was too small for a person to get through.  but even so, he was cool about it and so i went on my way from moalboal to dumaguete.  i’ve long since then replaced the ignition keyset to my motorbike.

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