You need to be alert and street smart at all times here in the Philippines just like in any other city in the world including the USA.
Manila is very crowed and has too much crime for me. There is some in Cebu City also; My wife and I were shopping once in Cebu City looking for an internet device called an AirCard gives you internet access. We went in and out of a few shops when Marianne suddenly said lets get out of here NOW, we started walking and she was really going she yelled at me “faster”. It turned out two guys had been following us staying close by and when we left one store they would follow and stop at the store next to the one we were in. I never found out what they wanted, likely to get us in a dark area and rob us. We decided not to wait around and find out. That does happen here as it does in any US city.
I have heard lately that there are sometimes rogue taxis and they drive you out of the way then rob you and leave you in the street, but I have never run into one yet. I think it is not wide spread thought. When you get into a taxi the first thing you should do is look for his taxi license it is often displayed along with his photo and his name, I would try to remember this, even writing it down. I feel a lot safer if I see his photo and name displayed openly in the cab. If he turned out to be a rogue cab you likely have his name and photo for easy identification. I make it a point to talk to the drivers I travel with so that I get a good look at their faces. When I go to Cebu or Manila I always travel in a crowd or with a body guard who is usually one of my relatives here . Don’t let this scare you I think there is much more crime in any city in the US than you will find here just be street smart and alert and you will likely never see any of this. I was once kind of mugged in a bathroom once a guy asked me for money and he and I were the only ones in there. I pulled out 50 pesos but he said 500 pesos, I told him I didn’t have that much but had maybe 300 pesos in my wallet, he wanted it all. then he left in a hurry. This is the only time anything like this has happened to me, and a time I let my guard down. Now I always make sure the bathroom is crowded with people or one that I can lock the door with only me in it. However Bogo where we live has very little crime, there is some but not much. Good luck with your travels in the Philippines and remember to be “Street Smart”.
Two recent incidents have prompted me to make a list of Dos and Don’t s One American arrested for filming 7 girls topless in a tent three of which turned out to be minors. And another Canadian who was robbed on a back street where he had wandered off to explore, should have never gone there but apparently did not know the risks.
Always travel with several others if at all possibel, there is protection in a crowd.
Get a body guard, a good one is a relative he is more likely to take care of you in a tricky situation.
Do your banking in a secure area like a bank or an ATM with a guard close by.
Be courteous at all times.
Be alert to anyone following you on the street or in the malls. If you see this report it to a police if you see one or simply get out of there.
Know your friends habits well so you don’t end up getting arrested for his stupidity. You never know these days.
When traveling on an aircraft always carry a money belt if carrying cash wear it around your waist under your undergarments. Placing large sums of money in your pocket it just asking for it to be taken away from you. One American I know kept several thousand in his shorts pocket then slept on the plane, when he woke up it was gone. Someone know he had that possible he was counting it in the cabin.
Don’t wander off into back streets especially at night We know a Canadian who recently got robbed that way just too easy.
Don’t count your money while walking on the street it alerts possible robbers that you are carrying cash..
Don’t associate with minors other than to say Hi! if you are so inclined.
Don’t use foul language in public it makes us all look bad Filipinos will believe we are all like that.
Do not show anger in public especially while driving a car, it’s their country and they do things differently.
Be careful with your free time DON’T video tape topless girls even in a tent, one American did this recently, he’s in jail now. IT turned out 3 were underage so now he is facing trafficking of persons charge.
Don’t borrow money from the locals one American did this and got his teeth knocked out by a bat one night, it turns out he was not paying anyone back so there was a mini hit on him.
If you are renting a cottage on the beach, don’t leave valuables lying around. These cabins are very easy to get into , all attendants have a master keys and some of them are not honest. We know an American who left a laptop near a cottage window with slatted glass windows, these can be easily removed from the outside and valuables stolen.