The 3 Philippines You Will Encounter

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82 comments

  1. I’m enjoying your thinking out loud ūüôā
    Good video, and important for those new to Asia to keep in mind. Never been to Philippines, but Indonesia is just like this.

    SS

  2. This goes way back, but when I was in the US Navy in Subic the children would try to pick your pocket. There was this one kid whose fingers were so nimble he got my wallet half was out of my front shirt pocket before I grab my wallet. Another trick for back pants pockets is to use a razor blade and slit the pocket out comes your wallet. But even downtown Los Angeles is very know for pickpockets during the Christmas holidays. One has to have situation awareness or be victim.   

  3. Foriegner always = Target in some form or another. As long as you keep a keen eye out and act right you will be just fine. Common sense on steroids is the game.
    I’ve been all over the P.I. and I love it.¬†
    Try to work on video stability and external microphone would be great. Thanks for the reports Henry they are always fun to watch.

    1. Do you have a credible source for that? ¬†In most countries, the percentage is more like under 4% committing the majority of crimes in a given city. ¬†This is what I’ve been told by several police officers I’ve known over the years. ¬†To say that 50% of Filipino men are criminals sounds highly biased.

  4. I guess the 6 winters I spent¬†on Mactan Island¬†were mostly the “mundane” part. I spent a lot of time in the bars although I never had more than one beer a day.¬† I loved to meet sailors from Austrailia and¬†Finland. Muslims would hang out too….a lot of them guys from India getting training to be pilots. I never really got to know any of them very well. They would greet me when I said hi, but we didnt get in a lot of converstations¬†There are several¬†schools that train pilots on the island and a lot of the students are foriegn Muslim..¬†¬†Every white guy living¬†on Mactan¬†has a story and a life¬†before and after Cebu. Most of the stories are just regular lives, but that is what makes up the world.¬† I like going to the market, the grocery store, getting gashol for the stove etc.¬† When I retire there I hope to have enough resources to do a few tours and see some of the holiday spots.¬† I like to go to the ones the local people got to because they are price consious and get a lot of¬†holiday value¬†with their limited resources.¬† We had a great time at a little Island called the Virgin Island.¬† Good snorkling and the boat man only charged us about $5 for a six hour outing.¬† If I remember right we stayed on Santa Fe and got a nice cottage for about $35 a night.¬† Some of our party got one without AC for less than $20 a night.¬† I like to get money at the ATM at Puelbo Verda.¬† It is an open area with a policeman or two always on duty.¬† I try to carry only enough money to purchase what I plan on getting. One bar tender told me I would probably not get mugged because I had no gold jewelry, fancy watches or clothes and I looked poor.¬†He is partly right.¬† But I am a white guy and white guys are percieved to be rich. There are only a some streets I walk down alone at night and try to keep my wits about me.¬† The vast majority of the folks are honest, but there are a few questionable characters to watch out for.

  5. Excellent topic for another series Henry – everyday street smarts/self-defense tips for the new foreigner. ¬†I guess you’ve covered some of this in your other videos.

    1. Yes, I did a 5-part series on self-defense in the PH, pros and cons here… ¬†Self Defense When Overseas; Part 1 of 5 – Philippines

  6. Great channel you have started!  I was born and raised in Manila, however I am not nationally nor ethnically filipino.  I had a question comment or suggestion.  Do you ever go to Manila or do you know anyone like yourself in Manila that may be willing to contribute.  I am considering a move back to the Philippines and information on manila for myself and actual expats returning that are considering Manila may be very helpful.  Thank you very much for your time.

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines wow I’m watching you right now lol. What did you think of my question though? I understand you have followers and can’t answer all questions. But if you do find the tone if love to know where to get more info on Manila. Thanks!

  7. your videos are good. Im not scared of the pinoy thugs …not too many of them around…unless in manila. Then again Im a little crazy and certainly refuse to be scared. In my¬†4 trips there I had only one small problem. I am a martial arts instructor and therefore have a bit more confidence than some people. ¬†¬†I realize that as I grow older trips there could be a bit more dangerous. I will say that the lack of Pinball Machines there is disturbing to me . I don’t do Karaoke so billiard’s is the main agenda. My wife is purchasing property near Pinamunjan Cebu where I plan to build a vacation home. I realize that it will be impossible to build a game room like I have here so im not sure if I want to live there more than a few months at a time .

    1. you’re the man i wanna talk to! one main reason i’m moving to Ph is that its NOT legal to defend yourself in US! i found a Ph-lawyer-website CLEARLY stating that fist-fighting is LEGAL in Ph; my question is: what will REALLY happen to a USxpat who beats-up an asshole, or criminal, Fi? i can hear the ¬†lying cops, prosecutor, judge, now…’7yrs; next case!’

    2. I’ve seen some good pinball machines and devices for sale here in France but this stuff costs a lot to ship around.¬† Also, if it’s electric, it might not work from country to country.¬† I do like billiards just fine.¬† One good thing about, say, the famous Clignancourt flea markets in Saint-Ouen on the border of Paris is there are agents there who can pack, ship and insurance and take care of everything around the world.¬† I’ve heard it’s generally impossible for many foreigners to ever have citizenship in Asia and to own property.¬† I’m finding problems being an American in France, even though I became French long ago, own property here, work here and all.¬† I’ve had two banks fuss and close the accounts.¬† Or threaten to.¬† I’m unwilling to pay the new 450 dollar fee to renounce citizenship in the USA, necessary since ’10.

    3. I’m not big on living in the big cities or downtown. ¬†I like to visit for a week or so and then go back to the smaller islands and smaller cities. ¬†ūüôā

  8. Hi henry I just started a Facebook account. For the reasons of communicating with people and friends around the world. No person all information will be asked for or given.this is mainly for sharing recipes of the Cajun persuasion . it would be an honor if you would friend me.at crazyrezzy or Brett edwards

    1. I won’t do Facebook anymore but wish you luck!¬† The “Antilles” culture is pretty familiar here in France.¬† They absolutely cannot understand Kr√©ole, Canadian French or Cajun, but I do.¬† Have fun!

  9. I would think a¬†mundane part of living is welcome by many of us¬†who now cringe every time their boss ask them to stop by their office or wish they had a boss connected to a decent job. During this video I couldn’t help but think of your friend Ted who was stuck on paper umbrella mode. Carpe diem doesn’t always need to be action packed.

    1. For years I toiled in corporate America.  Hated every second!  I love Cebu!  Will move there soon.  I welcome the mundane and no more BS!!!

  10. Pickpocketting rarely happens in Dumaguete. But then again every country has its dark side its not only in the Philippines where dark alleys are dangerous.

    1. When it comes to poverty and lack of infrastructure, corruption.. I’d say they are very similar. ¬†Where they differ is that Filipino people are perhaps slightly more courteous as a nation than Mexico and the level of intensity of crime in the PH is lower. ¬†In Mexico, a high bar has been set by the murderous cartels that even local thugs try to live up to. ¬†None of that so much here even though they have ‘shabu’ it’s not like the cartels in Mexico for violence.

  11. I find that Americans take the Philippines in different ways. One fellow will not go anywhere without a body guard. I feel pretty safe, but then I grew up around Detroit. If you look and act like a victim then you probably will be one.

    Mostly don’t flaunt the gold jewelry in the seedy areas, and try to look like you belong where you are. It is better to travel the streets at night in groups as well.

    1. Good advice.¬† I had to warn an American visitor she ought not to “just wear my fanny pack” here in France.¬† It’s actually relatively safe but what a stupid thought!¬† Someone can just slice off, yank off or open a fanny pack, what an obvious thing!¬† I told everyone to leave photocopies of the relevent pages of their passports with me and back with someone with access to a fax in the States, to be prepared for a goof, to understand that “800” numbers to the States WILL NOT WORK USUALLY if they lose a card or have a bad charge, and not to be loud, carry a lot of cash (paying cash is best here and often required but I suggested they hide it neatly in my apartment and just take a bit and coins for the day),¬† and to ask in advance!¬† I lived in NYC for 17 years and not even getting info on the subway before a trip could get you isolated and mugged!¬† Ohio where I come from was potentially worse!¬†

  12. The biggest danger to health and limb in the PH is vehicular. ¬†That’s your biggest change of being injured or killed.

    Between the Kamikaze driven Jeeps without headlights and the 150CC scooters and trikes that can’t get out of their own way, you really have to be on your “A” game–especially if you ride. ¬† ¬†¬†

    1. I was already in the parking lot this morning, just turning to park my bike and two idiots on a scooter nearly side-swiped me going through the area at twice the speed of anyone else.  Some people are just plain stupid, and you gotta keep an eye out for them.

  13. Uprated, will share.¬† I left the USA at 37 when it became untenable, and settled in France over 20 years ago.¬† I had saved to study in Italy so I did know a bit about the Continent.¬† Unless you make a huge effort to assimilate, conform and inform yourself, it might not be agreeable or doable here.¬† After you learn the ropes, they love an eccentric and you can be yourself, but you still have to know what to do.¬† Never go to Europe or Scandinavia in July or August, and I just heard from a nice European contact who is often over here that even late June was kind of a mistake in Provence.¬† It’s hot, pricey, crowded — the traffic was driving him nuts.¬† This is a good video, it’s specific.¬† I’ve had guests here, usually American, who wouldn’t listen to me, thought they could keep up their habits, got sick, wrecked my home, yecch!¬† I resented some stuff here but eventually realized, no, actually fairly quickly, I had to learn the language and everything about life here.¬† I avoid package tours, also.¬† It usually actually isn’t easier or a better deal.¬† It might be the only way to taste a new country, and I did do it a few times, but you’re better off saving, researching, finding out a lot of information and managing for yourself.¬† Most expats don’t even last a year here and certainly not in Paris!¬† Which is kind of a stupid choice for a first visit to France, anyway.¬† I like your clear diction and details.¬† Good advice!

    1. i tried to make a comment there, not sure if he has them turned off for the general public or what. ¬†maybe a youtube glitch? ¬†anyway, couldn’t reply, i’ll try again later today.

  14. Very good points. My hobbies include most aspects of security: IT Security (which used to be my job as well), lockpicking and actual physical security through Martial Arts but also passive personal/physical security.
    A few habits I ve learnt over the years kept me safe quite a few times already and knowing in which environment you are is definitely the first step.
    There are a few drills I learnt from M. McYoung and R. Millers books that I believe are not too stressful (you can’t spend all your time worrying about your safety, it would be paranoid) and extremely efficient:
    1) Get familiar with any system based on Cooper’s colour code: If you are in a perfectly safe place (your home, doors are locked, there is no weird noise coming from outside), you are in green condition and you can be fully relaxed. If you are in a place where things can happen, you are in yellow condition and should start paying attention to your surroundings, if you see something concerning or if you are in a dangerous environment, you switch to red, you need to start thinking about how you will react if things go wrong (where is the nearest place with people wearing uniforms (running is often a good idea but running towards safety is always a better one…), what can you use to defend yourself, if you see a threat, how many people might get involved, on your side or against you…), black means that you need to act. This is my personal colour system since the Cooper’s one is a bit too military for my taste but I can say it works quite well.
    2) When you are out in the streets, notice one piece of clothes on each and every person you see (colour of their shirt, wristwatch…) this takes less than a week of doing it consciously before it becomes an unconscious habit. It can help noticing that someone is following you but I think the main benefit is that it forces you to notice people and might help you spot any weird behaviour (why is this guy hiding his right hand behind himself while walking in my direction?)
    3) Plan your itinerary. The most dangerous place in your city/village is always this slightly dark and narrow alley next to a busy area. It is often worth walking 5 minutes more rather than going through this kind of place. If you have no other choice, think of where you would hide if you were planing to mug someone, try not to walk too close to these hiding spots.

    Sorry for the long post, I believe in raising awareness when it comes to good safety practices.

    1. @Sam Toulouse¬†some people might call me paranoid, i just consider myself cautious ¬†(most of the time). ¬†i like the color code idea. ¬†me, i just have a habit of looking at everyone in sight at least once. ¬†i just want to know who is around me and if anyone is watching me. ¬†i also don’t want to miss a pretty girl in the vicinity either. ¬†ha! ¬†i guess you could call it routine profiling. ¬†i ask myself, “why does this person seem to be here?” ¬†in most case they are just shopping, out with their grandkids, getting a bite to eat, etc. ¬†but i think having this habit makes is easier to notice when “something just doesn’t look right”. ¬†why is that guy standing there so long? ¬†why is his hand in his coat pocket? ¬†what is he waiting for. ¬†and then, maybe his g/f he was waiting on shows up and it’s nothing. ¬†but.. better safe than sorry.

  15. Hallo ! I;m afraid of my country,be careful every time you go out even your in country side you are not be sure if you can go back your country,because there are mourderous people there,i hope your safe.

  16. Okay, your videos have the most real, thoughful information about the philippines.You sir, have one advantage, you are an American obviously, but a filippino would only know it when you speak. I am Mr. White Guy who everybody notices…it matters out in public. I am not a tourist anywhere, I am a traveller, a pilgrim in this world. Money is the big divider in all countries now and I think it is pretty much the same everywhere. Shrinking middle, a few very rich a very, very many poor…

    1. @Will Hart as a darker toned expat, i don’t stick out in a crowd. in fact i am often mistaken at first glance to be a filipino. but even that does not always work to any advantage. every so often i get “the glare” from older filipina women who assume i am a married filipino man out with my younger mistress. i’ve had several filipina g/f’s tell me that is what the issue is when we get those looks.

  17. yes, in Manila I had a child tap my pockets to see if I had money . my wife told me that he was looking to take my wallet . I used a neck pouch and never had any issues .
    I had the experience of being over charged in Manila too for the room I rented in the hotel . if possible , have someone else there make your reservations .

  18. Hey Henry, you are right on with your observations. I have lived in the Philippines 2 years out of the last 5, and heading back soon! Hope to meet up one day, you are doing a good service here!

  19. Sir try to visit on Batangas.That place is part of South Luzon.Maybe you can meet some people which is originally and pure tagalog language.And different attitude and character probably from where you at right now. I’am living in Oxnard California right now.But i originally come from Lipa City Batangas, i’am filipina.I haven’t say that my place was perfect, but try to visit there sometimes.You can find a nice beaches there.Maybe you can find some nice article,that you can added on your list.When you was there on part of North right now,just looked the other side of the country.Try to see the South.And you tell me what is the difference.Have you ever been in Mindoro Occidental? Thank you sir and god blessed.

  20. It’s the scamming side of that country that amazes me I am so glad I watched a ton of videos from people like you and Mike and others before I ever went down there I learned so much I had a death grip on my backpack the entire time and hidden money in places on me that I never thought I would LOL

  21. HI SIR, I AM LOOKING AT ALL YOUR VIDEO I LOVE IT. SIR I AM A BROWN SKIN CANADIAN LIVING IN GUYANA SOUTH AMERICA I HAVE A VERY GOOD JOB,I AM SINGLE I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MY OTHER FILIPINA HALF,I AM VERY GOOD MAN ,I AM THE CEO OF GUYTHEFCO,YOU HAVE MET ALOT OF BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD FILIPINA GIRLS,WHEN IS THE BEST LOW SEASON TO COME.

  22. I find all of your videos on the Philippines and interacting with the Filipinas really informative and helpful as sometime in the future I hope to be involved with a Filipina lady and its always good to be prepared. Thanks !

  23. I think the Philippines is a very safe place to visit. I spent 3 months there Even got married there. Absolutely loved. It’s much safer than Mexico or any South American or carribean country. Like the Dominican Republic for example where someone I know got shot in the face for her cellphone losing both eyes!! SMH

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