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1. Posted by batfink (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y

batfink has indicated that this thread is about Philippines

Hi all

I am in the process of applying to volunteer in Tacloban City in the Philippines in March/April 2007.

I was very excited about this but this has been abit dampened since I visited the UK Foreign Office website and saw the travel advice about the Philippines ie high risk of terrorism.

The logical part of my brain is saying:

  • Take with a pinch of salt as they have to warn citizens of worst possibilities
  • Most risk is in the area which I am not going ie Mindanao
  • The UK is on a 'severe' warning so I am no safer at home than over there
  • Other destinations ie Morroco and Egypt have similar risk levels and people I know have safely travelled to both recently

The less logical part of my brain is panicking and saying:

  • It could happen to me
  • Even worse, it could happen to my sister who is coming with me and trusting me to look after her
  • We will be in and out of Manila airport which is at a higher risk
  • What if...?

Has anyone faced similar dilemas before travelling as I understand that the Philippines isn't the only country in South East Asia facing these threats?

I am obviously not looking for anyone to say "go" or "don't go", just some well informed opinions please!!!

Thanks
Grace

2. Posted by fire_lady (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

Im a Filipina and it makes me sad that tourist are afraid to go to our country because of this.
Philippines is not the only place in the world with this situation. Our authorities are doing their job well to protect its people and its visitors.
And in fact our airport authorities doubled their security to ensure safe travel in and out the country.

3. Posted by AnaBrown (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

Hi Batfink

I am a Filipina too but staying in Canada for some years now. I myself have the thought of that when I decided to go home to Philippines last year and even on other location like Mexico or Hawaii or wherever. It's normal that you may think of the worst thing that can happen.

Check this site I found for you. http://www.blancsablon.com/Philippines/city/tacloban/tacloban-city-philippines.html

See the wonderful place and do not think of terrorists or any harm that can happen to you cause even if you are in USA, you can still be bombed or hijacked

Only think I would make you think is.... DO NOT TRUST THE WEATHER. ...especially where you're going. No one can be safe when nature gets mad.

Enjoy!

4. Posted by Armi (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Hi.. Thank you for volunteering to the Philippines. Considering the economic situation that my country is in now, we need extra hands and resources to help us.

I have travelled and roamed around Mindanao very recently. Peace and order situation is generally safe. The press managed to hype the situation. Same with Tacloban, I suppose. Just take necessary precautions, never let you properties unattended, never flash big amounts of money in public, lock your doors, etc. If volunteering in Tacloban is your heart's desire don't let fear, bad press or some other bumps on the road stop you

Best of luck to you and your endeavors.

5. Posted by LaNdIn (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Hello, I spent the month of May in Leyte, Samar, Cebu, and parts of Manila. The majority of the time was spent in Tacloban. I stayed at Leyte Park resort for about a week when the bill came it was a bit higher than it should have been. The employees are very pleasant and helpful. Tacloban as a city took a bit getting use to. All the trycle drivers are looking to make a days wage with your 3 block trip! The restaurants are GREAT! Check out ocho's. Its a fantastic place that you could eat eat 3 times a day for a week and still try new dishes. About the people. It took a couple of weeks to get use to people's stare. I realized after meeting some locals that they don't get to see many YOUNG westerns. Most are over 50 and looking for a wife. :) The beer is cheap, 4:20 is a time understood by only a few(like 1 person). Never fan into one problem the whole time!!

6. Posted by makulit (Budding Member 40 posts) 8y

As I always say, it's much easier for anyone of us to get hit by a bus than being a victim of a terrorist attack. I was born in the Philippines and spent 20 years of my life there before migrating to the US and I come home every year. Not once did I feel that I was in danger of a terrorist attack. In fact, I was there when there was an "insurrection" last February. Like any other political disturbance it's just a big show. That is to say, nothing life threatening is going to happen. Actually, I even went to Camiguin and that's in Mindanao. My friends and I travelled by bus, ferry and jeepney and there really isn't any threat. Honestly, I feel more anxious during an office fire drill.

7. Posted by makulit (Budding Member 40 posts) 8y

Hi batfink,

As I always say, it's much easier for anyone of us to get hit by a bus than being a victim of a terrorist attack. I was born in the Philippines and spent 20 years of my life there before migrating to the US and I come home every year. Not once did I feel that I was in danger of a terrorist attack. In fact, I was there when there was an "insurrection" last February. Like any other political disturbance in the Philippines it's just a big show. That is to say, nothing life threatening is going to happen. Actually, I even went to Camiguin and that's in Mindanao. My friends and I travelled by bus, ferry and jeepney and there really isn't any threat. Honestly, I feel more anxious during an office fire drill.

Note: Sorry for the double post. I didn't mean to. My connection timed out. So I clicked the submit button twice. My apologies.

[ Edit: Edited at Nov 11, 2006 10:13 PM by makulit ]

8. Posted by audblsmile (Budding Member 13 posts) 8y

I'm an american, living in the Philippines and traveling around whenever I get the chance. I've lived here for four years and never had any threat of terrorism. While its always necessary to be sensible about the things you are doing, I'd say that the Philippines is not a threatening country to travellers/tourists. My recommendation (and one you'd hear from others too) is to stay clear of the more isolated islands in the south. But that leaves thousands of other fantastic islands in this archipelago to be explored and enjoyed.

9. Posted by batfink (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y

Thank you for the advice everyone, after much deliberation and telling myself not to over react etc, I am still going. 15 weeks tomorrow and I can't wait!

10. Posted by makulit (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Glad to hear that batfink! We'd like to know what you think about the Philippines. Hope you enjoy your stay! : )