I am thinking about doing some volunteering this summer on a project in the Philippines. The project is mainly based around Cebu, Bohol and a few other islands in that area.
Having looked at the travel advice on the British Foreign Office website I am now a little apprehensive about it. Various websites say that there is conisdered to be a high threat of terrorism throughout the Philippines. It also says there is a threat of kidknapping of particularly of westerners.
The main areas that keep being mentioned as the main problem areas are Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. The project I am on does not visit these places, however the websites do say that problems can be found throughout the Philippines. I know that often these government websites do portray a worst case scenario so that they have themselves covered, however I can't help but feel that there is no smoke without fire and there must be some problems in the Philippines for the governments to set such strict advice.
I am posting on here to try and get some advice from people who either live, have lived or have travelled to and experienced the Philippines in recent years, preferably in the Cebu/Bohol region.
I look forward to your replies!
[ Edit: Edited on 09-Jan-2011, at 09:28 by robbiew121 ]
I wouldn't worry! I've been already three times to the Philippines (even to the so called dangerous Mindanao region...), and I never felt unsafe!!
And a threat of kidnapping westerners?? As long as you stay away of politics and the christianising of innocent people, nobody will harm you.
Enjoy your stay in the Philippines, and especially Bohol: stay away from the beaches, rent a motobike and explore the island, I'm sure you'll come back very soon to this paradise island.
I saw your post via Twitter as I follow Travellers Point! Most of my family live in the Philippines so I have knowledge of the country. Just like any country there is trouble and you mentioned you have concerns about the Mindanao and Sulu Regions - there is ongoing trouble here but in remote parts. As long as you stay in main areas you'll be fine,just research into it - far South west islands are not recommended to be honest but Mindanao is beautiful and should be explored. Do you have twitter? i can put you in contact with someone who lives in the South who could give you some great advice!
[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]
I lived in Batangas and Manila for a year, and I never had any trouble. You just have to have some street sense. Don't wear expensive clothes/jewelery. Don't have a big mouth, and don't talk down to the locals.
The problems in MIndanao rarely reach up north. They are nothing to worry about in and around Cebu. In fact, Cebu will be crawling with foreign tourists. You'll become comfortable very quickly.
The Philippines is an amazing country. There really is no other place like it. Go! Have fun. You won't regret it.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Thanks so much for your replies guys, they really are helpful and reassuring. I did think that this would be the case. As with anywhere if you're sensible and careful hopefully there shouldnt be a problem!
Come here in the philippines you won't regret it Summer's coming am sure you're gonna enjoy the beautiful beaches of Cebu and Bohol. There are so many foreigners here mostly koreans, westerners...they're here for vacation some doing business...or studying...
and also almost everyone speaks and understand english here
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jan-2011, at 11:40 by nicesioc ]