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Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

4 posts
2 reviews
Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

Hello,

Me and my wife are backpacking around the Philippines for 4 weeks.

We are sticking to the main travelling routes around Manila, Cebu, Bohol, Puerto Princesa, El Nido etc

We have read a lot on the news recently about terrorism and kidnapping and we are a bit worried about not being able to relax and enjoy the time we have there. I know it's mainly in the south but I'm already thinking hiring out mopeds is a bad idea and not to keen on traveling through south of Cebu.

My wife with her bright blonde hair is worried than myself but I'm concerned enough to post this.

Are we worrying about nothing or is there a serious problem out there at the moment?

I know nowhere is safe these days and just as likely to happen in London but thought I'd ask for a bit of reassurance hopefully from people currently there or that have just got back.

We land on Christmas Eve 2017

Thanks in advance.

32 replies to this topic
Puerto Galera...
Level Contributor
5,940 posts
29 reviews
1. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

since the last kidnapping of a foreigner ( not a tourist) 2 years ago there have been numerous bombings and mass killings including targeting children, church goers, country music fans, market shoppers, fireworks display viewers, gay clubbers and tourists from numerous countries affected. Plus in London about a thousand people sprayed with acid.

Of course none of those incidents or anything like that has happened here -

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
27,922 posts
2,404 reviews
2. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

I'd be a lot more concerned about other parts of the world than the Philippines.

Manila, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
Level Contributor
20,562 posts
254 reviews
3. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

Unlike in many parts in Europe and the United States where threats became a reality and it looks like there are many more to come based from intelligence reports, the threats you read about Cebu remains to be a threat and nothing more.

Philippines
Destination Expert
for Cebu City, Philippines, Cebu Island
Level Contributor
5,836 posts
680 reviews
4. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

the last time I did canyoneering sometime this year, around 1/3 were foreigners: asians, caucasians, african americans. Blondes included. Moalboal guests were mostly foreign, based on a friday.

The same applies with the whaleshark activity: around 1/3 were foreigners on a weekend, higher percentage during weekdays.

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
15,747 posts
163 reviews
5. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

Stay away from areas of Mindanao as there have been recent killings of foreigners for assorted reasons

Manila has also been recently ranked a dangerous city, but again if in the tourist areas all see fine.

We travel all over and are on guard and cautious, but still enjoy what the Philippines has to offer.

Puerto Princesa...
Level Contributor
8,946 posts
549 reviews
6. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

I have lived in Palawan for over 20 years and safety issues never occur to me. Also i have not noticed any difference with all the embassy warnings. FYI El Nido is crowded at the moment.

Cebu City...
Destination Expert
for Cebu City, Cebu Island
Level Contributor
12,731 posts
53 reviews
7. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

not to keen on traveling through south of Cebu.

---------------------

The warning about South Cebu was discredited the day it came out but people are still referring to it almost a year later.

If you think that anything bad has happened in South Cebu, please provide links.

The most dangerous thing you are likely to encounter from your trip to South Cebu is injuries from canyoneering, being run into by a tourist on a moped, having a coconut fall on your head and developing a longing to return just as soon as you can.

4 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

Well it sounds as we thought, the news and government pages are over reacting. We traveled SE Asia for 2 months last year and it was the best time of our lives and we just want this to be like that again. Thanks for your answers.

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
15,747 posts
163 reviews
9. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

Every place is safe until its not safe anymore after an attack. The warnings are really about future or possible threats, what people talk about here are past experiences Sadly, past experiences overall are not necessarily a good predictive of future attacks.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
11,491 posts
2,319 reviews
10. Re: Is the Philippines safe for travel Dec 2017

leftovertoo is correct that one can never be completely certain about the future and yes, it is possible that anywhere in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu or elsewhere could be targeted by Islamic terrorists.

However travellers have not stopped visiting London or France, or indeed Melbourne or Sydney in my small (population wise) country of Australia, and yet all these localities have had terrorist incidents within the past three years. In London's case, there have been repeated attacks.

In contrast, thus far, Philippines has been safe for travellers unless one wants to stray and visit southwestern Mindanao, or in more recent times Marawi City.

We cannot provide an absolute assurance of complete safety to anyone but what I can suggest with confidence is that 'it is better to travel than to arrive' and that if we all stay at home, after a period boredom will set in. Far better to travel, experience other cultures - in this case the welcoming smiles from numerous Filipinos - and become enriched in the process. I have never had any security worries in numerous trips to the land of 7107 islands so for me, the past is some guide to the future.

Edited: November 06, 2017, 7:41 pm
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