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Old 18-08-2016, 04:06   #286
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
My point is that risk is everywhere..... but certain communities, not just the whole country.....carry the higher risk and deserve far more care and vigilance.
No, the whole country of the Philippines carries a higher risk and deserves vigilance - or rather: avoidance.

Until (and if) they get their act together.
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Old 18-08-2016, 04:18   #287
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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No, the whole country of the Philippines carries a higher risk and deserves vigilance - or rather: avoidance.

Until (and if) they get their act together.
After spending over 1 year cruising the Philippines and knowing two of the guys kidnapped, I'm in agreeance Pelagic.

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Old 18-08-2016, 04:22   #288
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

The fact is that there has been a long-running and well-known insurgency in Mindanao that has had a tendency to spill over from purely political goals to merely financial ones. In any case, this has been a known commodity since at least the late 1990s. I remember as a journalist in Asia covering Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and at least a few attacks on yachties in the Sulu Sea. Things were quiet for awhile, and people slipped through the area with no problems. Now, it seems to have hotted up again, as the Brits would say.

Avoidance is the new watchword. But so is realism. Certain parts of the southern Philippines are worth avoiding, but not the whole country necessarily ... as much as I'd like to make a political statement about Duerte. Besides, we have Trump.
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Old 18-08-2016, 05:27   #289
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

I agree with Sneuman, there are definite places to avoid, but those areas are well known, just as you would know the same in your own country.

I believe that when you assess communities from an anchorage you tend to get a pretty narrow view.

I have had homes in the Philippines since 2001 and found that the majority of families have at least one relative working overseas.

They appreciate the income but also love their own country and have an accepting relationship with western foreigners... (Especially the older Filipinos)

I think the disenchantment of the Millennial generation is universal... and that is what we are feeling.

My girlfriend and I did a 6 week road trip all thru the Visayas, staying at a lot of small communities

We took normal precautions as any traveller, but never once felt that we were in danger.

I would hate to think that the fear of the unknown would prevent someone from enjoying different cultures and economic levels.
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Old 30-08-2016, 11:27   #290
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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No, the whole country of the Philippines carries a higher risk and deserves vigilance - or rather: avoidance.

Until (and if) they get their act together.
That is not fair.
The philippines is a big place, with more than 7000 islands and 100 million people.
While it has its problems, for the most part it is a safe country for travellers. Crime and other problems in the Philippines are about average for the world. It is also a beautiful place, with incredibly friendly people in general.
If you cannot handle that tragic incidents happen in one corner of a country, then you can hardly live anywhere.
The US, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, even Scandinavia have had terror and tragedies lately.
If you need to be perfectly safe, you probably have to stay in bed, pillow over head...!


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Old 30-08-2016, 14:33   #291
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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That is not fair.
The philippines is a big place, with more than 7000 islands and 100 million people.
While it has its problems, for the most part it is a safe country for travellers. Crime and other problems in the Philippines are about average for the world. It is also a beautiful place, with incredibly friendly people in general.
If you cannot handle that tragic incidents happen in one corner of a country, then you can hardly live anywhere.
The US, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, even Scandinavia have had terror and tragedies lately.
If you need to be perfectly safe, you probably have to stay in bed, pillow over head...!


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I appreciate your point of view, however as someone who lived in the PI for almost a decade straight - I saw all sorts of things. A hotel owner who made it good but then got kidnapped and most likely buried in a cement plant, his partner, a neighboor who was chopped up and put into a gym bag because the neighborhood boys wanted his iPhone. Numerous killing from 'kill squads' for business reasons - where two guys drive up on a motorbike (with helmets) and shoot you in the head - can't tell you how many bodies I've seen on the street outside a market etc.

Then there is the guy I barhopped with who was shot to death with his girlfriend in their bed (money), the girl that was brutally gang raped and tossed out in the street in the morning (dead) a km from my house, the western woman who 'hung' herself in the jail cell - who was there because she was trying to uncover corruption on her website, the guy that was shot down the street exchanging money during the day, the couple that were stopped 2 blocks from my house and kidnapped (never saw him again). Or the famous one where the local handyman was going into foreigners houses killing them for their electronics - how many did he get? 7 or 8?

Or the main road that leads to the nightlife - how many old guys have been beaten or shot on it in the last 10 years for whatever money in their pockets?

In 10 years I saw exactly ONE Filipino get charged for any of these murders.. He's currently in jail but due to family connections it's likely nothing will ever come of it. EVERY OTHER major crime and murder just doesn't get investigated unless the family ponies up the money to pay the police to conduct one. They just don't care about foreigner murders.

This is in my small town (not Manila). I could honestly go on and on.

Yes the PI has beautiful beaches, and sure there are nice people. I'm saying I would stay away (knowing what I know) because there is an underlying belief that every foreigner is rich and it's okay to get whatever they can get. If they rob or scam you they just think they're 'smarter than you' for having gotten away with it. If you happen to have money or have done something successful you're marked as well. The Chinese guy that opened a successful hardware store and was kidnapped and held for 100k ransom. Or even the cops that grab you from your home and ride you around in a van with no windows until you pony up the money from the ATM for fake charges.

In a country with little justice and a lot of envy, and many impoverished people you are simply always a target. NOT every country is like this - sure there are some - (Rio springs to mind as do parts of Africa) but in Asia all the neighboring countries are not similar - Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Indonesia, etc.. They are not like the Philippines.

Best of luck.
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Old 30-08-2016, 15:06   #292
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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I appreciate your point of view, however as someone who lived in the PI for almost a decade straight - I saw all sorts of things. A hotel owner who made it good but then got kidnapped and most likely buried in a cement plant, his partner, a neighboor who was chopped up and put into a gym bag because the neighborhood boys wanted his iPhone. Numerous killing from 'kill squads' for business reasons - where two guys drive up on a motorbike (with helmets) and shoot you in the head - can't tell you how many bodies I've seen on the street outside a market etc.

Then there is the guy I barhopped with who was shot to death with his girlfriend in their bed (money), the girl that was brutally gang raped and tossed out in the street in the morning (dead) a km from my house, the western woman who 'hung' herself in the jail cell - who was there because she was trying to uncover corruption on her website, the guy that was shot down the street exchanging money during the day, the couple that were stopped 2 blocks from my house and kidnapped (never saw him again). Or the famous one where the local handyman was going into foreigners houses killing them for their electronics - how many did he get? 7 or 8?

Or the main road that leads to the nightlife - how many old guys have been beaten or shot on it in the last 10 years for whatever money in their pockets?

In 10 years I saw exactly ONE Filipino get charged for any of these murders.. He's currently in jail but due to family connections it's likely nothing will ever come of it. EVERY OTHER major crime and murder just doesn't get investigated unless the family ponies up the money to pay the police to conduct one. They just don't care about foreigner murders.

This is in my small town (not Manila). I could honestly go on and on.

Yes the PI has beautiful beaches, and sure there are nice people. I'm saying I would stay away (knowing what I know) because there is an underlying belief that every foreigner is rich and it's okay to get whatever they can get. If they rob or scam you they just think they're 'smarter than you' for having gotten away with it. If you happen to have money or have done something successful you're marked as well. The Chinese guy that opened a successful hardware store and was kidnapped and held for 100k ransom. Or even the cops that grab you from your home and ride you around in a van with no windows until you pony up the money from the ATM for fake charges.

In a country with little justice and a lot of envy, and many impoverished people you are simply always a target. NOT every country is like this - sure there are some - (Rio springs to mind as do parts of Africa) but in Asia all the neighboring countries are not similar - Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Indonesia, etc.. They are not like the Philippines.

Best of luck.
Being married to a woman from Manila, and also spending many years living there off and on, unfortunately I can not argue with any of the incidences you have mentioned. It is true that a foreigner caught up in any legal situation is going to lose, regardless if they are the perpetrator, victim or just a innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. Filipinos take care of Filipinos, plain and simple. Many might find that to be politically incorrect. So be it. It is the truth nonetheless.

With that said, for every incident you cite, there are so many more who have lived there for many years without a single issue. Not all expats live near the "Nightlife" districts, but even many that do, have done so with little issue. Of course I don't recall any of them owning yachts, except one guy who does charters on his.

Maybe the President will be able to clean things up, if even a little bit. Time will tell.
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Old 30-08-2016, 15:15   #293
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Being married to a woman from Manila, and also spending many years living there off and on, unfortunately I can not argue with any of the incidences you have mentioned. It is true that a foreigner caught up in any legal situation is going to lose, regardless if they are the perpetrator, victim or just a innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. Filipinos take care of Filipinos, plain and simple. Many might find that to be politically incorrect. So be it. It is the truth nonetheless.

With that said, for every incident you cite, there are so many more who have lived there for many years without a single issue. Not all expats live near the "Nightlife" districts, but even many that do, have done so with little issue. Of course I don't recall any of them owning yachts, except one guy who does charters on his.

Maybe the President will be able to clean things up, if even a little bit. Time will tell.
Again - every country has bad crap happen. No doubt. My purpose was just to say there is a culture of corruption at all levels in the PI. If you marina in Phuket or someplace in the PI there are different levels of threat to consider. In Thailand (believe it or not) there is a system of justice in place - you can take someone to court, you can have them tried for murder of a foreigner etc. In the PI you simply can't.

Yeah - the president will clean things up - how many thousands are already dead in just the last 2 months from his encouraged extrajudicial shootings? I think he's offering what - 20,000p for each person shot dead, less if you only wound them? Under New Philippine President, Hundreds Have Died In Extrajudicial Killings : NPR

I'm 'sure' this isn't being abused to settle personal issues.. ehm.. tape their heads, shoot them, dump them with a sign that says 'drugs' and that's the end of the matter... YEAH! Justice..

Anyway, guess we will agree to disagree. No hard feelings.
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Old 30-08-2016, 17:46   #294
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Wow underthesea! I am amazed you survived 10 years!

I avoid red light places like Angeles City for that very reason....been there maybe 4 days in 16 years.

Hear stories all the time about the slime that live there and the expats who slide around in it.

I agree..Lots of "extra judicial" murders are in the Filipino psyche, mainly because that is all they have known from various Administrations and conquerors.

Worthwhile read for anyone who is interested in living harmoniously with Filipinos

https://www.amazon.com/Cultureshock-.../dp/B00DJZQM32
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Old 31-08-2016, 06:14   #295
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Again - every country has bad crap happen. No doubt. My purpose was just to say there is a culture of corruption at all levels in the PI. If you marina in Phuket or someplace in the PI there are different levels of threat to consider. In Thailand (believe it or not) there is a system of justice in place - you can take someone to court, you can have them tried for murder of a foreigner etc. In the PI you simply can't.

Yeah - the president will clean things up - how many thousands are already dead in just the last 2 months from his encouraged extrajudicial shootings? I think he's offering what - 20,000p for each person shot dead, less if you only wound them? Under New Philippine President, Hundreds Have Died In Extrajudicial Killings : NPR

I'm 'sure' this isn't being abused to settle personal issues.. ehm.. tape their heads, shoot them, dump them with a sign that says 'drugs' and that's the end of the matter... YEAH! Justice..

Anyway, guess we will agree to disagree. No hard feelings.
Oh, no hard feelings at all. As I said, we are not in total disagreement, I just do not think that things are as bad as I sense that you feel they are. I certainly do not condone the extrajudicial killings. My opinion is that it is more of a purge of those who can implicate members of the Government, Police and Military who have enriched themselves through illicit means. My reference was to Duterte's push to root out corruption in the government. On this I hope that he is sincere and successful. Threatening to declare martial law if the Supreme Court doesn't butt out is certainly not a promising start.

In the end, we will likely retire in the area. We are just not sure where.
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Old 31-08-2016, 07:15   #296
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

I was sorry to hear about Underthesea and all the violence he encountered. He must have been either most unlucky, or perhaps settled in one of the dodgiest parts of the entire country. I guess most countries and cities will have some troubled areas.
I live in a quiet, residential part of the Visayas (central Philippines) and never had anything untoward happening to myself or anyone I know personally. Well except for the way lots of people try to trick you out of money... but I'm used to that now, and hardly even care. I'm aware of the problems with corruption etc, but it has not been a problem in practice. Overall it is a good life.

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Old 31-08-2016, 13:47   #297
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Its good to be aware of issues but they can also be seen out of context. Go to many countries around the world and there are issues. I recall visiting a friend in Northern Ireland about 15 years ago and being warned how I would probably be beaten up, shot or tarred and feathered. In fact, I found the people warm and friendly and Catholics/Protestants drinking together in the local ale house.
In South Africa I have seen the opposite - yotties raving about how wonderful it is (and it can be) whilst they have not been subjected to being stabbed, shot, raped or mugged.
I was in Aden whilst Yemen was partially in flames yet saw nothing different in the port to what I had seen previously yet there was a war going on and a few month later Aden was attacked.

A few bad apples should not prevent you visiting but it must be appreciated that those same bad apples can really have a nasty affect on you if you come into contact with them inadvertently.

The point is we can not blanket judge places - we can only make a judgement that makes us comfortable at that particular moment based on our risk acceptance and information that is to hand.

I have only heard / read positive things about the Philippines and its people from other yotties.


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I was sorry to hear about Underthesea and all the violence he encountered. He must have been either most unlucky, or perhaps settled in one of the dodgiest parts of the entire country. I guess most countries and cities will have some troubled areas.
I live in a quiet, residential part of the Visayas (central Philippines) and never had anything untoward happening to myself or anyone I know personally. Well except for the way lots of people try to trick you out of money... but I'm used to that now, and hardly even care. I'm aware of the problems with corruption etc, but it has not been a problem in practice. Overall it is a good life.

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Old 20-09-2016, 09:45   #298
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Norwegian Freed Today, Duterte Takes Credit - Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Just heard by word of mouth about an attack on a Marina and hostages taken.
Anyone have any details true or not.
From what I have gathered, local news stations have reported today that, of the 4 taken on Samal Island, the last survivor, a Norwegian, was freed today.

Apparently, a ransom was paid of about $600,000, but the Norwegian government denies that it had anything to do with a ransom payment - typical of such situations.

Interestingly, Duterte joked that maybe "my bank" paid the ransom. Perhaps he's finally trying to show that, despite his claims that he doesn't "give a ****" about the world's opinion of the current, mass murders, he does care somewhat that the Samal abductions and the recent bombing in Davoa have shown that he has had a hard time controlling his own turf, not to mention protecting foreigners and his own city residents, despite all the rhetoric and extrajudicial killings nationwide.

Today, he also asked the nation to allow him another 6 mos. to rid the country of all drug dealers and users, when, initially, he had pledged to resign if that had not been done in his first six mos. Manila's Cardinal had some choice words to utter about that promise.

Duterte also claimed that the Norwegian's release was due to an offensive that he launched using the PNP and the Armed forces in Basilan and Jolo Islands. He further warned the military today that his "next war", would be against "terrorism", and he inferred that it would be an unending war, and the military should be ready to carry it on, even "after his time". Wonder where he got that idea.

Getting back to the main topic, as most readers probably know, two Canadians of the 4 original hostages were beheaded, and a Philippina (presumably the girlfriend of the Norwegian) was released earlier. But Duterte has not yet claimed responsibility for any of that (joke).

Some of the above is word of mouth info, so feel free to comment or correct as needed.

Regards all,

G2L

PS - Perhaps, in another forum, we should start a yachtties take on Duterte thread, no?
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Old 20-09-2016, 14:19   #299
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

No! We are guests living in a poor country and should not be testing the thickness of the President's skin.
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Old 20-09-2016, 14:28   #300
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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No! We are guests living in a poor country and should not be testing the thickness of the President's skin.
Hit the nail on the head.
Filipinos have always been sensitive to outsiders voicing opinions on how their politics work.
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