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Old 07-01-2012, 12:37   #16
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

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Originally Posted by Daddy's Dream View Post
rigormortis, I'm looking forward to see how your trip to Palawan goes.

Over the years I've made a lot of friends on Mindinao in the General Santos area that keep telling me to make sure I visit them if or rather when I make it to the Philippines. I would be single handling the boat and after reading this thread I would be very nervious about being there alone. I have always heard that the southern part of the islands wasn't safe for Americans, but the Northern part was somewhat safe. I've also heard there is a large American retirement community near Manila and another one at/or near Subic Bay. I'm not one to wonder around alone at night and I can see where going out to a local watering hole could mean major problems.

I hope this thread continues to grow.
For what it is worth, I have heard good things about Davao City and, to a lesser extent, General Santos, which is just sourth of Davao. Davao is technically the largest municipality in the Philippines, and the Davao/General Santos area of Mindanao is largely Catholic. Davao is building a big new yacht harbor, which you should learn more about.

Both Davao and GS are relatively affluent places, so it may be easier to "blend in" there than it is in other places. We have relatives in Zamboanga, which is largely Muslim and supposedly the most dangerous spot in the PI at the moment, however our relatives (a Catholic married to a Muslim, the two of them having produced numbers of kids together) say there is absolutely no danger down there. Well, guess that is kinda what you'd expect them to say : )

I have spent significant time in the north of Mindanao, which, like Davao, is a good part Catholic, and I have experienced nothing but "good vibes" up there.

Not sure what "retirement community" near Manila you mean, but there certainly is a big foreign retirment community in and around Subic. Of course, that is the kind of place that often attracts theives and hustlers.

So, while Subic Bay Yacht Club may be one of the safest moorings in the PI, watch out when touring around the girlie bars in Barrio Barretto. And, don't be overly open to every foreigner you meet. Some are much worse than most of the locals. PI's rep as the"Wild Wild East" has definitely attracted it's share of rather shady westerners who will be more than happy to part you from your cash through various schemes, "partnerships" and, especially, land deals.

To chime in on what was said above about not sailing alone, that advice seems worthy. In terms of being alone on the street, I wouldn't worry about that too much. Violent crime is much rarer here than it is in the US. The violent crime that does exist is big time crime (bank robberies and kidnapping of suspected or known, wealthy individuals). It is usually done by syndicates, not by some guy on the street, and the victims are not usually tourists. That said, you do need to be especially wary of pick pockets, and you don't want to set yourself up to be robbed by taking up some strange Philippino's offer of a poker game or a drink at some bar down a dark street. Just use common sense and keep 3 feet from you and anyone else on the sidewalk (if there is one) : )

Best regards,

G2L
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Old 07-01-2012, 13:44   #17
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

Gone2Long, Thanks for the info. As far as the American retirement communities, it is possible that my source was refering to the one at Subic when he said Manila. Subic isn't that far from Manila, (about a 3 hour drive from what I understand). Of course considering the American Embasy and an American Veteran's Hospital is located in Manila I would not be suprised if there is one there as well.
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Old 07-01-2012, 14:35   #18
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

Hi again,

Subic is "closer" than 3 hours nowadays with the new expressway in. From the entrance to the north expressway in MNL, you can get there in about half that time.

Yeah, there is an expat community in MNL, but there is no "center" for it unless you think of the Malate tourist district as such. Lots of expat businessmen live in and around Makati, but the expat presence in MNL is not overly obvious due to the total population of some 12 million. And, actually that is probably good.

You can find lots of guys hanging out at the malls on weekends. Look for the guys tugging kids in tow if you want to get some true grit scuttlebut on things like apartments to rent, prices that are reasonable, where to go, where to avoid, etc., etc. Also, there is a MNL based, PI expat website. Forgot the name, but just do a Google search and you will find it.

Also, check out the "Buy and Sell" magazine, available at any National Bookstore (found in all major malls).

Best of luck,

G2L
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Old 07-01-2012, 14:51   #19
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

If you goto the SM MegaMall of Asia in Makati you'll find lots of Westerners there and mixed families as well. There's a great seafood buffet in there that I frequent when I get the chance.

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Old 07-01-2012, 14:52   #20
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

Gone2Long. Thanks for all the info. Sounds like you've been there for a while and know what's going on. I was planning on going there this summer, but after a surgery went bad it will more than be next year now. Maybe longer. But I will eventually get there.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:28   #21
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

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Gone2Long. Thanks for all the info. Sounds like you've been there for a while and know what's going on. I was planning on going there this summer, but after a surgery went bad it will more than be next year now. Maybe longer. But I will eventually get there.
Yeah,

Stuff definitely happens.

Hope you are feeling better. Feel free to send a PM if you are ever down this way and think that we can be of help.

All the best,

G2L
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Old 09-01-2012, 14:48   #22
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

Thanks G2L. When I eventually make it there I would love to meet you.

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Old 09-01-2012, 15:55   #23
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

This is why I tell people to rent rather than buy in "Paradise". When situations start going south...you're not stuck. I've traveled to Thailand many times with out incident. However, things change don't they?
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:36   #24
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

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This is why I tell people to rent rather than buy in "Paradise". When situations start going south...you're not stuck. I've traveled to Thailand many times with out incident. However, things change don't they?
Yeah, they do; it was called "the global financial meltdown" : )

At this point in history, a full one half of the American population lives just above or just below they poverty line. Seems to me that this is one reason to own a boat, no matter what continent you favor. : 0

No insult intended, just a vaguely related observation of my own.

Best regards,

G2L
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:50   #25
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

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Yeah, they do; it was called "the global financial meltdown" : )

At this point in history, a full one half of the American population lives just above or just below they poverty line. Seems to me that this is one reason to own a boat, no matter what continent you favor. : 0

No insult intended, just a vaguely related observation of my own.

Best regards,

G2L
Absolutely no insult taken. I agree 110%. What better way to retire in a different country than on a boat. When trouble is brewing, simply slip the lines or weigh anchor and move on.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:45   #26
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Re: Eastern Philippines still suspect?

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Absolutely no insult taken. I agree 110%. What better way to retire in a different country than on a boat. When trouble is brewing, simply slip the lines or weigh anchor and move on.
Roger and out. : )

By the way, spent 20 years in Norcal myself. PM me if you want to trade experiences, ideas or whatever.

Best regards,

G2L
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:13   #27
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Re: Eastern Philippines Still Suspect ?

G2L noted " I have been looking at boats for the last year or so. If I finally buy one, keeping such a low profile may not be so easy in the future" ==> Nigel Roberts who has almost completed my 42' catamaran at his boatyard near Tombobo Bay on southern Negros has a smaller trimaran he recently got in trade from a Japanese single hander (who also traded up to a 42' catamaran). I believe that the boat will be refurbished and sold soon. If you are interested I can try to find out more.

And this just in:
"MANILA, Philippines (AP) The Philippine military said it killed three most-wanted leaders of the al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah at dawn Thursday in one of the most significant successes against militants on their southern island stronghold.
Those killed included Abu Sayyaf leader Umbra Jumdail, a Filipino, Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, and Singaporean Abdullah Ali, who uses the guerrilla name Muawiyah, said military spokesman Col. Marcelo Burgos.
Marwan is considered a top leader of the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah. Marwan carried a $5 million reward for his killing or capture and Muawiyah $50,000, both put up by the U.S. government.
Burgos said the military carried out the attack early Thursday morning in Parang town on Jolo Island, the stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf and their allies from the Indonesian-based terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah.
The Abu Sayyaf is behind numerous ransom kidnappings, bomb attacks and beheadings that have terrorized the Philippines for more than two decades.
U.S.-backed Philippine offensives have been credited for the capture and killing of hundreds of Abu Sayyaf fighters and most top leaders since the 1990s. Jumdail, also known as Dr. Abu, had eluded troops in numerous offensives and emerged as a key figure in the radical movement.
The Filipino militants gave refuge to Jemaah Islamiyah operatives in Jolo and Basilan, the most senior among them Muawiyah and Marwan, who escaped authorities in their own countries."
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:44   #28
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Re: Eastern Philippines Still Suspect ?

And now we pray that they don't take it out on all Americans to get even. $5 million USD..... WOW... Someone over there is going to live like a king the rest of their life, if the rebels don't kill them for it. With that much on his head it was just a matter of time. I guess now we wait and see what happens next.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:34   #29
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Re: Eastern Philippines Still Suspect ?

I have been spending 6 months out of each year in Mindanao for the past 10 years. Have a home is Mangagoy, Bislig and just built another in Davao City.

The Eastern 3/4s Mindanao is safe as long as you use the same kind of precautions that you would if you were in any other country. The Western Mindanao provinces are not safe for foreigners, period. Gen San would be the exclusion.

The Eastern Philippines, Leyte, Samar and the outer islands nearby, are safe unless you are Chinese. The abductions that happen there are almost always Chinese or Chinese mix with wealthy relatives.

I have only had trouble one time. An NPA group stop my wife and I on the mountain road between Bislig and Davao. They took my Tony Lama boots....didnt even ask to see my wallet.

I have circumnavigated Mindanao in a small boat, stopping all along the way, including Zambo and Catobato. Never even a hint of trouble.

Personally, I would practice normal cautionary procedures in any part of the Philippines except Western Mindanao, Zambo Peninsula, Sulu and Jolo. By all means visit Davao. It is probably the safest city in all of Asia, seriously.

One guy, living in Zambo, getting kidnapped by the AS does not make the rest of the country unsafe.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:02   #30
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Re: Eastern Philippines Still Suspect ?

A friend and I have gone to Manila, to vist a Priest friend of ours, to fight a few chickens. now don't start in on my passtimes cus I wont answer you LOL, but we have found it to be safe enought for us ! we use common sense when we out and about , but have had nothing but enjoyable vists there ! I would not be worried about sailing there ! at least the area we have been in Bob and Connie
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