Is Travelling to the Philippines Safe? - Isla Story

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Is Travelling to the Philippines Safe?

Earlier this January, both countries of Australia and United Kingdom issued a travel advisory to its citizens against visiting some parts of Mindanao Region particularly   Eastern, Western, and Central Mindanao, and the Sulu Region.
Citizens are advised to exercise a "high degree of caution" when traveling to the Philippines because of high levels of violent crime, high threats of terrorist attacks, and kidnapping.

Though terrorism is a threat around the world, an advisory like this is normal. And amid the Australia and United Kingdom travel warnings, there are still a large number of British, Australian and other foreign nationalities that come and visit the Philippines. Since tourism is one of the country’s main source of income, expect a high level of security in public areas and those frequently visited by tourists.

How to be safe in the Philippines?
We know you’ve been asking yourself right now, if you should still save or cross-out Philippines on your “places I must visit” list. Well just like many other countries, some areas in the Philippines can be dangerous where more violence and crimes tend to occur but there are also lots of trouble-free beautiful places all throughout the country.  

So we’re here, to give you 4 important things that you should do to keep safe and still have a wonderful vacay:


As the travel warning said, avoid some areas in the Mindanao Region, but not the whole Philippines. As much as possible, always travel in groups. Stay away from areas that have seen an increase in recent mugging incidents, crimes and terrorism. And don’t forget to make your self updated with the recent news, ALL THE TIME!


If you’re stuck in crowded areas or public places, never leave your things unattended and constantly keep an eye on your belongings as these are the favorite spot of most pickpockets and bag snatchers. Some scammers are also just around the corner, so better be aware and be attentive to your surroundings especially riding a cab.


Yes, pubs and bars are fun but avoid getting too intoxicated in public places. Drugs getting into your drinks (spiking drinks) are pretty common these days which is why you must stay alert to avoid sexual assaults and getting raped.


Filipinos are friendly and we couldn’t agree better than that but for some it’s their strategy to rob you. Some will start a conversation until you get distracted and before you noticed it your belongings are already gone. Same goes with beggars and street kids.  Just keep a vigorous level of skepticism if a stranger tries to befriend you. 
We recommend everyone especially to backpackers to keep your family or friends updated on your itinerary; know the emergency lines that you can contact in the area, and make sure to have insurance with enough coverageLastly, make sure to book your tours only to accredited travel agents and tour operators to avoid getting scammed. 

Overall, either you visit the Philippines for leisure, work, study, and do business, it is generally safe. All sorts of crime may be difficult to predict and therefore can be challenging to avoid. Thankfully, these crimes are not widespread and extending an extra precaution won’t hurt, right?


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