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Is Manila safe

I've been living in the Philippines for the past 5 years and, prior to living here, I've been visiting since 1985. As many have said earlier, it is true that Manila is as safe as any other large cities in the world and can be just as dangerous if you are careless and seek the shady side of life. Not that there is anything wrong with seeking a little thrill every now and then but be smart about what you're doing and who you are dealing with.

Tourist areas are MORE crowded with hunters looking for a quick prey. And preying on those who are misinformed and unaware of the local customs will always be, no matter where you are in the world, a reality that will attract bad characters.

My suggestions are to:

1) ask your hotel bell captain where to go, whether you're looking for a good restaurant, entertainment, etc.;

2) get the bell captain to arrange for your transportation, preferably a metered taxi as they are definitely the safest and cheapest for tourist. Most hotels will record the plate number and company name of your taxi in case you encounter a problem, lose an item. More importantly, the drivers are aware they are being recorded and that in itself can be the best deterrent for trouble makers. An important tip about taxis: they are metered under a specific franchise agreement regulated by a government agency called LTFRB and even if the driver tries to get you to agree to a fixed price, which you are completely free to accept or decline, they MUST use their meter at all times or else, if caught, they could lose their franchise of operation. Well the owner of the taxi/franchise might lose it. Very few driver are owner/operators. A simple gesture of pretenting to call/text the phone number for LTFRB posted inside and outside each metered taxi and a promise to be generous with the tip if he gives you a good ride will usually resolve the matter promptly. In general, you'll have the cheapest/safest ride to your destination but again do not rely on the taxi driver for recommendation, get that ahead of time from your hotel. Remember never to be confrontational with drivers, trying to secure a fixed rate from unknowing foreigners is just a negotiation ploy, which is part of the culture in many parts of the world and very present in Asia. By knowing your rights and offering a tip you will win the negotiation 9 times out of 10, if not just get out and use another taxi;

3) don't trust anyone promising to do something for you that sounds too good to be true, because, in most cases, it it will be too good to be true;

4) avoid confrontations as the culture is not as comfortable with disagreements especially when someone is being shamed as a result, and finally;

5) take life much more lightly than you are accustomed to and enjoy each and every cultural differences even if things may seem strange and/or defying "your" own sense of logic at times. Keep on smiling and enjoy because as they say here: "It's more fun in the Philippines".

Source: www.quora.com
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