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Safety Of Tourists In The Philippines

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Corzhens, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Currently in the news is the kidnapping of foreign tourists in the southern Philippines. One captive, a Canadian named John Ridsdel, was beheaded when the kidnappers failed to receive the demanded ransom. There are still 3 captives and the Philippine government is standing pat on its no-ransom policy.

    The kidnappers belong to the group Abu Sayyaf which is an offshoot of a rebel group that turned bandits. Now media is portraying the kidnappers are Islamic militants which projects a scarier image. If I were a foreigner, I would avoid going to the south of the country.
     
  2. Coco

    Coco Active Member

    I have heard and read about this news story and it's truly terrifying especially for tourists who only want to explore the world. John Ridsdel, along with three other individuals, were captured from a resort in Davao. The other individuals' names were Robert Hall and his Filipino girlfriend, Marites Flor and a Norwegian, Kjartan Sekkingstad. The terrorists/kidnappers demanded $80 million for the release of these individuals. And since they weren't able to get the ransom, they beheaded John Ridsdel. I'm hoping that the other captives would just be released though... But yeah, this Abu Sayyaf men are too brutal so I don't know what to think anymore.

    As much as I love my country, I also don't want other people being in danger just because of visiting it. So as much as possible, visit other places aside from Mindanao. And if you must visit Mindanao, be extra cautious and observant. You see, these people were in a resort when they were abducted so it means that even in such a place, there's that risk. The best thing to do is to research well about these places before going in them. Generally, the Northern places like Pangasinan, Batangas, Bataan, La Union etc. are safer. And they're quite breathtaking as well.

    Let's just pray for the soul of John Ridsdel and for the safety of the other captives. And once and for all, let's pray for the redemption of this country and the capture of these terrorist groups as well.
     
  3. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Yeah the south of philippines is quite dangerous right now for tourists, just yesterday I was checking my government website for travel notifications and they had listed quite a few of the southern parts as "not recommended"
     
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I've also heard about the dangers of the Philippines to foreign travellers, and while it's not something that would put me off if I desperately wanted to go, I do think travelling there especially in this climate would be a big risk.

    No matter how safe you are, travelling to certain parts of the world these days poses unnecessary risks, and I think the Philippines at the moment seems to be one of those areas I'd only travel to if I had to.
     
  5. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    British and US governments have released statements to their citizens advising to not travel to the affected areas.
    Do you think things like this would have a big impact on tourism?
    Is the affected area generally a tourist hotspot?

    Better to be safe than sorry but I can see why some people risk it when they've saved up for a year and think that it wont happen to them
     
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I think it's bound to have an affect in tourism, as while the Philippines might say the country is safer than what people think (they need the revenue brought in by tourists), most travel companies will base their judgment on the official government websites if their own country, and if you visit a travel operator in the UK or US, they will be hesitant at least of taking your booking, because of the risk factor involved.

    You might still want to go, but if you do you'd have to go at your own risk, and I'm not sure if the standard travel insurance covers kidnapping and beheading!
     
  7. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    What kind of a sick world we live into? You risk your life just to go to a holiday. Instead of having a great time with your family in a beautiful country, some terrorists cut your head. We are just pure evil and we, people, destroyed such great place to be. Who can guarantee that you want be the next victim somewhere else? It is all out of control and I would think twice to go anywhere actually. You have to think twice when you go to buy some bread in the store.
     
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    The world is a dangerous place, and some countries are not worth visiting because it is getting to risky, but if we stop doing what we want, in a way then the terrorists have won.

    While like I said before, its not worth taking that risk, but at the same time, I can understand why some people still do.
     
  9. Lynk

    Lynk Member

    While I think it's important to keep tabs on dangerous areas you might want to avoid, some of the fears seem a little too alarmist to me. While I feel terrible that this happened, it is certainly not a common occurrence, and not across all of the Philippines. I know many people who travel there every year, you just have to be careful where you go and keep your wits about you. This is no different common sense than is needed to drive across town.
     
  10. sararas

    sararas Member

    OH my! I'm Filipino, but I haven't heard of the story. But that's probably because I stay away from the news most of the time. If I were to believe in every news there is, while true, I might as well just stay foot at home. But that's just it - these news only sow FEAR. Call it naivety, but I just refuse to give in to FEAR because of some news. I guess because I hold the perspective, WHEREVER you are in the world, the possibility of danger will ALWAYS be there. Looking at news in one's very own country, I highly doubt that one's country is exempt of BAD news. Looking at news from the U.S., I see students shooting each other. Gun ownership becoming a divisive issue among its citizens.
    The point is, WE WILL ALWAYS HEAR BAD NEWS from countries we'd like to visit. My Bangkok trip in April 2010 was an example. Google about news of Bangkok during that time, and our local TV then only reports nothing but of Thais marching with coffins on the streets, hostile protesters on the streets, etc. My friend's father even expressly forbid her from going ahead with the trip because of the news on TV. But then nothing happened to us when we visited Bangkok, even to the very places where the rallies happened.
    The very reason I like traveling is because I get to experience the places themselves. That doesn't necessarily mean, I deliberately go out of my way to go to places that are rife with danger, though.
    I'm from the province, and all I hear of Manila is a place of pickpockets, dangers, etc. For a time, I believe in what I heard. I rarely ever go to Manila alone. But this year, I made a decision to test these stories. I went there alone. Took the public transportation on my own. Didn't know anyone there. I guess I'm lucky nothing bad happened to me, but at least one thing's for sure I NOW know that Manila isn't as scary as what I'm told.
    When traveling, we really don't know what danger we'll be getting ourselves into, so the best advice is just to be vigilant wherever you may want to go. Avoid places if it makes you uncomfortable, but don't stay home out of fear. You can never know a bomb can equally hit you while enjoying your favorite TV series at home.
     
  11. sararas

    sararas Member

    Yeah, that's the term I was looking for ALARMIST. It really is important to be aware where the "dangerous" places are, but I highly doubt that when people travel they go out of their way to seek out these dangerous places. News such as mentioned can only sow fear, and not even representative of the whole Mindanao experience. People have to remember that the Philippines is 7,100++ islands and the odds of you choosing an island that can get you kidnapped may not be that high. True, I haven't been to the tip most places in Southern Philippines, but I've been to some of the places in Mindanao such as in Davao (Samal island where some resorts are), Camiguin, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Ozamiz City (reportedly place where petty thieves originate), and Tangub City, and as I'm still writing here, nothing bad has happened. Mindanao is a BIG place, the same way your city of origin maybe a big place. So play probabilities and decide if the likelihood tips to you getting kidnapped, mugged, shot, etc. Do this wherever city/province/island in the world you may want wish to visit. If your probability tests tells you to stay away from those place, then listen to it. One thing I know FEAR is a big 'killjoy' and more often than not will rob you of an otherwise memorable experience. :)
     
  12. maxen57

    maxen57 Member

    Well we have a new president now and I've heard that the Moro Islamic Liberation front that's supposedly controlling Abu Sayaff is going to disband the group if Duterte wins and I do hope that they'd stand by that decision. I really do feel that a lot will change for our country if the old government would finally stop trying to cheat us. Have you heard of the recent alcohol ban at the struck of 1AM? I'm all for that as it will not only lessen crime, it would make sure that the people are at home safe with their families by that time. I think it's the businesses that would stand to lose so much because of this. Anyway, I'm sure Duterte has lots of plans. Davao is among the list of cities in the world included as the safest because of him. I would like to see all of Mindanao prosper as well as a good tourist destination.
     
  13. I think it's dangerous everywhere but people don't really go out looking for trouble. Mindanao in the Philippines is relatively safe, if you're booking a hotel or resort and wary of kidnappings and the like then make sure your destination is credible and secure. The only threat in Mindanao is Maguindanao or the ARMM region which has high terrorist activity. You're safe when you go to Mindanao otherwise.