Question: Is it safe for a foreigner to travel to Ozamis Occidental and onwards by Barge to Lanao del Norte heading down to Lala?
Reason I ask is that I will be in Cebu soon and my Phillipina partner expects me to go with her between Christmas and New Year to visit relatives etc. there.
My gut tells me to stay clear of that area, but my partner thinks it's quite safe. ( maybe for her but what about me?
Not sure if I should go, as the Autralian Travel advise website is saying Do NOT Travel into those regions. Quote " IF you choose to travel despite this advice, you should exercise extreme caution and seek independent, professional security advice which may include hiring personal protection." end quote"
How bad is it really? I do know it is still under Marshal Law but my partner insists saying it is quite safe and many foreigner live there.
Aussie2018. - my gut reaction is the same as yours. A couple years back, a Canadian tycoon of sorts was murdered by his wife’s brother and her lover, a tricycle driver., in Surigao. Where are the NPA? Waiting. There is martial law and you see it in Davao, but the back country - hmm? Fly somewhere safe nearby and visit the relatives in your hotel. Remember, right or wrong, Filipino families stick up for there own. You are not on their compassion radar. Your wife will say anything to persuade you since her relatives come before you even though she loves you. I don’t trust any of my wife’s relatives since they can and have turned on me unfairly. I show them respect and casual friendliness, but no more. Unless your gut feeling improves, let her visit without you. I did go into dangerous territory a few years back driving to Isulan where a few Aussies live. In the back country in a small rice growing village where I was the second Westerner to ever visit there in their history, the women were friendly, but the men kept to themselves. Their second occupation was guns for hire, wolf pack motorcycle assasins. One of my wife’s cousins murdered a rival and hid out there for 5 years until a pay off was made to the victims family. It could be a beautiful trip or not. Are you up for taking chances?
My wife had a job that required her to travel all over Mindanao. She has some hair raising stories like finding 6 human heads in a feed sack on the side of a road. or being escorted through Muslim neighborhoods by armed NPA guerrillas.
She will not allow me to go to Mindanao for any reason. Davao would be okay, but going into the interior or in the autonomous Muslim regions is an absolute no-no according to her.
My Friend...... I live in Mindanao, but in the area considered relatively safe, and I would never disregard a gut feeling on something ever. My wife always told me I was completely safe......but then she realized that the safety ONLY applied to her and not to me........... Now she watches just like I do ............ I would strongly recommend you give your significant other a big hug and kiss and tell her to enjoy the visit with her family. Don't disregard you gut......... Good luck my friend......
I have been to some of those areas, but it was about 10 years ago. I did not feel comfortable. We are all used to being stared at, but for me, it was more intense there. Maybe it was just because of my appearance and there are less foreigners there. But, I don't think that I would go again. If you decide to go anyway, listen to JW's advice.
Travel to the Mindanao region - risky , sketchy . The Muslims see dollar signs when they see a westerner ( like the rest of the RP ) BUT , they will act upon their thoughts in a violent way if opportunity comes knocking . Ive been down there and it was "head on a swivel" . NOT your relaxing type of vacation or visit . Davao is fine …for now- but in the future , I don't think so . But things can change there is a hurry . ALWAYS, have an exit plan there .
On what actual facts are your comments that Davao is safe for now ? Davao has its own task force which are well equipped also the Police are well trained the intelligence unit based in Davao is also well trained , there is also 911 central which has Extensive cctv cameras all over Davao City , Jeez you doom and gloom merchants need to actually come to Davao and see for yourself as for the rest of Mindanao there has always Been dangerous areas for the past 30 yrs Even so I know of a British Guy who has a resort in south Cotobato near an Army base and has not had any problems so far .
There really is no reason to go south of Ozamis. However, north of there is very safe and Bukidnon Province is mostly cool and beautiful. I lived in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon and it is probably the safest place I ever lived in the world with the exception of South Korea.
bradley... where did you go on Mindanao that you were in such a hurry to get out? Mindanao is about the size of New York State and a place like Mayville in western NY is nothing like Harlem 200 miles away.
My wife is from the Davao Del Sur area of Mindano, and I've been married to her for 15 years. If you get more than about 15-20 kiloliters from the east coast, thing get a little dicey. A decade ago, the veterans on my old forum (many former retired US Military) referred to the Western 4/5ths of Mindanao as the "Wild West".
Repeating something I said several weeks ago... Back on 2005, I'd have to go through 2-3 military check points to get from the Davao Airport to Digos. Remember, this is the SAFER part of the Island. At two checkpoints, all the men (myself included) would have to exit the bus at gun point as they looked for Abu Sayyaf.
On Mindanao you have Abu Sayyaf, as well as the Moro National/Islomic Liberation front. There is also the Maute Group (ISIS), and the Rajah Sulaiman movement. Ask your girl about those folks if you want to know more.
Generally speaking, Mindanao is their playground and training camp. I remember when they Island had the vote to become an Islamic state and the Christians wan 51% to 49%. I know it's the equivalent of the 1870's Wild West there (with Philippine authorities as cowboys and militant Muslims as Indians) in some areas.
From my observation, the government keeps fighting (but not too hard) to keep militants constrained to Mindanao. They never fight hard to eliminate them though. If you eliminate the threat, you stop getting foreign aid to combat them. So, you have to fight enough to merrit aid, but no so hard to defeat the threat... and sometimes you have to arm that threat to make them a credible threat that merits aid. (I swear some of the weapons sent to combat those groups get sold to those groups themselves).
I wouldn't personally risk it myself. Thinking ahead of the many years you hope to enjoy with her, I wouldn't risk the entirety of that future for a few days in a remote area.
More practical considerations include mosquito born illness ranging from dengue fever to malaria. I'm not sure how remote (provential) you would be going, but depending how far inland you go... water and other simple things related to hospitality can result in anything from minor illness to fever to major illness.
My personal experiences are about 6-8 years old, but I wouldn't do it. I could be completely mistaken and out of touch, but I feel obligated to share what I (think I ) know.
one man's opinion only. I have to disagree. I think here in Cagayan deOro you are safer than in Manila. Been here ten years travel all around Mindinao no problems Maybe this guy shud chill out a little.
one man's opinion only. I have to disagree. I think here in Cagayan deOro you are safer than in Manila. Been here ten years travel all around Mindinao no problems Maybe this guy shud chill out a little.
gelynch52ph I have lived in Mindanao for 7 years. Isulan, North Cotobato, South Cotobato very unsafe. Two recent bombings in Isulan. I have been there and checked out the pool hall, you don’t want to go there. Lawyers have armed guards, wear body armor and drive armored cars. Davao had two bombings in 2011 in theatres, and one failed kidnapping. There are many rapes. There was one attempted kidnapping of me. It’s relatively safe in Davao before dark is all I can say. On Samal Island, just off Davao City, one Canadian was decapitated, a Filipina was released and a Norwegian was released because his government paid the ransom to Abu Sayef. You are wrong and back biting to boot. Check your facts first. Still Davao is safer than most Philippine cities. Martial law brings many checkpoints especially in the early evening.
Things have changed in Davao since 2016 there us now an Army unit on Samal perminent also after dark there are more Police and Army personel in the City most expats do not venture out alone at night and we remain vigilant all the time during the day especially when getting any cash even so I find Davao a lot safer than My own Town back home .
Seernai - I agree with you about Davao being safe. Pickpockets ride Jeepnies though. There is some petty theft we have endured from neighbors. But no home invasions, vandalism, B & E’s like I experienced in Canada, and no comparison to the South Side of Chicago. We passed through four military check points last Tuesday evening. Martial law is working good. They did catch a bomber just outside Toril last year at a checkpoint. The Army kept one of their armored personnel carriers on display at the main drag through town. The military and police all armed with the new Philippine made automatic rifles. Would I feel safe in GenSan, no. CDO maybe. I just wish I could have brought in my Canadian Bear Spray.
My oldest brother (graduated in the Philippines as a Veterinarian) was engaged to Oni Sison (also a Veterinarian) the daughter of Governor Sison from South Cortabato 30 years ago. He lived with them in South Cortabato for one year. It wasn't very safe then, I'm sure it's a lot more dangerous now. So many rich people and government officials have their own private armies. In many areas it is like the wild west, especially around election time.
I am called a doom and gloom artist. Some time ago I said Abu Sayeff was not finished, last week on Suki island 5 Filipino soldiers were killed in a shoot out with Abu Sayeff men, thesoliers were searching for hostages held by Abu Sayeff, about 14 are still thought to be held. I think Davou is probably the safest place in Mindanaou right now. But anywhere else does not have the same amount of military protection. Many will say I have been here 100 years never had a problem, that is just one man's experience. There have been massacres over there admittedly no foreigners, but wrong place wrong time. If Mindanaou was so safe why has martial law not been lifted, why is there such a strong Military presence in Davou? As the people and the military become complacent, then you might have a big problem. Great at the moment but no one can garauntee how long it will last. Right now I would go to Davou, but nowhere else. I drive all over Philippines and I know there are a few no go areas especially in Manila, but Mindanaou has too many hot spots for my liking if your gut feeling is don't go, then don't go. Just my opinion of course.
Sorry Draks but you always spell Mindanao (Mindanaou) and Davao(Davou) incorrectly. This is not the spelling police but I've seen it so many times and know one has ever corrected you. My apologies in advance.
Draks, I do agree with you. If the place is not dangerous why wouldn't martial law be lifted. It may be safe with martial law but wouldn't any place be safe under martial law? If someone has any doubt regarding safety in parts of Mindanao, why take the risk? Even if only 20% of the stories are true, is my life worth a 20% risk that something may go wrong.....
I also would like to thank everyone else here for their valued input.
In the meantime, It would help greatly if there is anyone with very recent travel experience and or knowledge of the exact area (s) I am asking about.
Ps: Here is some additional info, hope this is of help.
I will not need to travel any further south then say round about a place called Lala. My partner grew up somewhere near that place.
The only other trip planned while there if I do go, would be heading 1/2 hour drive or so north of Osamiz City to a place called Oroquieta city. That is where her Uncle lives, and according to her, he is rather well respected in the community.
I am unsure if this helps but in any case thanks again to all and if there is anyone who can offer specific advise/info about where I would need to go, please leave a comment.
As I have Been living in Davao area for the past 3 .5 years I can only advise about this area obviously there are other expats here who have traveled in other regions of Mindanao who have more extensive knowledge . Mintal, Tugbok , mintal are all pretty quiet areas as far as Expats are concerned and Matina which is closer to Davao City itself .
I have been following this message thread for many days now and note that you are getting alot of replies about lots of areas other than the area you are looking to specifically travel too. Apologies however if I did miss any message specifically about Lala. My fiancee is from Maranding.....Lala / Lanao del Norte and I have been there twice. I flew with her from Manila to Ozamis in March of this year. We were met by her family and her advice, which I took, was to rent a private minibus for the journey to her family home in Saavedra...near Lala. We were driven to various places but always in the minibus. We were driven back to Ozamis to stay in a hotel for one night only before flying back to Manila the next day. In October this year I flew to Ozamis alone as my fiance was in hospital. I waited till the last day so I could meet her and we stayed in Ozamis for two days before flying back to Manila. I was met by the hotels private shuttle and by a close friend who drove with me to the hospital. She was very angry with me for making the journey to see her in hospital but I did so knowing the risk....love is blind. She is now living in Manila so we can be together as the areas you are looking to travel to are simply not safe. I consider myself very fortunate that her family is, on the face of it, very honest and in their presence I felt fine but I was the only "white" guy on both trips and was constantly watched and stared at. My fiancees friends were also helpful and caring and looked after me. On both trips I saw no police / military checkpoints. There is a cerfew in Maranding but for under 18's only. I saw no police or military presence anywhere we went. Would I go again......no. The situiation has changed from March to October this year with all of the recent local elections and now.....my fiancee has told me no visits to Lanao / Maranding / Lala. She says it is simply not safe for me (Westerners) at all. Please also remember that of you have any problems the British Government will not help / if you have life insurance you rpolicy will be invalid as you have travelled to an area you are advised not to tavel too / if you have medical insurance it will also be invalid. I hope this helps. Steve
M- London - Sounds like a terrific place to visit . I hear from many down there and they say things have taken a turn for the worse over the last 3-4 months . here is the quote from you that caught me eye ! Its worth everyone reading again . "My fiancees friends were also helpful and caring and looked after me. On both trips I saw no police / military checkpoints. There is a cerfew in Maranding but for under 18's only. I saw no police or military presence anywhere we went. Would I go again!!!!......no. The situiation has changed from March to October this year with all of the recent local elections and now.....my fiancee has told me no visits to Lanao / Maranding / Lala. She says it is simply not safe for me (Westerners) at all. Please also remember that of you have any problems the British Government will not help …"
What is living under martial law actually like? Having lived under it for over a year, nothing is really different except the military and police check points you go through. They see a Westerner, and off you go. Otherwise, I feel a lot safer. I’m glad they extended it for a year. I don’t mind if it continues.
standup...Isulan is far from Malaybalay and the entire cultures in the 2 places are like living on 2 different planets. Like I said before; comparing South Cotabato to most of Northern Mindanao is like comparing Harlem, New York to Mayville, New York. Harlem would be your South Cotabato and the province of Bukidnon being Mayville.
gelynch52ph - it’s a long way from Davao too. North Cotobato is much closer. NPA hot bed. Bad guys like to move around. Who knows where? Not near the Army emplacements. You may be more expert on the location. But I can remember when. Abu Sayef were in Bohol.
Two years ago, if I remember correctly, a bombing at the market in front oh the Marco Polo Hotel in. Davao killed 5 and wounded more. Marco Polo is considered the best hotel in the finest location in Davao. Is Davao safer now under Martial Law. I truly hope so!
Davao is a lot safer now since the attack on Roxas night Market opposite Marco polo Hotel the security forces apprehended those responsible soon after it was the Maute Group who were later also connected with the siege in Marawi . There is a stong security presence in Davao now
seernai Yes, the security situation in Davao is good now. I have also decided to move my banking to the Land Bank because it is government owned, whereas BDO is privately owned. Which is safer in a crash? Government Bank probably. Just waiting for my probationary permanent residency I Card which you need for a peso account. Davao has a no littering, no j-walking and no smoking law too. The no smoking law is enforced, and seems like littering too. J-walking still happens. My wife smokes, so our shopping trips to the city are tense on the way home. My main problem is addresses. Few buildings have street numbers and Google Maps can be off by 4-6 blocks. I just keep asking in shops and eventually, but not always find the place.
Thank you! Finally...this is exactly what I was hoping for, to find someone that can actually give me advise on the specific area I intended to travel too. So Steve- a big THANK YOU!
You will all be pleased I guess to know that I made a decision 2 day's ago, to follow my gut instinct and stood firm on my decision not to travel there due to safety concerns.
So, not wanting to be impolite and appearing rude in anyway, (because everyone is excited to meet me) I ended up speaking to a particular family member in Cebu and they agreed with my concerns. They also did not like my partners idea for me to travel there- which I must admit was a bit of a surprise -
So it was suggested to contact the various relatives etc. and see what plans everyone had for Christmas and if they could make the journey to Cebu ?
So yesterday evening finally everything was sorted out and the various relatives affected (12-15 of them) will travel to Cebu for a long awaited family reunion.
Naturally my partner and I will after some negotiating pay for 1/2 the fare and the full cost for everyones accomodation but I rather do that, then take any unnecessary risks. I used to take risks in the past when I was young and foolish. Today well...I guess I don't have to prove anything to anyone anymore ...been there done that as I always say.
Anyway, perhaps to some of you guy's I might look like a sucker, and might have set a really bad precedent for the future, who knows. And reality is they obviously would take advantage of this situation and my concerns, but I am for the moment, 100% fine with that.
This will be a 1 off invite for everyone- my partner will make sure they ALL understand this. She will be paying half of all the costs and the relatives will arrange ALL the Christmas food for about 30 people in return- So my friends.......I believe this ended up a Win Win for all. Seafood & Lecheon here I come- yumm :-) I miss this food
I wish all of you guy's and your family a safe, happy and healthy festive season in advance.
Don't worry about what the others here think. Many of them are judgmental. As long as you are happy, then fantastic. I am sure that they are really going to like you a lot. You are getting off to a good start with them.
Any well researched investment is still a gamble. In the case of two people from different countries, more so because of the inability of both people to be able to spend time getting to know each other.
In following your gut and reaching a compromise with your lady and her family you have shown them respect and sincerity with regard to your intentions.
It's an investment in your future and your life with your lady. Well done, and I hope it pays off with a long life of happiness together. Your common sense should help in that.
Actually, that compromise is probably what I would have done for my fiance's (now wife's family) if I were in a similar situation. Those family reunions are always nice too.
You are the expert on the specifics and dynamics of the family and their character. Everyone can share their experiences, but you eventually have to filter it through the details of your situation to see if the advice fits.
If you can afford the logistics without causing a financial hardship, I see no particular harm (aside from the normal warnings about patterns of spending, impressions, etc). As Dave Ramsey says, there are only 3 things you can do with money: Buy Stuff, Invest it to make more, or Give it away.
Afterthought: When booking passage and travel for family (if you have not already), consider the options among ferries and super-ferries. It would be a shame for it to go down and loose several generations at once.
I only share because of a scary indicdent of a friend from a different forum in 2003. The ship MV San Nicholas was heading for Manila collided with the Superferry 12 was sailing for Cebu.
Not much you can do, but some of the ferries in the Philippines were purchased from nearby countries (China, Japan, Tawiaan) after those countries decommissioned them after 20-40 years as unsafe. Some unscrupulous shipping compines buy them as salvage and put them back into reuse (as better than what they are already using) with little to no updates.
I only mention it as a point of interest. I'll ride some of the modern supper ferries, though I usually hop by air (unless I'm traveling in a group). It's alway wise to consider the age of the ship, whether it travels over capacity, and whether there is any modern safety equipement. (Even if you can swim, you can't out swim clinging crounds who can't as they panic).
I overthink everything, so only consider this as a "general point of interest" for your own personal travel.
Asawa I am qualified as a life guard. For a good swimmer to escaped a sinking ship, you need to pick an open spot, and swim fast away from everyone. All drowning victims will push you under them. You don’t go near them unless they settle down. There is a defensive reverse & ready position in the water you. take to kick them off if they get too close. I have rescued many drowning children in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico & Lake Michigan. Also adults drowning in 4 ft. of water in a pool when they didn’t know how to put their feet down. A good swimmer could survive a ferry sinking. What’s essential is a well trained crew and enough life jackets. The Queen of the North sank in the North Pacific at night in 2002 off British Columbia. It hit an Island when the pilot team got into a domestic dispute. The collision alarms and warning lights were working when the Ferry went off course. The Captain was in his quarters intoxicated. Everyone survived except one couple who failed to respond to the abandon ship announcements and the blaring horns. Thanks to a remote Indigenous people’s fishing village nearby with lots of boats, no one died of hypothermia which takes you quickly. It’s the trained and level headed crew that saves the lives of passengers. Panic is what kills them. I almost drowned in a diving accident until I got my panic under control.
i lived on Mindanao from 2010 till 2014, in Cagayan De Oro (CDO) and had no problems at all, but it is extremely dangerous for an Aussie or an American to go south and never to Catabato, as they get kidnapped often and the National army is fighting muslim insurgents there all the time. Not really sure about the extreme Northern end of the island
In my estimation Davao is perfectly fine and stable thanks to in a and out Military, marshal law, and CCTV cameras everywhere . It is truly a different world on an island of 'hurt' . I will be there next week. Venture far from the city limits at yoru own peril . Life becomes very cheap . AND, you think extortion is bad in the rest of the RP ? you have seen nothing yet!, it is public currency on the island . Davie is not the REAL Mindanao though. Its a safe zone in a land of hurt and poverty.
Catabato- yes , 100% a 'No Go Zone' these days for any westerner. The army and DU30 are doing their best , BUT muslim groups seem to be well funded from somewhere, other special interest groups on the rise, and ransoms are on the rise but , kept to a hush hush , as it echo's into ALL of the tourist industry in the RP . SO going too far from Davao City limits can be VERY risky … even after all these years . Solution ? Call in western Amies to PURGE , the villages once and for all . The RP Army cant do it alone -"Insha'Allah" , for the purge !
Surfingcebu this Isnt Vietnam where you could have another Me lai massacre it doesnt work like that The Philippines is a sovereign country so Foreign countries Just cannot invade Mindanao and Go around killing innocent people , muslims have lived in Mindanao long before the Spanish came. yes Mindanao has a problem which cannot be solved Just by military action it has to be a combination. Of negotiation and military action
Strange as you only picked that part of My comment but Ignored the rest whats the matter ? Did I hit a sore point ? About coming into Mindanao going into every Village and slaughtering the local population ? Too many gungho types here , those of us who actually have lived in Mindanao for a few years have not had any problems with our Muslim neighbours and yes I am aware of what happened in Marawi but those terroists are not your typical Muslims here .
Nothing wrong with My comprehension skills at all you clearly stated that clearing every Village would end the problem of the Muslim problem when clearly you dont get it that muslims have lived on Mindanao for over 500 yrs wiping out the population creates more problems
seernai The BIFF Muslim rebels are a problem. The msjority of Muslims are not. The NPA are a problem along with the Abu Sayef. Thats Cotobato. DU 30 is determined to extinguish them. Lots of peaceful Muslims around Davao. Peaceful or not Islam is intolerant.
No sore spots here Seerenai. I never said all Muslims are terrorists. Neither did the OP. What we have said all along is that the Philippine Govt will most likely need help if they ever want to completely eradicate the Abu Sayef. Simple. !
Seernai - SO , you think that 'clearing every village' means harming the non-violent people in them ? That is a leap of judgement! If your put this sort of your own personal bias or other , into reading a script , I often wonder what you get out of other scripts . For the record , That is NOT what was intended in any way , shape , or form. Most people ready the script would conclude otherwise . Therefore , I think you read into things with you own personal blinders on . Normally 'clearing villages of harmful people' people would NOT conclude harming innocent people, not flattening them. One can have a purge , without harming others . your military 'Intel" have a lot to do with this . There are many peaceful muslims. However the Koran is unforgiving , in this regard .
Seernai - you don't live in Mindanao . you live in the special district of Davao . Big difference . Spend a month in Zambuonga Del Sur , or the Compostella valley . Then let me know how things went.HA!!! .
You need to check where Davao it is very much on Mindanao its not an island on its own , other parts of Mindanao are also relatively safe obviously places like Zamboanga and other places near there are potencially dangerous but to say only Davao is safe in Mindanao is nonsense
Seernai - I see so this is your "feeling" again ? Do you know how many country's have a travel ban on Mindanao outside of Davao ? Do you think they do this for fun , or do you think they do it for a reason . Here is just one example from the USA …and others :
'...The Philippine government has declared martial law throughout the Mindanao region, and continues to do so due to building anti government forces on the island. The Philippine government also maintains a state of emergency and greater police presence in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces and many other regions not mentioned here due to military operations currently..Also a general hight of awarenesses is required on the whole island ; military patrols in any area, especially outside Davao City itself. Extreme caution is to be exercised, if travel to this region not reconsidered. Again, Terrorist and armed groups may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. The Philippine government has declared a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao.” We have to head our inelegance and that of the Philippines's Government intelligence.
Terrorist and armed groups, and other, continue to conduct kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks targeting U.S. citizens, foreigners, civilians, local government institutions, and security forces.Extreme caution is to be excessed in this region ,if you decide to ignore travel advisory.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as a while, as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there…'
I am notntaking any sides with this debate. Thing is with cleaning out terrorists is that they grew up in those villages. Everybody knows everybody. They do not want bad blood between their neighbors. If there is a grudge, maybe. No one is ratting on anyone, so intel is difficult. Good surveilance is needed first to identify the bad eggs.
I think you Will find these countries dont exactly have a Travel ban but an advisory against going to certain parts of Mindanao the uk Government send me advisories warning me of where it is safe to Go in the particular region I wish to Travel but I have never Been banned from going anywhere because as far as My country is concerned and I Go to a specific area that they have warned me not to Go and I still chose to go then its My fault if things go wrong not theirs
Having Just checked the web I have found that no country has banned its Citizens from travelling to Mindanao but have issued warnings on certain parts of Mindanao , which is contrary to what you said as if people Go these place which have a warning and something happens then of course its the persons fault for not heeding the advice given
There was a bomb in Cotobato on new years eve, at that time 2 dead 30 injured. Intel has it there are Abu said behind it. In palawan they say there are Abu Sayeff kidnapping group. This not over by a long chalk.
The Police have got their eye on BIFF as responsible for that bomb , This is why most of the population who live on Mindanao Welcome the Extension of martial law as This Will Help find catch these people
draks Southern Palawan was a battlefield against terrorists and several US counter terrorist military were killed in firefights. Purerto Princessa north to Coron is not dangerous. Previously there were a few terrorists assinations of kidnapped tourists incliding a Muslim Japanese man. Also, a Western marine biologist, his wife and two children were murdered in their truck. He had been trying to establish a marine park in a popular fishing area. No susoects were ever identified and I doubt that there was even an investigation though the local police probably had a food idea who the killers were. Serves as a warning to community outsiders to mind their own business.
Draks- I hear you , but most will not listen . Intel and various publications have indicated new money and new Abu troops in South Island and area . It wont be long now , sadly . DU30 needs a clean-out crew asap!. Snow flakes see three new malls, and a nice wide road being built as 'developing ' OMG !!! .
Seernai - correct , its an advisory . It seven an advisory under Somalia, Honduras , and Syria . However most logical people after reading it would conclude its a ban . But you being a wordology wonder . Your right the word is advisory in most first world countries , not 'ban' . You go there at your own peril, but most countries add , if I may paraphrase Sir Seernai ; ' if you do there and get in trouble , dont ask for help…'
Well I will not be going to Mindanaou in a hurry.i will take note of the warning about kidnap groups in palawan, IF it's true then Coron and other tourist spots could well be a target, no good kidnapping a present of course the would target richer people, and tourists.. You can bury your head in the sand and say It hasn't happened before, so it won't happen ever. I don't wish any violence on anyone at all. But I really don't think this is over at all.
Draks sorry but unless you actually live here and actually see what is actually going on for yourself and Just relying on News for Info you Will never Go anywhere im on My 4 th year here , sure there are incidents but those of us who actually live here keep away from dangerous areas
Personally I Welcome martial law if it remains as it is ive Been stopped once for an ID check at a check point lucky I had My ACR card on me the policeman Just checked it , smiled and said Thank you and that was it , regarding martial law for the whole of the Philippines it should be rolled out gradually in certain hot Spots where NPA and other insurgents are currently operating I dont think that the whole of the Philippines should be under martial law there again it depends on future developments the powers that be know best ,
Now why would most logical people think its a ban when clearly it is Just an advisery if it was a ban there would be a direct order from your respective governments saying “ your banned from going to a certain place “ common sense has to prevail wherever you are in the world
It is not over until all BIFF, Abu Sayef, and NPA are disarmed and killed. They are all murderers and extortionists. The arms dealers and financial supporters need to be exterminated. They are poisonous snakes. Martial Law is needed narion wide. Follow the money and debt. Take down the banks. Establish funded community watch groups to gather intelligence. There is no forgiveness for the devils.
My wife who was born and raised in Cebu was laughing at some of the comments on this forum. The fighting and unrest in southern Mindanao has been ongoing for decades. Nothing new. Its very simple you simply do not go to the far south muslim areas and you will be fine. Its been that way for a long time.
standup - I can see the benefits of Martial law for the "purge " , but then get ride of it quick. Martial law will be crippling for the economy and hurt many different by-standers . Maybe China could supply foods and grains to the RP while they are in transition in martial law? (fat chance that happening ). Thats the only hesitation I see with Martial law is the economy . However , the RP needs the purge here for sure . Its would certainly scare many here that are totally corrupt under military rule ! The various groups could be stamped out I'm sure with modern weapons and intel equipment …for some reason they have not gone after them 110% . SO, my conclusion is there MUST be money in having these muslim/NPA/BIFF groups around , otherwise they would be hunted like wolves !
Seernai- Ban vs. Advisory . Actually when I phoned up our consulate , they did call it a "ban" , then corrected themselves and called it a 'strong advisory' , which could be effectively the same thing , No? . Now when I mean effectively , I am looking at the general meaning of the word . Not the specific word itself. Its intent , if you will. The intent , is just as important as the word you are hung up on , for some apparent reason . SO the 'banned' word stuck in my memory . every get anything stuck in your mind Seernai ? hmmm , from the looks of your posts , I gather not . HA!!
seernia - so what your effectively saying is 'I'm in favour of martial law so long as it doesn't effect me much'. Sorry , doesn't work like that friend! Then you carry on in your word salad ... 'roll out martial law gradually…' Are your for real?. The whole core content and domain of martial law is that element for surprise and immediate implementation of new laws to catch the bad guys in and out of governmentOh My Lord ! . Sorry , gradual , snowflake , martial law does not exist with any effectiveness. Sorry to inconvenience you in the slightest old chap ! . I gather your don't read much , about same. Martial law is immediate and all encompassing, usually, this is why its NOT working out so well in Mindanao . You are not a military man I see. You don't announce , " two Thursdays from now , we will start martial law , and it will work its way up country and complete itself by June 2020, here is the schedule boys , we want to make it super easy on everyone including or friends the Abu ! .." . Is that gradual enough for you ? HA!!!Lordy Lordy , what happens with people with too much time on their hands !
Seernai - 4 years is a wink of time. You're an authority on on military, Martial laws and their implementation there of , English, grammar, sociology of the RP , its rank in GDP and so on and so on , and so on ? HA!! What a blast you are ! Just after after 4 years and all this 'knowledge'?. You must be Welch or some derivative Sir ? From the islands no doubt - Id put money on it .
So news about the RP , is "fake" , interesting . Never knew that Seernai . How so ?
Whats your definition of 'dangerous areas ' as you say ?
Talk to me after having feet on the ground in ten years .
I did not know that insulting someones nationality was allowed on this forum , you cannot even spell welsh lol It does not matter where anyone comes from Sunshine by the way im half scots half Welsh , where I come from is irrelevant to you or anyone else , I have My own experiences and opinions if you dont like it I really dont care .i have never ever claimed to be an expert on what ever Groups are operating , I Just listen to the experts from local intelligence on what is going on around here myself and our Group know the situation is fluid and change from day to day .
Have to tell you that some of these check points i could walk in backward and they think I was leaving...truly I love when the check point is backed up one lane becomes seven ..Me First becomes Everyone First.. haha
Martial law not working in Mindanao actually quite the opposite is happening as since it was Implimented the armed forces and Police have caught quite a few would be Bombers including the people who planted the bomb in Davao open Market in September 2016 if anyone is a snow flake here its you so cut the personal insults you people always insult people who dont agree with you sorry ive never Been a sheep but follow My own way .
Dangerous is Zambonaga and from General Santos down towards the west and also parts of Bicol where a close friend of mine lost their brother who also happened to be a close friend of mine so I know a lot more than you think I know about danger here
I lived in the Philippines for 25 years. Embedded in the society, my ex-wife's family were well known, knew hundreds of Filipinos pretty well through organizations, work and play. I know the Philippines and the thinking of Filipinos as well as anyone. In 2 weeks I'll be coming back for a 25 day vacation with my wife and son. In my younger days maybe an advisory didn't faze me much. Now that I'm older, wiser and have a wife and family that depends on me, why in the hell would I risk anything. I'll be in Manila, Angeles a day or two (to visit friends) and Tacloban. You won't find me testing some authorities (who have more information than I have access to) advisory.
Certain individuals seem to think they are superior to everyone else here because they have been here for 10 yrs , I’ve been In Mindanao on my 4th year I first came to the Philippines in 2006 so I have experience not just in Mindanao but also in Baguio , Bulacan , Sorsogon, Irosin , Bulosan, Manila Corregidor, also I have lived in Khon kaen in north east Thailand and in Milan northern Italy. So I’m not a snow flake or whatever other childish name you wish to call me ,
Seernai - wow!!, did I touch on a subject that was to of bounds for you . I simply asked why you vacated your home country . Sounds like its a "hot-button issue" with you . So sorry you got upset at the mere asking of why you vacated your country for good . I didn't know it was a sore point for you . Let's leave it like that . :)
seernai I have lived here for 7 years. Before that in several US and Canadian cities. I have never considered myself superior to anyone except my incredibly lazy and incompetent former co-workers in my Canadian Federal govermrnt shop that only had a talent for back stabbing and careerism. You and I agree about Davao, so you were probably referring to a lot of others who do not live here,
Correct I don’t mind anyone making a comment about here as long as they are actually living here or have lived here so know what they are talking about . There is nowhere in the world which is 100% safe my home town for example is very unsafe after dark especially after the 2 pint wonders have come out of the local pubs as they just want to beat up everyone they can find who just happens to be minding their own business especially pensioners, that is just the way it is .
Seernai......let me ask you this, if you were at the beach and a few days or weeks before you went there were SHARK ATTACKS and people were killed. Several governments put out advisories "not to go to this beach". Would you go, would you take your family and swim in the water?? Just because where you live the water is safe and has life guards!
That is what people are telling you......simply put.
Parts of Mindanao are safe but other parts are not.......question is why risk it?
I would agree with Robertdav298. Parts of Mindanao are safe and parts are not. Its been that way for a long time and not subject to change any time soon. There are lots of nice areas to go to without those warnings, so why test fate?
I have never ever said I go anywhere which is deemed as dangerous even I am not that stupid, on Mindanao I stay in the Davao area , as I said before Bicol is just as dangerous for foreigners wandering around on their own in certain areas
I've been in most major areas in the Philippines including Zamboanga, Davao (several years ago), Bicol, Kalinga apayao, etc... Like I mentioned earlier many of those places I wouldn't be going to anymore. My family depends on me. There are safe areas and not so safe areas everywhere. To all expats, why take too many risk, when it's not really necessary. None of us want to be reading about an expat in despair. Just use your common sense and be careful. Just like your own country, there are many dangerous areas in the Philippines. They are even more dangerous if you are an expat with a different complexion shade.
standup...The places you talk about...Cotabato and Isulan, are not in any way considered to be in "Northern Mindanao." The OP asks about a place which is essentially a suburb of CDO & yet you talk about another region altogether. You are talking about the equivalent of Harlem vs Mayville (both in New York) and your comments are irrelevant to the question asked.
PS: I lived in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon for 3 years so I'm not without experience on Mindanao.
mpedmon: same question you must have been very lost. Kalinga/Apayo is as far as you can almost from Mindanao without getting your feet wet in the Luzon Straight. I live in Cagayan Valley for good reason.
you guys are splitting hairs about locale and Mindanao, just read the advisory t explains what areas to avoid.
However; a word of caution, these advisories are put out specifically to warn travelers that intel has been provided of a possible situation to foreign nationals.
Here is an example: a recent warning was issued for "southern cebu" anyone who lives in cebu knows that this is a very broad warning as there are many towns in southern cebu; however if you go to the site they are very specific as to what location caused to threat. Another thing to consider when traveling in the RP, people are always watching us, that is why I always give advice to foreigners to be viligant and use caution.
I know this is an old post but I think it bears commenting on. I am retired US Air Force and was stationed at Clark Air Base, Angles City from 1974 to 1975. At that time President Marcos had Marshal law across all of the PI and I believe it worked well. We had to be indoors by midnight, and could only travel after that if it was on Clark AB proper and you could travel anywhere on base all night long and only off base with special passes. If DU30 were to impose that I believe it would do the PI a world of good! I plan on retiring to the PI in about a year and will be watching the forum closely as I believe there is better Intel here than what we get from the embassy there or here! So keep up the forum topics guys I personally love them!
My relatives assure me that Mindanao is largely safe with two asterisk. (And, I must warn you that they are more protective of my safety than I am, myself)
My relatives have told me to absolutely avoid taking a bus across the Zamboanga Peninsula (Tangway ng Kasambuwangaan -- Between Northern and Southern Mindanao).
It's not that problems regularly occur there. It's more that when infrequent problems occur (like buses being pulled over and set fire to), that's been a bit of a hot zone over the last 20 years.
That's akin to saying that not all pitbulls are dangerous, but if you hear of a dog attacking someone it's probably a pitbull.
My relatives also jokingly say, "Don't go off into the Jungles of Mindanao and try to convert Militant Muslims in the role of a Christian Missionary".
I have to say, that advice seems wise on the face of it. (It just seems prudent avoid approaching "Militant Muslim" about religion.)
Yet, a few missionaries have been taken hostage about 2-3 times over the last 20 years, and those stories typically make headlines.
I'll also add, that there is some debate as to whether the Muslims beheaded one elderly missionary before or after he died.
There are stories that the missionary got along quite well with his captors and they were fairly gracious hosts until the missionary had a heart attack. Figuring they'd be blamed no matter what, rumor has it that the his Muslim Captors decapitated the dead body in a show of bravado.
I"ve never really looked into all those claims, and my relatives do spin a few tall tales. However, I have no cause to cross the Zamboanga Peninsula or take up Missionary work... so it's probably a moot point.
If you talk to locals, you often hear dramatic differences to the stories from the local media. If you hear about a pirate raid on a resort, you may discover some poor thugs ran out of gas and drifted to a beach where they tried to steal some gas for their boat. The shoot out was because they were caught with a siphon and a gas-can, and tried to flee with nowhere to go.
In Davao which is part of Mindinao marshal law has been in place for about 18mths & it's the best thing to ever happen there in my opinion.There are several security checkpoints maned by armed soldiers checking for wanted terrorists & undesirables which give me a feeling of security & safty.There are certain cerfews but I don't know what time as I am asleep in bed by then.All the Military & Police are polite & courtious & are a credit to the Philippines & The President.If other citys took the same aproach I believe the Philippines would benefit greatly for numerous reasons.Of coarse u will get the left wingers winging about peoples wrights etc but what about the wrights of all the inocent people killed by bombs while attending church??These murderous muslim extremists need to be stoped & Marshall law is one step to achieving this.
The last time I was in Ozamis City was 2001 & I was with my close filipino friend from Australia.He had connections with the local philipino Mafia & I drank & socialised with them & I always had one of them with me whenever I left the hotel for protection,they where all armed & killers but because of my philipino friend I was their friend.I would Never Ever venture that far south,u have (2) problems.The Local Philipini Mafia & also Muslim Extremists who could ship u to one of their close by Islands where nobody could find u again.Mate if u really love this woman & think she is the one for u then pay for the family to come to visit u in Cebu where u don't need bodyguards to protect u from criminals or muslim extremists.They can all catch the ferry (economy class) & stay in a backpacker style accommodation,depending on ur budget.I don't want to come across as a wet blanket but u get (1) chance in life & make ur decisions wisely with ur safty the no (1) Concern.If the lady truely loves u she will understand & so will her family.Good Luck.
In his state of the nation speech, du30 has lifted martial law, but he is leaving the decision of local mayors etc to keep martial law if they think it's neccassary. Two sides to this, without martial law will it become unsafe, or has the threat of violence been eradicated? My guess is Davou will keep martial law. If it has been lifted, does this mean the government will not have the military presence in Mindanaou? Only time will tell I guess.
AUSSIE: I spent 6 weeks, from mid Dec. to late Jan., in the Ozamiz City area during the holidays last year. We celebrated the holidays, our 25th anniversary, the wife's 60th, plus a couple of her class reunions. No problems. But - we didn't set a pattern, and made quite sure we didn't look like victims.
If you understand the above, especially the pattern thing and not looking like a victim, then go there and enjoy the place. It can be a lot of fun.
Any gut reaction attended by fear is not a true gut reaction. Follow your gut yes. But only when it's free of fear. See fear for what it is - You contemplating doing something you know is wrong. This is the way of the wise.
Guys - whats yoru opinions on CDO .. safe enough for travel there ? Its been so long since ive been there and I have two school mates I want to visit there . Opinions/ comments would help me . Thanks in advance for your input .
I was in Davao about 4-5 months ago - loved it , had a visit with a dear friend and saw the sites . Completely safe IMHO . CDO is a ways away though :)
Mactan - Yes, the Marshal law in Davao worked well . I was stopped on the street once with no issues just a question where we were going ... Nice and polite officer . Also a cab I was in went through a check point. Again , no issue and a friend was and joke ... SO , its working well . Streets are a little dead after 11pm ...but thats OK too ! Safe clean , orderly city. Law and order IS important and respect for the law . Davao is one great city ! . Large geographically too .
You must assume that survivors have no experience with being killed. So, they are not likely to comment on your question. Politicians need committee decisions, so 'in and out' as was previously mentioned is a logical conclusion.
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