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Cotabato City

I'm thinking of visiting Cotabato City soon.

Obviously I've heard the horror stories and the blunt "Do not visit" warnings but I'm looking for something more substantial than that, preferably from someone who has actually been there.

Is it safe? Is it dangerous?

I intend to visit a friend of mine but stay in a hotel. I don't intend to go out of the city centre.

Am I crazy or is all the hype just that, hype?

(BTW, it's not my first visit to the Philippines and I've been to other so-called dangerous places like Quiapo city and Zamboanga)

 

peter's picture

George Harold Bujnowski, stabbed, dead

in

This week's dead foreigner resided in Lapu Lapu, which is a Cebu burb.  A shame.  George Harold Bujnowski, did you see it coming?

300,000 in a cabinet in the room?  Why not max out the ATM?   George, have you never even heard of a bank?  ATM machine?  Safety deposit box?  Anything but a cabinet in the room!

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/metro/view/20090831-222825/Task-force-to-probe-Americans-death

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/170876/american-man-robbed-killed-in-lapu-lapu-city

Bring a friend

Another post reminded me of the Philippino Phenomenon that I call "Bring a friend".

Before my last trip there I met some girls on the Internet and arranged to meet them in person when I got to their city. Shortly before my departure I made firm arrangements about what time, where to meet etc. then almost all of them said "Do you mind if I bring my friend with me that night?".

The first few times I was taken aback and said, "Forget it, just go out with your friend if you like them that much.". However this attitude wasn't really sustainable as I was quickly losing friends with just a few days to go before my trip so I relented and allowed them to bring their friend.

peter's picture

Cebu Pacific Finally Issues A Refund After 15 Months... oh, and Exit Clearance Procedures

Fifteen months ago my wife and I were headed to Thailand.  I'd been in the country for about six months.  

We had bought cheaper tickets and had to spend four days waiting for the day of our flight.  Then finally when we go there, the Cebu Pacific agents insisted that we buy my wife a return ticket back to the Philippines.  Well, we tried to argue about it, but have you ever tried to argue with any agent at the airports here?  So we paid over a hundred dollars for a return ticket (refundable without problems, of course, just call and cancel and request a refund, they said).  

The Money Dilemma

This is probably a very familiar scenario for people who go and visit a girl in the Philippines. I'm posting this so others can be better prepared.

As you know, we're (foreigners) all rich. The Filippinos know this too and they use it to their advantage.

I met a girl there (from the Internet) and we went out. It was nice. We went out the next day and I met her family. We went for lunch and had a nice meal. At the end of the meal the bill naturally came to me. No one else made any attempt to pay or offer to contribute to the bill. It was just expected. That really annoys me.

What made it worse was that after we sat down for lunch other members of the family appeared and sat down, some (the younger ones) not even saying hello to me.

Zamboanga port

Zamboanga port

Jeepney, Mindoro

Jeepney, Mindoro

Baywalk, Manila at night

Baywalk, Manila at night

Me outside Davao (Eden Park)

in
Me outside Davao (Eden Park)
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