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The Philippines is known among tourists all over the world as a country of smiles and friendly people. The locals are really very friendly to tourists, and most of the time look happy and content with what they have. But do not relax too much, because as in any, even the happiest country, there are bad people, natural disasters, diseases, infections, and other dangers. Enough of them here.
Here are brief safety tips and rules of conduct:
- This is not a Buddhist or Muslim country, so there are no such strict rules of conduct towards monks of the opposite sex in places of worship, except in the southern regions where the majority of the population is Muslim. So you can behave relaxed, but, of course, within the bounds of decency.
- If you plan to travel on ferries and boats, do not interfere with the means of motion sickness. In extreme cases, you can replace the remedies for motion sickness with simple headache pills like citramon, But Everything Is individual, you need to check.
- Try to always keep food poisoning remedies with you, and take them at the first sign. Food poisoning is a problem here.
- In transport (airplanes, intercity buses, high-speed ferries), air conditioners work at full capacity, it is easy to catch a cold. Take warm clothes on a trip, it's really necessary.
- There are strict bans on popular public beaches. You can not, for example, smoke, drink drinks and food, relieve yourself. Large fines are imposed for this.
- Large cities have high crime rates. Pickpockets and crooks work during the day, but at night it is dangerous to walk in poor neighborhoods.
And now more about the possible dangers for tourists in the Philippines, and how to avoid them:
Crime in the Philippines
The main problem for tourists in the Philippines are thefts, robberies and robberies are much less common. In resorts, small islands, in small towns and villages, crime is low, you can safely walk at any time of the day. But in large cities such as Cebu, Manila, Dumaguete, Iloilo, etc., street crime is a problem. It is relatively safe here in the city centers in commercial areas near shopping and business centers, along major roads. But if you step aside a little into the alleys, you will find yourself in poor areas where people barely make ends meet due to poverty, and then the chance of becoming a victim of robbery is much higher. Of course, do not think that in such an area they will immediately pounce on you and take everything away. In fact, the people here are mostly also friendly and kind, and will even help if necessary. But in the evenings, when residents are resting at home and the streets are deserted, you may well be robbed.
Pickpocketing and various kinds of fraud also flourish in large cities. Especially great is the chance to run into fraud or Crime if you yourself are looking for adventure and buy illegal substances or shoot girls/boys in evil places.
The political situation in the country is calm, there are no threats of civil wars and unrest. However, in the south of the Philippines There are at least 16 terrorist groups committed to the ideas of ISIS (banned in Russia). These are the islands and provinces of Mindanao (Mindanao), Sulu (Sulu) and Basilan (Basilan). The media reports that the terrorists have an intention to create their own state in the southern islands of the Philippines, but so far the country's authorities, albeit with varying success, are fighting the threat. In 2017, terrorists temporarily seized and controlled the entire city of Marawi with a population of more than 200 thousand people. In 2019, militants executed a Dutch photographer who has been in captivity for 7 years.
For these reasons, it is not recommended to visit the southern part of the country, and especially the provinces of Mindanao (Mindanao), Sulu (Sulu) and Basilan (Basilan).
The Philippines is in the area of the so-called "Ring of fire" or Pacific volcanic Ring of fire, prone to frequent volcanoes and earthquakes. It is not yet possible to predict these phenomena, but one should be prepared for an unfavorable development. There are several active volcanoes in the country, which periodically go into the active phase, which is why an emergency situation and evacuation are declared.
The most active volcanoes of the Philippines:
- Mayon / Mayon on the island of Luzon
- Taal / Taal on the island of Luzon
- Kanlaon / Kanlaon Negros Island
- Bulusan Luzon
- Smith on Babuyan island
- Hibok - Hibok / Hibok-Hibok on the island of Camiguin (Camiguin)
- Pinatubo Luzon
- Musuan, Mindanao
Another natural danger of the Philippines are tropical storms and typhoons, since the country is also in the so-called typhoon belt. Every year, several typhoons pass through the North and east of the country, leading to destruction and casualties. For example, in 2019 there were 27 tropical storms, 17 typhoons, and 10 powerful typhoons with casualties and destruction. They take place mainly in the rainy season from June to December inclusive. At this time, ferry service may be interrupted, flights are canceled, and evacuation is announced in places where the epicenter of typhoons passes. Usually storms and typhoons last 1-3 days. An emergency may be declared for this period, allowing hotel bookings to be cancelled, flights and ferries to be rescheduled or cancelled without penalty.
Watch for possible formation of storms and typhoons on the forecast site www.typhoon2000.ph, but do not count on the forecast for a long period. Usually, the threat of typhoons becomes known only in a couple of days, and sometimes only in fact.
Health and vaccinations
There are no mandatory vaccinations for visiting the Philippines, but it is recommended to do traditional vaccinations for tropical regions: tetanus and diphtheria; hepatitis A and B; hepatitis; rabies; Japanese encephalitis. There is a chance to get even a rare leptospirosis. There are many stray dogs on the streets and beaches of the Philippines, Some of which have rabies, take special care with them.
Every year, the country records an increase in the number of HIV cases by 20%, including due to flourishing, albeit prohibited prostitution, so be sure to protect yourself.
In some regions, there is a risk of malaria or dengue fever, but in general there is no epidemic. These diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, so the best means of preventing them is protection from mosquitoes. At night, use mosquito nets, which are in many hotels in the form of a canopy over the beds, helps and a fan. In air-conditioned rooms, mosquitoes are usually not found, and there are no mosquito nets in such rooms, but before going to bed it is better to check the room and destroy mosquitoes. On the street, protect yourself from mosquito bites with clothes and repellents. Especially mosquitoes "love" to bite in the evenings legs and feet, protect them first.
A separate conversation about sanitary conditions. Drinking tap water is not recommended, buy bottled. Be wary of street food. Unlike Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, the food here is not very spicy, besides not very good quality. Sometimes in cheap street cafes it is prepared in terrible sanitary conditions. Therefore, even if your stomach has been repeatedly checked in Thailand or India without consequences, here you can meet with new troubles. Always take food poisoning remedies with you, and it is better to always carry them with you to take for prevention at the first sign.
Medicine in the Philippines is not very well developed, qualified medical care can only be obtained in expensive paid clinics. The availability of travel insurance when entering the country is not checked, but it is recommended to issue it. Please note that the minimum standard insurance does not cover active sports, including diving, snorkeling, motorcycling or cycling. To do this, add the appropriate option at checkout.