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Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Darwin, Australia
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Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

I need some safety advice travelling alone to the Philippines in Oct this year. I have three days in Manila, then an 8 day dive course in Taglibaran. I've been googling safety tips for travelling alone in the Philippines, and I'm now getting a bit scared due to the fact that I'm a white Caucasian female travelling alone. Does anyone out there have up to date travel tips and advice from arriving at Manila airport onwards. How do I handle airport employees, porters, taxis etc? Is it safe to walk around Manila alone during the day? I look forward to any replies. Have a great day.

Singapore, Singapore
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for Philippines
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1. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Melissa,

Welcome to the Philippines forum.

Do not worry too much about your skin colour. Filipinos do not really bother weather are you white, purple, green, black or blue. They will still welcome you.

No one can guarantee your safety anywhere even in your home country. Just bring your common sense with you when you travel.

Do not do the things that you will not do at home.

Do not walk in dark alleys.

Do not loiter on the streets in the middle of the night.

Do not flash you valuables.

Dress modestly.

Do not befriend strangers easily. I do not mean everyone is bad approaching you but if it does not give you a good feel, walk away.

Walking around in Manila during the day at those usual tourist spots will be fine. I see many tourist do that.

As for airport staff, not to worry about them. They are generally friendly and adhere all the rules like taking in no more than P10,000 into the country.

I presume you are having your dive course in Alona beach? That is a great destination to start off your first Philippines visit.

I do hope you will have fun in the Philippines.

Edited: 21 March 2013, 20:54
Darwin, Australia
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2. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Thank you so much for replying, mousehunt. Yes, I have a dive course booked with Seaquest Dive Resort on Taglibaran. Do you tip in the Philippines? If so, what's the going rate for that? I also read that if someone comes up to you and wants to help you, like at the airport, and if you didn't ask for help or need help, that person expects to be paid. Is this a common thing that does occur, and how do I handle that situation?

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
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3. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Tipping is voluntary in Philippines.

Having know how much is their daily salary, I will tip them if their service is good.

If you are taking a taxi, round up to the nearest P10 of the fare. Tip them more if you feel that they deserve it.

If you do not require assistance at the airport or anywhere, just say no politely if anyone approaches you. Be firm but polite.

Some Filipinos are very poor people so they will find ways to earn some money. Therefore just rejecting them politely will be enough.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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4. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Porters normally expect a tip of about 50-100 per piece of luggage.

Tommo

Iloilo City...
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5. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Hello!

In terms of safety, ditto on everything mousehunt said on the first post.

Another tip: avoid clubs. Personally, I think that when traveling alone to ANY country, alcohol is best consumed in the safety of a hotel room or, at the farthest, the hotel bar.

Stay safe!

Darwin, Australia
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6. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate the time you took to do that. I am feeling so much more relieved about travelling to the Philippines. I'm not much of a drinker, and clubbing in a foreign country does not appeal to me, especially if it is a non-Australian speaking club. If you have any other travel tips to the Philippines I would love to read them. I am really looking forward to going to the Philippines now. Google got me worried this morning. Cheers.

Philippines
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for Philippines
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7. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

@ Melissa,

First of all, Welcome to the Philippines - It is a fantastic place, beautiful beaches, and most importantly, the people are great - always cheerful, always making jokes, and smiling ... yep - even in the midst of a typhoon, you will find people smiling and waving from the boat they are transporting their household goods in! :D

As a solo woman traveller, it is extremely safe... a bit safer than Thailand, and much safer than Australia :) ... Filipino men tend to be very helpful.

A slight difference of opinion from earlier answers, but to your advantage.... colour DOES matter here, in the sense, if you are dark / brown skinned, you will be treated very well, and if you are white, you will be treated excellently. That is just the way it is ... enjoy being pampered.

Men will be chivalrous with you - in a good way (a wee bit like Italian boys... but far more likeable) - they are very decent.

Here are some links which will give you a better idea of the country.

1) The attitudes of Filipinos -

…answers.com/Q/What_are_the_filipino_attitud…

2) This humorous post on "115 ways to tell you are Filipino if..." is surprisingly close to reality -

http://goo.gl/Cslo8

3) Travel blog on a few beautiful places in the Philippines - visited solo -

http://goo.gl/Oy1Kt

4) This post will help you understand and accept some "peculiarities" of Filipinos better when you come here -

http://goo.gl/23Ds4

Enjoy yourself here - I know you will :)

Australia
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for Cebu City, Cebu Island
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8. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Thank you so much for replying, mousehunt. Yes, I have a dive course booked with Seaquest Dive Resort on Taglibaran. Do you tip in the Philippines? If so, what's the going rate for that? I also read that if someone comes up to you and wants to help you, like at the airport, and if you didn't ask for help or need help, that person expects to be paid. Is this a common thing that does occur, and how do I handle that situation?

----------------------------------------------------------

Tip as you would in the Northern Territory

If some one approaches you and you don't want their help, just politely tell them that you don't need their help.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines
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9. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

Melidssa, the above is all excellent advice.

Try to always have small money with you (P20 and P50 bills and even P10 coins).

That way, you can quickly tip porters and taxi drivers.

Getting into a taxi in Manila, say 'meter po', rolling your 'r'sss as if you were from the good ol' USA. The percentage of taxi drivers who automatically turn on their meters is far higher than 20 years ago in my experience.

Travel in the back seat of cabs, not that you will experience much trouble. Get out if the driver refuses to switch the meter on.

Questions to males such as 'where is your wife?'', 'do you have a girlfriend here?' are super common so being female expect the reverse questions. It's viewed as normal because Filipinos place huge emphasis on family: their curiosity is aroused when a single traveller turns up.

Changing say A$40 at the airport booth after immigration; change the rest at Edzen moneychangers in Ermita near Robinsons Place, Ermita shopping centre (Manila bay area), the former sex tourism area and a bit run down but safe, or in Makati (business district) there are nuimerous places. Get your money, count it at the counter then hand back some P500 bills that you have just been given and ask for a mix of P50s and a few P20s.

There are incrible shopping bargains for you while a buffet dinner at Vikings near Mall of Asia (email pre booking is best, or turn up on the night from 1730 hours prepared to wait) is amazing. It's reviewed on TA.

On Bohol and Panglao Islands (the former has Tagbiliran City as its capital), there are great land and marine day tours. The touts will find you! Look up 'Balicasag Island' and 'Bohol attractions' as well as 'Panglao island accommodation' on TA.

Edited: 22 March 2013, 08:47
Luzon, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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10. Re: Solo female traveller to Philippines Oct 2013

You could ask your hotel if there are other single female travelers staying there and from that you could gain a new friend or even a travel buddy. Depending on where you are going, you could participate in group tours like island hopping so you could enjoy the company of others and I bet you are more than welcome to join in those group of friends.

Have you been to big U.S. cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles? If yes then you would be happy walking the streets of Philippine cities (big or small) alone at night than those U.S. cities.