Areas to Avoid in the Philippines

Philippines | Wed, 9 Jun 2010 | 11331 views | 2 Comments

While most of the Philippines is friendly and beautiful, there are areas that are unsafe. Of course you want to stay safe, so take a quick look through this list of places to avoid, and make your visit to The Philippines safe and fun.

Military Risk

The military is an ever-present force in the Philippines, due mainly to the high risk of terrorism. Even when a ceasefire has been called, violence could flare up again at any moment, without warning.  So, regardless of the current state of affairs during your stay, it’s best to avoid these areas altogether.

Terrorism

Terrorism is perhaps the biggest threat to tourist safety in the Philippines and continues to be an increasing and ongoing problem.

The whole of the far south is a no-go zone: The areas of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and the Zamboanga Peninsula are all considered extremely dangerous and travelers are advised not to go there.  The terrorist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been blamed for a numerous violent incidents, kidnapping, and frequent clashes with the Filipino security forces.

Spinoff terrorist groups, like the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jema’ah Islamiyah, have broken away from MILF and are particularly dangerous. They are responsible for bombings which have resulted in property damage, injury and death. The more rural areas of the country, including the island of Luzon to the north, should be avoided as they have seen increased presence of the terrorist organization The New People’s Army (NPA). 

Over the past few years, terrorist acts involving explosive devices in North Cotabato Province, Basilan, Isabela City, Jolo, Cotabato City, Makati and the Zamboanga airport have collectively resulted in the deaths of 41 people and severe injury to well over a hundred others.  Most of these bombings took place on public transportation, such as buses, and in crowded locations like restaurants and cathedrals. 

The unpredictability of terrorist acts makes them that much more dangerous, so the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to steer clear of the locations where they are more likely to occur.

See also: Vaccinations & Disease

Kidnap Risk to Travellers

The risk of kidnap is especially hazardous for tourists because the terror groups target foreigners for the high profile publicity - and the high ransom they can obtain from relatively wealthy families.  Thankfully, these crimes are not widespread.  The following locations carry a higher risk of kidnapping and should be avoided:

  • Sarangani Province
  • North Cotabato Province
  • South Cotabato Province
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat Province
  • Lanao del Sur Province
  • Lanao del Norte Province
  • Iligan City
  • Pangutaran Island

Additionally, several foreigners have been captured in Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Patikul and Jolo in recent years. 

The victims range from Philippines nationals to Red Cross workers to television crews.  An Irish priest anda  wildlife photographer are among other kidnap victims proving that anyone could potentially be at risk if they are traveling within these danger zones.

Again, like terrorism, kidnappings are difficult to predict and therefore can be challenging to avoid.  Your best bet is to travel in groups and stay away from areas that have seen an increase in recent kidnapping incidents.  There are plenty of beautiful locations within the Philippines to see and explore without having to venture into these troubled places.
Is The Philippines Danegrous?

As a whole, the Philippines is a lovely place to visit with minimal risk of crime or danger.  There are, however, locations within the country in which the risk of harm to foreigners is heightened and therefore should be avoided.  Just know what areas to avoid and stick to the places that are not as dangerous and you will be able to experience the beauty of the Philippines without incident.

Related Articles

Safe travels in the Philippines

Crime in the Philippines



Author:

Tags: asia, philippines, travel-safety, travel-terrorism

2 Comments

  • Alton Barbour said

    I have been to the Philippines many times. I have a two and half years old son there. He is in Aurora. The most problem I have had is with money changers trying to rip me off. They assume a foreigner is afraid. I kicked a money changers ass and his accomplices ass right in the street in Malate. The people there applauded me and even the police just laughed. A vender gave me pork on a stick. I have been to many places on Luzon, Cebu, Mindanao and Negros Occidental. Every now and then a taxi will try to get over on you. But just stand firm and you will be O.K. I love going to the Philippines and I like the excitement of going where you're suppose not to go. Kidnap me, I have a lesson to teach you. Randy Barbour

Add a Comment

 

 

Related Articles


About World Nomads

WorldNomads.com keeps you travelling safely.  Whether you’re off for a long weekend, looking for the ultimate adventure or living the nomadic dream, you’ll stay safe with Travel Insurance you can buy online, anytime, and the latest  travel safety advice. Learn basic phrases in over 25 languages with our free language guides and have an experience of a lifetime on a travel scholarship. We'll also help you share your journey with a free travel blog, get answers from other nomads to all of your travel questions (try the new 'Ask A Nomad' iPad app and donate to a local community development project through our Footprints program.

WorldNomads.com  - an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey.

" Want to stay safe? Take a quick look through this list of places to avoid"

  
  1. Stay alert on travel safety - follow us
  2. Is it safe for a white woman to travel to Port Harcourt? - Safety in Port Harcourt http://t.co/9ia6cEBkhe
    2 weeks ago
  3. #TravelAlert How to survive a #tsunami http://t.co/LQpVMBaoxh #Chile #travel
    3 weeks ago
  4. RT @SkyNewsAust: #BREAKING:Reports waves of 2m are already striking cities on #Chile's northern coastline following 8.2magnitude earthquake…
    3 weeks ago
  5. RT @RichardBarrow: You should never give your passport to anyone. For example, when renting a motorcycle #Thailand #travelsafety
  6. RT @NBCNewsTravel: Thailand struggles with booming fake passport market http://t.co/pye8tluyoH
  7. RT @Thailand_: Thailand Bans Smoking Publically http://t.co/0ZH5Bync7l