Nothing beats the reassurance of knowing you are safe when traveling. Safety is on top of every traveler’s bucket list anywhere they want to go in the world. That’s why there are series of reviews and research that must be done first when planning to explore different places with different cultures.
Manila has poor ratings from locals when asked if Manila is safe for travel. However, based on foreign visitors’ firsthand experience, it is a safe place to wander around.
Safety can be subjective as it depends on each one’s safety precautions. Like some other countries, the Philippines has areas that are safe and areas that aren’t. So, if your question is if Manila is safe for travelers, the answer is a yes, and well, it can also be a no depending on your precautions.
Foreigners are unacquainted with the wrongdoings, they are often the easiest target.
What are the usual safety issues in Manila?
Manila is the most populous part of the Philippines, where 14 million Filipinos spend their day-to-day living. It is because corporate jobs are in Manila, and the salary rate is higher in the city. There are also more jobs in Manila than in the other parts of the country, so parents prefer to send their children to Manila-based universities for better opportunities after college.
Though Manila treats you with numerous spots to visit, you should be alert on the safety issues you might (hopefully not) encounter when wandering its streets. Locals also face this dilemma, but since foreigners are unacquainted with the wrongdoings, they are often the easiest target.
Here are the most common safety issues in Manila:
Theft – Manila has a fair share of pickpockets wandering deserted and busy streets. There is also another form of robberies like fraud, carjacking, and robberies, but the Philippine police described Manila’s theft cases as “moderate” compared to other parts of the country.
Road and Traffic – as the country’s capital and a site of business districts, the road infrastructures in Manila are considerably developed. It has major roads and highways that play a massive role in developing the country’s commerce industry. Unpaved roads are frequent in small districts, which can also be equally dangerous to travelers during the night.
Public Transportation – Manila’s recent public transportation developments are an accomplishment the country is taking pride in. Manila has an integrated train system connecting the 16 cities in the metropolitan. Theft is also a threat associated with taking public transportation.
Traffic – Manila is the 4th when it comes to the worst traffic in the world. It poses safety threats, especially during road accidents where urgent medical attention is needed. In 2019, the Philippines recorded a 71% of road congestion level.
How to be safe in Manila?
You certainly have your preventive measures when visiting places, but here are a few precautions so you can enjoy wandering around the lovely city of Manila:
Do your research.
Researching about the place is given to travelers. However, it is crucial to look for vital information about your destination. Make sure to note the areas with high crime rates and avoid going there if possible.
Among the safest cities to visit are Makati, Taguig, and Quezon City. If you still want to see, no matter how unsafe the place could be, look for helpful advice to heighten your measures.
Always watch your belongings.
Being amazed at new surroundings is acceptable but be constantly watchful of your belongings. If you will tour the city, it is advisable to use a body bag and tone down wearing flashy jewelry. Do not trust your bags to strangers and avoid paying high denominations in public places like street markets.
Be wary with taxi rides.
Manila has a platform called Grab, which works like Uber. It is recommended for foreigners to use the platform to get safely to their destination.
If you don’t have a choice but to get a taxi, discuss the terms first with the driver. Taxi scam is also rampant in the city where drivers charge for higher prices.
Also, regularly update your friends and family on what you’re planning to do or where you’re headed.
Explore during the day.
Start your day early when visiting Manila. Besides most of the crimes happen at night, it is advisable to witness Manila’s beautiful spots in broad daylight.
If you’ll go out and about during the night, go with some friends and make sure you’re sober to get home.
Book a safe accommodation and try hiring a guide.
Consider booking hotels or hostels that are located nearby establishments and main roads in Manila. There are a lot of recommendations online that foreign and local tourists review to help you decide.
You can also hire a travel guide to help you get around Manila safely. You can also have the chance to meet fellow travelers. Who knows, they might be your travel buddy on your next travel destination.