Here’s Why Foreigners Get Killed in The Philippines

If you are considering moving to The Philippines you already know that it’s cheap and full of beautiful smiling faces. That’s why there are over 220,000 Americans currently living in the country with 650,000 visiting each year. But there’s a dark side to living here that you should also know about. These last few years proved to be quite dangerous if you are an American living in The Philippines.

While it is relatively safe, foreigners do get killed in The Philippines and usually for the same few reasons.

Manila’s High Crime Rate

Manila in general just has a high crime rate. Fortunately, (or unfortunately) that crime is mostly concentrated in areas where you probably won’t be living in any way. That being said, the chances of being a victim of a robbery, your car being stolen, or physically assaulted are still relatively high compared to other parts of The Philippines. That’s why the US Department of State has designated Manila as a high-threat for crime against US citizens.

Related: Tips & Hacks for Living in Manila

Messing With The Wrong Girl

Too many guys come here thinking with the wrong head and they get involved with the wrong woman. Specifically, they get involved with a woman that is already married or a swindler. There is no divorce in The Philippines and many native Filipinos don’t want ‘second-hand goods’ which is why many girls who have been left by their Filipino men go after foreign men. Often these women will have multiple children from multiple men. The problem arises once her Filipino ex realizes that she now has access to a gold mine. At that point, he’ll reconcile with her, have her convince the expat to buy property in her name, then once she’s squeezed everything she can out of him, or once he becomes more trouble than he’s worth it’s time for him to go.

Related: Signs a Filipina Actually Likes You

Another big issue is stiffing a bar girl. Sometimes guys will get buyers’ remorse after the fact and not want to pay the bar girl for her services. That’s a great way to get yourself arrested if you’re lucky and whacked if you’re not. It doesn’t matter how good or bad it was. Just pay her what you agreed to and move on. It’s not worth your life.

Entering in Shady Business Dealings

The most common shady ‘investment’ guys make here is trying to get around the land ownership prohibition. Listen, if you’re not a citizen or resident you may rent, lease, or own a condo–that’s it! I’ve seen so many guys try to do some stupid tricks like setting up a paper corporation or even using a fake Philippine ID and they always get screwed. What usually happens is the girl (or her family) will sell the land and keep the profits and if he tries to get any of the money he’s disposed of.

If you come here you’ll no doubt be solicited to enter into some sort of ‘investment’ with a local. Don’t do it. New expats that end up investing with a local usually lose their money and when they try to get it back they get whacked. The Philippines has strict laws regarding foreign investment (to protect the oligarchy). I wouldn’t even consider doing any sort of investment here until you’ve been here at least a year; and you’ve spoken to an attorney to see if it’s even legal for you to make such an investment.

Forgetting They Are Not in a 1st World Country

Simon Rawlingson was walking down the street in downtown Naval when two people were waiting for him on a corner. Once the lookout gave the signal his partner in crime shot Mr. Rawlingson in the head once, took his money, and then shot him in the head again before riding away in a motorcycle with his belongings.

Mr. Rawlingson was no stranger to controversy, constantly embroiled in disputes with his neighbors. The New Zealander often spoke out publicly against the mayor and a few other officials over what he perceived as unfair treatment in a land dispute. It is reported that in an argument with his barangay captain the official told him to ‘get f—‘. His neighbors even signed a petition to get him deported from The Philippines. When that didn’t work they took other measures.

Making False Promises

Guys that are tired of paying for fun will make false promises with local girls in order to get the milk without having to buy the cow. They’ll tell them, or imply, that they’re looking to take her back to their home country or that she’ll get a life happily ever after. Many guys justify it in their minds as payback since they’ve been scammed a few times. You can do that but you’re risking your life. Hell hath no fury like a slighted Filipina. A Danish man was recently stabbed and disemboweled by his Filipina after she found out she wasn’t getting a visa to Europe despite letting him on top of her for 6 months. She claims he ‘stabbed himself’. If you’re interested in meeting Filipinas take a look at my dating resources page.

Related: Dating In The Philippines? Here’s What to Expect

Getting Into Bar Fights

Recently an expat was shot and killed in a bar fight in The City of Silay, Negros Occidental. Eric Henderson was minding his own business at a bar when two locals asked him for cash. He declined and they insulted him in their native tongue which he understood. Once he confronted them a fight ensued and they shot him dead. He left behind a wife and three children that he was going to adopt and take back to America. Bars are a big source of trouble for expats. Whenever alcohol is involved sometimes expats forget they’re in a country where the rule of law is a luxury that they don’t have.

Related: Ria Money Transfer vs TransferWise

How to Stay Safe in The Philippines

If you are traveling alone to Manila or The Philippines for that matter, there are some common-sense tips you can use to stay safe.

  • Think with the right head
  • Avoid bar fights
  • Don’t try to ‘cheat the system’. Specifically, when it comes to trying to loop around the land ownership laws
  • Don’t lie for sex
  • Choose the right self-defense tool
  • Hold off on investing or trying to start a business right away
  • If you get cheated just suck it up and move on
  • Get More Useful Tips for Living In The Philippines
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joseph a farrugia
joseph a farrugia
1 year ago

Yes i have been living in Bohol panglao for 5 year with my partner of 5 year which i trust with my life ,got to kids with her ,great family ,never ask for a thing .But when it come to other people with money ,i am very careful now ,I build i my own house ,got cheated a number of time by contractors paying for materials like roofing or window ,that never get done ,then pay an atty to take them to court ,was a waste of money ,now i just pay as i go trust no one .Keep my… Read more »

Joe Williams
Joe Williams
1 year ago

What is hard for some to get sometimes is that the law is not the law. It is 5 times more important who you are than if you are correct in following the law. City hall has a LOT of discretion, as to what taxes are, what tax is due when, if the police come to your house, if somebody commits a crime against you. Further, for sure you can buy friendship, you can even buy loyalty from a few, but you are not ever going to be a living asset to a community. Past good works have no pull… Read more »

9 months ago
Reply to  Joe Williams

Never go to the Filipino land because it’s a shithole of a country

China Mike
China Mike
1 year ago

Quote: “There is no divorce in The Philippines”. Completely false statement. Thousands get annulments every year. It’s not that difficult to do either.

Also, the BS about getting “black listed” is complete bullocks. Many women threaten to have expats deported, but the reality is, a judge needs significant evidence to even process the claim.

The Philippines is no more dangerous that countries in Indonesia and South America. Stop spreading panic and fear with this kind of overzealous writing. BTW, I live in Angeles City, where I work in Clark.

Norman Allard
Norman Allard
1 year ago
Reply to  China Mike

Divorce and annulment are different. Duh!!

8 months ago
Reply to  China Mike

Good Post China Mike! I agree. I am a Retired US Air Force member of 22 years. I have been to Clark many times on Active duty and sense the Base closed with my Philippina wife. I am 64 and she 54, we are a very good match and have been together 12 years getting our son educated. He will be earning his Ph.D. in Health Sciences this year. I will be coming to the Philippines again to stay a year or more in Tagum near DAVO Mindinao with my Wife. I am getting ready to retire and collect Social… Read more »

Spurlin Edwards
1 year ago

Thanks for the good information. I plan on moving there soon, and this article will be remembered!

Norm Gomes
Norm Gomes
1 year ago

I live in Eastwood City, which is part of Metro Manila. I find that Manila is no different than any other big city anywhere in the world. There are good and bad areas of any city. If you stay out of the bad areas and treat people the way you want to be treated you should be fine.

1 year ago

20 years in the Philippines and as I look back very few problems have come my way . These are some of the guidelines that have served me well Remember that no matter how long I have been in the Philippines it’s important for me to remember that I am a guest here. I am here at the pleasure or the whim of the locals and The Filipino government . Never lend money out. If you choose to gift money that’s fine however be aware that they will be back over and over again . I will buy someone fast… Read more »

4 months ago

My experience has been much different than yours. Probably because I came here on different pretenses, as a entrepreneur not as a retiree. Having popped my cherry in Mexico on the whole turd world thing, many of the same rules apply, but as a expat entrepreneur a whole new kettle of fish is on your table as well. First of all. The Philippines is a hard expensive education. If you think you know it all, or have a lot of pride, you will quickly learn otherwise. Part 1. Whom you associate with. If you hang out with trailer park trash… Read more »