Is it safe to travel to the Philippines

Is it safe to travel to the Philippines

Maybe the most asked questions of the last few weeks since the Marawi incident. Yes, I  call it an incident. Because that is what it is. Like all the other incidents that happen all over the world. The incident in Manchester, London, Paris you name it, they are all incidents. and it is the media, and the hype around it that make us feel insecure and maybe even scared. To scared to travel in some cases.  For I saw already notifications of people cancelling their vacation to the Philippines.

Don’t be ridiculous just use your common sense if you have any left! And make that trip to the Philippines

The tourism industry is suffering under the alleged terrorist attacks and the way the news is brought to you in the West. Resorts in the north of the Philippines advertise on Facebook with advertisements like: the Philippines is a big country, just do not visit the Visayas……wow talking of good fellowship.

The Philippines is a big country. With a land area of 343,448 square kilometers (higher than the common estimate of 300,000), The Philippines, for example, is 8x bigger than The Netherlands (41,543 sq km) and is significantly larger than the United Kingdom (242,495 sq km).
When an incident occurs in one area, the other 99% of the country might not be affected by it at all. The same as in your country, even if you do live in a small country like f.e. the Netherlands or Belgium. When an incident happens in one of your cities, life goes on as usual. And in a day or three the news will be on page 3 of the newspaper, if any news-reports on it at all.

I live in the Visayas, actually I live so close to Mindanao, I can see the islands on the horizon

Do I notice anything from the Marawi crisis? A little. When Residents from Marawi move to other cities and travel through the port of Dumaguete for instance, there is a lot of army present, just to make sure none of the ‘most wanted’ slip through.
And yes, there is a slightly tighter security in the port terminals, as in: more armed forces present. But the atmosphere is relaxed and happy, they are obviously not there to fight but to serve. But port security always was more strict in this country and occasionally you get frisked and bags get X-rayed long before the Marawi incident.

News agencies tend to generalize

News agencies love drama, for drama sells. The fire in the Grenfell Tower in London was horrific on itself, but showing pictures of people trapped make clickbait*. Although we are disgusted by it, we also want to see. This also happens when S.d.V from ‘you-name-city’ kills a person, the news get enlarged just to sell. All kind of experts are giving opinions on his childhood, his present living conditions, you name it. And within seconds it is not about a crime anymore but about ‘how did it happen? can it happen to you? Are we safe in the society we live in? can we solve that ‘problem’?’
The same thing happened with news like the Marawi city siege. Within the first few days the news was all over the place and facts were twisted and the whole thing was blown into gigabytes.

When news agencies in the news reports say: ‘The Netherlands’….well that is a small area, but when they say: The Philippines…..take in account that the landmass only is so large you cannot possible cover all of that in 3-weeks holiday.

I remember friends of mine panicking for The Philippines were hit by a typhoon…..was I safe?? I was on the beach that day, enjoying the weather, counting myself lucky not to be in the typhoon struck province, more than three large islands away from me.

Is it safe to travel to the Philippines?

Is it safe to travel to the UK? Or to Europe?
Do embassies give a warning about travelling to Europe? Where suicide bombers are all over the place, and you never know when you sit next to one?
Is it safe to travel to South Africa? Where riots are part of daily life and crime rate is sky-high?
Is it safe to travel to Brazil, Colombia or even the United States, target number one on the terrorist list and with crazy American gunmen shooting in public, and supposedly oppressed people rioting in the streets?

Is it safe to travel to the philippines?
By all means: yes it is.**
Just be realistic and do use your common sense. When Newspapers report that ‘The Philippines’ are under Terrorist attack, they can not possibly mean all 343,448 sq. km, can they? Look up on Google maps where Marawi is, measure the distance to your place and keep your head cool.
And stay away from the Marawi area.
Keep up with the news, take notice of your government travel advice and use your own common sense.

To show you how tranquil life is where I live, here is a video:

* Clickbait is a pejorative term for web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social … Source: Wikipedia

** with the internet being used a personal guidelines and advice taken literally by some people, I feel obliged to say that I am not responsible for your safety and that this article is written from my own personal point of view. The material and information in this article and on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on this website as a basis for making any personal, business, legal or any other decisions.

 

 

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