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Old 12-30-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
harobikes333
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Default Philippines Trip

Hey all,

I'm headed to Manila, Philippines on January 24th - February 2nd for a trip to visit my girlfriend. She's hiring a driver to pick me up, etc. and we're headed to the Quezon region and will spend some time in Candelaira & Lucena City.

I have a couple days that aren't "planned" yet. So I was wondering what everyone's suggestions are....

Also, could someone give some tips on the money side of things...? i.e. do i bring a CC and use ATMs or cash and then have it exchanged...?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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Make sure multiple people back home know exactly where you are going. B/T natural disasters and political instability, that part of the world is the new Mexico. Or Yemen Mexico...I just invented a new term.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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And I'd imagine The Almighty Dollar would be the currency of choice there, anyway. As long as you stay sober, you'll have more bargaining power with Dollars than the *chuckle* Philippine Peso. About the only civilized places in the world where the Dollar is not preferable are the EU and the UK, where the Euro and Pound Sterling are more valuable than the Dollar.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:42 AM   #4
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It should be fairly safe to be in that region, that just an hour south of Manila. And, perhaps stay clear off Mindanao.

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...es-TG-C-1.html

Last edited by iGas; 12-30-2013 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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MichaelD youre a moron and have no fucking idea what youre talking about.

Haro...Bring about 400-500 in CRISP $100 bills. You'll get a better exchange rate than $20 or $50 at a time.

There is an exchange in NAIA 1 (where youre landing) before you get out of customs. Exchange $100 right away there. You can exchange the rest as you need it from about any money exchange, and rates will be about the same. ATM's give the best exchange rate BTW.

In Quezon city, make sure and hit the memorial circle. Theres also a museum thats pretty neat there.

Plan a full day in Makati. It'll be about a 30 min cab ride from QC. Check out the Greenbelt mall...its pretty nice. Also check out the Ayala Triangle Garden...its a fantastic park right in the middle of the business district.

If youve got the time, the Ocean Park (Manila's aquarium) is pretty nice. Its on the other side of town, in Malate on the water.

Experience riding a jeepney. Although, your girl may not like that for you as they perceive them to be dangerous. They *can* be, but be aware.

Be careful of pickpockets. Never carry your wallet in your back pocket.

Leave your spare $$$ in the safe at your hotel. Only carry what you'll need.

Dont carry your passport with you. Take a copy of it, and leave it in the safe at your hotel.

If you find something you want to buy, whether for you or your girl, let HER buy it. Some vendors WILL charge you more because youre a "kano".

Memorize the phrase "wala pera". It means "no money". You will have kids and all kinds of people begging for money.

Let your girl lead the way on things. Follow her instinct.

Filipino people are about the most gracious and nicest people you will ever meet.

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It should be fairly safe to be in that region, that just an hour south of Manila. And, perhaps stay clear off Mindanao.
LOL Mindanao is on the other side of the country. He'll be no where near it unless he takes a 4 hour plane ride.

HAVE FUN!!!
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
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watch out for manladies.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
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Manila is one of my least favorite places to visit. The traffic is bad and it can be quite dangerous. Lots of poverty, kids starving in the street, etc and right down the block gleaming skyscrapers and malls. Expect to see armed private security all over the place.

Quezon City has a lot of government buildings (which is why some of the protests in the past happened there).

I would go with your GF's advice on where to go. Greenbelt is just a shopping mall, nothing special. Insist that any taxis you take turn their meter on.

I just use ATMs when I am there. Make sure you have pesos when you arrive at the airport to leave, they collect a departure tax in cash.

Be careful and have fun.

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Old 12-30-2013, 10:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
Hey all,

I'm headed to Manila, Philippines on January 24th - February 2nd for a trip to visit my girlfriend. She's hiring a driver to pick me up, etc. and we're headed to the Quezon region and will spend some time in Candelaira & Lucena City.

I have a couple days that aren't "planned" yet. So I was wondering what everyone's suggestions are....

Also, could someone give some tips on the money side of things...? i.e. do i bring a CC and use ATMs or cash and then have it exchanged...?

Thanks in advance!
I haven't ventured much beyond Makati, but if you want a day where you're not driving around, then just hang out in the Glorietta and Greenbelt malls.

Bring both cash and a credit card (visa or mastercard). Don't use your bank card, use another if you have it. Call them ahead to let them know you're traveling or it may get declined.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGas View Post
It should be fairly safe to be in that region, that just an hour south of Manila. And, perhaps stay clear off Mindanao.

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...es-TG-C-1.html
Awesome, headed to Mindanao in November
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelD View Post
And I'd imagine The Almighty Dollar would be the currency of choice there, anyway. As long as you stay sober, you'll have more bargaining power with Dollars than the *chuckle* Philippine Peso. About the only civilized places in the world where the Dollar is not preferable are the EU and the UK, where the Euro and Pound Sterling are more valuable than the Dollar.
japan probably, too
also taiwan, south korea, canada, australia

apart from some islands, i don´t think the phillipines are a dangerous country to travel
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:29 PM   #11
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Thanks for the helpful replies!

So... just bring $500 in cash ( mostly in 100's )
I currently have two MasterCard CC's... just call them and let them know I'll be traveling to the Philippines.. & they'll work at most of the larger cities there...? Suggestions on ATMs...? If you suggest leaving Debit card at home...? I currently have a PayPal CC & a Capital One CC...

My Capital One CC has an option to set an International Travel Notification to let them know which countries I will be going to & during what dates...?

Oh, one more thing... I looked & looked... but could only find a flight that arrived there @ midnight >_< ... Girlfriend said it wasn't a problem & that she has lined up a driver / van to drive us back to her Parent's house in Candelaria... anything to worry about...? aka... is there anywhere open to get money exchanged at that time....
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
is there anywhere open to get money exchanged at that time....
Get your cash exchanged at the first airport you're leaving from, or if somehow you forget, just do it at the airport when you land in Manila.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
Thanks for the helpful replies!

So... just bring $500 in cash ( mostly in 100's )
Correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
I currently have two MasterCard CC's... just call them and let them know I'll be traveling to the Philippines.. & they'll work at most of the larger cities there...?
Correct. Visa/MC is taken pretty much everywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
Suggestions on ATMs...?
Ive always used BPI (Bank of Philippine Islands) ATM's. Theyre plentiful. Just be cautious and be aware of your surroundings when you use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
If you suggest leaving Debit card at home...? I currently have a PayPal CC & a Capital One CC...
I wouldnt necessarily leave the debit card at home...just keep it locked in your hotel safe when youre not using it. I believe all Cap 1 credit cards have no international fees. Call both of them and ask

Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
My Capital One CC has an option to set an International Travel Notification to let them know which countries I will be going to & during what dates...?
Yes. Do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harobikes333 View Post
Oh, one more thing... I looked & looked... but could only find a flight that arrived there @ midnight >_< ... Girlfriend said it wasn't a problem & that she has lined up a driver / van to drive us back to her Parent's house in Candelaria... anything to worry about...? aka... is there anywhere open to get money exchanged at that time....
I dont believe the bank exchange in NAIA is open 24x7; however, there ARE ATM's all over the airport. Ive done this in a pinch...money exchange was closed, and used an ATM to get cash for the cab ride to the hotel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SagaLore View Post
Get your cash exchanged at the first airport you're leaving from, or if somehow you forget, just do it at the airport when you land in Manila.
I would shy away from this. Most of the time you'll get a pretty shitty exchange rate for currency outside of the country youre in.


edit: I just saw you'll be going to gf's parents house not a hotel. In that case, get one of THESE to store your extra cash. debit card, passport, etc in. I dont care how much you think you can trust her family etc, you have NO control what happens when youre not there. Im not speaking ill of your gf or her family...please dont take it that way. Im speaking from dozens of trips there, and experience. You need to be cautious. You dont have to make a big deal out it, just keep it on the bottom of your suitcase or whatever.
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Last edited by blackangst1; 12-31-2013 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:48 PM   #14
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Thanks, blackangst1 / SagaLore, and everyone else! Helpful stuff!

I opened a Checking Account online with Capital One, since I already had an online savings account with them, it was just a few clicks & a Debit Card should show up in the mail in 1 week.

When I get to Manila, you said I should bring ~$500 USD... realizing it will be midnight when I arrive.. and that I will end up in Candelaria.. should I look for a bank the following day in Candelaria to exchanged over the USD...?

I ordered up one of those locking money bags... not a bad idea. Keeps honest people honest
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:11 PM   #15
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Any suggestion on my money question... let me know! - Thanks
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