Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 8, 2012 3:18 PM Last Post By: Brax
Oct 7, 2012 4:18 AM
Phillipines tipsHi everyone,
I will be in the Philipines from October 17th for 3 weeks, and would be keen to head to Banaue etc and see the rice terraces and do some trekking around there.
As a solo female traveller, what do people think about safety in this area?
Is anyone else planning to be in the Philipines around that time who might like to meet up?
Oct 7, 2012 10:29 AM
1My gf and I went to the rice terraces at Banaue 3 years ago and spent a week trekking in the area. At first my gf was reluctant to go there as she had researched as usual about the safety and there was a case of a single american woman who had been killed while exploring the rice terraces but we went there and had a great experience. the weather was not so good but on the days that it was not raining the views were breathtaking.
We went on to Palawan for some beach relaxation and R&R after the trek and the resorts were all full. There had been a security issue a few years before but the trouble seemed to have died down and Palawan was heading for the No.1 spot for tourist destinations.
we will be back next month to see the tarsier and chocolate hills
Oct 7, 2012 12:11 PM
Ok first of all why do you not post in the Travel Companions Branch, I feel you will get more success there.
Secondly the lady that was killed on the terraces was actually attacked in Batad, I know she was a colleague of mine. Batad is a fair way from Banaue. The area is a safe as it gets, even for solo travellers. True nowhere is 100% safe but in the case of my colleague she was attacked by someone who was not a native of Batad and it was believed to be the first instance of violence against a foreigner.
If you do not find a buddy and do not wish to trek alone you will find cheap guides easily enough. Take the usual precautions and you will, I am sure, be fine. I trekked the terraces and loved it.
Oct 7, 2012 5:41 PM
Oct 7, 2012 6:37 PM
4Secondly the lady that was killed on the terraces was actually attacked in Batad, I know she was a colleague of mine. Batad is a fair way from Banaue
Its only around 40kms(26miles) from Banaue to Batad,thats almost next door in the sparsely populated mountain province. The victim who was killed was a peace corps worker who bumped into a local farmer on the trail and was bludgeoned to death and buried to death in a shallow grave.The response from the justice secretary at the time,who claimed it was partially her own fault as she was unwise in travelling alone,sparked a national fury.
The suspect was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment and an additional penalty was imposed when he was ordered to pay restitution of almost $900,000 to the victim's family
The topic of safety of foreigners in Philippines has been widely discussed on this forum in recent months after some recent murders. It seems to be the consensus of some on this forum that you are perfectly safe as a tourist and unlikely to be a victim of crime unless you are a resident expat keeping bad company.
The rice terraces are stunningly beautiful and you should have no hesitation in visiting the area but as poster #2 states you may wish to join up with another traveller and post in the travel Companions forum
Oct 7, 2012 8:49 PM
5Batad is actually part of the municipality of Banaue. It's also Banaue's main tourist attraction, and there's really not much point in going to Banaue unless you go to Batad, that's where the really spectacular terraces are.
The Julia Campbell incident was a real shock to everyone up in the mountains, an area that's always been considered extremely safe and has been safe ever since. It comes down to that one-off encounter that can happen anywhere. If it had happened in Manila it would have been just another crime in a crime ridden city... it's still associated with Banaue because it's so uncharacteristic.
I don't think you'd have any problem at all in the area; single women trek there and around Sagada all the time. If you're concerned, though, you can hire guides through the guest houses in Batad or the tourist office in Banaue.
The comment blaming Campbell for traveling alone was dumb, but very much in keeping with old school ways here. It used to be seen as very strange for anyone to travel alone (can't begin to count how many times I've been asked "where is your companion") and unheard of for a woman to do it. Filipina friends who regularly travel alone tell me that their elder relatives are horrified by that habit, and regularly issue dire warnings of how the people "out there" (meaning anywhere but your own place) are going to rape and dismember her. It's an old prejudice, maybe silly (even to younger Pinoys/Pinays) but the old prejudices die slowly.
Oct 8, 2012 1:44 AM
Once again I reiterate it is, in my opinion safe. Gwapo you are not totally correct here. Julia was attacked by someone who did reside in Batad but was not what was described as local by the natives of there. He was in fact a woodworker (not farmer) who married a native sari sari owner of the village a short time before the attack.
Pikayaker's post is one that I agree with in its entirety. I am a little saddened that the issue of Julia's demise crops up again. Hurt a lot of people at the time, and still lingers. I went immediately to batd after the incidence and walked and walked those terraces. Peaceful calm and serene you would not believe that anything of such a nature could take place there.
Batad and Banaue (specially Batad
Oct 8, 2012 1:45 AM
Oct 8, 2012 6:25 AM
Yes Gwapo, remember it as if it was yesterday. I had just been working with Julia and loads of others on a project in Donsol. She headed off to Batad, I was still in Donsol when the news about the search was being broadcast daily (really weakens you). As soon as she was found several of us, individually, made our way up to Batad - sort of personal challenge I suppose - and walked the terraces.
I never felt anything other than 100% safe. The village was absolutely devastated, lovely place, nice people. I will be back, when I have covered all 7,000 plus islands of course - if only.
Oct 8, 2012 6:27 AM
Oct 8, 2012 3:04 PM
10Julia was here in Sagada before going to Batad, met her with some other PCVs. I'm an ex PCV and my wife used to train volunteers so they often come by. When she was reported missing we went looking in a few places hoping she'd changed itinerary, never much hope of that but in situations like that you look for any hope around. Terrible and tragic event... but I still wouldn't have any safety worries here, if I did I wouldn't live here. No place in the world is 100% safe.
Oct 8, 2012 3:18 PM
My mob painted out the centre she built in Donsol one week end then went on to have the best St Patricks night booze up ever. Lots of us went up to a resort there for a few days - from Legaspi way after working on the aftermath of typhoon Reming, took some locals with us. Once the job was done the partying began, we had all earned it. Happy memories, no Guinness but the San Mig and the Tanduay made up for it. Just a few weeks off finishing her deployment in the islands before home beckoned. Like I said earlier PIkayaker, like only yesterday.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$100.02 per night
North LuzonBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$73.88 per night
Cebu CityBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$8.29 per night