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Mindanao not safe: Not true at all!

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Mindanao is the Land of Promise

Mindanao is the Land of Promise

I got a comment from somebody. She left it a few days ago on one of my posts that was published 3-4 years ago. I was shocked she left this comment. Here’s what she said:

Tagalog Buddy

“Why do you want go there. That place is red zone, because it’s filled with Muslims extremist. Mindanao is not wise place. That part of the Philippines is the Middle East of the Philippines.  They have different laws and rules. You’re putting yourself in danger going there.
You would have to dress very conservatively. Cover your hair, wear long pants and top. It’s very Islam”.

I was shocked she left comment like this. How could someone just say something like that which generalized the whole island? Yep, there are certain areas that I would never advise anyone to go there without knowing anybody in that area. Like for example in Basilan or Sulu. Right now I will never advise any tourist or foreigners to go there.

In a lot of areas here in Mindanao, the ladies that I’ve seen walking around did not wear hijab. I’ve seen a few but to say that all women dress like that was just an insane comment. To say that we are the middle east of the Philippines is totally false too. It’s really mind boggling that she will say this and she’s never been here and never been raised here in our island. She thinks she’s the expert about Mindanao and she doesn’t know a thing about here.

I’m pretty sure she’s from from up North. I feel totally safe here in Mindanao, more than in Manila. When we went there to Manila I had to keep my purse guarded all the time and I can’t even use my cell phone in some areas there. Here in Davao, GenSan, Cagayan and other cities in Mindanao I can use my cell phone anytime. I can carry my purse without getting scared. Really everywhere you go no matter what place you’re going, always use common sense.

This lady must have not seen the news about Davao being one of the livable place in the world. Davao City, the only place in the Philippines that’s on the list. I wonder what she thinks that Manila is not listed on the list as the livable place in the Philippines. A lot of those people up North really think that Manila is the best place in the Philippines. There’s certain area in Manila that’s really nice like Makati (good shopping, can find anything there). But my goodness it’s too darn expensive to live there too.

I know for sure that the Mindanaoan people will disagree with her statement. These kind of people really are the one damaging the image of Mindanao. They judge everything about Mindanao and they never step foot here. They have to realize that without the resources from Mindanao the people up north will be starving. Mindanao is one of the big producers of food here in the Philippines. Come on lady, next time you open your mouth do the homework first, okay?

I’m proud to be born and raised here in Maindanao. I love the island and am happy to be here. So happy too that one of the person running for President of the Philippines is from Mindanao. So Mindanaoans vote for him.

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Feyma

Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.

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Jeff Kelton
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Jeff Kelton

Feyma, Do you feel the same about areas south of Mindanao? In the US I work with a lot of Filipinos from Mindanao, including several from Davao. I also know several Americans that have visited Mindanao. Most tell me that Mindanao is safe,but if you get much further south,there is where that problems your reader describes often take place. I have one co-worker who is from someplace south of Mindanao (sorry I can’t recall the place right now) ,and she tell me that her family has lost a banana plantation and feels she can never return to that place. I… Read more »

lgbalfa
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lgbalfa

south of mindanao is malaysia and indonesia.

Steve A
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Steve A

What is south of Mindanao? Another country?
I’ve been to Davao and places a few hours to the east. Never felt threatened anywhere.

Rod Ward
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Rod Ward

I look forward to visiting Mindanao in the future. I know it is very lovely and it has some great natural resources. I’m sure the prior comment was due to a fair amount of caution that expats must exhibit. You are a native, so certainly you have little to fear. However, only last year 3 expats were kidnapped from the marina on the small island right next to Davao. My expat friends who live on a sailboat at that marina only escaped because they were sleeping in their boat which was out of the water and the kidnappers didn’t check… Read more »

David L Smith
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David L Smith

hi Feyma……I do agree that in general Mindanao is a safe island except those parts that you mentioned in your posting. However i also have some reservations about Davao being as safe as claimed by reports for the very reason that i believe a lot of crime here goes unreported because many living here are scared of police corruption…I have experienced this myself when i was still working overseas and my house was robbed, my family did not report to police as they held no confidence in the local law enforcers..know of others who have had similar experiences to…sad to… Read more »

GaryM
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GaryM

Davao was rated as one of the safest cities to live by a user-contributed survey site Numbeo.com. These were not based on statistics but votes by individual people in the second largest city outside of the national capital region. Philippines is known for its social network users so this is no surprise. Is Davao safe? I am sure yes, compared to Manila. I have heard it many times over and over. Are there other parts of Mindanao that are safe? I am sure yes, because I know that a lot of expats like it certain areas. Are some areas trying… Read more »

e stanway
Guest

Some of the nicest parts of Mindanao, in the Sulu area, are in muslim territory, and if you ever venture there you will be taking a big chance with your life, i did once and was told to beat a hasty retreat, i never once saw another foreigner, it has always been their territory they have never been defeated, basicly they have a free reign, kidnap people, then transport them to their camps, only very recently four people where kidnapped from Davao and taken there, some countries do not pay a ransom, so off with your head, now please tell… Read more »

GaryM
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GaryM

To correct myself the survey on numbeo.com for Davao only has 594 contributers. It has since dropped from the top 10 in March of last year to 55. There are now two other cities in the Philippines that now have a lower crime index. Granted in my eyes this means nothing because it is a survey and not statistics.

MindanaoBob
Guest

To be fair, there are surveys from many other sources than Numbeo, going way back to around 2000 or so.

Jason Silverman
Guest

I feel a million times safer in Davao than Manila.

Feyma Bayoy Martin
Guest

For sure Jason. Thanks!

Bob Martin
Guest

I feel the same, Jason. I feel even safer in Davao than in parts of the USA.

Luke Tynan
Guest

I feel safer here in Gingoog City that in Manila. Yes there are place here that I have no business being in. But that is the same in many places in the USA and the world. But for the most part it is very safe here.

Luke Tynan
Guest

Feyma Bayoy Martin Yes that I completely agree with. and it is peaceful here. I think Davao is beautiful from what I saw on our visit there a few years ago. But I love being away from a big city. The main reason when I was thinking about where to live Cagayan de Oro did not stay on the list for more than a couple of days and Cebu and Manila are nice to visit from time to time but not to live.

Feyma Bayoy Martin
Guest

Hi Luke – we are lucky that we lived here in Mindanao. More peaceful than Manila. 🙂 My advice for people use common sense every time you go anywhere.

Bob Martin
Guest

Hi Luke – thankfully, in Davao, I feel safe going anywhere in the city.

Joe Perez
Guest
Joe Perez

This is not true indeed. I’m born and raised in this City, it had it’s dark times but that’s the past and present is awesome! I am a 3rd generation Spanish living in Davao as my grandfather we’re part of the pioneers of this City and east coast and we never once thought of going back to Spain. We love it here, my dad stayed for good and I guess I am staying. I know the in’s and out’s of Davao as well as the provinces too so I surely know what’s going on and what’s true and what’s not… Read more »

Harry Bernard Smith
Guest

I lived in bislig city for 6 months no problem

Feyma Bayoy Martin
Guest

Hi Harry – good for you.

Luke Tynan
Guest

In Gingoog I am safe all over, it is the Island that I know there are places that I do not belong in. Sorry about not being clear.

Bob Snapp
Guest

I feel very comfortable in iligan city, only time i get a bit nervous is when i am here in the states and hear (or read) rumors of bad things happening (most untrue)

Bob Snapp
Guest

Hi…my wife’s family is from iligan, will be moving there someday…i love it there 🙂

Feyma Bayoy Martin
Guest

Hi Bob – Iligan is really a nice place. We have so many friends there. That’s one of our top place to live here in Mindanao.

Scott Michaelis
Guest

ITS A RED ZONE? EXTREMIST ISLAM ? WHO WRITES THESE UNTRUE, IGNORANT COMMENTS? I HAVE LIVED CENTRAL MINDANAO FOR 5 Years and have NEVER seen any of what has been described as dangerous or radical Islamic situations.. Sorry about the caps lock!! Davao is the very safest place then most places in the United States! Im serious! People just repeat what they hear without actually knowing the facts!

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