Talk:Philippines/Archive 2017-2018

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Philippines smoking banEdit

Swept in from the pub

Hi, apparently there's been a strict smoking ban recently imposed in the Philippines, but I can't understand what exactly it entails, so I'm unable to add it to the Philippines page. Would someone who understands the order be able to add it? Thank you! More news articles here, and here.  Seagull123  Φ  20:15, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Actually, I've just added a short sentence about the ban to the page, but I haven't been able to say much about it.  Seagull123  Φ  20:17, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I have added more about it, like the ban in smoking on crowded areas, including sidewalks, and the requirement for smoking areas to be a closed, ventilated area (somehow like those that one can see in Japan). I have been maintaining the smoking-related section since I created it, and being a local, I make updates related to it based on what is happening there. -TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 03:28, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
See also Dumaguete#Smoking Pashley (talk) 11:56, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
Duterte signs executive order on nationwide smoking ban. I am not certain how much effect this will have since municipal governments sometimes choose not to enforce national laws, e.g. motorcycle helmet law in Dumaguete. Pashley (talk) 12:24, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

"Corruption", "Natural disasters" and "Political violence, demonstrations, insurgency and terrorism" topicsEdit

I have started subsections in the "Stay safe" section regarding corruption, natural disasters, and political violence, demonstrations, insurgency and terrorism, but what about any possible improvements? Regarding the corruption section, there are info and advice regarding "kotong" and "red tape", but that looks like it is not enough. For natural disasters, there are info and advice about common natural disasters, but someone should help expand it. The "Political violence, demonstrations, insurgency and terrorism" subsection may need further improvements, if possible. TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 07:36, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Some of this is getting quite serious, e.g. a report of hundreds killed in Marawi. I often cannot tell which reports are reliable, though.
We do have a warning on the Marawi page and others for various parts of Mindanao, and there is discussion of adding more at Talk:Cebu_Province#Travel_warning, but I am not sure we have it right yet. Pashley (talk) 23:13, 2 July 2017 (UTC)


I think this section needs some cleanup. It is supposed to be <= 9 items & is now 11, there should be no cities & there are some, places like Guimaras do not seem important enough to me that they belong at this level, and there is duplication — both Puerto Galera & Sabang are mentioned, and Taal volcano gets mentioned twice.

I do not know the country well enough to do a good job here. Volunteers? Pashley (talk) 16:53, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

I will delete Sabang as obviously redundant. Want to also delete Guimaras & add Panglao, but won't do those yet. Then think about what else can go. This clearly needs opinions other than mine. Anyone care to comment? Pashley (talk) 14:05, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
No comment in some time so I went ahead & replaced Guimaras with Panglao. Pashley (talk) 23:34, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Political topics: drug war, EJKs, LGBT rights, etc.Edit

There are coverage for several politicized topics in the "Respect" section, especially Marcos, the ongoing drug war, and extrajudicial killings. Those topics are heavily polarized, that there are already destabilization plots against President Rodrigo Duterte from leftists as a result. The drug war has strong support from the citizens, but leftists are taking advantage of the cases of extrajudicial killings every day to oust Duterte, and international human rights organizations heavily condemn the killings and criticize the antidrug campaign.

Yet, it is not only the drug war that is heavily polarized on these days. LGBT rights-related topics are also heavily politicized, with involvement of the Roman Catholic Church. There are already coverage about LGBT in the"Respect" section, but talking about LGBT rights may be covered also as a sensitive subject, as it is a polarizing factor, especially within the Christian (especially Catholic) majority and the national government, with different views.

Also, talking about reproductive health and sex education are also sensitive for moral and religious reasons, and the newly introduced K-12 education system is also politicized (though no longer very heated as on the times shortly before the system was completely implemented last 2016) and has been attempted to be abolished, especially for various factors, especially the loss of jobs of college professors, costs of constructing new school buildings for Grade 11 and 12 (Senior High School), the lack of preparedness for the new education system by the Department of Education, and the old 10-year basic education program where most Filipinos are used to. In fact, that was discussed on one conversation that I overheard, and because of the very political views on the topic, involving support on abolishing that new basic education system, I deem it also sensitive on grounds of polarized views, even when the topic is no longer a current affair.

We should need to discuss those topics in the "Respect" section, or add more that a foreigner may know but is politicized to the locals, as Filipinos tend to talk about polarizing topics with strongly political views, and an unfamiliar traveller may get into a conflict with a local regarding those. TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 03:57, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Yes, but this is a travel guide & I wonder if the current long bullet list has more detail than we need. I'd be inclined to replace the whole thing with one fairly short paragraph. What do others think? Pashley (talk) 12:45, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
@Pashley: I think we may ping others if possible, especially locals (though only a few are very active contributors) and the most experienced users. If we can trim details for those, I agree per the purpose of Wikivoyage to be a travel guide.-TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 06:38, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
User:TagaSanPedroAko, thanks for giving your input. User:Hobbitschuster, would you like to discuss this rollback and other issues brought up in this thread? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:23, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Sorry, sticky fingers Hobbitschuster (talk) 06:42, 24 March 2018 (UTC)


Regionalism does remain a touchy subject, which hasn't been covered adequately, that I added it in #Others on the Respect section. It is true for the case of Moros (autonomy vs. separatism) and Cebuanos ("Imperial Manila", Tagalog hegemony), but, is it possible to add those in the regions where they apply (i.e. Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Visayas, Cebu Province). Any opinions?--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 20:47, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

See Talk:Central Visayas for an example of a Visayan complaining about "Tagalog imperialism". Pashley (talk) 21:54, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

@Pashley: I agree there is that strong regionalist sentiment against Tagalogs, and that should be further detailed as a sensitive issue. I also just added the regionalism argument in a new "Respect" section in the Cebu Province article, and further detailed the regionalist ideology pursued in Cebu and the aspects involved. I don't know if you have encountered a Cebu local who led you into an political discussion about Manila-centrism and Tagalog cultural/linguistic hegemony, but did you have experienced any heated discussion with a local in any visit to Cebu? TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 22:45, 25 September 2018 (UTC)


This section is a new addition to Philippines#Respect, but I still do not know how to reword the third paragraph about exposing clothes. As a local, I see that there are many clothing items that are too exposing, that can call unwanted stares and comments to the person wearing it, and are prohibited in some locations (e.g. churches, government offices). Women will prefer to wear modest clothing that covers the knees, and skimpy shorts and miniskirts can be viewed to attract sexual abuse and harassment on women, such as cat-calls or even rape. Filipinos do remain conservative on clothing, and there is still strong preference to cover the shoulders and legs as a sign of respect, but does anyone know anything about other views on immodest clothing that are becoming common, especially on women?--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 01:52, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

There is definitely some strangeness about this. As a foreign man, I certainly notice lots of fine-looking Filipinas in shorts or short skirts. On the other hand, there are also women in Muslim outfits & others in conservative dress. I'm not sure what we should say about it. Certainly tourists should exercise some caution & the men should definitely not assume that every girl who wears a sexy outfit is advertising availability, but beyond that I don't know.
Possibly the weirdest thing I have seen is an obvious prostitute who works the street near my favorite bar. She usually wears shorts, sometimes a skirt, displaying fine legs and sometimes has a low neckline displaying other attributes. However, she also almost always has a Muslim woman's style of headscarf. Pashley (talk) 02:15, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
While we agree that Filipinos remain conservative on clothes, females shorts and miniskirts are being accepted in the cities, but not without unwanted reactions, like cat-calls from men. Most of the advice about clothing in most Southeast Asian nations can be applied to the Philippines can be applicable here, because, people in the countryside are mostly conservative while those in the city are usually accepting and liberal. I agree that females should be definitely cautious with what they wear because they can call unwanted attention from men. --TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 04:51, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

Who is the intended audience for this article?Edit

This passage troubles me:

Many Filipinas who are not prostitutes do eagerly seek out comparatively rich foreign men as boyfriends or husbands; visiting men will usually find themselves much more in demand than they would be at home. For most men, these lasses are a far better choice than prostitutes; they may cost as much or more, but you will not be arrested unless she is ridiculously young or you abuse her, the risk of disease is far lower, and the chance of finding a really worthwhile woman is considerably higher.

Who is the "you" who we assume is the reader of the article? Some old rich man who might sexually abuse a child or physically abuse a woman if he thought he could avoid arrest? And are we encouraging foreign men to exploit Filipinas? I get that there's a kernel of information in this passage that might be useful to certain foreign men visiting the Philippines, but don't you think we ought to be careful how we phrase things? The first sentence seems purely informational to me, but maybe we should leave it at that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:14, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Agree, first sense is valid information, but the rest goes too far. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:25, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Edited. Pashley (talk) 13:39, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
this definitely deserves mention somewhere, though it is more general than just the Philippines. Perhaps in Southeast Asia or Retiring abroad?
I have heard expatriate men refer to the country as the "happy hunting ground" and recall a conversation between me (60-something Canadian) and another guy (30-something European) waiting for the same Seoul-Cebu flight. I mentioned that a woman was meeting me & his reply was "Yeah, it is almost impossible to be in Cebu and not have a girl." That's an exaggeration, but the foreign men I see moving to the country nearly all have fine-looking girlfriends within few weeks. Pashley (talk) 18:08, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
I would disagree with putting this in Southeast Asia because then old foreign men would expect to get girlfriends right away in Brunei and Malaysia. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:58, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. From what I've heard, easy in at least Thailand & Philippines, not Laos, don't know about others. Pashley (talk) 21:28, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
I have edited Philippines#Prostitution fairly extensively, both removing some info & adding other things. This needs review by others. Pashley (talk) 15:00, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
w:Prostitution in the Philippines gives cited estimates of 500 to 880 thousand prostitutes; currently our article just says "hundreds of thousands". On the other hand, we could do some arithmetic & add text. Half a million out of a population around 100 million gives one of 200 people, perhaps one out of fifty for women in the right age bracket. Mentioning this seems unnecessary to me; it might be more dramatic, but travellers do not need to know it. Does anyone disagree? Pashley (talk) 16:37, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Wikidata items for dynamic mapEdit

Map of Archive 2017-2018

To the right is the map with all Wikidata items for the states of the Philippines. This should simplify the work in case we want to change the district set-up in the future. The tool Wikidata Extractor has been used to create the mapshapes.--Renek78 (talk) 11:01, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Male prostitution?Edit

Philippines#Prostitution currently covers female prostitution only. I have encountered ladyboys offering blow jobs and I imagine other men are available for either women or gay men.

Does anyone know enough about this to add something to the guide? Pashley (talk) 15:17, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Displays of affection (petting, hugging, kissing, holding hands): Is it unacceptable in Filipino culture?Edit

As long as the Filipino cultural viewpoint is concerned, petting (or making out) is generally frowned upon (so does kissing in some situations), while holding hands is acceptable, but I don't know further where they may be acceptable without calling unwanted attention. In many schools, making out is unacceptable conduct, and is a punishable offense. To many Filipinos, especially in the countryside, making out (in Tagalog slang: paglalambingan) is still an easy way to get into premarital sex, especially among teenagers (though the situation is changing by an increase in teenage pregnancy and cohabiting partners). Does anyone know about this matter, as hugging and kissing might be acceptable to a city-dweller, but not to a country-dweller?--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 10:43, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

As a foreign man in the Philippines, I meet quite a few Filipinas & pursue some of them. I'm fairly restrained, so nearly all physical contact in public is initiated by them. The ones who are just friends hug fairly often & ones I'm dating both do that & take my hand when walking. Kissing is at most a quick peck hello or goodbye, & even that is not common. This is in a city. Pashley (talk) 11:19, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree that public displays of affection is acceptable in the city, but can be scandalous behavior (you might get stared at and talked about, and some might report you and your partner to the police for showing sexual behavior in public). Filipinos still reserve such passionate kissing and hugging (lambingan) in private, and a couple doing it in public (let say it for example, in the street or in a public park) would be stared at scornfully. And yes, a Westerner should need to be aware of the cultural sensitivity on dating if you do kiss and hug out in the street. And I agree we may add it up to the existing advice I added already.--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 05:55, 13 November 2018 (UTC)


After some discussion now archived at User_talk:AndreCarrotflower/2018#Sex_tourism and some earlier in this talk page, the Philippines#Sex_and_prostitution was fairly heavily edited. I think the edits went too far.

Among the bits of text removed were:

The areas around major US bases during the Vietnam War—Air Force at Angeles and Navy at Subic—became, and still are, hot spots for prostitution. Other areas where the trade is common include Puerto Galera, the EDSA and Makati parts of Metro Manila, and Mango Avenue in Cebu City.
Dancers often spend time at customers' tables chatting and flirting; buying a "lady drink" for one of them will cost at least double the price of a regular drink, and she will get a share of the price. Some big spenders or groups of lads enjoy having a swarm of girls about, so they buy a lot of these drinks even if they are not planning to bring a girl home. If a customer wants more than just flirtation, then he pays a "bar fine" to take her out of the club for the night; she gets a share of that but she will also expect a tip in the morning.

I think both should be restored, the first because it lets travellers find or avoid these areas as they choose, the second because it lets customers know how things work here & may save them from unexpectedly large expenses. Both would be allowed under my draft of a revised sex tourism policy at User_talk:Pashley/STP#Acceptable_level_of_detail, "telling a visitor what to expect, especially if it is not what might be expected elsewhere",

Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 05:01, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

This sentence is definitely not OK under the current policy: If a customer wants more than just flirtation, then he pays a "bar fine" to take her out of the club for the night; she gets a share of that but she will also expect a tip in the morning. The previous sentence is also questionable. I think the rest of it is OK, but I don't think my attitude should carry the day by itself. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:06, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Conversation continued at Wikivoyage_talk:Sex_tourism_policy#Re-start_discussion? Pashley (talk) 14:47, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Infobox about culturally shocking behaviorsEdit

I just added an infobox about common Filipino behavior that foreigners might find strange and shocking, but I think there are lot more than those already listed. I think there are some entries there that needs to be refined. Any opinions about them?

Culture shock

Foreigners visiting the Philippines might find local behaviors as rather appalling to those not familiar with the local culture and customs. One may also find getting into noisy and poor communities than into the impressive churches and relaxing beaches.

  • Aggressive drivers - This is a common problem in the roads, hence the viral dashcam videos (see #Get around: By car). Find someone driving against the flow, speed above the posted limit, use horns at most times, and drive without headlights. Road rage is commonplace, and simple disagreements between drivers might easily turn to heated arguments or violence.
  • Crowds - Filipino culture sees the concept of personal space as less important, and expect to get bumped in many crowded locations, whether it be on boarding a jeepney or walking through tiangges. Streets in the Philippines tend to be narrow and crowded with parked cars and roadside obstructions.
  • Cutting in line - Filipino culture have the concept of lines (pila), but to many, this is far unimportant, and you might find it hard how to deal with locals who make their way through the line by pushing and bumping each other.
  • Drinking (see more at #Alcohol) - Perhaps with exceptions of Muslims, you will find many Filipinos practically drinking anytime and anywhere, though local ordinance have regulated where one may drink alcohol. Customs also differ, and you cannot pour your own drink (someone will do it for you). Drunk driving is an unfortunate sight, especially at night.
  • Fits of aggression - It is common for some people to run amok, even to the point of killing someone, especially when drunk or high.
  • Ignoring rules - Here, the pasaway ("disobedient") attitude comes to play. Local ordinances, or sometimes, national laws, are generally disregarded. The same also goes with many house rules. This include dangerous and aggressive driving, jaywalking, and smoking in non-smoking areas.
  • Noise - People lean on blowing horns and loud music, whether it be on the radio or karaoke. Conversations tend to be loud, and heard by everyone around. Loudspeakers are widespread.
  • Nose picking - It is socially acceptable to pick one's nose, and there are also crude humor surrounding this.
  • Reactions on foreigners - Locals will practically stare at any foreigner they see, also turning them to magnets for beggars and corrupt cops. Some may just take out a camera phone and ask you to take pictures, especially selfies, with you, or ask where country did you come from.
  • Smoking (see more at #Smoking)
  • Staring - This is very common, but this shows they are curious. Do not get surprised when someone just stares while walking. Rubbernecks or bystanders in accident or crime scenes are common.
  • Tardiness (see more at #Punctuality) - Filipino less value punctuality, like their Hispanic counterparts, and it is socially acceptable to come late.

Most visitors will get used to these situations and see the good side of the people, but the best advice is do not take them seriously.

--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 19:17, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Confused about ViganEdit

The description for Vigan says "Visit between 03:00 and 05:15 to savour some of its well-preserved, cobbled streets rather than the stench and noise of two-stroke engines." If I understand correctly, this is saying that the visitor should walk around Vigan in the wee hours in order to enjoy the well-preserved streets. Is that what it's supposed to mean? It seems like surprising advice to me—wouldn't it be too dark to see much? Are those supposed to be afternoon times rather than morning times? Whatever the intended meaning, I think it should be clarified in this article and explained more fully in the Vigan article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:21, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

Travel by motorcycle?Edit

I think we should have also covered travel by motorcycle in "Get around", as some spots where renting a motorcycle is another way to get around (and some travellers may choose to rent a motorcycle, especially in the provinces). Any opinions?--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 02:25, 9 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes, definitely. Examples I have encountered: most transport on Samal is by motorcycle taxi, & both in Dumaguete and on Siquijor many of the long-term foreign residents buy motorcycles and some short-term visitors rent them. I imagine there are many other examples.
We have redirects at jeepney and traysikel, both going to sections of the Philippines article, so various lower-level articles can easily link to them. I'd say something similar for Habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) would be a good idea. Redirecting "motorcycle" to the Philippines would be dumb, but maybe "moto" which seems to be widely used for both motorcycles & scooters. Pashley (talk) 03:37, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
  I created a section which night need expansion and put a redirect at Habal-habal. Pashley (talk) 11:26, 9 December 2018 (UTC)

Travel by UV Express vanEdit

Our current article's #Get around does not cover the UV Express van service. We already have a few articles covering transportation through the UV Express service, usually an alternative to buuses, but they use passenger vans that can get crowded during rush hours. Do someone have any idea about it, such as average fares? TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 06:19, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

I have never heard of this company. I did add something about vans at Metro_Cebu#By_bus_2. Would it be enough to just add a paragraph under Philippines#By_bus mentioning that vans are also used as buses in some areas? With examples & links? With listings? Pashley (talk) 06:46, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
UV Express is not a company, but rather the name of a nationwide fixed route van service, formerly but sometimes called FX (as the early van service used Toyota Tamaraw FX vehicles) or GT (Garage to Terminal) Express; they do serve as a local alternative to buses, but have more flexible stops (rather near to a shared taxi) and more expensive than buses and jeepneys (but cheaper than taxis). Metro Manila and Bohol does have mentions of travel by UV Express, but other areas do have it also. TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 23:21, 11 December 2018 (UTC)


I think we need to elaborate more about corruption in the "Stay safe" section; common forms of corruption like cops or traffic aides asking for bribes, and "red tape" is already covered, but I think we need also to cover corruption when going through immigration. Does anyone have an idea about that?--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 02:51, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

@Pashley:, @Sky Harbor: Any opinions? -TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 00:37, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

I have not encountered any problems. In my only interactions with officials -- customs, immigration & cops after a traffic accident -- they've been efficient & courteous. I have heard some disturbing stories, though; bullets planted in luggage & a large bribe solicited, a foreigner who was accused of rape by a filipina neighbour he had quarreled with & spent several years in jail before a court ruled the charge was bogus. Pashley (talk) 01:53, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
@Pashley: I agree about your point, unfortunately, corruption remains rife to a local viewpoint (and it can be easy to take the exaggerations by local media, overseas workers, or the locals themselves seriously). The bullet-planting scam by corrupt baggage inspectors in Manila's airport did happen (see Ninoy Aquino International Airport#Stay safe), but there are the other corrupt practices you may encounter in the airport (e.g. baggage handlers stealing valuables from checked baggage, bogus hold-departure orders from rogue immigration elements, immigration officers asking for bribes). The situation is likely to change under anti-corruption drives, but it can be difficult to break the Philippines' negative image for corrupt bureaucracy (the situation can be comparable to its neighbouring countries, let's say Indonesia#Corruption), so we may add more to that if you find more. The current "Corruption" section is far enough to provide advice, but it is best to describe common situations (we already cover corruption in law enforcement and the bureaucracy, but we need to elaborate it further with well-recorded cases).-TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 03:22, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
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