Do not get on this boat with strangers! Especially if a tout gets your attention by saying, “Psst!” And no matter how nice looking the tour guides are. I will let your imagination run wild about all the things that can go wrong. If you are traveling the seas around the Philippines, especially the far south Philippines, always use reputable passenger ferries. If a private boat owner offers to cut the ticket fare to go on his boat, with his crew, including the ah, so lovely tour guides, make sure you check them out first. Don't just hop on that boat thinking it is the Love Boat to Fantasy Island!
I was first warned in 1986 by my best Filipino friend in Metro Manila that one night with Venus can turn into a lifetime of misery and hell with the Inferno. He told me not to pick up strange girls and take them out anywhere! No, he said, not even to lunch. Get to know them first, I was told. Meet her family and get to know them as well. I remember very well meeting the family of a Filipina I had dated a few times. My best Filipino friend had met her and he told me that she seemed ok. So, she invited me to meet her family in Quezon City. Their house was actually located in a squatter area! My Filipina friend told me in advance to greet her parents with my best Mano Po! First time for everything I supposed. After being introduced, I took the hand of each of her parents, one after the other, and placed it to my forehead. That was the best Mano Po I knew! Evidently, I had pulled it off.
After being offered a seat, I was handed a San Miguel Pilsen. Ice cold at least. The Filipina's mother was also knocking back San Miguel Pilsen and the way she was talking, I think she probably had a few before I arrived. She was loud and obnoxious with her Tagalog and I could only pick up a few words that I understood. It wasn't nice! The Filipina's dad took off his shirt and revealed more jailhouse tattoos than David Alan Coe! His English was not so bad. He told me he got the tattoos when he was put in prison during the Marcos days of Martial Law. I was introduced to Bong, a brother in law. Bong had shifty eyes and was jumpy. I could not hardly wait to finish my Pilsen and get the hell out of Dodge!
I found out later that ole Bong was dealing shabu from that very house where I had been sitting and drinking beer. If the house had been raided by the PC the day I was there, I would have been rounded up together with everyone and experienced the Inferno! Back in those days, the police were known as the PC, Philippine Constabulary, and the PNP, Philippine National Police, did not come into existence until 1991. Yeah, I remember those days. No, I never took the girl out again. Her family was bad news with capital letters, as in BN!
There are many scams in the Philippines that involve women but I have never been a victim because I did not place myself in that situation. Yes, I could have been a victim if I did not have my head screwed on right and tight!
Never accept an opened drink bottle or can unless you personally saw it opened and it was given directly to you. If you enjoy drinking cocktails, it is best to mix your own or else watch it very carefully being mixed by someone else. The Ativan Gang has resurfaced in some larger cities around the Philippines. Most always it is a young, beautiful Filipina who slips the Ativan in your drink. If you are not familiar with Ativan, it is given in higher dosage to unruly and highly agitated patients who are in psychiatric treatment centers! I remember the story once told by a European expat. The girl he befriended mixed his drink in the hotel room before they were going out on the town for the evening. When he awoke hours later, he was not even left a pair of socks, his underwear or the hotel bath towels! Everything was gone, including all his luggage, his laptop, cell phone, clothing, his watch and his wallet. He had to wrap a bed sheet around him while he made the police report in his room!
Like in most countries, a fake ID is easily obtained in the Philippines. Having physical relations with a minor is a serious crime in the Philippines and the girl flashing a fake ID to bump up her age is never a defense for the expat! Just be aware. Same goes with buying alcohol for a minor, it is a crime in the Philippines. Some parents have extorted money from foreigners and Filipinos alike by using their underage children to set them up. with fake tales of molestation to the PNP! Be aware!
Overall, it is a small percentage of expats who are bamboozled in the Philippines but it happens here, same as in most every country. You can come to the Philippines and have some great times but just don't trust anyone you just met for the first time only minutes or a few hours ago, is my suggestion. If you are entering into a serious relationship, it is best to meet her family and more than once if you possibly can. People can front for only so long before the real self appears. Happy trip!