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Philippines forum

Thefts abound in Siargao, Philippines (General Luna)

Posted by SEAsiaSurfer on 12/1/2015 at 03:21

Thefts Abound in Siargao, Philippines
Be aware of many thefts on resort rooms and private rentals while traveling in Siargao. We fell victim to a house break-in and robbery during our stay here in late December 2014 in the area of General Luna and Cloud 9. After the theft, we spoke to many business owners and ex-pats who live there only to find out that this is a very common occurrence and has been for the past several years. Prior to our visit I read nothing about this and after our visit have found very little online in regards to a warning about this.

The island is known as the “Shabu Capital of the Philippines”and has a rabid Shabu addiction problem as well as it is a stop off for the distribution of the drugs. Shabu is a form of Crystal Meth. The thefts are primarily to help addicts fund their addiction.

As there is only 1ATM on the island and it rarely, if ever works, everything you read prior to your trip will tell you that you need enough cash (peso’s) on hand for you rentire trip. Also, credit cards are no ttaken at most resorts and eateries.

So, with such a small island with a Shabu problem and a corrupt police department (rumor has it they are the ones responsible for the distribution of the drugs), tourists loaded with cash – it equals a perfect storm for theft.

Be very wary of who you tell where you are staying, where a tricycle or motorbike taxi drop you off when you return to your place, telling people how long you are staying, etc. They are using the pretty standard routine of someone knowing you are out of your room or house (hotel staff see you leave and send a text, tricycle driver sees you at a restaurant and sends a text, etc) and while you are gone they break in and steal your money. They only take Peso’s as these are not traceable – at our place they left behind a significant amount of USD, Ipad, Camera, Phone, Surfboard – if the police caught them with any of those items they would have to do something about it. By only taking peso’s they are in the clear. As most places are low to mid end “resorts” there are no safes in the rooms either.

As of yet, the thefts are non-violent. One day someone will walk in on the theft or be home when it is attempted and that may change. For now, just be very aware of your money,your privacy and who you let know about your whereabouts and longevity of stay.

Quite a shame, as the island is beautiful and almost 100% dependent on tourism. If the problem persists they will run out of first-time visitors that never return due to being robbed.

#1 SEAsiaSurfer has been a member since 12/1/2015. Posts: 1

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