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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikem View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Locals dress more american. Shaved heads, b’ball caps, bandannas, basketball, baggy pants
    19 years here, and I've never seen this. Other than baseball caps, usually from whatever US ship was last in port.
    They call them Amboys. Lots in the south.
    Never heard of Amboys. Neither has my wife. I just asked her. Where in "the south''?

  2. #27
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    Just sent a text to three of my more tracked in nephews.

    "Way to call American/Filipinos. Used by internet assholes."

    "Hip-hop dipshits. MTV wannabes".

    "Dunno that word".

    Doubt they'll represent a major threat to the OP.

  3. #28
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    I've always found Manilla to be a city with a hard edge and that makes it lively, which is what I like about the place.

    Try hard not to be a prick and use your common sense and all should be well.

    If you want a relatively safe night out head to the Greenbelt complex in Makati. There is a nice entertainment area with bars and restaurants.

    As it stands Gary you would probably be at risk just as much in Maryhill as you would in Manilla.
    You're fat,Ill fro you in the river

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish Gary
    LA Café
    .

    Word to the wise though mate, if you are picking up freelancers there, and a little spinner looks early 20's or younger, get a photo of her ID card on your phone before going to a room. A frequent sting there by the police in cahoots with a lady is they knock on your door when she is there and accuse you of bedding an under age girl, and then wring out your bank account.

  5. #30
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    We had a gun pulled on us in a Taxi in Manila due to the fact the Canadian guy I was with was acting like a twat.

    Look for trouble you will find it. Treat the locals with respect you will get it back but don't stray too far from the beaten track.

  6. #31
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    I have never understood why anybody would want to stay in the Swagman anyway. The place is a total rip off. I usually stay elsewhere in Malate when I'm in Manila in a pretty quiet area. Not everywhere is a tumult of noise and crowds. Just like in Bangkok, or any other big city, there is patches of relative quiet.

    be on your guard of course just like you should be in any other big city, but I wouldn't class Malate as being dodgy at all even though it is within one of the most densely populated cities in the world, I've never come across any especially violent edge there that differentiates it much from any of the other 15 cities in metro Manila that it is a part of.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by callippo View Post
    I have never understood why anybody would want to stay in the Swagman anyway. The place is a total rip off.
    I agree. The OP said he's staying there because he's catching the next morning Swagman shuttle to Angeles.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    The OP said he's staying there because he's catching the next morning Swagman shuttle to Angeles.
    He's staying there because it's the cheapest hotel in Manilla, going by Agodas rates and gives a free shuttle service from the airport.

    If I was gonna mug someone in Manilla, that'd be the last hotel I'd be lurking around

  9. #34
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    Was that mate of yours called Tom with mangoes bar Davis? Great little bar on the beach side of the road, I think it still has the rock lobster bar/disco at the entrance to it.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Was that mate of yours called Tom with mangoes bar Davis? Great little bar on the beach side of the road, I think it still has the rock lobster bar/disco at the entrance to it.
    Yep, that's it - Tom Meyers. After the unfortunate death of Tom's wife, he eventually handed it off to a mate - I believe on a lease arrangement. I heard several years ago that now that the kids are older, he had taken it back over, but I don't know for sure. Unfortunately his cell number changed, and I am no longer in contact. Used to be a SEAL hangout back in the day and that's how I met Tom and discovered Mangoes.

  11. #36
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    Swagman is not cheap. Although I have never stayed there, I did look over a room there once, five years ago. If memory serves it was 2000 for a very average room. Expensive even for Manila. Not cheap even for Makati, never mind Malate. The beers were also 70 at a time when they were 25 from a sari sari. I stay in a place also in Malate, a better room than the one I saw there, that is only 1000 through Expedia in 2015. Walk in price is 1400 .

    Sounds like Swagman are going to do rather well out of this guy. He'll probably be taking the Swagman foreigner bus to Angeles, where he'll probably stay in their hotel there. Then, another Swagman bus to Subic. And then, finally, another Swagman bus back to Manila. These are the most expensive buses per km travelled you will find anywhere in the countty. That is not a very imaginative Philippines vacation. He's not going to learn anything about the Philippines except that the accommodation is more expensive, whilst women and beers are cheaper (unless you drink at Swagman's).

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    The OP said he's staying there because he's catching the next morning Swagman shuttle to Angeles.
    He's staying there because it's the cheapest hotel in Manilla, going by Agodas rates and gives a free shuttle service from the airport.

    If I was gonna mug someone in Manilla, that'd be the last hotel I'd be lurking around
    Fuck me if 2240 pesos for one night is cheap then Manila is definitely not my sort of place. Your right however about the free ride from the airport and the next morning I can roll out my bed straight into their bus and head off to Angeles where hopefully more cheapness awaits me.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by callippo View Post
    Swagman is not cheap. Although I have never stayed there, I did look over a room there once, five years ago. If memory serves it was 2000 for a very average room. Expensive even for Manila. Not cheap even for Makati, never mind Malate. The beers were also 70 at a time when they were 25 from a sari sari. I stay in a place also in Malate, a better room than the one I saw there, that is only 1000 through Expedia in 2015. Walk in price is 1400 .

    Sounds like Swagman are going to do rather well out of this guy. He'll probably be taking the Swagman foreigner bus to Angeles, where he'll probably stay in their hotel there. Then, another Swagman bus to Subic. And then, finally, another Swagman bus back to Manila. These are the most expensive buses per km travelled you will find anywhere in the countty. That is not a very imaginative Philippines vacation. He's not going to learn anything about the Philippines except that the accommodation is more expensive, whilst women and beers are cheaper (unless you drink at Swagman's).
    Wow dude, you've just read my future and I didn't even need to cross your palm with silver. Your right about everything apart from the accommodation in Angeles. I'm not staying at Swagman its too far from Fields however I did check it out.

    Ive only got a week, im going on my own and its my first time.....next time I promise I will head to EL Nido and look at the underground river

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Was that mate of yours called Tom with mangoes bar Davis? Great little bar on the beach side of the road, I think it still has the rock lobster bar/disco at the entrance to it.
    Yep, that's it - Tom Meyers. After the unfortunate death of Tom's wife, he eventually handed it off to a mate - I believe on a lease arrangement. I heard several years ago that now that the kids are older, he had taken it back over, but I don't know for sure. Unfortunately his cell number changed, and I am no longer in contact. Used to be a SEAL hangout back in the day and that's how I met Tom and discovered Mangoes.
    Tom was running it when i visited about 4 or 5 years ago, not sure about now. i still have a couple of mates in the barrio i could try to find out his number if you like

  15. #40
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    Not sure who runs the swagman these days used to be peter bellamy and dave donny, both good blokes who provided a service for aussies that needed there hand held and everything organised for them, they done well. i used to use there bus services for the convenience of it but never really enjoyed the scene they had in manila or angeles with the hotels, anyway if gary is on the swaggy bus they will drop him of at any hotel in angeles

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Was that mate of yours called Tom with mangoes bar Davis? Great little bar on the beach side of the road, I think it still has the rock lobster bar/disco at the entrance to it.
    Yep, that's it - Tom Meyers. After the unfortunate death of Tom's wife, he eventually handed it off to a mate - I believe on a lease arrangement. I heard several years ago that now that the kids are older, he had taken it back over, but I don't know for sure. Unfortunately his cell number changed, and I am no longer in contact. Used to be a SEAL hangout back in the day and that's how I met Tom and discovered Mangoes.
    Tom was running it when i visited about 4 or 5 years ago, not sure about now. i still have a couple of mates in the barrio i could try to find out his number if you like
    Cheers BLD. That would be great. Good man, Tom.

  17. #42
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    To the OP: There are lots of dangerous places in Manila, but then, that's also true for other developing countries.

    I'm a local, and a girl. There are lots of places in Manila (or even in my hometown) that I wouldn't go to when it's late at night, especially if walking out alone. There are lots of petty crimes (bag/wallet snatching, thievery of cellphones/laptops from parked cars in public parking lots, drunk-related knife crimes, etc) but then, it's also the case in other countries.

    I don't live in Manila, but I have lived and worked there for 2 years, and for me, that was enough. Too many people, congestion, horrible traffic, terrible commute esp. during rainy season, bad air quality, etc. But I sometimes go to Manila for necessity as many offices are there (passport, visa, work-related seminars, etc), and sometimes for shopping too. I am always on guard in Manila - keep my bag in front always, not wear flashy jewelry, not flashing around a fancy phone, etc. These were the life skills taught to me, and which I also impart to some people who are younger than me. I have also been a victim of petty theft (watch-snatching, twice) when I was younger, but it was also partly my fault because at both times, I wasn't paying too much attention & those were crowded areas. Fortunately, those watches were cheap junk which were easily replaced. I've also been harassed by a bus seatmate, but fortunately I was able to get out of that situation.

    I've been to several countries, both 1st & 3rd world, and have lived in a 1st world country, so I'm not blind to the faults of my country or countrymen. As to the security guards w/ guns - they're everywhere and as locals, we don't really notice them. We also don't mind the pretend searching of bags everytime we enter malls. lol

    As long as you keep your wits around and don't do stupid things, you'll be safe and you'll have a nice holiday, given your proposed itinerary.

    Good luck and hope you'll post some pics or give a trip report!

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish Gary View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by callippo View Post
    .
    Wow dude, you've just read my future and I didn't even need to cross your palm with silver. Your right about everything apart from the accommodation in Angeles. I'm not staying at Swagman its too far from Fields however I did check it out.

    Ive only got a week, im going on my own and its my first time...r
    yes the Swagman is a bit far from Fields (surprised they don't run a shuttle? Other places do?) however Angeles despite it's reputation for rip offs - not undeserved either, with it being such a big red light area - is one of the cheaper places in the Philippines to hire a motorbike. They are only 300 pesos. In fact you could use it to get to Subic. Check out nicebike.com although they are not the cheapest they do provide a decent service to those foreigners who think that every single Filipino is lining up to rip them off and who may need their hand held.

    accommodation/hotels is expensive in the Philippines compared to Thailand but there are still good value places - you just have to look around more. It's been awhile since I bothered with Angeles but I used to stay at a place with a pool that was 1,250 a night and they'd come down to 1,000 if you stayed a few nights.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Not sure who runs the swagman these days used to be peter bellamy and dave donny, both good blokes who provided a service for aussies that needed there hand held and everything organised for them, they done well. i used to use there bus services for the convenience of it but never really enjoyed the scene they had in manila or angeles with the hotels, anyway if gary is on the swaggy bus they will drop him of at any hotel in angeles
    The Swaggy bus is the big attraction for me and the free ride from the airport was a vote winner as well. Its not that I need my hand held or things organised for me. Ive lived in Thailand for years and worked in shit holes all over the world. What Swagman does is take away the hassle. If the taxis from Manila to Angeles were cheaper and stress free I would have happily jumped in one. But this way I get a night out in Manila and then get to Angeles with the minimum amount of hassle. I didn't realise they would take me to my hotel in Angeles but that's even better.

  20. #45
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    Besides the swagman bus theres also a couple of bus services to and from barretto/subic, most hotels in AC will book for you and you are picked up and dropped of where you want to be at both ends, its a quick trip these days to without having to pass through san fernando on the new highway extn

  21. #46
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    I'm going to be staying in Malate just before Halloween and the all Saints/All Souls holiday and I'm taking this Makati yuppie girl to Barrio Barretto for her holiday of three nights. There is no way I'd get the Swagman bus. It must be 700 these days and there is no way I'm paying that twice. It's no more difficult to get an aircon bus from Pasay to Olongapo and then a trike to Subic, than it is to get from Siam Square to Jomtien and for the two of us it will come in at about 30% of what the Swagman bus would.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by callippo View Post
    I'm going to be staying in Malate just before Halloween and the all Saints/All Souls holiday and I'm taking this Makati yuppie girl to Barrio Barretto for her holiday of three nights. There is no way I'd get the Swagman bus. It must be 700 these days and there is no way I'm paying that twice. It's no more difficult to get an aircon bus from Pasay to Olongapo and then a trike to Subic, than it is to get from Siam Square to Jomtien and for the two of us it will come in at about 30% of what the Swagman bus would.
    The Swaggy bus from Manila to Angeles is 600 pesos about 8 pounds.
    The Swaggy bus from Angeles to Subic is 500 pesos about 7 pounds.

    Buddy, im a tight arsed Scotsman and even I don't mind paying these prices.
    If I had a yuppie bird in tow I would be telling her to pay her own fare.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mikem View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Locals dress more american. Shaved heads, b’ball caps, bandannas, basketball, baggy pants
    19 years here, and I've never seen this. Other than baseball caps, usually from whatever US ship was last in port.
    They call them Amboys. Lots in the south.
    Never heard of Amboys. Neither has my wife. I just asked her. Where in "the south''?
    Mindanao, Surigao to Davao. Lots hang out at Shakeys.

  24. #49
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    [quote=Scottish Gary;3094496]
    Quote Originally Posted by callippo View Post
    The Swaggy bus from Manila to Angeles is 600 pesos about 8 pounds.
    The Swaggy bus from Angeles to Subic is 500 pesos about 7 pounds.

    Buddy, im a tight arsed Scotsman and even I don't mind paying these prices.
    If I had a yuppie bird in tow I would be telling her to pay her own fare.
    if those are the prices then they haven't gone up for some time. Four years ago I got the Subic-Angeles bus to get a flight from Clark and it was 500 then - not much less than half what the flight to Cebu was.Those prices are not cheap they are very high compared to ordinary aircon Filipino buses where the price to do a 55km journey which is what Subic-Angeles is would be less than 100. Yuppie girls in the Philippines still do not make much money. She gets about 25,000 a month as an accountant somebody in a bank, and she'd get half or even less than half that if she had the same job in the Visayas. There is no way she would pay half a days wages for a short bus trip like that. I would be obligated to pay her fare anyway, even if I was in Subic and asking her to come join me from Manila and picked her up on the motorbike at Olongapo bus station. It's the custom in the Philippines for guys to pay girl's fares. Even yuppie girls.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by callippo View Post
    Yuppie girls in the Philippines still do not make much money. She gets about 25,000 a month as an accountant somebody in a bank, and she'd get half or even less than half that if she had the same job in the Visayas. There is no way she would pay half a days wages for a short bus trip like that. I would be obligated to pay her fare anyway, even if I was in Subic and asking her to come join me from Manila and picked her up on the motorbike at Olongapo bus station. It's the custom in the Philippines for guys to pay girl's fares. Even yuppie girls.
    Just my 2 cents:

    Php 25,000 a month is not high if she's living in Manila as the cost of living is very expensive. For an A/C bus, a 55 km journey should cost 100-150 pesos, so 500 pesos is a steep price, for a local.

    With regards to the guy paying - it depends. If we're friends on a group travel or meal, then each of us pays his/her own. We call it KKB (kanya-kanyang bayad, or "own-own pay"). If the guy asked the girl out, then the girl kinda expects the guy to pay (e.g. a movie date or dinner), especially for the first few dates. If they're going steady and they're both working (and almost same intellectual or salary level), then sometimes they go halfies or take turns in paying (girl pays lunch, guy pays dinner). This is for relationships among locals. If there's a foreigner involved, then the dynamics change.

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