copied from my last major forum post here

Philippines Travel Blog

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ok some balance to these riduclously postive posts on the philippines; this will be my last post on this site but i would urge travelers to read all my stuff on my profile page from beginning to end to see how my opinoinis on the philippines have declined. basically i find it not manageable at all anymore. everything is much worse than it was where do i begin; ok start with the fact taht now in cebu as well as manila i cant get a taxi driver to turn on the meter with or without a local present. this is a shocking turn around. previously i never had a cebu driver not turn on the meter; now 3 times in 24 hours drivers have demanded a higher negitioated price for one reason or another. and as there is no reliable car service i am aware of at the airport this makes it even worse than manila where there is at least for a price europcar which is professional and safe (tho i did have a problme of confusion with them the last time i attempted to you use them that caused me not to use them)--what else; anything north of manila is virtually non-accesible except but for dreadful buses which will exhaust your body and your patience. boroacy is croweded costly and insect ridden as well there being no space on the beach to move. el nido is allegedly beautiufl but the price of an 8 hour bus ride over roads even lonely planet refers to as a choropractors best friend make it practically impossible (and there are only costly resorts to stay at where things are actually nice or addtional sketchy travel options); and what about the cost of flights within the country unless booked months in advacne (thus making spontatneous travel impossible) the cost now are higher than comparable flights in the u.s. or europe! alona beach is a constant ganuntlet of locals demanding you buy their \"massage\" or \"tour\" or \"motorbike rental\" or \"Island hopping\" that makes any enjoyment impossible. bohol beach is beautiufl and quiet but only accesible for a 350p a day fee which gets you bascially 1 non alcoholic drink and the use of the beach; room rates are $100 a day us. and up to $500.
camiguin is no logner accesible by plane. same with baugio and the roads are treacherous; typhoon season extends and bus and ferry accidents are epidemic. snatching is common in cebu; both i and my girlfreind have had their bags snatched in broad daylight in public palces wiht guards. nothing was done, nothing recovered.
mindanao is categorically not safe and theres no reason to be there below the rim of surigao, to cdo anyway.
where can one go that is accesible, affordable, safe, clean (the philippines is one of the filithiest places i have ever been, it is a shock to europeans usually to see the dismal conditioins of even most of the beaches, alona beach would certainly qualify)--still i think alona is the least worst place; but thailand or well i imagine anywhere would be an improvemt. ecnomic downturn has hit philippines worse than anywhere in asia relatively and there is a desperateness afoot that washes away any civility or common decency as odnoy washed away homes. the amount of ever escalating hassles and problems that the philippines offers is severe and for me at least just not manageable. my sixth trip; each has been worse. wanted to make it my winter home; will never come back again. oh a hilarious line about the girls coming up to you in ayala center; yeah watch yer wallet! please. incidentally i spent last nite one and a half hours in a line for a metered taxi at ayala and once got in the taxi was compelled to negotiate a double fee before the driver would take myslef and my (Philippine ethinic tho not national) companion back to our hotel. they (companion) made the deal because they were afraid, and i have experienced the same thing before. the main thing to know about the philippines is that the constant overcharging and scams and foreingers viewed as walking atms machines taht it is the locals duty to withdraw from thru any means necessary negates any possiblity of enjoying what remaining unspoiled nature of warmth and beauty might remain here.

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