What to Carry in the Philippines

Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Messages
254
Hey guys! I'm planning to go back to the Philippines this summer, and I was wondering what you guys would use as your Everyday Carry (EDC) if you were over there. The Philippines is known for gang violence, usually involving firearms or bladed weapons. In addition, the Philippines is known for it's malls, which have more than their fair share of crime. MegaMall, quite possibly the nation's most popular mall, has had numerous killings and crimes in the last few years. Most malls have beefed up security measures with mandatory pat-downs and searches before entering and leaving each store/mall. However, I've noticed these guards, due to the monotony of their jobs, tend to slack off in their searches. They get so bored that they do not check each purse or belt-line thoroughly. This allows criminals to sneak in weapons into the malls, which allows them to prey on the innocent...and even the not-so-innocent.

The common icepick is now a big weapon of choice for criminals in the Philippines. My father's family resides in Pasay City, an area of Manila which is plagued by numerous gangs and random killings. Unfortunately, a little over a year ago, my cousin, who was a martial artist and Guardian of his barangay, was killed by an icepick stabbed straight through his heart by a gang. Although my mother's side resides in San Juan, Little Baguio in Manila (a reasonably safe area), I will be going to Pasay City regularly to meet up with my cousins for various events. My cousins in Pasay City are martial arts nuts with expertise in firearms who are quite well known in the area, so I am not particularly all too worried about being protected. However, I know that I must be prepared for anything. So, I was just wanting to post up this thread to get an idea of what weapons/tools you all tend to favor. I pray I never need to resort to violence while over there.

Here's my EDC:

-Cold Steel Delta Dart: A small stabbing implement made from super-tough Zytel, which, if I owned one, I would carry in the malls. As I said before, the Malls have many security checkpoints, often with guards using handheld metal detectors searching for weapons. The Zytel is non-magnetic, meaning that it cannot be detected by metal detectors.

-Knife: It's quite easy to get a blade in the Philippines. I recall walking through Quiapo, a big shopping district with also a high amount of crime, and seeing that many stalls were selling balisongs, switchblades, cheap-liner lock folders, and bolos. Right now, I'm thinking that a Cold Steel Vaquero Grande would be a good knife to bring to the PI. It's 13.5 inches when opened, and in a nutshell, that knife is a beast! I am amazed at it's wicked presence. If anything, I'd probably take along my 4 inch Cold Steel Voyager blade, which is really lightweight but still a very durable and efficient knife.

-Inova X5 Flashlight: LED lights are big hit among martial artists nowadays. I've found that the Inova X5 is a great, cheaper alternative to many of the more expensive brands of LED flashlights out there. It is incredibly bright, as well as also very durable. The streets of Manila tend to get quite dark at night, and low-visibility can be a problem.

-A lot of Pesos: To be used in case of an emergency, to call a cab, etc. But, hey, I'm back in the motherland...might as well buy some Kali weapons, some shirts, and maybe try an San Miguel while I'm at it (I haven't had one yet lol).

So, now I pass the thread to you... what would you carry?

God Bless,
Mike
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
229
Salaam...I carried 2 blades that I bought there....not the best but definitely get the job done...sent them back before I left...LOL
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
574
I would not suggest that you bring any bladed weapons with you. It is illegal and useless:p Criminals here do not do it alone :p they are in groups :eek:

Also Philippines is very safe :thumbup: It is just that our media here is very irresponsible:barf: Bad news is good business. They give so much media attention on petty crimes:thumbdn: They put it on the headlines as if it is really a war zone here :jerkit:

It would be unlikely for anybody to get hit in crowded places like the mall and parks.

Just refrain from going to unsafe places like the squaters area and you will be fine :thumbup:
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2005
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254
Quote: "I would not suggest that you bring any bladed weapons with you. It is illegal and useless Criminals here do not do it alone they are in groups

Also Philippines is very safe It is just that our media here is very irresponsible Bad news is good business. They give so much media attention on petty crimes They put it on the headlines as if it is really a war zone here

It would be unlikely for anybody to get hit in crowded places like the mall and parks.

Just refrain from going to unsafe places like the squaters area and you will be fine"


You are right to an extent, but I have lived there for a number of years and to say that the Philippines is VERY safe is not entirely true. I do not live in a squatting area by any means (San Juan, Little Baguio is not a squatting area), but the PI has a great deal of violent crime everyday. You are right to say that the media loves to only sensationalize the violent crimes that take place, and we all know how much ABS-CBN News loves to show victims of icepick attacks, but I have seen these crimes and have relatives that have been on both the giving and receiving end of such attacks.

The exact date escapes me, but I recall a recent event which took place in Megamall where a young teenage boy went in to use the bathroom and a man went in after him (the bathroom was filled with people), and he proceeded to molest the boy and he eventually choked him to death. My own cousin was killed by an icepick attack last year after walking a friend to his house. A good friend of mine has a cousin who runs a store in Metro Manila and two men entered the store, shot him to death, and ran off with the money. These did not take place in squatting areas. These took place in public areas and no one bothered to stop it.

Like you said, the PI isn't exactly a warzone, that I will agree with...but the violence that occurs there is rarely the "schoolyard bully" scenario (i.e. one big guy hassles one little guy and they duke it out with fists). It's usually extreme violence which takes place over there (i.e. multiple attackers armed with firearms or bladed weapons) which involves the need for lethal force. It's important to be prepared, not paranoid, and to carry the appropriate items you may need to save your life. With the proper training, your chances of surviving a mass attack from 2, 3, 4, 5 or more attackers increases. However, to face these individuals unarmed with a "it will never happen to me" mindset is dangerous for one's safety.

However, avoidance is the best weapon. So is awareness. But do not rule out the use of weaponry. It may save your life.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
574
RenegadeMonk said:
You are right to an extent, but I have lived there for a number of years and to say that the Philippines is VERY safe is not entirely true. I do not live in a squatting area by any means (San Juan, Little Baguio is not a squatting area), but the PI has a great deal of violent crime everyday.

I guess it all depends on the kind of neighborhood you live in or you go into. In my place " AYALA ALABANG " it is completely safe :D

I live all my life here and I never had any experience with such crimes. I guess it's because I rarely take the public transport and I avoid the places were crimes are known to happen :D

Also Megamall is the place for the masses, so it is not unusual for petty crimes to happen ( theft, pick pockets...). :thumbdn:
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Messages
254
Yeah, I like going to Ayala Alabang...they got great places to hang out and it is quite safe. But, it isn't completely safe as you say. There is no such thing as a completely safe area anymore. Every area in the world has varying levels of crime, but to say that it is completely safe would be a fallacy. Columbine was considered a really safe town, but we all know what happened that day. 9/11 was never supposed to happen....but it still did. The odds for such events were incredibly small, but they still happened.

I agree with you that wherever you live is quite safe...but to say that it's completely safe isn't entirely true. This is why we train.

God Bless,
Mike
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
1
My Lolo's (grandpa's) house in metro manila has the best security in the philipines: a big wall with broken glass cemented on top.

the criminals would be like:
"Calling eagle 1, this is eagle 2. I'm going over!... o shiet there is a glass, there is a glass in my balls! Retreat! Retreat!


seriously I just carry a Bali and a zip-lock bag full of salt in my pocket. Salt: good with food and good for attacker's eyes.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
138
Renegade, you may want to re-think bringing over knives simply because they may not be in your bags when you arrive courtesy of light fingered baggage handlers. Maybe you could send them ahead via UPS or Fed-Ex? also your family should be able to point out some decent makers or knives over there once you arrive. Delta Dart is not a bad idea in case you have to ditch it ( not always a good idea to hang around after an altercation ) you won't feel the hit in your pocket.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
574
Persev said:
Renegade, you may want to re-think bringing over knives simply because they may not be in your bags when you arrive courtesy of light fingered baggage handlers.

Never had any experience like that in my travels :rolleyes: The only thing I hate are those Custom Piranhas at the airport exit :barf:
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
10
Some things to consider:

- if someone wants to kill you, THEY would probably come from behind
- if someone wants to rob you, chances are, more than one individual is involved. so be aware what comes from behind when you plan to use violence
- if you somehow find yourself in the middle of a riot, a short bladed or pointed weapon may be of less use than something longer. perhaps an expandable baton?
- security may be lax in some places, but if you do get caught by the wrong person at the wrong time and at the wrong place, anything's possible. spending a lot is the least.

regarding edc

many people bring bladed weapons and ice picks. the legality is quite controversial. bottom line is the discretion of the officer.

some other things (aside from bladed and pointed weapons) that people carry:
on the person

- baton
- stun gun
- pepper sprays / tear gas
- knuckles (again controversial item)

in the car

- stick/s
- pipe/s
- tools (wrench, screwdriver, ...)

me:

nothing permanent. depends where i am going, how i am going to go there, who i am with. could range anywhere from a gun to a 3 inch blade to a 12 inch bolo to empty hands.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 1999
Messages
254
Hi Mike,

If you are talking about generally getting around, going to a grocery store, etc., I would suggest a quality handgun, holster and extra mags. Of course carry at your own risk no matter what weapon you choose, since it may be likely that you will face possible charges :( by the organized criminals in the aftermath of justified self defense, if the local gt on that island is as corrupt as many of the locals hear in the States. A non/less lethal weapon is also advised since most assults do not justify lethal force. A handgun is limited to one choice only. If you are likely to get patted down by "security", then don't risk it, IMHO on your trip through a mall. Carry something that is legal, yet can double as an effective weapon. Also, it should be something that you are trained with. Here's a suggestion: One of the most widely accepted multipurpose tools around the world is a walking cane. You might want to limp on your way past security guards, so as not to look like some character from a clockwork orange. I'm not sure if a long flashlight would work, but it might get past IF it doesn't look too "tactical." In fact, I am going to start a thread on this subject. Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Eq
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
2
...just dont go where you think its not safe
...dont wear too much jewelry or dont wear at all
...just carry enough cash for that day!
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
27
RenegadeMonk said:
Hey guys! I'm planning to go back to the Philippines this summer, and I was wondering what you guys would use as your Everyday Carry (EDC) if you were over there. The Philippines is known for gang violence, usually involving firearms or bladed weapons. In addition, the Philippines is known for it's malls, which have more than their fair share of crime. MegaMall, quite possibly the nation's most popular mall, has had numerous killings and crimes in the last few years. Most malls have beefed up security measures with mandatory pat-downs and searches before entering and leaving each store/mall. However, I've noticed these guards, due to the monotony of their jobs, tend to slack off in their searches. They get so bored that they do not check each purse or belt-line thoroughly. This allows criminals to sneak in weapons into the malls, which allows them to prey on the innocent...and even the not-so-innocent.

The common icepick is now a big weapon of choice for criminals in the Philippines. My father's family resides in Pasay City, an area of Manila which is plagued by numerous gangs and random killings. Unfortunately, a little over a year ago, my cousin, who was a martial artist and Guardian of his barangay, was killed by an icepick stabbed straight through his heart by a gang. Although my mother's side resides in San Juan, Little Baguio in Manila (a reasonably safe area), I will be going to Pasay City regularly to meet up with my cousins for various events. My cousins in Pasay City are martial arts nuts with expertise in firearms who are quite well known in the area, so I am not particularly all too worried about being protected. However, I know that I must be prepared for anything. So, I was just wanting to post up this thread to get an idea of what weapons/tools you all tend to favor. I pray I never need to resort to violence while over there.

Here's my EDC:

-Cold Steel Delta Dart: A small stabbing implement made from super-tough Zytel, which, if I owned one, I would carry in the malls. As I said before, the Malls have many security checkpoints, often with guards using handheld metal detectors searching for weapons. The Zytel is non-magnetic, meaning that it cannot be detected by metal detectors.

-Knife: It's quite easy to get a blade in the Philippines. I recall walking through Quiapo, a big shopping district with also a high amount of crime, and seeing that many stalls were selling balisongs, switchblades, cheap-liner lock folders, and bolos. Right now, I'm thinking that a Cold Steel Vaquero Grande would be a good knife to bring to the PI. It's 13.5 inches when opened, and in a nutshell, that knife is a beast! I am amazed at it's wicked presence. If anything, I'd probably take along my 4 inch Cold Steel Voyager blade, which is really lightweight but still a very durable and efficient knife.

-Inova X5 Flashlight: LED lights are big hit among martial artists nowadays. I've found that the Inova X5 is a great, cheaper alternative to many of the more expensive brands of LED flashlights out there. It is incredibly bright, as well as also very durable. The streets of Manila tend to get quite dark at night, and low-visibility can be a problem.

-A lot of Pesos: To be used in case of an emergency, to call a cab, etc. But, hey, I'm back in the motherland...might as well buy some Kali weapons, some shirts, and maybe try an San Miguel while I'm at it (I haven't had one yet lol).

So, now I pass the thread to you... what would you carry?

God Bless,
Mike


I am 18, and have gone to the philippines every summer since i was 5. I still have yet to see some sort of gang violence in the philippines. You make it sound like philippines is hell, as if you NEED weapons to be safe. I've been out and about at night in the philippines, and not one person ever threatened me in anyway.

My point is, dont risk getting your knives taken away by customs or losing it in the philippines, you don't need it.

EDIT: If you do choose to bring a knife or gun, and you are cought with one by a security guard, have those pesos ready. Im sure the guards will accept anything for a bribe ;)
 
Joined
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Messages
254
I am 18, and have gone to the philippines every summer since i was 5. I still have yet to see some sort of gang violence in the philippines.

Consider yourself fortunate...I can't say the same for myself, my friends, or the members of my family.

You make it sound like philippines is hell, as if you NEED weapons to be safe

First off, I never said the Philippines was some type of "hell" as you put it, and I never said you need weapons to be safe in the PI. A good sense of awareness, avoidance, and a streetwise relative/friend/cousin is more than enough when it comes to being safe in the Philippines, as well as anywhere else for that matter. However, considering where I do live, and the experiences myself and my family have gone through, I can only write about what I know. The Philippines is a beautiful country, with a beautiful culture which deserves international recognition, but it is also guilty of being plagued by violent crimes. Most crimes in the PI are of an extremely violent nature: they always involve more than one person, these individuals are always armed, and they will inflict lethal force on you. Even if you hand over everything you have, odds are they will still try to kill you. Foreigners, particularly Fil-Am's such as myself, are targeted more often then others because we are seen to have money and other valuables on us (my horrible Filipino accent and my American mannerisms are a dead giveaway), and we may not know the PI as well as the locals do...this makes us easy targets in the eyes of predators. Awareness, avoidance, and knowing locals who know the area well (who know where to go, and where not to go) are invaluable...but as an adult (you're 18 so I am assuming you are)...only YOU are responsible for YOU. As a result, you must take steps to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your loved ones who you travel with.


I've been out and about at night in the philippines, and not one person ever threatened me in anyway.

Again, consider yourself very lucky...you are apparently invincible to getting attacked or threatened when you are over there. I wish I could say the same for my relatives who have been threatened and attacked while over there. However, there is a fallacy to your logic here. You are basically saying that just because you have never been attacked before in the PI, then you will never be attacked in the future. Last time I checked, I have been quite lucky and blessed to not have been threatened or attacked in the PI, mainly due to my sense of awareness and my cousins who know the area, but that doesn't make me a fortune teller. The "it-will-never-happen-to-me-because-it-never-happened-to-me-before" mindset is incredibly dangerous, and IMHO, irresponsible, especially as a martial artist. It's like saying you'll never need car insurance when you drive because you've never been in a car accident before, and therefore, you'll never get into an accident in the future :rolleyes:. Carrying tools to protect yourself over there (i.e. at least one good knife, a flashlight, some extra money, etc.) isn't an act of paranoia, it is an act of preparedness. Like I said, the PI isn't exactly a warzone, that I will agree with...but the violence that occurs there is rarely the "schoolyard bully" scenario (i.e. one big guy hassles one little guy and they duke it out with fists). It's usually extreme violence which takes place over there (i.e. multiple attackers armed with firearms or bladed weapons) which involves the need for lethal force. It's important to be prepared, not paranoid, and to carry the appropriate items you may need to save your life. With the proper training, your chances of surviving a mass attack from 2, 3, 4, 5 or more attackers increases. However, to face these individuals unarmed with a "it will never happen to me" mindset is dangerous for one's safety.


My point is, dont risk getting your knives taken away by customs or losing it in the philippines, you don't need it.

Last time I was over there, I flew back to the US with a Barong and a Balisong knife. I never had any trouble with customs in either the US or the PI when I was leaving the airport. As long as you get it checked in before you board the plane, you should be fine. Like you said in another thread...I'll put them in a a Balikbayan box along with some clothes and other items on the way to the PI.

Also, when it comes to the practicality of carrying weapons/tools in the PI, I liken it to the condom rule: It's better to have one, and not need it...than need it, and not have one. ;) I'll risk having them getting taken away than risking the safety of my life and the lives of those around me. I can always buy another knife, but I can't bring back the dead.

If you do choose to bring a knife or gun, and you are cought with one by a security guard, have those pesos ready. Im sure the guards will accept anything for a bribe.

With such corrupt individuals around you, would you really want to risk becoming the victim of a crime? Would you entrust your safety and the safety of your loved ones to security guards/LEO's such as these in the PI? My cousin is one of the heads of security for a very prominent and wealthy company in the PI, and as honorable as he is, he's told me..."I do my job to protect...but I think I'm the only one. If you want to be safe, make sure to prepare yourself...a lot of these guards won't give a damn anyway."
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
52
Ultimately the decision to carry is up to you.

I know that carrying a knife in the PI can land you in jail. If you have a knife in your possession during an election - it's automatic jail time.

MegaMall - and others in Manila have pretty thick security at the doors.

When I travel - to keep from running afoul of local law- I opt for easily improvised weapons. I carry a number of pens with stout barrels. I might walk around with a water bottle half full (a great impact or thrown weapon).

I also will wear a belt that I can grasp the buckle and whip off quickly.

The common sense advice is good. Stay out of sleazier areas. I have never had any problems there.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Messages
254
Ultimately the decision to carry is up to you.

True, very true.

I know that carrying a knife in the PI can land you in jail. If you have a knife in your possession during an election - it's automatic jail time.

I never heard of this before...I never had a problem carrying it. I can see how getting caught with one at a security checkpoint can get you in a lot of trouble, though. I just avoid carrying a blade in places where I know these security checkpoints will be present. When I'm traveling in more remote and rural areas, or when going through rougher parts of Manila, this is when I carry a blade. If I'm going to Megamall, Robison's Galleria, etc...I tend to carry either improvised weapons or some other sharp object (Comtech stinger, delta dart, ice scraper, etc)

MegaMall - and others in Manila have pretty thick security at the doors.

True, but I wouldn't call it "thick" security. Normally, these searches involve a quick brush of the beltline and a quick check of your bags with a wooden dowel that the security guards use. I've gone through these checkpoints thinking, "What if I had a gun strapped to my ankle, or if I was wearing a neck knife? How would they know that I was armed?" These guards' jobs became so repetitive and boring that they tend to miss things. The beltline isn't the only place a person can carry a weapon. I've seen guys strap with tape icepicks to their ankle.

When I travel - to keep from running afoul of local law- I opt for easily improvised weapons. I carry a number of pens with stout barrels. I might walk around with a water bottle half full (a great impact or thrown weapon).

This is great advice, which is why I carry my Inova X5 LED light with me everywhere I go. It's the best pocket stick you can ask for, and the light is incredibly bright, which works well as a blinding agent so one can distract their assailant in order to escape, or if need be, attack. I like the new pen that the Sayoc clan has come out with. It's really expensive, but for it's innocuous nature and incredible sharpness and durability, it may be a great buy.

The common sense advice is good. Stay out of sleazier areas. I have never had any problems there.

The best self-defense is common sense...I would never travel through a rough area just because I was armed and felt that I could travel through such an area just because I was armed. That's stupid. Having some streetwise cousins have helped me out a great deal, because they know where and where not to go.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
52
I got the info about the jail time from a relative who's an election official there when I wanted to go buy a knife.

I love the idea of carrying a bright flashlight / pocket stick. I have one as does my wife.

If you have relatives to depend on, that will be very helpful. Best of luck.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2002
Messages
55
Last year, a good friend of mine spent a month in the Philippines. He got into one fight at the mall, why because he looked like a fil-am. He says it was a group of about 7-8, I guess local gangmembers, and he only fought two. He did mention a few of them did pull out blades but did not use them or jump in. He was also confronted two other times at two other malls. So to say your always safe in the Philippines is a joke. My friend is a good person and always stays out of trouble.

I wouldnt suggest packing a gun. No one is allowed to carry anymore. That is automatic jail if you get caught. Not even bodyguards can carry, unless hes working for some high official.

I just got back from the Philippines as well. Spent a month there. I carried a balisong everywhere I went. Heres what I did, I carried a backpack everywhere(important to wear it with both straps on) or it can be easily swipped off. My back pack had a lot of compartments, they would always look into it when I passed through security but they wouldnt check it in detail. They do sell nice Balisongs at the malls in Manila. I bought one and kept it wrapped with receipt. That way it is completely legal. Plus being balikbayan, it is easy to explain yourself that the knife is a souvenir if your ever caught with it. I kept the knife in a pocket of the backpack that is hard to see. But still, it did not seem as if it was there for protection purposes.

As for carrying money, I had a money belt. Worked great, I know a lot of filipinos dont trust leaving their money at home with their katulong or shady distant cousins.
 
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