18 responses

  1. SleeplessInKL
    February 7, 2010

    I lived in Mindanao for the first 15 years of my life and I never encountered any of those stories that are plastered all over the newspapers. There *are* conflicts in certain places but not all of Mindanao is unsafe. As you said, the presence of the army is comforting in a sense.

    • The Longest Way Home
      February 7, 2010

      -SleeplessInKL- Yes the media hypes a lot of what goes on in Mindanao up a lot. Unfortunately the media has also had a lot of tragedy there too, so it’s hard not to blame them in that sense. I think that if these issues can be resolved Mindanao has the potential to be one of the main attractions in the Philippines, if handled correctly.

  2. Ivy
    February 8, 2010

    Following you … :)

    • The Longest Way Home
      February 9, 2010

      -Ivy- Glad you are Ivy! 😉

      Marc h Thanks Marc, I am hoping to shed some positive light on this great region, stay tuned!

  3. Marc h
    February 9, 2010

    Adore this. Am really looking forward to reading about Mindanao, never heard much about it before. I looked in the bookstore about Lonely Planet and they say so little about it! So you’re right. Loved the last post too. Keep going

  4. riko
    February 10, 2010

    sounds amazing and living in an emergency state actually is’nt as scary as it sounds.just lots of checkpoints although i am very dissapointed that i’ve never been asked to show my ID :p

    • The Longest Way Home
      February 10, 2010

      -riko- :) Well your comment certainly made me smile. No, I’ve not been asked for ID in most places either. I think those that look like tourists get away with this. We’d spend most of our time searching for it. Takes too long, which is probably a good thing come to think of it. And yes, living in an emergency state, is far from scary.

  5. Ivy
    February 12, 2010

    …what kind of volunteer opportunity did you find? Join the army? Sorry, just jocking. :)

    • The Longest Way Home
      February 13, 2010

      -Ivy- :) Don’t think I could handle their rations!

      -riko- Now that’s got to be painful! My commiserations …

  6. riko
    February 12, 2010

    :) dude im a native! i think the security guys think i’m like 10!

  7. Maaarrghk!
    May 3, 2010

    I spent December and January mainly in Dipolog. Completely safe. Had a few excursions to see my inlaws in the sticks about 3 hours drive south. Plenty of army check points but we were only searched briefly once. The pick up was full so I think they were looking for assault weapons hidden among my tools. Most of the problems now seem combined to the far south of Zamboanga and the muslim autonomous zone.
    Hope you enjoy Mindanao. I did!

    • The Longest Way Home
      May 4, 2010

      -Maaarrghk!- Yes most of the problems are in the autonomous zones. A shame, as some of these places offer a lot in terms of hospitality, natural beauty and resources. As I’ve written before, the security of bus checks and mall checks in The Philippines, are something I find monumentally ineffectual to the point of actually being dangerous themselves.

  8. shaneyboy
    December 8, 2011

    im visiting my feuance who lives in mindano.a place called balubohan rizal zamboana del norte.is this a safe place to visit im white british and not sure of the no go zones there.all relpys very greatfull thankyou

    • The Longest Way Home
      December 8, 2011

      You’re a “white british” who has issues in spelling and grammar, along with an interesting IP address. Personally, I don’t think you should go there. Read the latest reports from your Embassy on recent kidnappings and shootings in the area.

  9. Kevin
    January 5, 2012

    Having stumbled across your website, more by chance than not, I wonder if you can help me clarify something about Iligan City?

    My intention is to retire there (in a few years time) but I am reading conflicting reports as to the safety of this area for British citizens.

    There are very few places we can call “Very Safe” as most places have their own problems, however would it be foolhardy to retire there and am I reading too much into the “dangerous” information I am finding on the web?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      January 9, 2012

      Hello Kevin,

      Iligan City is a 50/50 place in terms of safety for foreigners. More so on the safe side than non-safe if you have some experience in living or traveling overseas.

      There have been a few bomb attacks over the years, but nothing directed at foreigners per se. Likewise with kidnappings. Most kidnappings happen between Iligan and Zamboanga city. Note I wrote between, and not “in” said cities. Iligan itself, while it does have few expats around is not such an exciting place. It was also pretty devastated by the typhoon this year. There are more retiree expats in the much safer city of Cagayan De Oro which is just an hour or so to the North East of Iligan. Or again in Davao way down south in Mindanao. In terms of not being totally isolated that is.

      You might also want to do some online searching for expat forums in any town, join them, and ask some questions. Just take a little of what’s said with a grain of salt. There are some very nice expats in Mindanao, but the majority like their beer and girls so it can be a bit slanted in terms of relevance. Another place you might like to ask is on http://liveinthephilippines.com a good reference guide and http://www.mindanaobob.com

      There are a few British retirees around, but it’s mainly North American and a few Australian, and North European.

      Hope this helps!

  10. kevin
    July 28, 2013

    Whenever I try to read up about Mindanao (specifically Iligan city) I am left wondering “How Safe”?

    I have my reasons for wanting to retire there quite soon but there is scarcely any welcoming news about safety that I have found and I would dearly like to know more.

    To put it simply; is Iligan City a safe to retire to (for a UK citizen) or is it inadvisable for the time being?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      July 29, 2013

      It really depends on how sensible you are. If you parade around with lots of money. Or give out lots of money to Filipino family members then you are raising your “value”. Essentially Iligan is safe with a rare few kidnappings. However there have been a few violet occurrences over the years that were not just targeted at foreigners but the actual city.

      There’s not much in Iligan so that might be worth a thought too.

Back to top
mobile desktop