When in Rome, do as the Romans do….when in the Philippines, bargain as the Filipinos do!
Manila, in the Philippines, has been one of the most visited tourist spots in the past few years. Due to affordability and the cost-effective travel budget, people from all over the world prefer this tourist attraction in their travel roster.
Manila has also tightened the security for foreigners, ensuring that it creates a safe environment for solo travelers. Even women are visiting the capital city of the Philippines, known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and scenic beauty, without apprehensions for safety.
Hence, the city has had considerable footfall after the lockdown was lifted. Chris Lewis, the travel-vlogger, has amassed a massive following while he travels across the globe. He has experience of interacting with locals from various countries. But he never imagined that his encounter in Manila would leave him perplexed.
While vlogging in Manila on September 24, Lewis asks a tricycle man how much he would charge for a particular destination. Both men agreed on ₱50 fare ($0.9), and Chris got into the tricycle. The tricycle barely moved a distance of 1 km in a matter of 3 minutes while Chris interacted with the man, bonding on local things.
However, the vibe completely shifted when the tricycle halted in front of Chris’s hotel stay, and the man suddenly bumped the price to ₱550 ($9.65). He demanded ten times the price that was agreed upon. Lewis, visibly infuriated, warned the driver that he had recorded their conversation and there was proof that he had scammed him by hiking the fare. But in the end, Chris still paid the increased price and told the driver not to do that again.
One of the best ways out of this scam is to ask how much the fare is after they have reached the destination. This way, they cannot lure you with false claims. Also, ask the locals about the standard pricing structure of the vicinity so that you are aware and prepared to bargain. You can also note their license plate number and lodge a complaint.
How Not to Get Scammed in the Philippines?
- Always have solid research to back you up. And that does not mean asking Google for answers. Interact with the locals and ask for advice on which mode of transport to use to reach a specific place, what is the standard pricing, and how much time is required to reach a place.
- Opt for public transport as much as possible.
- Learn a few keywords of the Filipino language; this way, the scammer might think you have traveled the place before and cannot be duped so easily.
- Record the license plate of the vehicle that you are boarding. You can use this as evidence while lodging a complaint.
- Never share your personal and financial information with anyone. Even if you are casually chatting with the tricycle man (like Chris did), don’t disclose any more of your future travel plans in the city.ino
After the video was uploaded, several Phillipno citizens apologized to Chris on the driver’s behalf with trending comments, “I Apologize for my fellow Filipino sir,” and extended their support for Chris, who forgave the driver.
What are your thoughts on this incident? What advice would you give to be safe from these scammers?
Have you ever experienced such a scenario in Manila? Let us know in the comments section below.