The Philippines is a beautiful country, but like any other nation, it also has some areas that are considered dangerous for various reasons.
For travelers seeking a reference for their next trip to the Philippines, here is a list of 10 cities in the Philippines that are considered unsafe.
1. Marawi (Mindanao)
Marawi, a city in Mindanao, has become one of the most dangerous places in the Philippines as a result of a protracted battle in 2017 between government forces and ISIS-linked militants.
The conflict caused significant damage to the city, forcing it to go under martial law. Travelers are strongly advised to avoid this area due to the risk of violence and the presence of conflict between rebel groups and the Philippine military.
2. Zamboanga (Mindanao)
Zamboanga City is close to the Sulu Archipelago, which has faced security challenges due to the presence of terrorist groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group
These groups are responsible for a number of violent attacks, including bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations both in the city and its nearby cities.
3. Cotabato (Mindanao)
Cotabato is another city in Mindanao that is near the Sulu Archipelago, making it a dangerous city that is also known to be a target of terrorist attacks and clashes between rebel groups and government forces.
The government’s presence in Cotabato is limited, and the police force is often understaffed and underfunded. This makes it difficult to maintain law and order in the region.
4. Isabela (Luzon)
Isabela City is a city in Basilan province that is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The city of Isabella faces security challenges due to the presence of extremist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf and militants seeking to disrupt the region’s peace process may still attack the city.
5. General Santos (Mindanao)
General Santos is best known as the Philippines’ tuna capital, but it is also known for its high crime rate and a history of terrorist attacks.
It could be because it is in a region affected by the Moro conflict, which has been ongoing since the 1970s. In 2018, a bomb exploded at a city shopping mall, killing two people and injuring dozens.
6. Kidapawan (Mindanao)
Kidapawan is located near Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country.
The city is dangerous due to natural disasters that may occur, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. In 2016, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the city, killing at least two people and injuring hundreds more.
7. Manila City (Luzon)
Manila, the Philippines’ bustling capital and largest city, faces challenges such as a high crime rate, particularly in areas such as Tondo, Quiapo, and Divisoria. Furthermore, the city suffers from traffic congestion, pollution, and flooding.
Theft, robbery, and bribery are common crimes in Manila, so tourists should exercise caution and be mindful of their belongings. Keep your valuables safe by staying aware of your surroundings while exploring the city.
8. Quezon City (Luzon)
Quezon City is the Philippines’ former capital and the most populous city. The city has a high crime rate because it serves as a major transit point for drugs and other illegal goods.
It is also one of the most dangerous cities in the Philippines to drive in, so be cautious when crossing and driving on the road.
9. Tacloban (Visayas)
Tacloban, a city in Leyte province known for its historical landmarks and festivals, was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013, killing thousands and displacing millions more poor people.
As a result, the city is dealing with issues such as environmental degradation, corruption, and poverty, which makes tourists vulnerable to muggings, scams, and identity theft.
10. Cebu (Visayas)
Cebu City, as a bustling transportation hub with a large influx of tourists, becomes an appealing target for criminals.
Petty theft, pickpocketing, and robbery are the most common crimes in Cebu City, but more serious crimes, such as assault and murder, have also been reported.