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Pick pocket security in the Philippines is a topic that comes up quite a bit. It recently struck home as I had my pockets relieved of a wallet and my cell phone was stolen too while at Sinulog. Probably by two different pick pockets as each was in a different pocket. Or perhaps they just hung around for a bit. I don’t know. I’ve got some ideas to improve your security in the Philippines, especially against pick pockets.
Yes pick pockets happen all over the world. It is not my intent to single out security in the Philippines or imply it is horrible here. This site is about the Philippines so I talk about this issue from that stand point.
First I have some great news to report on that, my wallet, credit cards and ID have all been returned! I’m going to write another story about that as there is some interesting information related to it.
Solutions Improve your Pick Pocket Security In The Philippines
Since that time, I’ve had a couple of people ask me how to protect themselves from the same. I’ve also gotten a lot of really bad advice on this. Putting your wallet in your front pocket is useless. That is what I hear most often. My cell phone is in front pocket and my wallet was in the other front pocket. They got freaking both. 🙂
So what do I recommend. A backpack is not a bad solution for security in the Philippines. I was talking to a Filipino the other day and he menionted going to the public market in Cebu City. He noticed backpacks with old slits in them. Slits from previous thefts. You know it is bad when there are multiple cuts from previous thefts. Jessie wears hers in front some time to prevent that. It is better than your pocket though. A backpack will provide some additional security in the Philippines or any place else in the world.
Money Belts for Pick Pocket Security In The Philippines
Money belts are a better solution than a backpack. I looked for some at SM Mall in Cebu City and found some there. I bought something at one of the luggage stores but i’m not going to say exactly what. I don’t care to say where my money is but even if I did, it would be dang hard to get it without a weapon. I also found some on Amazon. You can get them cheaper from Amazon but shipping them here would negate that. If you’re still in the USA, get it while in the USA and you’ll save money if you get it from Amazon. You can pull up a search result of money belts from Amazon by clicking here.
I’ve placed a few of these in my own shopping cart. I’ll get them the next time I send an order from Amazon. You know though, I don’t think a money belt is that great. If you’re moving it would probably be okay but if you’re standing still, I don’t see why a pick pocket couldn’t unzip it. They might prefer an easier target though.
I don’t have this yet but the description claims it is a hidden money belt. Actually it’s a container that slides onto your belt and then you flip it under your pants. How that works, I don’t understand yet. I’m going to order it though and find out.
If you’d like to find out more about it visit Amazon’s site by clicking here. It is made by Eagle Creek Travel Gear and they call it a hidden pocket. I like the idea of hidden.
Amazon also has more traditional types of money belts if you prefer that. Some look quite comfortable. In my mind if it isn’t comfortable, we humans will stop using it.
The next one doesn’t have a pocket on it at all. Instead it has a zippered compartment built right into the belt. I don’t know how easy it would be to get your money out of that. If the belt is tight I think it would be hard. I also don’t know how much money you could get in there. I think though, it would be a great location for additional cash that you want be needing. If a bad guy managed to get the money from your more open places, like a traditional money belt or neck wallet even at gun point, it is very unlikely he or she would ever find this. You can check it out by clicking here. If something did go wrong you could then access this extra cash. I may order it myself as I could use a new belt and one size fits most. I notice an adjustable buckle in its interior. It is not in my shopping cart at this time though.
If I were going to get a more traditional money belt it would be this one. This is the Eagle Creek Travel Gear Undercover Silk Moneybelt. It is made mostly of nylon but the “undercover” part is silk. The description of this item on Amazon is weak. However from the name and from the reviews it appears also to be hidden. I noticed they use this word for many products that are meant to go under the clothes. It is big enough for your passport and other travel documents as well as store your cash. If worn under the clothes as intended it will be somewhat difficult to access in public, especially if not wearing a shirt with buttons. If you’re interested in learning more about this item, follow this link.
Neck Wallets for Pick Pocket Protection
I’m found of using a neck wallet myself. These are also called a “neck stash.” These are pouches with a strap or nylon cord attached that goes around your neck and under your clothes. You can find these in a luggage store in SM Mall in Cebu City and Amazon has them as well. These are easy to access any place, you can always pull it out of your shirt and many will hold your passport, cash, credit cards, cell phone and identification. Jessie had one of these once that she also kept both her ATM card and cell phone in. The cell phone kept destroying her card. Now this was several years ago so I don’t know if it would continue to be an issue in these days but something you should keep in mind. The neck strap could also become hot and probably itchy for me. If not, the comfort level will be high and provide very good security in the Philippines. To get more information about the item pictured to the right click here.
To see an assortment of various neck wallets on Amazon try this link.
This is another neck wallet that looks to be well made. It built so that it will absorb perspiration in a way to keep it dry. At least it is the intent. Reviewers say it is large enough for a phone, passport, cash and credit cards all at the same time. If you’d like to read more about this security solution give it a look with this link.
Once again, forget that old put it in your front pocket idea. While that might be better than your back pocket. I think it is. I often put my hands in my front pockets if I was at all worried. Since I rarely kept my wallet in my pocket though it was never taken or just no one tried before now. I am going to put a wallet in my pocket though. I’ll probably put P100 in it and my EXPIRED credit cards. This way the bad guy will never know it is a dummy wallet. Some say to scan and print the front of your IDs and credit cards, glue them to poster board then put those in your wallet. Not a bad idea but clearly you could make someone angry with that if they know where to find you they might seek revenge. Staying unharmed is paramount in security issues so I am not sure that’s always a great idea.
If you have any suggestions other than the front pocket, leave a comment and let us know. Staying alert is also important in security issues but we are humans and we will get distracted sometimes and the more familiar the place is to you the easier to get complacent. If you’re a Navy SEAL or policeman that is on duty, you’re far more likely to fully alert than you are as a tourist on a hot, steamy or rainy day. Being alert and looking confident is helpful but isn’t the final answer in your security in the Philippines.
Filed under: Living In The Philippines
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