Why is the Philippines on the U.S. State Department list of countries Americans shouldnt visit?

List of States in Philippines

Because State Department canu2019t distinguish between Chicago and Illinois.

Thatu2019s why.

To explain, Chicago has gang bang shootings all the time (read the news).

You go there, you could get caught up in it.

But the rest of Illinois is relatively safe (not absolutely, but much better than Chicago).

,Applied to Phil, southern Philippines (Mindanao mostly) is not safe.

Thereu2019s a (small) but active insurgency, and yes if you go out into small towns / remote areas you are genuinely in danger there.

But further north in Cebu, or in the capital Manila, Iu2019ve never heard of insurgent activity happening.

Even in the bigger Mindanao cities like Davao it doesnu2019t happen.

,Yes, there is general crime in the country - name one place on planet earth there is none-at-all - but Iu2019m personally more afraid of Chicago than Manila.

Iu2019m Canadian by the way.

Places in the philippines starts with letter a

OIu2019ve been living in the Philippines for just over 2 years.

,Like others have said there are things that drive you crazy and things that are nice.

,When you are in a rush and just want things to happen as they should it can be a very frustrating place to live but being a guest here I try hard to accept it.

In actuality the most vocal complainers about how things do not work tend to be Filipinos that have worked abroad and experienced better.

,Ok, letu2019s get the obvious out of the way first.

,If you live in town as we do these things suck.


Environment, too hot and oppressive a lot of the time and the pollution and fumes in town can be bad as can the litter which seems to be someone elseu2019s problem for many otherwise proud Pinoys.


Traffic, terrible every day apart from Sundays.

For some reason Tuesday Wednesday and Friday are particularly bad, especially if the bi monthly pay day falls on one of those days.

General awareness of others on the road is low and rules are laws are not observed or enforced (unless thereu2019s the chance of a few $ changing hands),3.

Lack of online anything apart from social media.

Online banking and general online forms and info are slowly appearing but are not common yet.

Even government forms are sometimes scans of paper documents.

Your often have to go in person and almost all forms, letters, bank visits, car services etc etc take bloody ages and involve multiple people.

Also,if you want to find a local air conditioning service or spare part for your car, home, kitchen there are only a few of the bigger retailers who actually have an online page and many of them are outdated with info and links that are wrong or donu2019t work.

A lot of services run a Facebook page though and Lazada is the equivalent of Amazon.


General time consuming inefficiency.

Things that youu2019d assume to be easy take forever because of measures to counter theft and corruption (Usually unsuccessfully).

Even to buy goods you usually deal with several people and fill out forms.


Slightly broken or loose items never get looked at until they fail catastrophically .

My nice vise grip was being used as a makeshift tap in the garden for months before I spotted it rusting in the undergrowth! Thereu2019s a Filipino term that means something like u201cThat will dou201dor u201cGood enoughu201d and that seems to apply to many things that are done or fixed here.

Itu2019s not done right but itu2019s good enough.

Elsewhere u201cHalf assedu201d would be the equivalent!,6.

Service is hard to arrange the promised return call never comes, few e-mail requests are responded to and if you do have an appointment scheduled it can suddenly move because they presume that someone is always at home.

Spare parts for anything are nonexistent or take months to source.

Tradesmen work hard but usually lack the correct tools and because of this simple repairs can take ages and unless someone knowledgeable supervises things can end up done to a very poor standard .


Quite often completely the opposite of what you think is going to appear or happen happens.

Oh, and no ice, you get ice etc.


Inadvertent rudeness.

People suddenly talking over your shoulder to the person behind the counter when youu2019ve just waited 45mins to talk to them and the person serving you continues the conversation with the interrupter.

Lack of acknowledgement to courtesy gestures like holding the door open or stopping to letting someone out or to cross the road despite you having the right of way.

Loud belching, uncovered coughing and hacking, roadside peeing and car door open spitting are also common events.


Being taken for a ride because you are foreign.

This has only happened to me a few times and goes on in almost every country but I know many who have encountered scams and ridiculous bills.

You also get staff trying it on with requests of money for the mothers, fathers, childu2019s operation, funeral etc.

I have also found, even with trusted staff that if I give cash upfront for something specific it can be detoured to something else without me being informed.

Iu2019m wiser now.


It can be bloody noisy here, u201cToo loudu201d or u201cAmbient background musicu201d doesnu2019t seem to exist.

The serenity at a beautifully located restaurant can instantly be shattered as the bar staff start work and turn on the obligatory sound system.

Queue naff pop tunes and wailing love songs.

If itu2019s local radio add additional sound effects like canned laughter and boings plus a lot of yelling.



Despite getting involved I feel that even with local friends I am always seen as a foreigner and always remain the outsider to a certain degree.

Racist and derogatory terms are used casually and sometimes without thought.

,These things are nice.


Cheerful greetings, smiles and waves of acknowledgement from people that you meet every day from security guards to shop staff.


Many try really hard to help you, going out of their way to accommodate your needs.


People are naturally friendly.

If you visit local areas and indulge in street side food you can strike up some great conversations.


If you are careful with your money it can go a long way.


If you can get out of town there are many beautiful areas.


Sports like golf, sailing and diving can be cheap but the safety standards can be a bit dubious.


Medical care is far cheaper than most places and the staff are generally polite and caring.


All of the people seem to be singers and actors at heart.

In fact I suspect many put more thought and effort into it than into their day job.


There is a lot of Art here, if you look itu2019s everywhere.


Sport like basketball, soccer, cycling and martial arts have a high participation level, especially very early on Sunday mornings.


People laugh a lot, at each other and at you, but not in a nasty way.

You can be rubbish at a sport, singing or anything and it doesnu2019t seem to matter as long as you are giving it a go.


Despite not agreeing with the principal of VIP services I do enjoy it.

In my local bank I now I know the manager quite well so when I now go in I am ushered past the queue of patiently waiting people to a separate desk where I am served immediately.

I would need to be very important indeed to get this elsewhere.

,You also soon get used to the innocently slightly rude and direct questions or remarks such as u201cYou get fatu201d or u201cDo you have a Filipino wife?u201d and u201cHow much does that cost?u201d,There are also many things that are u201cLess usedu201d in the Philippines.

,Instructions or user manuals.

Still in the packet, weu2019ll work it out!,Indicators are mainly used as hazard lights, like when the taxi driver casually stops for roadside pee.

,Zebra crossings.

Pointless, you will see people crossing wherever they like, often just yards from a designated crossing.

,Lights on vehicles.

Disco lights or neons yes, practical headlamps or tail lights to be safely seen and see at night optionalu2026,Crash helmets.

Mandatory, but in reality many donu2019t bother or just place them on their head unstrapped as a token gesture.

,The correct tool for the jobu2026 Hmm, lost, and besides why speed up a job when youu2019re poorly paid and paid per day.

,Reports or feedback.

Good luck with that one :-),Also if you are going out for the night and the event that you are going to mentions u201cRaffleu201d my advice is to avoid it at all costs.

A raffle in the Philippines is generally a ridiculously long and drawn out event where many people win small to large prizes then they all go home.

How everyone can sit on the edge of their seat in great anticipation for a small electric fan is beyond me!

Alphabetical List of provinces in the Philippines

Thereu2019s a lot of misinformation about this topic, to judge by other answers, so let me clear up what I can.

,First, Spain did not require anyone to take Spanish (or any other) surnames when they acquired the Philippines in the 16th century.

It was almost three centuries later when they first required surnames (see below), and even then most of the names on offer were Filipino, not Spanish.

,So how did many Filipinos get their Spanish surnames? For centuries, the primary process would have been through baptism in the Roman Catholic Church, at which time those baptized (or their parents) would often choose (Spanish) Christian names: Cruz, Reyes, Santos, Santo Tomas, Santa Maria, etc.

These might or might not be passed down from generation to generation; some families, or perhaps some parishes, were pretty consistent with u201cfamilyu201d names, while others seem to have allowed each individual to have a u201csurnameu201d of his or her own, which might or might not be the same as his/her parents or siblings.

Some Filipinos held on to local (Filipino) names, especially if they reflected pre-Hispanic u201cnobility,u201d such as Lacandola, but again this was inconsistent.

,My sense from much research in the archives is that at the local level most Filipinos didnu2019t even bother with surnames, because everyone knew who everyone was, and identified them by their given name or nickname.

Only when it came to baptism, marriage, burial, or (rare) dealings with official bureaucracy would a surname even be asked for, and I suspect some people could barely remember theirs, in the same way that some of us can barely remember the ID or passwords weu2019re supposed to use on various computer applications.

(I was able to identify one Filipina who was known by 14 different names in around twenty years!),In the 19th century, the Spanish, trying to rationalize the administration of the Philippines (once the tail-end of their empire; now, with the loss of the Americas, the jewel in the Spanish crown), got tired of this chaos.

In 1849, Governor General Narciso Claveria issued a decree that everyone should get a proper surname, selected from a Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos [Alphabetical Catalogue of Surnames] sent out to each province.

These surnames were to be given to the entire family, so that fathers and children would all have the same names all the time, and proper records would be kept by churches, schools, and local officials, etc.

,The ostensible purpose of this decree was to avoid u201cconfusion,u201d including the hypothetical possibility of people marrying others to whom they were too closely related (because they lacked surnames to tell them this!).

Clearly the main reason was to sort out and simplify tax collection and other administrative tasks.

,Contrary to the belief of many Filipinos, the Catalogo was NOT a list of exclusively Spanish names.

In 1973 the National Archives published a phostatic copy of the Catalogo, unfortunately with a poor quality of reproduction.

I was the ghostwriter for the Introduction (by Domingo Abella) to this reprint and have a copy of it in my possession.

Those who claim it was a directory of Spanish names have clearly not looked into it, e.


, on p33 we find, among many others, the names coppocopy, copcop, copang, copit, copcopin, copag, copari, copada, etc.

(These are randomly selected from literally hundreds more on the same page; there are tens of thousands in the whole volume.

) In fact the decree specifically says that Filipinos ought not to choose names like u201cde la Cruz, de los Santos, and some others which are so numerous that they would continue producing confusion.

u201d,But although the decree itself is clear, and the background to it fairly evident, we know very little about its implementation.

It clearly varied from province to province, presumably according to the (Spanish) governorsu2019 choices.

In Albay, for example, there is a remarkable clustering of surnames by first letter, so that in the coast from Tabaco to Tiwi most names begin with the letters B & C; in Sorsogon, from E to L; in the Iraya valley M to S, etc.

The town of Oas, dominated by last names beginning with the letter u201cR,u201d was said later (jokingly) to have claimed everyone with such last names, including Rizal and Roosevelt! Yet in the neighboring province of Ambos Camarines, no such clustering occurs; the new surnames for each parish come from anywhere in the alphabet.

One guess as to this discrepancy - and it is only a guess - is that in Camarines someone took the whole Catalogo around from parish to parish, whereas in Albay they tore out the pages and sent different pages to different towns.

,What is obvious is that there was enormous inconsistency in the implementation of this decree.

Some Filipinos managed to retain old u201cfamilyu201d names, although they were only supposed to be able to do this if they could prove that they had used them for four generations (and even then, not u201cde la Cruz, de los Santos,u201d etc.

) Some Filipinos clearly chose Hispanic names; others apparently chose from the Filipino terms included in the Catalogo.

We have no idea how much the parish priests (whether Spanish or Filipino) or even parish clerks (Filipinos) influenced these choices; it is entirely possible that they, rather than the families themselves, assigned surnames to many people.

It is likely that a substantial number of people just missed out on the decree entirely - colonial administration was extremely haphazard in those days - though over time, as the colonial state grew and expanded its reach, it would have become harder and harder not to have a u201cproperu201d surname.

,In the end, it is likely that most Spanish surnames in the Philippines today proceed from this 1849 decree and its (imperfect) implementation.

We might guess that most Filipinos (or whoever made the decisions on their behalf) thought Spanish names were better than the Filipino alternatives offered in the Catalogo, but that, again, is just a guess.

But we also know that many of these surnames antedate the 1849 decree, and presumably arose from earlier baptismal choices.

How many cities in the Philippines 2022

(edited to answer some comments),Maybe because you grew up within a social circle and with teachers that taught you that if one is a poor country, then everybody there are poor, badly educated (perhaps even full of bad or stupid people) and all the sceneries and buildings are poor and miserable and dirty or slum-looking.

And if one is a rich country, then everyone in there are rich and well educated , everybody are nice and kind people, has a rich and clean and beautiful sceneries and surroundings.

It is not.

Both in poor or rich countries, there are nice buildings and bad buildings.

There are well educated people and badly educated people, happy people and insecure peopleu2026.



There are dirty and unsanitary placesu2026etc.

,The United States:,Out of 195 countries in the whole world, the US has the highest nominal GDP .

It is also a country where just one or two of their richest peoples wealth can equal and even far exceed the wealth of an entire country.

,Ex, IMF 2021 est, GDP OF,HAITI : $22,431billion,ERITRIA : $2,250billion,LIBERIA: $3,370billion,BHUTAN: $2,480billion,ICELAND: $24,155billion,QATAR: $166,031billion,And yet, you can find places like this;,And this is in haiti, a neighbor of the US.

A country where some people eat mud cakes to survive and 139th in total GDP (wikipedia),Photo Source:,One of the richest Filipino was interviewed and was asked about his many airplanes.

He answered that it is a business tool and and can be use well in some places where he have a meeting but do not want to stay overnight, in his words.



u201dget in , have the meeting , leave.


u201d ( in Filipino: pasok ka, makipagmeeting, alis) you cannot do that without a private plane.

while being interviewed, there was a word he used: u201cyou do not wantu201d ( u201cayaw mou201d in Filipino ) to stay overnightu201d then paused and then changed it to: u201cit is not possible for youu201d (hindi ka pwede) to stay overnightu201d.

,The businessman is not choosy or delicate, he is more known as a street smart and blunt.

He can talk and deal with the Philippines remote tribes.

Yet, he seemed averse to go and stay in those places he stated but for business.

This places he gave as example are among the poorest in Africa like sierra Leone , Congo and Liberia.

This countries are known to have the Ebola outbreaks.

One can think, perhaps he is afraid that he might caught some kind of illness like how many others also think of some places in Africa,Liberia have a lower nominal GDP than Haiti, yet they also have places and sceneries that one can post in his/her Facebook or instagram;,And this is Monrovia, the Liberian capital,Capital of Congo,And here is sierra Leone.

See, they have buildings there too!!!;-),The Philippines is richer than Haiti, Congo or Sierra Leone.

The Philippines total nominal GDP is 29th in the world ( accdg to IMF) in 2020 and 27th this 2021.

It is 18th in the world if PPP is used and not the nominal, so as a country, the Philippines Is NOT ACTUALLY POOR.

Its people?,It has a population of more than 109million.

Lets say, It has a poverty rate of more or less 20% (actually , its >16% in 2018, but i will still give more or less than 20% to be more conservative).

This will give a more or less 21million poor people in the Philippines ,almost 4x the population of Singapore.

But there are more or less 85million that are not poor.


It is also more than 15 million bigger than the 69 million population of the Kingdom of Thailand.

The buildings you said you have seen in the Philippines are still growing and will further grow in the future because until now the Philippines is still building.

And those busy in building things are not only the private sector, the current Duterte government is also obsessed with building public infrastructures that some projects that were conceived in the 1970s(time of the Marcos dictatorship) -like the Manila subway project- which was also revived but failed during the previous administrations, like the Estrada and Aquino presidencies , is now becoming a reality and was planned to partially operate by 2022.

,The Philippines current goverment is focused in the Philippines interconnectivity which will also raised the land/property values of those affected and many more.

Some of this projects were already finished, some are still under construction and some are still under study.

Many of this projects are upgrading/widening existing roads, opening new roads (highways, express ways, bypass roads , access roads, etc) and building bridges.

,And this building boom is not only happening in Luzon, its all over the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Its supporters are calling it, the golden age of the Philippine infrastructure.

Of course, many of this projects are being financed by loans, but these creditors will not extend it if they believed that the Philippines will not be able to pay.

,EXAMPLEs OF THIS PROJECTS ( see why many are calling it : the golden age of Philippine infrastructure)(Madam commenter, most of these photos were from few sources, so its is very easy to search them (it will only take minutes, not weeksud83eudd23) like the facebook page of Mark Villar and new clark city, SMNI news channel and SEFTVu2026)no sweat)BYPASS ROADS,Bulacan,Isabela,cagayan,The Philippines is also currently building a new green city, it used to be part of a former US military base.

Some are also calling it, u201cPhilippines city of the futureu201d.

,Envisioned to also be a (supposed) disaster-proof city, new clark will also become a home of many Philippine national government offices and institutions;,Many of the finished buildings were already used during the Philippine hosting of the South east Asian games and now, also being use as quarantine facilities for the covid-19 pandemic.

,The private sector are also building their own city of the future.

Example, DM wenceslao is building the aseana city, envisioned as u201cthe next generation cityu201d.

,> other probable new u201ccitiesu201d to rise in the near future are:,the Manila solar city (led by Tieng family) and,Manila horizon reclamation project ( a joint venture between jBros construction corp and the Philippine city of Manila).

,It is not enough for some Filipinos to build a u201cPhilippines city of the futureu201d or modern buildings , some have also built the past like this recreation of pre-modern Philippine landscape: not only the architecture and cobbled streets, .


its actually the whole atmosphere.

,Big, new and old Philippine companies are also fighting among each other to build bigger, better infrastructures .

,Examples:,The 163 KM north south commuter railway.

It will partially operate in 2022.

,It will be built by various local and foreign companies like DMCI, EEI , megawide, acciona and hyundai.

,Just like the metro manila subway, this project was originally planned in the 1970s but was repeatedly halted by disagreements and allegations.

,san Miguel corporation, one of the Philippines oldest conglomerate, and their partners will build the Philippines biggest airport.

,Its not only bigger infras or commercial developments, there are also companies with people who wants to highlight their corporate social responsiblity like the the construction of ONE AYALA by Ayala company and its partner, visionarch.

,They see it more as a public infrastructure than a commercial development.

They want to see it as some kind of : u201cliberating the working class from the indignity of travel.


over crowded MRTs and busesu2026lining up several blocks to wait for your transportu2026u201d,The one ayala is a 2.

8 hectare development that will link pedestrians to city buses, MRTs, taxis, and shuttles, rapid transit, jeepneys, etc.

,And there are many more like that.

,I believed that the Philippine local companies will not be joining the building boom if they thinked that the people will not be able to buy or use their products and if they have a very bad outlook for the country.

Then, there are also the choices of some international companies, for example, the furniture maker IKEA is also building its WORLDS LARGEST OUTLET in the Philippines.

I do not think they will be building that if they think most people are too poor to buy their products, whether they will be cheap or not.

( though, I personally do not know if theirs is a good idea because there are already many malls and home furniture seller in the Philippines, i have also read comments saying that they will buy some IKEA products but for sure, they will still prefer locally made furnitures made of Philippine hard woods like Narra and Kamagong.

)* And they are planning to expand to 5 to 6 stores around the country in 8 years time.

,The Philippines is at the center of the socioeconomic classification of countries around the world.

It is a developing country (not developed but also not least developed) and is considered as a newly industrialized country.

The country is not poor.

Does it have many rich people? Yes.

And it has also many poor people.

,Filipinos that are considered poor are not distributed evenly throughout the Philippines.

There are some places, cities, regions or provinces where they are more concentrated.

,Does it have many nice buildings? Yes and it also has old buildings.

,Does it have slums? Yes and it also has nice and clean views and sceneries, both in cities and country side and Filipinos know how to enjoy them.

,(Large chunk of Thailand economy (more than 15%) depends on tourism.

And majority of those tourist are international tourist, not Thais.

In the Philippines more than 10% of our economy also depends on tourism but majority of this tourist are Filipinos, not foreigners.

It means, many Filipinos have the necessary time and resources to visit and enjoy their own country.

),photo source:,And many too , knew and HAVE THE TIME to appreciate the beauty above.

,(Many if not majority of Filipinos are not fans of the rat race),Another comment below stated that the subway project was approved by the Aquino Administration with its feasibility study done in 2014.

Implying that the duterte administration cannot be credited for it and that I am lying in this post and he even stated that I should stop breathing.


(guess, if this commenter will have the chance to become a president, heu2019ll be the real dictator:)answer:,The Aquino u201cleadershipu201d of course had also dreamed about it because it has always been a dream of many administrations since 1973.

There were many studies ,etc.

but nothing came out of them.

It happened now, together with the many other projects (like the private company San Miguel Corp sky way projects) because of the strong leadership, determination , commitment u2026of the current government and their appointees, like cutting red tapes ( ex.

for the right of way problems), etc.

,If i have to give credit to the Aquino u201cleadershipu201d for dreaming and trying their best then i also should give credit to the Marcos regime for planning it EARLIER and to other administrations for originally planning other big projects and also approving and even trying to start some (but also failed) .

examples (including the Manila subway),Well, thanks for the dream and talks and drawingsu2026ud83eudd2d but what is needed are strong and real leadership , dedication, commitmentu2026political willu2026 hardworku2026.

,And btw, if what should only be given credit are the ones who planned and stared it first, then no Philippine presidents can take any credit because vision of railways all over Luzon was not started by the Marcos administration nor any other presidents because these kinds of plans and projects were already there since 1875, back when the Philippines were being governed from Spain.

They even started building them.

Smallest city in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of the largest countries in the world.

The smallest city in the Philippines in Pasay.

,Here is the smallest cities in the Philippines,Pasay city,Cavite City,Mandaluyong City,Navotas City,San Juan City

city/municipality example

I would guess that there are, but not to my knowledge.

The greater St.

Louis metropolitan area is incredibly u201cBalkanized.

u201d There have been numerous attempts to stitch the metro area back togetheru2026 one currently going onu2026 but the various fiefdoms and power centers always beat them back with fear mongering of loss of u201clocal control.

u201d Local control usually means increased opportunity for corruption and associated financial improprieties.