Due to the media hype that focuses on the prevalence of crimes in the Philippines, a lot of outsiders think that this is a dangerous country to visit. While it is true that terrorism has not been truly eliminated and there are foreigners that sometimes become victims of crime especially in Manila, it is always advised to take sensible precautions and always be alert, like what you're most likely to do anywhere in the world. Security concerns shouldn't prevent you from enjoying what the country has to offer, hence it is a matter of using one's common sense and keeping your wits and you will see that it is as safe as big cities anywhere. Take care of your belongings all the time and avoid walking along or passing in dimly lit areas. Further don't show off any expensive jewelries or carry expensive stuffs with you.
Terrorism is still a concern in the southern part country with the dispute in Mindanao going on for decades. Local communists and Muslim separatist groups like the Moro International Liberation Front (MILF) fighting the Manila government. Always practice extreme caution and as much as possible avoid going to places within central and western Mindanao as well as the Sulu archipelago. Terrorist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf (ASG) and Jema'ah Islamiyah, and also groups that have broken away from Islamic Separatist MILF have carried out bombings, assassination, kidnappings, extortion and the likes which resulted to deaths, injuries and property damage. While they don't appear to target foreigners, as a traveler, stay watchful and use common sense.
Public transportation companies are not always complying with safety regulations and every year people are getting killed in roadside accidents. Overcrowded and poorly maintained boats pose another hazard to travellers. To reduce these risks only use reputable and long standing transportation companies. Flying is one of the most safe ways to travel long distances and can be really cheap if you book in advance and use one the budget airlines such as Air Asia and Cebu Pacific Air.
Credit card fraud and ATM usage
Always be vigilant when using your credit / debit card. Never let your card out of your sight as cases of credit card fraud are increasingly being reported. Even if you're in a restaurant and used your card to pay for your meal, always keep it within your sight. One common form of credit / debit card fraud includes the illegal use of an electronic device to retrieve and record information, including the PIN, from the card's magnetic strip. The information is then used to make unauthorized purchases and can be widely used before you know what is happening.
Tourists should always be aware of some common strategies with the tricksters. You should be wary of unknown individuals who attempt to befriend you especially after your arrival. Do not accept rides from strangers, and never accept food and drinks from them even if they seem friendly and legitimate. Also, never turn your back on your food and drinks because they can be drugged. Further always keep an eye on your belongings.