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Most of the people in the Philippines are good, honest, decent people. But as a foreign visitor you will be viewed as a potential payday. The Philippines is a poor country and the people there are going to view you as rich, regardless of your economic class. This is going to start from the moment you arrive at the airport.
When arriving in Manila, there will be lots of airport taxi's waiting right outside of the doors to take you to your destination. Be aware that these airport taxi's don't use meters, but instead charge a flat fee. If you wish to use one of these taxi's be sure to negotiate the price of the trip before getting into the taxi. Be forewarned though, that these taxi's are going to be more expensive than metered taxi's; sometimes a lot more. The drivers of these taxi's are depending on your lack of knowledge of the cost's in the Philippines. An alternative is to ask where the metered taxi pick-up location is located. The metered taxi's will be significatly less money. If you are looking for the cheapest
taxi option, go to the arrivals drop off area and catch one of the taxi's that is dropping off a departing traveler. Make sure to tell the driver to turn on the meter whenever you get into the taxi. If the driver is unwilling to turn on the meter, find another taxi. When exiting a taxi that has your luggage stored in the back/ trunk, make sure you let the driver get out of the vehicle first. There are some drivers who will let you get out of the car and then drive off with your luggage. Never get out of a taxi that has your luggage unless the driver gets out first, for any reason. When paying, try to use the smallest bills possible, as it is a common ploy for drivers to claim not to have change for your bill, in the hopes that they will get to keep the change. If you are using a large bill, usually this will actually be the truth on the drivers part. Do not use unmarked taxi's, they are a recipe for trouble.
Remember that Manila is a very large city. As such, it can sometimes be hard to get to your destination. It is a very good idea to have the exact address of where you want to go written out, and if possible a nearby intersection. Don't just assume that the taxi driver will know where you are going. Ask before you leave in the taxi. If possible, while at your hotel, or other area with wifi, look up your destination on an online map and take a screen shot on your phone/ ipad zoomed into your destination. If your driver is unsure of your destination, you can show them this map.
When you visit the malls, department stores, and nice restaurants, avoid the temptation to use exact change. This is the best time to pay with your large bills in order to get change. Save your small bills to pay for taxi's and at smaller local shops and restaurants.
While in Manila, and most other major cities in the Philippines, you will frequently encounter beggars/ panhandlers. While your natural instinct might be to give some pocket change when asked, it is better if you don't. Giving money to one will quickly draw any others in the area to you. I know this sounds harsh, but when you are surrounded by a crowd of beggars all demanding money, you will wish you had followed this advice. Sadly, there are some areas where the beggars will be mostly children. This is true in the historic area of Manila known as Intramuros. Do not interact with these children. By giving a hand-out to one, you will draw the others in the area. The children, if you let them, will then surround you and you will end up at the very least being pick-pocketed.
Enjoy your trip to the Philippines.