Is it safe to travel to Mindanao
Yvekes: In January 2010 we will visit the Philippines for the third time, this time we want to focus on Mindanao.
For this I have a question: is it safe, and possible, to explore the region around Lake Lanao and Marawi on our own pace, so without a guide and with public transport, bus and boat?
Are there any places to stay in the area, or do we have to contact the mayor to arrange a bed?
Ryan: Lake Lanao and the Marawi area is NOT safe to go around right now especially unescorted or during the months running up to the elections next year.Skip the area for now. Even my friends in Iligan dissuaded us to go to the area even if Marawi is just 30 minutes away from Iligan.
Hope that helps. Choose the Surigao provinces instead or Camiguin.
Yvekes: Why would you prefere the Surigao area? Is this just your personal preference?
Ryan: Northern and Eastern Mindanao and Davao normally are safer compared to the ones in ARMM which are NOT safe around this time. I base my observations from what I have heard from my friends who live in Mindanao and also news reports coming from that region. I am not sure whether Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato City and Maguindanao are under a state of emergency after the recent things going on in Ampatuan, Maguindanao (which is at least 1,000 kilometers away from Manila by the way). These are just my suggestions, if you really wish to go, no one can stop you – just exercise extreme caution when traveling around those areas especially during these elections season.
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