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Urgent advice needed ASAP! (Manila)

I am a Finnish citizen married to a South African and we live in Pretoria. We have two kids, one biological and one adopted little coloured girl.

My husband works for an NGO and has gotten a job offer in the Philippines.

We are so fed up with the crime here and are quite excited about the opportunity, however, reading through blogs as well as articles about Manila I am concerned about the safety situation there, some say it's dire, some it's exaggerated. Here we live with armed response, electric fences, cannot walk anywhere, highjackings,murders,rapes etc. and it's really bloody serious. Surely Manila can't be as bad?

Secondly, as I mentioned before, our daughter is dark skinned. How do Philipinos view dark skinned people? Is there a lot of racism towards other colours?

Thirdly, is it a nice place to stay? Obviously there are drawbacks to every country but all in all, would you recommend the move?

Fourthly, life in Pretoria is quite lonely, people tend to be among themselves and we have had problems with making friends and coming up with things to do. Are there many expats in Manila that are actively involved with other expats? Are there things to do with kids or is it like Pretoria with mostly shopping malls to walk around in?

I have no clue who to ask!

Tiina

Manila Forum