After reading time and time again about the terrorist attacks happening in Paris, Brussels, London and other cities in recent years I have decided it is no more dangerous for Americans to visit Mindanao than anywhere else in the world. I googled terrorist attacks and found this list in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks
I did not count them but it looks to me like there have been more than 1000 attacks on that list.
Then I did a search of American deaths by terror and found this related story:
It starts out being anti-war but then gives charts of American deaths, injuries and kidnapping per year by terror overseas.
After looking at all of that and remembering how few Americans are truly impacted by terror on Mindanao I have come to think I am as safe here as I would be in any other city outside the US.
Do not get me wrong, crime is rampant here. Most of it is petty crime, from the thefts that I suffered through to something I remembered from our day trip yesterday. We were on the national highway stopped in traffic behind a big stake bed truck hauling pineapples. The truck was waiting on traffic so he could turn left into the Del Monte pineapple processing plant. I saw a young man run from my right, jump onto the rear bumper then onto a spare tire mounted higher up. He then reached under the tarp covering the truck and took 3 pineapples before he jumped down and back to the right side of the street. The truck driver was none the wiser.
I could tell that is must have happened many many times before. The thief knew exactly what he was doing. Les thinks the guy then sells the pineapples.
Considering how many millions of pineapples Del Monte grows and processes here every year I am sure the thefts are not even a drop in a bucket but if I were a Filipino I would have stopped him.
As a foreigner here, my rights are very limited. I am not allowed to protest, get involved in politics in any way, I can not support any politician or candidate for office. I am not allowed to display an American flag, etc.
All of that is well and good, but I think the US should pass laws saying any foreigner in the US can not do anything that an American can not do in the Philippines. I saw on the news last week about a group of Filipinos protesting about something in California.
Other restrictions on me here are I am not allowed to own real estate with the sole exception of a condo that has no more than 40% foreign owners. I am not allowed to own or control more than 40% of any business here.