- The Definitive Guide to Angeles City

Beggars will be a nuisance in the Philippines.  You will be bombarded with beggars and they will usually ask you for money or food.  Any decent person would want to help, after all were all kind hearted... right?

Heck what’s 10-20 pesos.  Well, once you help one, they will all flock around you and relentlessly bother you for money.  OK fine, barely a few bucks to help a bunch of beggars.  The entire village will eventually be at your knees asking for money.  At this point they will pester you for the duration of your vacation.  Be prepared before offering help because it may cause harm to yourself in the form of pick pocketing or diseases.

My suggestion for most would be to avoid them.  You are a decent human being, of course.  But you can’t help the entire barangay of balibago let alone the Philippines.  Especially if the seemingly dysfunctional local Philippines government isn’t doing their part.

I hate to be hypocritical however.  I usually suggest to avoid them for most people but I personally enjoy interacting with them and helping them.  The unfortunate reality is that they are at the bottom of the social economic totem pole in the Philippines but they are human beings.  And I see a lot of people treating them and acting towards them in a disrespectful manner.  Personally I enjoy putting a smile on their faces when I give them something decent to eat.  There are a couple particular beggars in which i’ve befriended and look forward to seeing when I go on my trips to Angeles City.

There is a certain boundary you must stick to and you must make it clear to them that there is only a certain level of help you are willing to offer.  Although I interact with them, I limit the type of interaction.  Do not interact with them in a way that may seem incriminating, because there may be a plot to scam you.  Only give them food, do not invite them to your hotel room for a shower, and do not let the local police see you giving them money.  Giving money to beggars is indeed against the law in the Philippines.  I help them with food and I have brief conversations with them and I am firm with what they can do or cannot do around me.

An inexperienced mongerer will most definitely be overwhelmed by the beggars.  I have seemingly graduated to a level where the beggars dont constantly bother me they know their boundaries when around me.

An experience of mine when I was a Cherry boy to the Angeles City scene...

Walking down Fields Ave with a bunch of friends, I was walking towards the rear of our pack.  The gang of beggars flock to our group asking each and every one of us for money and making hand signals that they want food.  They eventually get to me and I make the mistake of simply talking to them and responding to them.  Their tactic is to overwhelm an unassuming nice guy.  They persist and continue to beg, they start grabbing my arms, rubbing up against me.  No, no money... hindi!  They continue.

I feel a small bump on my back side so I turn around.  This little girl has her hand near my back pocket with her palm flattened pointing down, she was going to pick pocket me!  At this point I brush them off with a little force and they go their own way.


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