PHILIPPINES SKIN TAX – WHAT IS IT – HOW TO DEAL WITH IT WHEN VISITING/LIVING IN THE PHILIPPINES


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191 comments

  1. For those foreigners thinking of moving to the Philippines, or anywhere else, learn the local language. This will greatly decrease the probability for the locals to scam you or “skin tax“ you. Not all vendors are opportunistic.

  2. Very interesting subject my brother. This is absolutely the truth. I lived in the 🇵🇭 for 3 years stationed at Clark Air Base. I have travel back a forth there since the mid eighties. I must say that I fall into the category of knowingly overpaying and move on. I can afford it so it really don’t bother me. But you are dead on point because as US service men stationed there we experienced that a lot. However we didn’t care because it was a joy to be stationed in the 🇵🇭. Thanks your for sharing a very interesting subject ✌🏾

  3. Sometimes you get a bonus for that tax. I paid something like 3 times to ride a zip line. It was some type premium package, they didn’t really ask if I wanted. ,😃. At least I didn’t need to wait in line. And really to me on vacation, three times next to nothing is still next to nothing.

  4. What the point of the video actually is, is that skin tax is a global thing, not only in the Philippines. As a Belgian travelling to NYC I also pay skin tax. Good video and keep safe.

  5. #1 ALWAYS shop with “one of them”. They’ll save you money. My girl 史瑞 told me to shut up and let her negotiate when we went shopping in Shanghai.

    #2. Never go to “tourist shopping spots”. Always shop where the regular people go.

    I typically stay away from places they expect tourists to come.

    The average American traveling there is probably earning 5x what an average Filipino earns.

    I don’t mind the skin tax and I tip generously. But I refuse to be ripped off.

    #3. I do the majority of my shopping in
    hypermarkets to use my credit card and generate a receipt. I get flyer miles/points.

    My CPA helps me write EVERYTHING
    off.

    I even keep my Phillipines ATM receipts as a write off.

    Any money I give my girlfriend, I write off as “charity”/“donations”

    In South Korea, I used APPLEPAY mostly.

  6. Yea I let my girl do all the shopping to avoid that.
    That being said I will tip better for good service and when I run across those who are truly appreciative of the tip they’re the ones that continue to get my business.

  7. The other day, had gone shopping in a nearby town(5 kms) , had a large box of purchases balanced on the gas tank ( have a Yamaha YTX) in front of me.
    Started riding home, oh no, front tyre is getting flat. Panic!
    No air lines on the way home. Mad search on the road, saw shop selling / repairing push Bikes, asked if could put some air in the type, so at least able to get home!
    Guy came out with hand pump, pumped up the type, i asked how much? He said no its ok, didnt want to charge anything!
    Normally , when getting air, pay 10 pesos front and back!
    I insisted that that he accept 20 pesos. He had got me out of a jam, and made him very happy!
    Life in the provinces, can meet some true individuals still!

  8. Other then my first taxi ride from the airport to the hotel is the only time I was over charged cause I am white. Now most times when shopping I was with a filipina but even when by myself I have paid what everyone there pays. I went to the Dampa Seafood market in Pasay and I asked one vendor the price of shrimp and he told the price that was marked on the container and then had vendors close to the one I ask yelling at me a better price. Just by looking and not buying right away I got better prices as well. When I have been there I always dress down so I don’t look like have money.

  9. I don’t mind being taken some advantage of…it comes with the territory of being a foreigner in a distant land. I no long quibble over pennies…if it is close to the correct amount, I go with it.
    Most foreigners throw eff fits and I used to be that way…but I have had an epiphany…an awakening if you will…I still add up bills but I no longer go to war over anything.
    One of the things that used to blow my mind was when such and such was ‘not available’…not in stock…now I no longer fret about that one. Is it growth for me? I like to think so… 😂

  10. I was stationed at Clark in the early 1980″s and ended up being married to Filipina. Very quickly I learned that I ALWAYS sent her out to do all the negotiation and I got out of sight. More then often then not I be in a market and my wife would see me looking at something that I wanted and she be a couple stalls behind me. I glance at her and then walk off pretty soon after I departed the area my wife would be there haggling with the vendor. My wife and I get back together later and she have the item at the going rate. Back in the day there were not any malls and about the only grocery store was Johnny’s supermarket on MacArthur Highway or the base commissary. Since I lived off base almost all the fresh food was gotten in the economy off base. A third to half the price the prices on base. I never shopped off base for fresh food my wife did all that and I stayed clear. IN February just before the CHIMMP problem happened we were on our first trip back to the Philippines and I did not care that much what we spent but I was aware of the extra charging that can occur and had my wife’s niece get some of the things we wanted

  11. Headed for Reo de Janeiro… People on the plane had discussed about not to use the airport money exchangers and I exchanged $100 with a negotiation. The girl was shocked that I knew the exchange rate and expected better.
    Fellow passengers asked about my exchange rate and laughed on how I got ripped off and should have waited, the larger hotels would have much better rates. I watched those same people get considerably less, below the exchange rate at the hotel desk exchange which were set rates, non-negotiable.
    Airplane landed in Manaus Airport on the Amazon River and had maybe an hours wait to refuel, middle of the night – empty airport so the passengers all went to explore and they opened one little tiny retail booth selling bottles of beer. My wife went and stood in line and I had told her to ask for ‘dos brahma showpee’s. She’s italian and usually with a very dark tan… she laughing said she paid $1 each and said everybody else was paying $2 for the same bottle of beer. Everywhere it seemed necessary to ask a price, then you automatically looked shocked and negotiate if you want it. Even in the large grocery store near our hotel, it was double or more price at checkout for six bottles of beer and some snack foods until the shocked look and an exchange of who knows what you’re saying words. Its cheaper back on the shelf than it is up here.

  12. Yeah it happens, I totally agree about the market vendor segment. Same thing goes with the tricycle drivers in my experience. Just have to get to know them

  13. I get the foreigner tax when I am there. Private taxi drivers mostly do this and taxis at moa usually priced rides at +50 pesos. But thank god grab has saved us.

  14. The funny thing is that even in America there is skin tax.
    People will charge white people more than the minorities.
    Because they think white people have more money.

  15. I have a question for you if I am a wealthy Black Man am I going to get charged less because my skin is darker than theirs or the same or more like White people do they have a color chart that determines the amount of skin tax you will be charged or refunded if you did this in the UK you would be charged with racial discrimination.
    I think this shows a severe lack of respect for visitors within the Philippines or just being greedy.

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  17. In the USA we f-over EVERYONE equally. Not based on skin color but BY ZIP CODE. Redlining…insurance, commercial credit, rent and even groceries for people without a car. Our discrimination is just more sophisticated and far more efficient and profitable.

  18. In addition to the Skin Tax you have the “Veteran’s Move” When the foreigner gets ripped off on a transaction , like taxi trip, Filipino’s will joke that’s a veterans move. Just part of deal in living or visiting there.

  19. Great advised as always. Clear and to the point. Thank you…. I’m sure the expats will get their “Eyes Open” and “Alert” after watching this. Take Care Brother. Peace !!!

  20. It is what it is. Someone trying to maximize their profit potential. Building relationships with people might resolve some of it but if your just there on vacation you kind of have to expect to pay a bit more. If you happen to not like the price just politely excuse yourself and move on. I have traveled outside the USA and if I really want something and I know the price is high I just deal with it and move on time costs money too so if your going to spend an hour walking around for a price well you just taxed yourself in your time because you could of been doing something else but that’s only if you put a value on your time but its a good way to look at things. One time I did not want to spend $1.05 for a gallon of gas so I drove across the city, I ran out of gas on the highway so I had to walk to the gas station to get gas then walk back to the car to put the gas in the car then drive to that gas station just to pay $ .98 cents per gallon. That was a hard learned lesson but I was young and dumb at the time but smart enough to know sometimes spending more saves you money and time. Its like paying for a direct flight somewhere or saving $50-100 in air fair where you have to change planes a couple times and add several hours to your trip. Time is money. Anyway it is what it is and its also how you look at it.

  21. Spot on topic Brian ! . Peanut vendor in Calumpit really enjoyed my buying his salted peanuts . I kept going back for the time I was there . Then after i had to leave for the states my Asawa ko was asked by him where was I .LOL. The man diasappeared after CHIMMP but is back now . You can bet ill be back and buying peanuts from this old guy in Calumpit ! He’s by the local 7 Eleven

  22. COME ON BUDDY ITS NOT THE SAME IF WE SKIN TAX THEM HERE IN THE USA. REASON BEING THOSE WORKING THERE ARE POOR . YOUR POINT IS WELL TAKEN THO BE CAREFUL THY WILL GO AFTER YOU BECAUSE THY THINK YOU HAVE MONEY BUT REMEMBER THAT ONLY BECAUSE THY ARE POOR …

  23. It pays to observe and learn as you go. I always use Grab when I can for the fixed price. Yes, making friends with the market vendors and being a return customer will probably help. Thanks for the advice.

  24. Hey Brian – thanks for sharing your life in the Philippines. I’m a Fil-Am who’s grown up, studied, and worked in both the U.S. and the Philippines, mainly in Manila. I’m glad that you’re highlighting the realities of living there as an expat and I agree with you on many things about the country. It bothers me, though, that some foreigners, Americans, in particular, might think that the country’s historic ties with the US, friendly English-speaking citizens, beautiful beaches, and lower cost of living, make it an easy transition. But your non-Filipino subscribers who are interested in retiring to the islands should take your advice seriously. While it’s true that the government, education, and economic systems are modeled on the US, cultural and social attitudes are more rooted in Spanish and Asian values. As you yourself have discovered, it takes a great deal of patience to live in a developing country. Type A personalities (such as my NY-born and bred spouse) will not thrive there .That said, the laid-back vibe best suits adventurous young surfers or retirees wholly committed to a simpler, slower-paced life. Suspend your western expectations, learn the language, avoid the politics, and embrace the culture, both good and bad. The hospitable and good-natured Filipinos will gladly accommodate you and you might just survive happily in the Philippines. (Sorry for this long post)

  25. I’ve been in the Philippines several times already and have spent a fair bit of time there, plus I have a brother that has lived there for several years already so we’re both well aware of the skin tax and other scams directed at foreigners.
    I wouldn’t mind so much if as you said when they come to our countries they pay extra too, .. but that’s not how it works. My wife is a Filipina and if anything here in Canada she’s shown more respect (government and businesses) than those of us who grew up here. I know how ticked she’d be if they charged me one price and tacked extra on for her. 😉

  26. I’ve been all over Latin America and southeast Asia I’ve come to find it works exactly the same way with the skin tax everywhere you go.if it’s 10 to 20 percent more I just go with it but any more than that I just move on . Remember that somebody else will be selling the same thing close by. Never try to embarrass someone from a developing country. You just might need to go back to that same vender in the future. They are just trying to feed their families. Don’t be mad , be glad that you don’t have to feed a family on less than 10. Usd. For a days work.

  27. It’s call capitalism. I set the price my store and sell it to whom ever I want to.. I came from a comunist country. When I sell items in the US I take consideration of people can afford my price and adjust to their needs. Many times I given it away. When I travel I pay poor vendors the price for a items they are selling. Some times I overpay them just to see theirs faces light up with a big smile. If I feel price it’s super high I just walk away. I feel I am completely bless by God for what I have worked for. At the same time I am helping someone get out of poverty and they are working not begging in the streets like in the US. The poorest people in the US have all the opportunitys to get out of poverty not the same World Wide. The poorest American is Rich compare to other human a cross the World. I do agree with you, it’s capitalistic as a buyer to negotiate. I am not Rich my money standard but I do have a Rich soul and a clear conscience. Any way that’s my opinion and do respect others opinion. Appreciate your videos.

  28. Spot on video , brother , good advice to every one visiting the phillippines , Brain can you take a scroll down to walking street and see how many more places are shutting down , i am curious how many are gone now , i saw in your last video that the ( Amsterdam Hotel ) is for sale , wondering how long the others will stay in business , ???

  29. looking for house months ago in and around Angeles city with my Philippine wife and we experienced a 3.6 million peso house go up almost 3.0 million pesos because they saw me or as you say SKIN . after that i let wife and Philippine family look and shop for me. Brian your 100% correct.

  30. I get it, I get what you’re saying, but I still think there is a slight difference between us, as the westerners, and them, as the people from a “third” world country. To ask them to pay a “skin tax” when visiting places like the US, Canada or Europe for instance, is not really comparable.
    To be honest, and this is just my own humble opinion, I wouldn’t mind paying a little more here and there, no matter if I just come for a holiday or actually live anywhere in SE Asia permanently. Would I like it, no – obviously not, and certainly not when the tax is added in a forceful way, but to pay a little extra, knowing I contributed to make one family earn a little more that day, heck why not ? The unfortunate thing is that I would become skeptical to everything and everyone who wants to sell me something, as I would probably have given the honest seller a bigger tip to begin with.
    As I said, it’s just my humble opinion, but I can’t wait for the boarders to open and to check it out for myself.

  31. I’m Filipino ancestry that grew up Californian. 6’1” tall, 225lbs, dark brown. I’m what they call EOP (English Only) over there. The Skin Tax your talking about is more dialect tax, not necessarily a skin tax. Taxi’s in particular are very strong on that tax. If your white, but speak the dialect fluently you won’t experience the skin tax. My pinay wife won’t let me talk when we’re in the market, or going to taxis.

    Love your videos…. keep up the good work!!

  32. Taxi drivers are the biggest skin tax collectors in the Philippines. The best way to circumvent this skin tax, let your girlfriend or wife do all the essentials

  33. over 6 yrs ago they tried to pull that at the wet market I went to the Mayor about it. That stopped quick. Now I ak them is this filipino price or foreigner price? we both laugh. They all know me now, they know what is going on, I know what to pay.

  34. The way i see it, “skin tax” in Philippines is unjustifiable and reversed discrimination. It should be totally unacceptable and inexcusable regardless of your financial status as matter of principle.

  35. My cousin in the Philippines in Angeles city isn’t hurting. He’s built many of roads etc. They film movies in his daughters house. They aren’t hurting. Pool and kitchen outside and bar by pool and marble floors inside. Beautiful home. They fly here to visit us in the states. Their young children speak English. Not like Hispanics here in the states. Filipino kids are educated.

  36. This is all common sense. Same thing happens in the US, I’m always surprised that people would be surprised those regarded as millionaires get charged more. You obviously have not worked for yourself around multi-millionaires in the US. Your story about the foreigner coming to US does not hold water, as he would not be looked at as a millionaire but millionaires in the US are and yes they do get charged more or tried to charge more. The cheap millionaires who don’t want to spend much may hold out to find the going rate , just like a foreigner in Philippines can do.

    Different bussiness owners have different mind-sets regarding price. Some will not come down in price, they’d rather sit home. Why should they come down on price ? Once you come down on price that gets passed the next guy and you only attract cheap guys want your work. Who in their right mind would only want to work for cheap guys ? It’s a very sound bussiness principle Philly.

    I charge highers rates then some, why would I come down because someone else does ? But others charge more then I do, and some much more. I know guys make $150 to $200 an hour working for big-time multimillionaires. They are happy to pay that rate but other millionaires would never pay that rate, that is why you do not come down in price, you want to find the people will pay YOUR RATE. Simple.

    My brother’s company has a good number of houses they take care of for big-time multimillionaires. The guy has a Filipino couple who travels with him, when he wants to visit one of his houses right on the ocean worth about 6 mil, with a gate worth 100K, he sends the Filipino couple to the house in advance to open the house and do the food shopping then he comes along later. On a side not, he is about mid 50’s and just divorced his wife and married a very hot 30 year old, with an age difference of over 20 years.

    I see this all the time here in US, it’s the same stuff regardles of country, it’s just that IN the US most of US guys go to Philippines are not multimillionaires so unless your around them you don’t see it.

  37. Always important to show respect . lot times when the seller is pushing its not in your best interest . Finding things close to were you live is nice supports your neighbors .

  38. I stayed at a small resort in the province before but i sent my gf to negotiate the price..Everything was good until we went too check out..He charged us way more and when my gf called him on it he straight out said he didn’t know there was a white guy staying there..Had no choice but too suck it up and pay..

  39. This is a good “heads up” video for travelers to the Philippines, or to most other countries as well. It is neither skin nor tax as you put it. But it is more of an “opportunity price gouging.” This phenom is directed to outsiders or foreign tourists regardless of race, creed, or national origin. It is driven by greed, and opportunity makes it so. I grew up in Angeles but left almost 60 years ago. The times I visited there, I give my spending money to my brother to pay for everything – after some serious haggling. Somehow the locals seem to know that I am an “outsider” and an easy mark for price gouging. Thx.

  40. I’m from California and I lived in Subic Bay while in the US Navy and I was stationed there from 1973 to 1977 and I’ve stayed all over the Philippines for extended times and now have lived in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on and off for the last 25 years with my wife and since retiring as a Police Officer 10 years have been living in Laoag with my wife for the last 6 year in the home we built 24 years ago and I agree with everything you said. You said it like it is.

  41. Anyone retiring in the Philippines or married to a filipina , needs to learn the language….no skin tax ,if u can speak the language, they consider you local….so expats complaining about being treated like a foreigner, that’s on them…..its like retirement in the usa…walking around not speaking English and complaining about being treated as a foreigner…

  42. I remember in baclaran we shopped to bring back some stuff to Duma.
    We were over charged for everything because I was there.
    My girl told me to wait in Jollibee while she went down alone.
    She came back like thirty minutes later with four bags full of underwear and socks and sandals and shorts and t-shirts for like 700p.
    I learned my lesson. That was like my 4th day in Philippines.
    Life lessons 😂🤣.
    4 years ago.

  43. I’ve heard that crime isn’t a huge problem in the Philippines. But a lot of the homes have walls built around them. Security walls, to me seem to indicate crime is a constant threat. So what’s the truth about crime in the Philippines?

  44. My favorite episode with skin tax was a for a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) in the rush hour in Cebu city – and I was late for a date. …I took the ride without negotiating – and at the end of the ride the young entrepreneur/driver asked for Ph 90 – but he hesitated – so I bartered with him down to a more reasonable 35ph. I had so much fun I slapped him on his shoulder and gave him ph 100 and told him to keep the change. We both laughed out loud. …maybe I’m part to the problem. lol

  45. In 7/11 kinda the same thing. I would go to 7/11 in Makati around like 2am because I wanted to smoke. So I would tell her I’m going to get us some snacks. Again 4years ago, my first week there.
    She noticed that my change was like 500p short. From a 1000p bill.
    So the next night she got up quickly when I said I was going down and came with me.
    She stood near the cashier, acting like she wasn’t with me. When I got my change it was missing 500p. She saw it so fast and said oyi and started talking in Filipino. I was like wow babes you were right. I was getting robbed without even noticing. Crazy stuff.

  46. Never apologize for telling the truth. If anyone gets offended by the truth so be. That’s their problem. In the U.S.if we charged based on what region they are from we would called racist. Asian counties can’t accept the idea that respect is EARNED not to be given automatically. Fair is fair no exceptions.

  47. I consider that to be, personal skin tax. It depends entirely in the person mood whom you are dealing with. Because some people have the capacity being hit hard by rumors by their own country men, it rarely happens l guess..

  48. When I was shopping at a store in Metro Manila with my Filipina friend. We both bought the same item. I was charged a skin tax. My friend was not. It is what it is. Stay safe from the CHIMMP.

  49. sad to say it’s true brian. but i won’t call it a skin tax because they overcharge rich looking filipinos as well. so maybe we can call it “the rich people tax”

  50. Hello Brian, you don’t call it skin tax. This is what you call local and foreigner’s prices. Tax should go to the government. The government does not involved on those private business’.

  51. When u say skin tax, I’d be careful coz ur r saying they r racist..coz any foreigner regardless of skin color will be charged tourist price….Americans who are ethnically Filipino is going to be overcharged if they dont speak the local language,,Asians from neighboring countries too…

  52. Transportation is probably a whole different story and ball game! Just suck it in and don’t cause a scene. Thanks Brian, like you said it’s not a lot but you feel taken advantage of. But it’s not a rich country by far and they have to make that little bit extra while they can.

  53. That’s so true I’m lucky my wife does all the talking when it comes to money I found the taxes were the ones to watch so used grab and gave tips if they didn’t try to inflate the price

  54. I’m a Filipino. While I was on vacation in Angeles City, I met a new Filipino friend. When he realized that I’ve been working in the U.S. for many years, he started asking me for money on FB when I got back in the States. It got so annoying since he won’t stop asking for money and I had to block him on FB.

  55. i saw it on one of your videos when you asked for the price of rambutans one quoted P80 next P90 then the 3rd one wanted P150 so 1 out of 3 wanted a skin tax. One of my friends had been paying P50 for a pineapple off a vendor in santamaria. He had been getting them off him for about 5 years. my wife bought one off him as well. my friend asked my wife how much did you pay,she told him P40. he was not happy but then joined into the laughter because that just the way it is

  56. Great advice, I have more problem with family than the public. When we first moved here, because we knew nothing about the area, we relied on the family to help us with venders ECT, our family members were increasing the price so they could get a cut. We now don’t talk to some of our family now.

  57. Yeah just like black ppl get ” black taxed ” in the states for the color of their skin. However sadly, blacks get taxed not because they have money. So taxin ppl is known Lol! I would like to move to the Philippines. I think if your moving there you should be in the 2nd or maybe third expact rating. Dont move any where if you gota watch every dime & penny. Thats not living.

  58. The thing about motorcycle prices that gets me is there isn’t even a discount for past year bikes still in stock. If a shop has a brand new 2018 model still there it’s the same price it was in 2018 even if it’s 2 model years old.

  59. Been there !! seen it and lived it !!,, and yes its just a fact of the skin or foreigner tax that you live with ,,,its never much more then the Philippine pays (if your lucky) and i for the most part ,, except it !!

  60. It is the principle of the matter completely, it does get a bit tiring after a while. I know Filipinos living here in Australia that watch every dollar they spend, if someone tried to charge them one cent more there would be hell to pay. I don’t begrudge someone trying to earn a living and I usually give more than is asked if the person seems to be struggling. Unfortunately I don’t have a money tree growing in my backyard.

  61. once again sounds like the rest of SE Asia. Although in Thailand you can get the prices down by just negotiating and some of the Thais like it when you do. It does get old though

  62. I was once asked my shopping policy by a vendor in Lucena who was also my girlfriends neighbor at the time. I told her this is the way i shop local first, then store, then mall. She asked me why i did it that way, all i said was this is the way i shop in my own country why not the same here. She pressed for more information again i told her why basically it comes down to this i know what the mall grocery/clothes store will charge me, so i want to give the small buisness first crack at my pesoes if the price is too high i go to number 2 on the list then number 3. I dont argue, i don’t bitch i just move on down the line of the way i shop the girlfriend thought i was nuts at the time but then she thought about it. Said something to her sisters both living outside of the Philippines in other countries and they said their friends and or husbands did the same things even at home. LOL just remember like you said the mall is fixed prices anything better with the same quality shop #’s 1 or 2 you choose how you want to live, but if your a peso pincher are you really living well.

  63. It’s nice in the US that everything is a set price and fantastic return or exchange policy. Or that low price guarantee. We look for coupons for discounts. But a lot of Asian back markets go by bargaining. You never know if underpaid or overpaid and only have peace of mind is if they are your trusted suki. Philippines is a place where returning stuff is not affordable by businesses yet. Everything is all sales final mentality.

  64. Have to disagree with you idea on the “skin tax”. Having lived there much longer than you have….it is simply cheating a customer. Oftentimes I knew the standard prices prior to going out shopping. If they quoted a higher price than normal, I let them know I’m a permanent resident who knows regular prices. If they persist, I move to a stall who is honest. Why perpetuate the unfair practice. That allows them to continue cheating people. It has to stop somewhere. When they lose enough customers, they will eventually realize the error of their ways.

  65. I never overpay for anything there, and have called anyone out there for trying to overcharge me, and make sure I settle on the price before paying for anything. If it is too much, i tell them no, then they just lower the price, or we negotiate until it is an accurate price. I do tip employees working in the service industry for good service. Know what the prices are before you go to buy anything. The cars and motorcycles are priced based on the area that they sell them in. I have found way better deals for motorcycles in the smaller cities. They also pay for 1yr registration, free helmets and first tank of gas in some areas, where bigger cities just overcharge you and give you no perks out the door. Always get an out the door price on new cars or motorcycles.

  66. If we need work done on our house here in Davao. I stay in the bedroom while my wife gets the estimite. That’s just the way it is here. Never argue over 10 or 20 pecos…

  67. Yes the “skin or Foreigner” tax is alive and well. Like you said, get smart on prices and do not reward those who take advantage of foreigners. Don’t get mad, shop somewhere else. It is their loss not yours. The honest people will get the money.

  68. Never experienced this. I have been overcharged by an airport taxi driver with a trick meter going to Ninoy Aquino airport, but that would be the same same for everyone. You can come back to the US where everything is expensive for everyone, UP TO YOU, 😉

  69. You are so right about some people would over charge you or any foreigner that come to visit Philippines or they are already living in the Philippines…. Some people may thought that because you are a different person, a foreigner that comes from different country, that you do have a lot of money… And buying this and that, they can see number of foreigner going to money changer to change their money to pesos ( equivalent of Philippines money… Yes you are also so correct about let the wife or girlfriend do the talking with them and get the best deal as you can get…. Take care and be safe and also your family 👍👍😊

  70. The skin tax is really a foreigner tax. You must come to terms with the idea that the Philippines with wife is a lot easier than the Philippines without wife. I was arrested during the shutdown. When wife appears, I am released and the misunderstanding is forgotten. I cannot say there is more respect for the Filipino than there is for the foreigner because that is not so. But keep your gal close by as better communications make a difference.

  71. SKIN TAX: My company sent me to Guam for a year. A popular restaurant had a plastic-covered menu sheet, on one side the menu items were in English, on the other, Japanese. The prices on the Japanese side were double those on the English side.

  72. I remember my first ride on a Jeepnee back in 2012. The going rate was 8 pesos but the driver told me 11. I laughed and asked if it was because I was American or fat. He laughed and said both.

  73. I very rarely buy anything without my Filipina wife with me. She is very street wise and can spot any skin tax or scam a mile off. A few have tried it on with us and she takes them to task!

  74. I agree with you. I always send my GF to the public market for food. But in my Barangay they all know me so I get charged the same as everyone else. I also ask them to help me pick out the freshest fish or vegetables- they enjoy helping. They key is to be friendly.

  75. I don’t care if I’m rich or not, I don’t like getting ripped off over something I buy, We don’t treat foreigners like that in Canada and they shouldn’t treat foreigners just because they think your rich to rip you off that’s not right, most foreigners are not rich.

  76. I bought a fish at the wet market in Manila I listened to what the locals were paying the vendor gave me the same price, but …. When my sister in law saw the fish I bought she asked me how much I paid. When I told her she got angry and said let’s go there and you show me the vendor. I said why? I got it for the price the locals pay. She said this fish is old, it is their garbage and they sell it to you for the fresh price. She brought the fish back and demanded a fresh one and they gave her 2 fresh fish and apologized to her. She was their regular customer and she threatened to never buy from them again and to tell everybody she knows that they are selling “pig food”. LOL If it wasn’t for my sister in law I would have ate it and probably thought it was delicious.

  77. Brian, you knocked that outta the park. Nailed it…….. I’ve had many many experiences like that and usually go with the flow. One true story that sticks out is; when I was getting ready to get married here in Angeles to my Now wife, we went to a church (won’t mention name). My wife (we were already married in a small service months earlier) wanted a church wedding, so we went to a local church on MacArthur Hwy and she went in and I stayed outside for a bit. She got a price for using the church and was quoted 10,000 Peso. A few minutes later, I walked in and the Church secretary said to my wife, Ma’am your husband is a foreigner and told her we’d have to pay 18,000 Peso. So yes, it’s pretty blatant. It really threw me for a Loop that even the Catholic Church (God’s house, I thought), does a skin tax. I never looked at the Philippines the same way after that, (just lost some respect for the system). Overall the people are great, just a few that make them look bad sometimes, just a shame. Superb Video content, Thanks for addressing this common occurrence in foreigner saturated areas….

  78. Something that I have learned is that if you can speak some tagalog …not just a few words but be able to have a rudimentry conversation with someone it goes a long way to being treated more fair.

  79. Brother ive been in about 50 countrys, and i lived in central america for over 8 years, and i seen that, and at first i pissed me off, ( because really its a knife in the back) but you just learn your way around. And i will stop, but not for ever. Bucause eventually you will stumble across someone you dont know, and they will try it. LEARN THE LANGUAGE. And that dosent tipically happen. But it should be illegal. Its just not right..

  80. The magically disappeared taxi meter in the taxi 🚕 is the hidden skin tax! Always look to see a meter before you hop in a taxi. There is 100 more taxis don’t gey in if there is no meter!

  81. I think its more of a foreigner tax and happens most everywhere. Had a friend that had a custom jewelry store and yes virtually always charged more to Japanese and Europeans simply because they would pay it. Wealthier international travelers were their specialty. They had a multi lingual staff and it worked. I have never lived in the Philippines but have experienced similar in Brazil,Panama and to some extent in the Belgium.

  82. What up…hope you all are doing well…cheers from Quirino Province…I’m an American and hahaha yes the skin tax happens a lot, but my wife and a fil-am friend keep me well informed on what I should pay. I have been around on and off since 2016, so i also pretty much know what to pay, or where to go to get the best deals…i am into classic VW’s, and I buy parts, which can be overpriced here….i have learned how to avoid the opportunists, and there have been many.
    I work a lot in Romania, and skin tax (or american tax) definitely applies there, even though 90% of all Romanians are white. They all charge double rent and there is nothing we can really do about it

  83. I had this happen to me where I was charged extra for slippers and my gf was like no way but I paid anyway because it was 250 pesos. It only happen to me once and I been in Philippines several times but I think what helps is because my skin color similar to a Filipino and kind of look like Filipino. So they may think of me as a local. I wore slippers, a tank top with shorts typical attire for Filipinos so I blended in. It has happen to me once when I was in Pasay.

  84. Too many people in the Philippines are born into poverty and are just not capable of thinking past their next meal so they will jump at any opportunity to pad their daily income without any thought to what tomorrow may bring and has very little to do with the color of your skin.

  85. I got a couple of places like that too. I kept looking at places. You’ll be surprised at how many landlords will prefer renting to a Westerner because they know we will take care of their property and pay on time.

  86. For those expats who live here learn the language and you will never experience this. 18 years here never been overcharged. As soon as I open my mouth with tagalog or kapampangan its all good. Any attempt to overcharge dissappears 🙂

  87. You are so right, I’ve learned that during my many visits. Your advice is spot on, its best to have your lady/friend purchase things for you. The Philippines is great but sad to say, foreigners will be taken advantage of.

  88. I know I have experienced it many times. The little stuff doesn’t bother me. I pay the guys not to touch my bike. They always want to turn it around on the kickstand and move it around. That 220 avenger can break the side stand off. I would always tell them I’ll pay you alittle extra just don’t touch it. Thank you for watching it for me and I would throw them 20-30 pesos depending where and how long I was away from my bike. I always over paid for tricycles. I couldn’t see how those poor guys got by on such little money.

  89. When i first arrived in Tuguegarao my wife always told me to stay in the car, or stay outside the store. I rather felt insulted. But she explained to me that if they see me they will raise the price because i am a foreigner.

  90. Philly, Generally useful pointers on how to deal with what you describe as a skin tax. I have lived and worked over 30 years as a Fil American in East Africa, West Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Afghanistan. Your description applies to ALL of these underdeveloped economies , simply because you are a foreigner and an expat. I went to a local market In Almaty, Kazakhstan, approached a stand displaying local fruit and vegetables, and was quoted a ridiculous price for a bunch of lemons. So I walked away. A local Kazakh came up to the same vendor and asked the price for the same pile of lemons. Since I over at the next stand was still within hearing distance, the vendor quoted the local the same price that he just quoted me. The local burst out laughing while at the same time calling attention to the vendor as “out of his mind.” Your tip on listening in to hear what locals are getting charged applies here, so you can have a baseline for bargaining. The other tip is learn enough of the local language so you can listen in. One does not need native fluency, but street level proficiency is very advantageous. If one does not have the desire to learn the local language, then use a proxy, which could be your wife, girlfriend, or very close local friends. My wife is an American. She sticks out in the rural parts of the Philippines because she is a blue eyed blonde. When we were first married more then 35 years ago, my family would ask her to stand apart, or stay in the car when we shop in the local markets because of the tax skin effect. Today, she ventures into the local markets by herself and bargain on her own to great effect, with a mixture of humor, Cebuano bargaining phrases, and local knowledge of market prices. I just stand off to the side and let her do her thing. I have ventured into local markets in the high plateaus of Guinea, the Rift Valley in Kenya, the local markets in Cambodia, the covered bazaars of Istanbul, the spice markets of Karachi, and other places. I can speak with authority because this is what I do as a career, help develop market economies. To frame it simply as a Western concept over principle, of right or wrong, and making a comparative analogy of what a local would feel or experience if he were to come to America and get charged twice for a Starbucks coffee or a bag of groceries, is a false parallel.

  91. This foreigner tax applies in most developing countries. It is simple as you coming from a high income country and the locals think you have more money to spend. If you learn the language it may help. But if your just a tourist that will stay for a short time then expect to pay more. It is still cheaper then what you will pay in your home country.

  92. I liked this video Mr. Philly …
    My very first visit to Manila, my girlfriend at the time was arguing with the taxi driver …I did not know why, I thought, maybe he said something to her, you know, “out of the way”.
    But, my girlfriend leans over the back seat, and looks at his taxi license and he goes, in very good English, “Oh, my mistake, only 800 pesos Ma’am …”, the original price was 1400 pesos.
    After checking into the hotel, my future wife explained to me what had happened and why. I laughed because I thought if he only knew …but I got mad, because a trike driver in Iloilo tried the same trick …guys, let your girlfriend or wife handle those situations while you walk away a short distance so your temper is not triggered.

  93. it doesn’t make it right, it is what it is and that’s discrimination based on race… In a world where discrimination is hurting so many this is just another form accepted due to poverty. I feel for the unemployed who can not find work, right now I am going through it, I’m not on the poverty line yet. but discrination sucks (skin tax)

  94. Sorry mate, but if they don’t want to loose face, don’t try to screw us in the first place. Simple. Half the reason the Philippines is the way it is is because people don’t let them know their conduct is unacceptable, so things never change. I’m not saying cause a scene, but for sure let them know it’s wrong and they should be ashamed of themselves. Or even better, get your Filipina spouse to do it. Mine will be happy to give them an earful on my behalf for trying to rip me off. Because that’s what SHOULD happen.

  95. Very informative. Thank you. Here is my question. I am multi-ethnic to the extent my skin tone can range from a whitish-yellow to a pretty dark brown. It really depends on my sun exposure. I do not speak any Philippine language. Though, I’ve been mistaken for white to African and everything in between. The question is, Will I have the ‘skin tax’ if I’m just as dark as the locals?

  96. When I first showed up there to the Philippines 2004 my wife would over pay tips and she was from the Philippines cebu. Because she never experience going out all the time, now that we live here in the United States she gets mad at me if I tip to much saying ha you rich. Meaning I’m poor.

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