Metro Manila · Gun-toting Policemen And Security Guards
One of the first things that newly-arrived Megacitizens will notice in Manila are the gun-toting policemen and security guards. Authorities and private security staff with side-arms and sometimes even shotguns are a common sight in the tropical destination.
Security guards are often armed in shopping malls, banks, convenient stores, office buildings, and many bars and hotels. This can be a bit irritating in the beginning, but it makes many tourists and expats feel more secure.
People and their bags will be searched at the entrance of malls, banks, and other places. However, there is no need to get nervous about this, as it is done in a courteous and very laid-back fashion. At most, the guards will quickly poke with a stick in your bag or hold a beeping metal detector against it, then let you pass regardless of the content. If you have several bags, showing them only one (to signal your cooperation) is usually enough. It is quite obvious that the whole procedure serves rather the perceived safety than the purpose of actually finding weapons or other dangerous items.
Generally, these folks are very friendly and double up as helpers in certain establishments, opening doors, halting cabs and so on. Security guards are also there for you if you got lost in the Megacity. With their rather monotonous jobs, they are usually happy to answer your questions and give directions.