The author of a book about spending 13 years on the run from US federal law enforcement spoke to PLN during a recent visit to Manila. With his experience of lying low in 54 countries across five continents, we wanted to ask Dan ‘Tito’ Davis whether the Philippines would be a good place to ‘disappear’…
PLN: Why are you in the Philippines?
Dan: I came to watch the Cutud Lenten Rites Festival in San Fernando with Young Pioneer Tours, then went to explore the country. Amazing trip.
What do you like and dislike about The Philippines?
I really love the people of the Philippines, they seem to be always smiling, they’re polite, respectful, they speak English and they’re used to dealing with foreigners which makes it a very relaxed place.
Is it easier to hide in rich, or poor countries?
To hide out in any place, you need a degree of corruption, rich countries tend to have less corruption, so to get stuff done, and get a new identity the poorer the better. Poor people help people in need, rich people are the ones that turn you in!
Would the Philippines be a good place to disappear?
100 million people, poverty, corruption and thousands of islands — the Philippines would be a perfect place to disappear.
How would you conceal yourself in The Philippines?
The first part is getting in, which if you’re doing it on fake ID can be harder from an airport, meaning the best way would be to come in by boat. You then have to get yourself on the system, so you exist in the country. I’m American, the Philippines had a lot of Americans born in The Philippines that took US citizenship, so you could go down this route with an identity and get your ID on the system, get some utilities in your new name, and just exist. The secret is not to get too cocky like I did, and to keep yourself under the radar.
Where can we buy your book Gringo: My Life on the Edge As an International Fugitive?
You can buy my book directly from my website, or from Amazon. I also have a new E-Book out, and we’re talking about a movie. Watch this space.