In 2016, freedomhouse.org ranked the Philippines among the top 10 nations with the most internet freedoms. Despite their impressive score, however, Philippines is far from censorship-free, and the restrictions seem to be tightening up.
Earlier this week, BBC News reported that a number of local ISPs began blocking adult websites, as per the government's request. No official statement addressing the reason behind the newly blacklisted sites has been released, and many Philippine netizens were left frustrated (in more ways than one) as a result.
What we know
Earlier this year, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission ordered every ISP in the country to block access to pornographic websites come January 14. So far, Smart and Sun Cellular – two of the largest providers in the country complied with the request.
Their customers reported being unable to access some of the largest adult sites out there, including popular tube sites like Pornhub, Redtube, XVideos, and others. Instead of the typical content one would expect from a porn site, visitors were presented with a message stating:
“This website has been blocked under authority of the Philippine government pursuant to Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Law.”
For now, it seems that only Smart and Sun Cellular customers are affected, but other ISPs are bound to start catching up. In order to help you get ahead of the imminent block, I put together a quick guide that will help you bypass Philippine censorship, and get you back on your favourite porn site.
What you need
Luckily, accessing geo-restricted content is incredibly easy. All you need is an internet connection (obviously), and a VPN. I recommend that you check out IPVanish, simply because it has a number of servers in the Philippines, as well as some nearby – Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Choosing a server that is physically close to you will usually translate to faster download speeds and less buffering – both of which are vital for a smooth adult-video experience. In the name of research, I took it upon myself to test whether or not the aforementioned websites are accessible via a Philippines VPN server, and to my delight, they were.
Here's how you do it
First thing's first – if you don't already have an IPVanish account, you'll need to create one before moving on to the next step. I also want to mention that IPVanish accepts Bitcoin, so if you want to register anonymously, you can do so by paying for your subscription through a service like coins.ph.
When you have your login, you're ready to get started.
- Launch the IPVanish application on your Mac or PC and log in
- Select the “QuickConnect” tab right above the “Server List”
- Choose “Philippines” from the location drop down, and select “Manila” for the preferred server
- Hit “connect”
After a couple of seconds you should get a notification telling you that a VPN connection has been established.
At this point, you're connected to the internet via a third party IP address that will mask your true location and allow you to bypass local censorship. To test this out, I went back to pornhub.com (for science), and, lo and behold – the site was there – as God intended.
After I was thoroughly convinced that pornhub.com was working as it was supposed to, I double checked Redtube and XVideos, too. Good news, they all work.
So if you want to access adult websites in the Philippines or protect your online privacy so no one knows you're accessing adult websites then grab a VPN from IPVanish or one of the other providers in our VPN Comparison Guide.