The Philippines were, for the longest time, just another dreary borderline third world country. They still are, just now its gotten better and worse. After Singapore was rocked from orbit in the Fourth Corporate War, the major shipping companies needed to find another serviceable port in southeast Asia. Even though the US Navy had long since abandoned Subic Bay, Manila was still a perfectly functional port, and it attracted attention, growing back into a moderately successful port once again. Still, it had always been a near-lawless area, and with the newfound money, there was a race to get in on it. The Triads and Yakuzas came over in force… quietly kicking back to the Corporations to keep them out once profits began to climb. Legitimate merchant traffic learned to give the place a wide berth, but the less-than-perfectly-legal crowd grew to love the place. Manila was a no-questions-asked port to stop, refuel your ship and get some ‘entertaining’ shore leave for your crew, and it developed into a major hub in the black market. Still, with all that money, the Triads and Yakuzas couldn’t agree to who got to control what, and a war between the two crime families resulted. Manila and the port facilities practically turned into military camps as the two factions lost people and profits attempting to secure more territory. That bloody fiasco lasted almost six months before new players in the form of the Russian Mafiya entered the scene and brokered a tenuous peace between the Yaks and Triads, carving a modest but profitable slice of the city for themselves in the process.
Even through the mob war, Manila was still a handy place for a certain class of people. Those who needed to live off the grid, those who wanted to get away from it all, and those who had something to hide gravitated towards the anonymity of the place. Many of these types quickly wound up receiving an offer they couldn’t refuse from one of the myriad crime families or gangs in the area. Still, some were smart enough to band together for mutual protection to keep the freedom they’d sought. A small group of Edgerunners coalesced into one such group. Coming from all walks of life, each brought a unique skillset that formed a such a group for mutual protection. Quickly building a reputation for discretion and a no-questions-asked attitude, the crime families left them alone, but kept them on the rolodex just in case they needed reliable outside contractors.