Volunteer in the Philippines

64 Volunteer Abroad Programs in the Philippines

Global Volunteer Network

Our vision is to support the work of local community organizations in developing countries through the placement of international volunteers. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

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ELI-Experiential Learning International

Find volunteer opportunities in the Philippines that focus on social welfare and nutrition with ELI - Experiential Learning International. Work with a local government office to reduce the number of malnourished children through feeding programs and help educate parents in the benefits of proper nutrition. Participants may also get involved with social welfare projects for underprivileged child...

Volunteer for the Visayans

Live in the Philippines for two weeks to a year and contribute to local projects and institutions in various ways. Volunteers can work with abused women in shelters, develop nutrition projects for malnourished children, work in community centers, and more through Volunteer for the Visayans. Placements are offered in Ormoc City, Tacloban City, and some surrounding communities.

Volunteering Programs with Projects Abroad

Volunteers from all parts of the world can channel their skills, knowledge, and talents into a meaningful volunteer placement in the Philippines. Participants can travel to one of the newest volunteer destinations of Projects Abroad and delve into the welcoming culture of the Philippines. All volunteers live in Cebu City for the duration of their program.

Volunteer and Travel in the Philippines

Experience living in the Philippines by joining a volunteer program with Kaya Responsible Travel. Work on building homes for underprivileged families, assist in the activities held at a Home for Girls, and take part in nutrition projects for malnourished children. The program includes home stay accommodation, two meals per day, and on-site project orientation. Programs are available to particip...

Volunteer in Orphanages in the Philippines

Get involved in volunteer placements available in the Philippines from Volunteering Solutions. Programs are available in the cities of Cebu, Ormoc, and Tacloban. Individuals may partake in programs involving orphanage work or medical assistance in clinics or health centers throughout weekdays.

United Planet

Join an exciting volunteer program in the Philippines with United Planet. Volunteers have the chance to share their knowledge with the locals while learning about the Filipino culture by working side by side with locals on community service projects. Participation is restricted to American and Canadian citizens only.

Volunteer Abroad in Philippines with A Broader View!

A Broader View offers customized programs in the Philippines located in Tacloban City. Volunteers may choose from projects such as teaching English in primary schools, working in an orphanage, or assisting in medical clinics. Placements are available throughout the year and can last from one week to two months.

World Endeavors

Bring smiles to Filipino children through World Endeavors Philippines volunteer programs. Explore the Filipino islands by becoming part of a local community. The volunteer program includes Deaf Education, Orphanage Assistance, and Teaching Children. Live in Tacloban City for a 1 to 8 weeks, have an unforgettable experience, and contribute to the bettermeant of the world.

International Volunteers

Bring smiles to the people of Philippines through International Volunteers programs. Travel and live in Tacloban City for a maximum of three to six months and experience the unique culture and the famous hospitality of the Filipinos through home stays. Volunteering programs includes Community Health, Education, and Orphanage Assistance.

Work the World

Work the World offers volunteer opportunities in the medical field. Volunteers benefit from the highly personalized and well-organized placements only an organization with over a decade of experience can provide. Various placements are available in impoverished areas in the Philippines.

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NGO sponsorship program volunteer assistant packing food distribution

How to Volunteer Abroad in the Philippines

Exceptional Volunteering in the Philippines

Volunteer work in the Philippines not only gives volunteers the chance to explore the world and experience a new culture, it gives individuals the opportunity to expand their world perspective and gain an understanding of poverty that may not be conceivable without firsthand experience.  The Philippines is culturally rich, with a diverse mixture of Spanish and American influences along with the traditional native culture. The people are genuinely optimistic and friendly, especially to foreigners. The limited social development of the Philippines, gives volunteers the ability to work in a vast array of placements from rural health clinics to orphanages to construction sites. Someone looking for an adventure should rest assured in booking a trip to the Philippines, as it is sure to present radically new experiences with each passing day.

Geography & Demographics

The Philippines is a string of over 7,000 islands, the exact number varies with the tide, filled with over 90 million people. For the most part, it is an untouched paradise, with many islands left completely uninhabited. The country is divided into three regions, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Luzon is the northernmost region, best known as the location of the nation’s capital city Manila. Manila is also home to the Mall of Asia, where locals and foreigners alike can get lost in the plethora of stores; a place that easily takes more than day to fully explore, but only a few hours to get lost.

The middle region, the Visayas, is home to the nation’s second largest city of Cebu. This city is just an island hop away from the infamous wonder of the world, the Chocolate Hills. Located in Bohol these natural limestone wonders attract tourists at all times of the year.

The southern region of Mindanao hosts over 20 million Filipinos on its largest island, where a great majority of agricultural products are grown. Since 2000, Mindanao has experienced increased violence related to religious conflict and poverty, so it is typically suggested that foreigners avoid travel to the region.

Foreigners from countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, or Russia, which experience bitter cold, sunless winters, should be prepared to sweat more than they ever have before when traveling to the Philippines. On almost any day the humidity is near one hundred percent and hardly a day goes by without blazing sunshine. Individuals traveling the Philippines should keep in mind the hot climate when packing, but also mind the modesty that is generally widespread across the Philippines in clothing choices. Filipinos casually wear pants and t-shirts, but foreigners can still feel comfortable in shorts and tank tops as long as they are church-worthy cuts.

If visiting in July, travelers should always bring a raincoat or umbrella with them whenever they leave the house. July is considered the nation’s rainy season and unexpected downpours are likely on any day. February is normally the coolest month, where at night the fans are turned off and an extra sheet is thrown on the bed. However, temperatures don’t usually drop below 75 degrees fahrenheit during the day at any point throughout the year. April until June are considered the summer months, where temperatures breech the hundred degree mark regularly when humidity is factored in.

Food & Culture

The Philippines is very easy to navigate for English speakers, as English has become the second official national language. Even children as young as four years old can be heard spouting full sentences of English, and by eight they can often understand English better than their parents. Regional dialects vary across the Philippines, encompassing more than 150 dialects.

The currency in the Philippines is called the Philippine Peso, one US or Canadian dollar is currently equivalent to about 40 Philippine Pesos while one Euro is worth just over 50 Philippine Pesos. Individuals from developed nations typically find the Philippines to be an extremely cheap place to live; volunteers can easily afford daily transportation and meals for under $200 US dollars a month.

Filipinos are extremely welcoming and particularly enjoy getting to know people from other countries. They are open and curious so one shouldn’t be surprised if they ask a lot of questions. Filipinos usually live with various extended family members, with multiple generations of parents and children all residing in one home. They are greatly influenced by the strong prevalence of Catholicism in the Philippines, and many are very devout practicing Catholics. Filipinos value family greatly and believe in sharing the responsibilities of expenses and child rearing, which leads to quite traditional roles in the family. Fiestas occur on almost every single day of the year, in at least one city or community across the Philippines. Filipinos love to celebrate Fiestas with food, dancing, singing, and friends, while celebrating the patron saint of the community or city. These traditional events are a ‘must attend’ for all visitors to the Philippines.

Foreigners will constantly have the opportunity to taste local Filipino cuisines because Filipinos love to eat! Rice is the main food group of all Filipinos, and it is routinely paired with fresh meat and vegetable dishes made from scratch. The main ingredients of nearly every dish are garlic, onion, and soy sauce, which create an enticing aroma in Filipino kitchens.

Traditional Filipino dishes are often served from small food stalls or shops almost anywhere for about one US dollar per meal. Delicious tropical fruits, like pineapples, mangoes, and papaya, are also widely available at markets and roadsides at a minimal cost. Fruit tends to be extraordinarily sweet in the Philippines as well.

Things to Do

There are thousands of beautiful islands to visit during any stay in the Philippines, along with many other natural wonders, like waterfalls, volcanoes, and even extensive caves. Getting from place to place in the Philippines is relatively affordable, a weekend getaway can cost as little as $20 US dollars. Filipinos really know how to make travel convenient too, they have developed multiple forms of public transportation which help people easily get anywhere they want to go. Domestic flight carriers also frequently have promotional fares for as low as one Philippine Peso each way, giving visitors the opportunity to explore and even greater area of the Philippines.

Volunteering in the Philippines

Choosing to volunteer in the Philippines presents individuals with numerous options; with unequal distribution of wealth and resources to the millions of citizens spread over thousands of islands, there are plenty of people who need help in very diverse ways. The island geography makes it difficult for those in rural areas or those on very remote islands to get the help they need. Working in a local community or living with a host family, gives any visitor priceless exposure to day to day life in the Philippines and the locals welcome visitors with excitedly open arms. Volunteers willing to explore uncharted waters and truly dive in with an open mind will have unlimited opportunities to help improve the lives of families and communities. Most programs end up being quite affordable because of the exchange rates and cost of living in the Philippines, in comparison to volunteers home countries.

Volunteer Placements include:

  • Understaffed health clinics
  • Overpopulated orphanages
  • Providing Feedings to Malnourished Communities
  • Disadvantaged Youth and Adults Conducting Special Activities
  • Homes for Victims of Abuse or Those Struggling With Addiction
  • Teaching
  • Construction Projects

Volunteer programs usually set up home stays for volunteers, in which volunteers are provided daily meals and accommodation while staying with a local host family. Finding alternative accommodation is usually not too difficult either, since Filipino families frequently accept short term boarders in their homes.

Almost any visitor can enter the Philippines on a free tourist visa for an initial stay of 30 days. After 30 days the cost gradually rises every month for a visa extension, but in general if you visit the nearest immigration office or embassy punctually then extending is a relatively straightforward process.

Dive in to the Philippines and you will surely have your eyes opened to world of tropical wonder, and you’ll leave the islands with handfuls of humbling experiences.

Elsa Thomasma

Elsa received her Bachelors degree in Psychology and Sociology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. In 2009, she embarked on her first volunteer trip to the Philippines, and after returning multiple times she began her own community project in a village called Cangumbang. Elsa presently works as Content Manager and Editor at GoAbroad's Asia Office.