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HOW TO VOLUNTEER ABROAD in the PHILIPPINES
Exceptional Volunteering in the PhilippinesREAD ARTICLE
61 Volunteer Abroad Programs in the Philippines
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
Volunteers For Peace is a Vermont non-profit with over 30 years of experience coordinating meaningful international voluntary service opportunities. We offer projects in more than 90 countries for volunteers ages 15 – 99! Find a project and use the coupon “gab14” for a $25 discount on your registration fee today!
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.
Join volunteers placements in the cities of Cebu and Davao, in the Philippines with WLS International. Volunteers can participate in programs focusing on Child Care, Community Development, and English Teaching. Participants will enjoy being welcomed by the hospitable locals and natural beauty of the country.
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.
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.
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.
Exceptional Volunteering in the Philippines
Volunteer work in the Philippines not only gives individuals the chance to explore the world and experience a new culture, it gives them 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 along with common economic hardships among the nation's people provides international volunteers with a vast array of placement options, from rural health clinics to orphanages to construction sites.
The Philippines is a string of over 7,000 islands, the exact number varies with the tide, filled with over 93 million people. Though the nation is slowly becoming a tourist hot spot, for the most part the Philippines remains and untouched paradise. 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 the Philippines, 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.
International volunteers 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. Volunteers 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 volunteers can still feel comfortable in shorts and tank tops as long as they are church-worthy cuts.
If visiting in July, volunteers 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.
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 in 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 42 Philippine Pesos while one Euro is worth just over 50 Philippine Pesos. Volunteers from developed nations typically find the Philippines to be an extremely cheap place to live; international 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 volunteers 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 indivduals volunteering in the Philippines.
Volunteers 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. Coconut milk is also a frequently used, and extrememly delcious, ingredient in Filipino dishes.
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. Frutis tend to be extraordinarily sweet in the Philippines and the local fruit shakes should definitely be experimented with.
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 while volunteering 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 volunteers in the Philippines the opportunity to explore and even greater area of the country.
Choosing to volunteer in the Philippines presents volunteers 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 volunteer priceless exposure to day to day life 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 volunteering programs in the Philippines end up being quite affordable because of exchange rates and the local cost of living, in comparison to volunteers' home countries.
Volunteer Placement Opportunities Include:
- Health clinics
- Understaffed orphanages
- Nutrition and Public Health
- Youth Development and Education
- Women's Empowerment
- Drug and Violence Rehabilitation
- Community Development
- Disaster Relief
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. Program providers ensure the safety of volunteers and always provide 24/7 assistance in case of emergencies or illness.
Almost any visitor, including those who are volunteering, 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 for volunteers in the Philippines.