Volunteer Abroad in Visayas

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in the Visayas

Visayas is a cluster of islands in the Philippines, known for its pristine beaches, affordability, and, let’s be honest — balut. Tiny edible birds aside, the most overwhelming reason people love it here is the joyous nature of the locals! But what many forget is that this beautiful area is frequently affected by typhoons, causing significant strain on the lives of the locals. Due to a lack of resources, volunteers from diverse backgrounds are needed more than ever. If you want to give valuable help to others in between exploring the island on your own adventures, then read on for how you can volunteer abroad in Visayas!

How to Volunteer in the Visayas

The main cause for volunteering in Visayas are typhoons. In 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda was one of the most intense storms of it’s kind on record and did a great deal of damage to the Visaya region. The hurricane affected multiple aspects of the locals’ lives, things we often take for granted — this is what you need to know to help out.

Popular causes and projects. Popular causes/program types in Visayas include working at health clinics within the region, assisting with nutrition, teaching English, working with children (whether street children, at orphanages or child care) and community development projects including housing. Most programs require you to be at least 18. No experience is generally required, but what is always needed is the willingness to help and an open mind. Most program fees cover the costs of a homestay, meals, orientation for the cause chosen and a completion certificate. Note that flights are often not included. 

Short term volunteer programs in the Visayas. One-two week volunteer programs in Visayas are a good option if you haven’t volunteered in Visayas before. It can give you a taste of what life would be like if you considered doing long term volunteering in this area and whether it is right for you. Keep in mind that you must volunteer at least two weeks, no less than that.

Long term volunteer projects in the Visayas. Have more time? Month long or longer volunteer programs in Visayas are a good option if you want to have more time to adjust to the lifestyle or want to have more if an impact in the locals’ lives. Of course, it’s also great if you have been to Visayas before  and have absolutely fallen in love with the lifestyle there (which is not hard to do!).

Life in the Visayas

When volunteers arrive, they are greeted with smiles! The positivity of the locals and hospitality of the host families usually have a significantly positive impact on the volunteering experience.

Working hours will depend upon the organization that you sign up with and the nature of the work that you do, but in the time that you will have away from work, there is plenty to do if you are a nature lover. Cliff jumping, exploring caves, relaxing on the beach or singing with the locals just to name a few. 

There are certain aspects of life there that you will need to adjust to, for example in many areas there is no electricity and so many facilities are not available. The area also does get hit by bad weather regularly during wet season (June to early November). These are a challenge for many volunteers, which is why many organizations have great support programs in place. 

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Did you know that the Philippines is home to the inventor if the karaoke machine?! Maybe this explains why Filipino’s love singing (anywhere and everywhere, seriously), here are a few other quirks of life there that you could enjoy: 

  • The culture is very family oriented, in fact, you will probably become an honorary family member;
  • The concept of “saving face” is prevalent, which means that locals will have an answer to every question — this may be problematic when asking for directions;
  • Do not point at things, as pointing can be very offensive in Filipino culture;
  • It is customary to bring a gift if you are staying with a host family;
  • They speak impeccable English; and
  • The Philippines is one of the largest producers of coconuts in the world!

So what makes volunteering in Visayas a meaningful experience? The community. Sure, there are beautiful natural landscapes and a family oriented culture to be immersed in, but it’s your everyday interactions with the people that will make your volunteering here so special. The lifestyle of the locals is truly about enjoyment beyond material things. Expect to be humbled by those you meet and come away from your volunteering experience a better person. 

For more information, read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Visayas.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in the Visayas


 Find Volunteer Programs in Visayas Now


This listing has been saved 71 times

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs | Starting USD200 only!

Volunteering Solutions provides volunteering opportunities in 20 different countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin/Central America. Our main aim is to provide affordable and meaningful volunteer abroad opportunities across all countries. Our programs include both short-term (two weeks) and long-term (up to six months) placements in every country, as well as our programs, are open throug...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Volunteer Medical Internships in the Philippines

Interning with Projects Abroad on a Medicine & Healthcare project in the Philippines allows you to gain valuable medical experience abroad. In the Philippines you will work alongside some extremely skilled and talented doctors and nurses in an exciting and challenging environment. While the facilities in the hospitals and health centers are generally of a good standard, as a medical intern y...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Home Building Project in the Philippines

By volunteering in the Philippines, you can help build a house for the poorer communities. Housing in the poorer communities of Tacloban City often constitute little more than single-room makeshift shacks. Work alongside skilled carpenters on numerous community building projects around the city making renovations, repairs and even new builds to the houses of a collection of underprivileged fami...


This listing has been saved 21 times

Volunteer in the Philippines!

Like any third world country, the Philippines suffers from diseases due to poor hygiene and sanitation brought about by poor awareness programs. This is one of the major issues the country needs to face, and come up with solutions to. A lot of people in rural areas cannot afford to pay for medicines and regular medical check-ups. Volunteer for the Visayans is reaching out to those in need of...


This listing has been saved 16 times

Volunteer at an Orphanage in the Philippines

ELI works with several orphanages on Leyte Island in the Philippines. Each orphanage houses 45 to more than 100 orphans, abandoned children, and runaways. While the orphanages do a wonderful job of providing the basics, orphans are deprived of many opportunities necessary for their development. Through education, individual attention, and compassion, children are empowered to challenge a life o...


This listing has been saved 4 times

Music Volunteering in the Philippines

Share your craft by teaching music to Filipino children in Tacloban City. Volunteers teach music at a community center offering a multitude of programs in order to empower the entire community, at a youth rehabilitation center, or in local schools. Your music classes will give children an artistic outlet as well as self-confidence. Volunteers are needed throughout the year, but especially du...


This listing has been saved 111 times

Volunteer World: Best Volunteer Abroad Programs Worldwide

Looking to apply your talent and expertise to a good cause? Find a program that matches your interests and skills through Volunteer World! We are the largest volunteer abroad comparison platform around the globe, enabling you to seek and compare offers from major travel agencies as well as smaller grassroots NGOs and local specialists in more than 80 countries. All these with just one click! ...


This listing has been saved 103 times

Volunteering Abroad through GivingWay

GivingWay is a free and open platform through which worldwide travelers connect with local nonprofit organizations seeking volunteers in a simple and direct manner. With hundreds of volunteering opportunities in over 80 countries worldwide, GivingWay makes it easy for everyone to find just the right cause to support. Whether you want to teach English in Thailand, help out in a white lion san...


Midwifery Internships in the Philippines - Iloilo

Surrounded by white beaches and an abundance of marine wildlife beneath the waves, Iloilo in the Philippines is a tropical paradise. However, participants in this Midwifery internship will glean insight that goes beyond that of a tourist. Working in Work the World's busy partner hospital, which averages around 40 births per day, participants will confront a new healthcare system with unfamiliar...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Volunteer in the Philippines and Make a Difference

With the opportunity to volunteer at your fingertips, you can choose from a variety of projects in the Philippines. Join programs centered on helping a community in need through media internship, women and children care, community centers, nutrition, English teaching, and healthcare clinics. You will contribute to projects aimed at helping improve the lives of Tacloban residents, who have been ...