Volunteer Abroad in the Philippines

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Volunteering Abroad in Philippines

Whether you’re looking for a volunteer trip with adventures or relaxation, the Philippines caters to both crowds from ziplining to to sunbathing. Volunteering in the Philippines not only gives you the chance to explore this world of tempting tropics and teeming cities, it also offers the opportunity to expand your world perspective and gain a deeper understanding of poverty. The limited social development along with common economic hardships among the nation's people provides international volunteers with a vast array of opportunities for volunteer work in the Philippines from placements in rural health clinics to orphanages to construction sites.

Where to Volunteer in the Philippines

The Philippines is a string of over 7,000 islands, the exact number varies with the tide, divided into three regions, and filled with over 93 million people. Although the nation is slowly becoming a tourist destination, for the most part, the Philippines remains an untouched paradise — just another good reason to volunteer in the Philippines.

Luzon is the northernmost region, best known as the location of the nation’s capital city Manila. The blend of its colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers makes for a captivating scenery.  There are plenty of things to do from exploring the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and the Manila Zoo to jeepney rides in the mountains. Manila is also home to the Mall of Asia, where volunteers who like to shop can get lost in the plethora of stores. 

The middle region, the Visayas, is home to the nation’s second largest city of Cebu. Being a cultural center hotspot in the Philippines with its imprint of Spanish influence, volunteers can visit temples and shrines to their heart’s delight. This city is also 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.

In Eastern Visayas in the province of Leyte lies Tacloban City. The city’s economy focuses on tourism, education, commerce, and more, and is becoming one of the fastest-growing cities in the Philippines. Visit the Leyte Landing Memorial to go back in time to the Second World War or visit Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum. From caring for children to caring for the environment, this city offers a plethora of programs for interested volunteers.

Costs of Volunteering in the Philippines

Overall, most programs for volunteering in the Philippines end up being quite affordable because of exchange rates and the local cost of living, in comparison to volunteers' home countries. The program fee usually covers housing, food, and emergency support. 

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.

Getting from place to place in the Philippines is also relatively affordable, as a weekend getaway while volunteering can cost as little as $20. Filipinos really know how to make travel convenient too, as 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.

Volunteer Housing in the Philippines

Volunteer programs usually set up homestay placements for volunteers, in which volunteers are provided daily meals and accommodation while staying with a local host family. Living with a host family gives any volunteer priceless exposure to day to day life, and the locals welcome visitors with excitedly open arms. Finding alternative accommodation is usually not too difficult either since Filipino families frequently accept short term boarders in their homes.

Visas for Volunteers in the Philippines

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. You can learn more about visa requirements in the Philippines via GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.

Benefits & Challenges

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. From eating savory tap-si-log (rice, meat, and eggs) for breakfast to scrumptious leche flan for dessert, volunteers will love the taste of the local Filipino cuisines, as Filipinos love to eat! The Philippines is also very easy to navigate for English speakers, as English has become the second official national language. 

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.

With its beautiful scenery and friendly peoples, along with many other natural wonders, like waterfalls, volcanoes, and even extensive caves, you’re sure to never be bored. There are thousands of beautiful islands to visit during your stay — why not make the decision to volunteer in the Philippines and make a positive difference on at least one.

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International Volunteer HQ offers responsible and highly affordable volunteer abroad programs in the Philippines! Living and working within the Calinan District of Davao, IVHQ volunteers can choose from a variety of projects, including Teaching, Childcare, Medical, Special Needs, Working with Hill Tribes and Construction and Renovation.

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Beaches, jungles and a wealth of endless islands await you in the Philippines, where ELI Abroad offers many volunteer opportunities. Work with malnourished children and join nutrition education efforts. You can also help orphans, work at a girls’ shelter or help rebuild hurricane-devastated homes. Or, ask us to create a program to fit your own interests.

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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.

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Volunteer in the Philippines with Performing Arts Abroad. Participants impart their knowledge, on subject areas concerning theater, music, or dance, to Filipino youth. At the same time, individuals get the chance to immerse themselves into the country's natural beauty, warmth of the Filipino people, and diversity of the culture.

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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.

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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...

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With more than 400 projects worldwide and with 25 years experience of providing ethical travel placements, Frontier can find you the perfect adventure whatever you want to achieve. We offer placements in more than 50 countries including Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji and loads more. Here are just some of the options available: Marine Conservation and Diving Travel to beach paradises, scuba...

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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.

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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.

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Global Electives Port organizes internships and volunteer placements in Asia and Africa. We facilitate cross-cultural sharing of knowledge and global medical systems through practical and pragmatic medical, dental, and clinical experience. We organize end-to-end placements, and are dedicated to servicing people aspiring to become professionals in the fields of Medicine, Teaching, and Volunte...

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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.