Bamboo - Philippines Volunteer Program
94% Rating
(8 Reviews)

Bamboo - Philippines Volunteer Program

You have the opportunity to work in a variety of projects teaching, childcare, mentoring and community projects to assist those who continue to be affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda whilst immersing yourself in the culture of the Philippines.

Volunteers are needed to teach students, empower the community through counseling, health and education.

At the heart of our work is the communities our volunteers work to support - we ensure that these communities truly benefit from your time in Philippines and that the Program Package fully supports you financially while you're volunteering.

Locations
Asia » Philippines » Manila
Asia » Philippines
Length
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Language
English
Housing
Host Family
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
It is free to join Bamboo. If your application is successful you will be invited to "Join US". We will then get to work organizing your placement and we will send further detail on your placement with information on how to prepare for your trip abroad.

The costs of the program depend on how long you wish to volunteer for. You can see details on our website.

Questions & Answers

If the volunteer work is skill specific such as medical or engineering related then having experience in areas of demographic needs is desirable. However, if the volunteer work is general then its really not about qualifications but about qualities within the individual. Do they have compassion (not pity or guilt), are they open minded about very different cultural beliefs and ways of doing things...

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    83%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    81%
  • Value
    85%
  • Safety
    85%

Program Reviews (8)

Default avatar
Takuto
Male
22 years old
Japan
Other

Great experience!!

10/10

It was my first time to go to a foreign country when I went to the Philippines and did my volunteer work. People I met there were very kind, cheerful and lovely. Especially, children were so lovely that I have missed them. I'm Japanese and pronounciation of Japanese was unfamiliar with them. That's why they couldn't say my name perfactlly. So they just called me "Kuya.T." Kuya means elder brother. Whereever I went, children called me Kuya.T and I was surrounded by lovely kids with full smile. This time was unforgettable and precious for me.

Default avatar
Edward
Male
57 years old
Berkeley
Other

Real Connection

10/10

As the typical NGOs pass by in their tinted windowed white SUVs you feel more connected to the communities since your modes of transport are jeepneys and trykes. The Nutritional day starts with shopping at the open air wet markets and veggie stands. You make a connection with your favorite vendors who are aware of the valuable work you are doing. The tryke drivers know you and transport you in their often overflowing trykes down the dirt roads to the village. Awaiting you are children who are the most well adjusted, smart and creative kids you will ever meet. You will be amazed at how the sense of community exists as you observeve 5year olds caring for their younger siblings. The richness and depth of community will awaken your passion for the day's work.
Live your life like you mean it!

How can this program be improved?

I would only suggest that options for housing be offered

Default avatar
Andrew
Male
57 years old
Surrey, England
University of Oxford

Sugod school

9/10

GVN were efficient and their advice was pertinent and timely. CERV in the Philippines were welcoming and keen to provide a good experience for the volunteers as well as making use of our work.
My wife taught while I helped to do some building maintenance in the same school. The host family were exceptional in looking after us and the school also made us very welcome.
Overall it was a very satisfactory experience.

How can this program be improved?

The one point I regretted was not knowing how few tools there were available at the school. With hindsight we could have taken some equipment with us!

Default avatar
Elizabeth
Female
57 years old
Burlington, West Virginia
University of Pennsylvania

organized

10/10

I had an excellent experience. GVN is very well organized. It was reassuring to be given such specific guidance. I was impressed. It did seem a little expensive, but I was ok with the cost. The transition from GVN to the partner program was smooth and efficient. The staff of the partner program are very interesting, truly dedicated people.

How can this program be improved?

I think the most important function of English speaking volunteers in the education program is to teach English to the children. That wasn't made as clear as it could have been

Default avatar
Stacey
Female
42 years old
Essex, England

Fantastic experience!

9/10

It was back in 2011 that I visited the Philippines where I spent a couple of weeks during my round the world trip volunteering on the beautiful island of Tablas. I am so glad I incorporated those weeks into my trip as was such a rewarding experience and a chance to get a feel for the real Philippines.

After spending a couple of nights in the dormitory in Manila (with 3 other volunteers) we got the overnight ferry to sample island life where we stayed in the village of Sugod with a lovely welcoming family. I felt privileged to stay in their house and witness their way of life if only for a couple of weeks.

In the mornings I helped out at a children’s day care centre in a nearby village, the walk itself was amazing walking in the sunshine surrounded by palm trees being welcomed by the locals. At the time I was there, there were about 15 children ageing from 3-5 years old at the day care centre and they were all just so adorable! I helped teach Basic English and then the rest of the morning would be playing and interacting with them and helping out with their daily feed. We also took them to the health centre for their regular weigh in. It was coming up to Christmas whilst I was there so we had a Christmas party one of the mornings, such fun! I will never forget their smiley faces.

Some afternoons I would also help out in the Elementary school in Sugod teaching English. The children were all so keen to learn and it was great to see their confidence grow in such a short space of time. The children were practicing for their Christmas school performance, so we got to watch their rehearsals, singing and dancing – once little boy in particular was a definite star in the making! Although quite a few hours a day were spent volunteering, you still had enough time to do as you pleased – great place to relax and unwind and everyone was so laid back. If anything I could imagine some people getting slightly bored as there was not too much to do on the island.

We had a few late nights playing board games/cards or singing karaoke with the family however most evenings it was early to bed after dinner, good thing really as we would get woken early by the roosters. We were really looked after by the family and the food was delicious.

Weekends were free time so one weekend we got a boat over to Romblon island, where we stayed overnight on a beautiful beach which we had all to ourselves.

It was quite emotional having to leave, especially saying goodbye to the children. I would definitely love to go back one day. I hear the library project is now complete which would be great to see as this was in the process of being built whilst I was there. Although I was able to take a few books to the children I was quite shocked by the lack of equipment at the day care centre, I hope they have since received further donations and am interested to help in anyway getting further supplies to them.

I would say to anyone considering volunteering on this project, well any project, to defiantly give it go, you will not be disappointed from what you gain, these amazing memories will last forever. I met the most wonderful local people and the other volunteers I shared the experience with. A big thank you to all those involved in this project I am so pleased I could be a part of it!!

Default avatar
Caitlin
Female
24 years old
Brisbane, Australia
University of Queensland

Beautiful, Friendly Community

10/10

My trip to the Philippines was the best experience I’ve had. Sugod is paradise, with its beautiful still water beaches, waterfalls and stunning green mountains, plus the big smiles on everyone’s friendly faces makes you feel a part of the community right away.
I fell in love with my host family and of course the children I worked with.
I tutored a few special needs kids in the morning then helped out with the afternoon class after lunch. There are between 40 and 50 preschoolers aged between 3 and 6 however our eldest student was 9, her mother abandoned her so she has only just started going to school.
The children didn’t have much in terms of pencils and books and the teacher didn’t have any spare pencils to give out. One weekend when we went to Romblon Island we brought back lots of stationary and books to give out.
Mam Tess my host 'mum', would cook breakfast for some of the students each morning that had to walk the hour journey over the mountain to get to school each day. My host family are such caring, generous people, I will definitely be returning to the Philippines to visit them.
Things are great on the island, everyone knows you and wants to say hello, wherever we would walk there would be a flock of children following us. A few of the little girls I taught lived near me so they would wait for me after school to hold my hand and walk home together, that was my favourite part of the day.
They may live in ‘poor’ houses and have little money but they are living richer lives than most people I know.

How can this program be improved?

FYI there is no ATM on San Agustin island, there is an ATM on the next island (Romblon Romblon) which is a 45 min boat ride away, however they did not accept MasterCard. You do not need much cash to live whilst on the island, but to be sure bring extra :) it is very safe, no one is going to pick pocket your cash.

Default avatar
Jessy
Female
32 years old
Kuala Lumpur
Other

Memorable Experience

9/10

This is the first time I volunteer internationally and it was quite challenging for me.

Overall the journey is good and I found myself really making the right decision.

I broaden my mind and getting know other country culture and living style which is really exciting.

The GVN partners and the homestay are all quite warming and kind. They all ready to help me in any conditions. I miss the time we together there.

The condition of the Romblon is really rural area with few facilities. But I really admire the inhabitants there as they always living happily though some of them are very poor. The environment of Romblon is really nice with natural flora and fauna.

The children at childcare is really cute and sometimes quite naughty as we know it is the natural character of kids. I really miss them and the teacher also very kind and patient to his teaching.

The staff at GVN's partner organization brought me to the new library which was not yet officially open by the time I visited there. It is an awesome project and congratulations for GVN and its partner organization for bringing it to this Romblon!

There is something I need to mention are the facilities of the school and the homestay. The school is really lack of stationaries and other reading materials such as books for daily learning.

The partner organization's homestay is really in bad condition by the time I visit there as there was flood weeks before I visit there. The staff is planning to move to another new place, which is better in location and to avoid flood in future. This is a good idea.

In summary, this is really a great opportunity for me to take part in this programme and I really hope my contribution can bring some good impact to the community!

How can this program be improved?

I think we should have a fund raiser for the child care school to buy books for the children daily learning.

Response from Bamboo

Hi Jessy, thank you for your review. We wanted to take this opportunity to share the exciting news from our partner organisation in the Philippines with you. Both the community library but also the mobile library have both been completed and it is therefore now possible for our partner organisation and future volunteers to bring the urgently needed books to the surrounding schools.

Default avatar
Maussrer
Male
19 years old
Auckland, New Zealand
University of Auckland

School Building and Maintenance

8/10

Thoroughly enjoyed myself in Sugod, Romblon Province, Philippines. The host family was so welcoming, treated me as one of their own sons. Always there to help out, cooked fantastic meals, gave great advice and genuinely concerned for your welfare. The right amount of work and play, offered flexible hours: working morning or afternoon, or both, with weekends off to explore, meet locals, swim in the warm, crystal clear ocean, hiking, diving, ferrying to nearby islands etc. The building is not too stringent, i found i was not expected to do as much as i thought would be the case, but only because the time i was there involved a lot of skilled work and I'm pretty unskilled in that line of work. An eye-opening experience, great to really get immersed in the laid back Filipino lifestyle.

How can this program be improved?

Possibly more work to be done for the volunteers. A lot of the time i was standing around onsite itching to get involved but wasn't able to.

About The Provider

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Bamboo is the next step in independent volunteering and adventure travel.

We're dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what responsible tourism is all about. Our dedicated team, consisting of the perfect mix of international travellers and passionate locals, know exactly how to ensure that both

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