Affordable Volunteer Programs in The Philippines $220
95% Rating
(11 Reviews)

Affordable Volunteer Programs in The Philippines $220

IVHQ’s Philippines program is based in the Aborlan District, on the island of Palawan. There is a project to suit every volunteer, including Kindergarten, Teaching, Construction and Renovation and Environmental. Programs start on every Monday and volunteers can choose to volunteer for 1 week to 6 months. Volunteers can choose to join the program for anywhere from 1 to 24 weeks with program fees starting at US$220 for 1 week.

Current IVHQ Volunteer Programs in the Philippines:

  • Kindergarten
  • Teaching
  • Construction and Renovation
  • Environmental

Highlights

  • Programs are available year-round at extremely affordable prices starting at US$270 for 1 week
  • The IVHQ Philippines program starts every Monday and volunteers can join for 1 week up to 24 weeks
  • Projects are based in and around the Aborlan District on the island of Palawan
  • Philippines program fees includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
  • A special one week program is available for those after an introduction to the Philippines and volunteering Volunteer weekends can include relaxing beachside, white water rafting and exploring local markets.
  • Read the great reviews IVHQ alumni have left about their experiences in the Philippines, and visit the IVHQ website to start planning your trip!
Locations
Asia » Philippines
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Language
English
Housing
Apartment
Hostel
Starting Price
$220.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Philippines Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    81%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    90%
  • Value
    90%
  • Safety
    92%

Program Reviews (11)

Ivana
Female

My experience in Philippines

10/10

I will start to say that the Philippines was one of the best experiences that I had in my life so far.
I went to a 3 weeks programme and before I was thinking it was too much time but at the end of the third week, I didn’t want to leave that place.
It changed my way of thinking and seeing the things around me.
In the village, everyone knows each other, and people are so kind and welcoming that after a few days you feel connected with them.
Saying goodbye to my students was the worst and best thing at the same time. The worst because I knew I would miss them a lot and the best because I felt that I had made a positive impact in their life.
In addition, things in the Philippine are very cheap and it's a wonderful country to visit.

Tip: bring a good repellent!

How can this program be improved?

More activities with the children and other volunteers after classes.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ivana, thanks for taking the time to share your review! It is wonderful to hear that volunteering abroad with IVHQ has made such a positive impact in your life and I have no doubt you did the same to the children you volunteered with. We have loved having you volunteer with us and we would happily welcome you again in the future!
Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

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Susmitha
Female
20 years old
Other

Highly Recommended

10/10

I was with the IVHQ team at the Philippines for only a week, but that was enough for me to realize that this is something I'd like to try again. It showed me what it meant to travel meaningfully. You get to have all your fun, plus you feel good about it too. The Environmental program has varied activities for the weekdays, all of which I found to be educational in a way. The weekends are the absolute best. There's always so much to experience on the island from scuba diving to bonfire parties, it's all a thrill ride. Everything's very affordable and the people are quite possibly the friendliest I've ever seen.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Susmitha, thanks for sharing your review! It's excellent to hear that this one week of volunteering abroad in the Philippines has helped you realize this is something you would like to pursuit in the future. IVHQ will be more than happy to have you back to volunteer on any of our programs.
Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

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Miranda
Female
19 years old
United States
Columbia College Chicago

Amazing IVHQ Philippines Volunteer Experience!

10/10

Before leaving I was afraid 2 weeks would be too long to spend at this program but once there, I was so sad when I had to leave. My time volunteering in Tigman was one of the most amazing travel experiences I've ever had and I can't wait to do more programs with IVHQ and The Green Lion. Both organizations were a pleasure to work with and are really experienced which alleviated a lot of my stress. Every week day activities/placements were well planned out and on the weekends, the other volunteers/local staff were able help make recommendations and reservations for fun trips. I felt like there was a good balance between volunteering/immersing myself in the local's everyday life and site-seeing/having fun with our free time.
If you do this program, expect to see a unique culture, meet amazing friends, and make tons of great memories. Some of mine include our crazy Karaoke Thursdays, getting a gnarly sunburn on a sandbar (WEAR SUNSCREEN), and of course, teaching and playing games with the students at my school. The work you do here can be difficult but it is so rewarding. I can't recommend this volunteer trip enough and someday I hope to visit the beautiful island of Palawan again!

How can this program be improved?

I feel like there are some logistics within the kindergarten program that can be worked out. It was really difficult for me to formally teach the really little children since they couldn't really understand English. I think the students would get more out of it if us volunteers were used as supplemental help within the classroom and the actual teacher took more of the lead.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Miranda, Thanks for your great review! We are stoked that you enjoyed your time volunteering and exploring in The Philippines and found IVHQ and our local team a pleasure to work with. Thank you for recommending this program and for being a great volunteer – we would love to have you join us again!
Sean – IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Kieren
Male
21 years old
Blackpool

Weekly karaoke night

10/10

Before I arrived I was incredibly nervous, I've never really traveled before never mind on my own. And normally I'm quite shy in social situaitons, however on the weekly karaoke night on Thursday I managed to sing barbie girl with two Dutch girls and a fellow Englishmen. I felt I truly came out my shell and would recommend to anyone to gain a unique perspective. The locals were so friendly and the staff were great.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kieren, That sounds like a hilarious performance, thanks for giving us a laugh! It is uplifting to hear that you gained confidence and a new perspective while on the IVHQ Philippines program. We hope your newfound confidence continues to grow and wish you all the best for the future.
Lynn – IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Kaylor
Female
20 years old
Marietta, Georgia

My Two Months on the Most Beautiful Island in the World

10/10

My two months in Palawan were 8 of the best weeks of my life. I registered for this program because I wanted to travel SE Asia and volunteer during my gap year, at an affordable price. I was a first time backpacker and this was the perfect spot to start. I volunteered on the construction and environmental programs. It was so much more than I imagined it could be.
If you do this program, you'll be living on the beach in a 1500 person village full of beautiful, kind Filipino people who are happy to have you there. I will never forget hanging out with our neighbor children on the beach at sunset or coming back from working in the mangroves covered in mud and jumping in the sea or dancing all night on our weekend trips or the sights that were so beautiful they triggered spiritual experiences or karaoke nights, beachfront fires, trike rides through the rice fields, pumpkin fritters, hammock days, bucket showers after sweaty days, hikes, the list goes on and on and on!
This program really has it all, and IVHQ offers it at an awesome price. I volunteered a lot, really experienced the culture, traveled a bunch, and made some of the greatest friends of my life (international volunteers, coordinators, and villagers). I will never forget my time in Tigman Village.

If you find yourself in Tigman, have a Red Horse for me and skinny dip in the Sulu Sea! Honestly, go sign up for this program right now, it will probably change your life.

Disclaimer: You may not enjoy this program if you don't like being outside, and you will be very dirty (bucket showers) and covered in bug bites. Also, the Philippines is a third world country. These turned out to be some of the things I loved most about the experience, so don't be discouraged.

How can this program be improved?

If you go between busy times, you might find that there are not a lot of "big projects" to volunteer on, but there is always something to do!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kaylor, Thanks so much for posting this brilliant review. You provide a totally accurate summary of a day in the life of an IVHQ Philippines volunteer, from working in the mangroves to karaoke nights, and offer great insight for future volunteers. We're so glad that you felt welcomed by the local Filipino people who call this slice of paradise home, as well as the local coordinators and other volunteers. We love your video - it looks like you all had so much fun! Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and embracing every aspect of the program – bucket showers included! We hope to have you join us again in the future.
Lynn – IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

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Shuang
Female
Weifang

will do this program in the future for sure!

8/10

I met many wonderful friends there and did learn a lot from them. Wanna keep friends with them forever! As i worked in a orphanage with special needs for two weeks, I found it meaningful and worth-of-time. The children there were super cute and adorable. I found it difficult to say goodbye to them.
However the work in the hospital was actually not that.. worth of time.. There was not much things to do, even the coordinator said what the volunteer should do is to 'observe', but there was not much things to observe at all though..
But overall, my trip to the Philippines was still wonderful! the sightseeing there was clear and glorious. I'd like to go to the Philippines and do this volunteer again!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Shuang, thanks for sharing your experience. We are so glad to hear that you had a great time in the Philippines! However, we will follow up with your feedback regarding the hospital placement. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ in the future!

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Jennifer
Female
31 years old
new york, ny
Villanova University

i love tigman!

10/10

I just returned from my trip in Asia, which included 2 weeks of volunteering at Tigman Village in the Philippines via IVHQ. The experience was amazing and far exceeded expectations. Glory, Miko and Delma were incredible leaders onsite, and the children/families I got to work with were truly inspiring. My biggest regret, is that my time was so short! When initially planning, I was a bit nervous about what I would find when arriving solo to the volunteer site (as I never worked with IVHQ, or visited the Philippines) - but the entire program was awesome, and I wish I could have stayed longer. The leap of faith it took me to get there, was definitely worth it!

How can this program be improved?

stronger wifi please!

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Jen
Female
26 years old
Portland, OR
Other

Don't hesitate to go if you want a once in a lifetime experience that will push your limits and expand your horizons!

10/10

I was on the Hill Tribes program for 1 month.
------
The Philippines IVHQ program is a tough one. I'll start by saying the month I spent on the program was the BEST and most difficult month of my life thus far. It was exotic, fun, sad, frustrating, adventurous, dangerous and life-altering all at the same time.
The Philippines is an absolutely stunning country with amazing people. But you have to peel back the surface and really get in there to appreciate it. The program in Davao really positioned you to do that, though.
A lot of volunteers did really really poorly on the program. I saw many volunteers go through some real fits of depression because they felt like they weren't being helpful, that the Philippines was hopeless, that they wasted their time. There was one volunteer who stayed in bed for almost the entire month I was there.
The program in Davao has almost no structure, no agenda, no guidance, no support. But if you are the kind of person who can see problems and are motivated to make things happen then this program NEEDS you. This program NEEDS people who can work independently, who can think big, who can shake things up and aren't afraid of failing or succeeding!
It's a plus if you have a background in social projects.

The hill tribes program was nothing more than banana farming when I first arrived but I saw the need for women's health in the tribes and I got a women's health clinic to make monthly visits to the village. Now hill tribes women who never had access to birth control, have access to it monthly. That was an awesome accomplishment because I built something from the ground up, and there is almost NO red tape in PH, so we were able to move fast and without much government interference.
But, a lot of people didn't know what to do or how to help and they ended up chilling around the volunteer house a lot, occasionally travelling around the Philippines and coming back to Davao.

The Philippines is a third world country and there are no animal rights there so be prepared for that. The people are honest, helpful, accepting, fun, and they want to make their community better when they get a chance to.
Another cool thing about Filipino culture is that they are generally very accepting of LGBTQ people. Even the older generation will not be fazed by it.

The other volunteers were absolutely AMAZING. I made some of the best friends of my life there. The type of person who chooses to volunteer in the Philippines must be some kind of above average person because everyone I met was totally cool and hardy. The friendships alone totally made that trip.

The coordinator for the IVHQ Philippines that was based in Davao passed away a few weeks ago. She was an amazing person who held the program together, so now that she is not there I cannot say what the state of the program is now.

Bottom Line:

Don't go to the Philippines if you want to be told how to help and what to do. It's not going to go down like that.

Go to the Philippines and work hard, seek out what the community needs and go above and beyond to make the changes you want to see. This community needs INNOVATION! This program needs people who with an open heart and mind. This program needs good people with a strong work ethic.
They will be supportive when you try to help! The pay off is enormous if you can make things happen! Don't hesitate to go if you want a once in a lifetime experience that will push your limits and expand your horizons.
I especially recommend this for experience travellers who want to push themselves.

How can this program be improved?

There could be more guidance and support from IVHQ. I understand that communication comes slowly to the Philippines but this community is in dire need of creativity on the coordinator's and the volunteer's part.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your feedback Jen, it's great to hear that you enjoyed your time volunteering in Davao and that you were able to use your initiative to make an impact within the hill tribe community.

As you may know, the IVHQ Philippines program has recently moved to a new location on Palawan Island which offers volunteers some different opportunities to those available in Davao. While volunteer support is being maintained in Davao, our volunteers have communicated that they are pleased with the placement opportunities on Palawan Island and the opportunity to be actively involved in contributing to projects within the local community.

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Jenna
Female
27 years old
Boston, MA
Simmons College

the IVHQ family

9/10

Although I have completed many international volunteer programs abroad, the IVHQ Philippines program was by far the most "user friendly" and would be a great start to getting your feet wet for many more adventures to come. I felt the program had a perfect combination of family style and opportunity for exploration and productivity. Of course when it came to the volunteer project, there was not much structure or oversight- but that is what almost all international volunteer will be like. You have to have the determination and attitude to make the difference you want to see, and to have the Excitment and creativity to put an idea into action. IVHQ will provide you with the necessary support and resources, you have to take advantage of the opportunity and don't hang around the volunteer house all day and wait for it to happen! I have made lifelong friends from around the world, with whom I would have continued to travel the world with if I didn't have to return back to the states to finish my nursing degree. I 100% recommend IVHQ to fellow volunteers and I would definitely volunteer with them again NO HESITATION. They are a very trust worthy organization and my safety was never compromised. In fact, I fainted twice while in the 3 weeks I was in the Philippines - once while on the medical project observing a surgery and another time in the hill tribes probably from my own irresponsibility of eating everything and not drinking sufficient water regularly. Despite these episodes, I was always taken well care of (in fact, probably had even more care and attention than if this happened back home in the states!) and never once felt compromised, embarrassed, or scared because of it.
Enjoy all that the world has to offer and have fun exploring it through IVHQ :)

How can this program be improved?

More fresh fruit provided at the placement?

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jenna, It's great to hear from you! Thanks for the recommendation, it's great to hear from our volunteers that they felt safe and would gladly recommend IVHQ. We love providing the programs we do and will continue to work to ensure more and more people are able to give back to the communities they visit while travelling the world. Thanks for being an IVHQer.

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Fernanda
Female
22 years old
Adelaide, Australia
University of Adelaide

IVHQ Philippines

8/10

If you want to experience a whole different culture and are travelling for the first time Philippines is the place to go. Their a no language barriers for English speakers, English is spoken and written everywhere and the team in the country that take care of you are the friendliest ever!

How can this program be improved?

There do need some more activities, there was a bit too much free time when not volunteering and the program's themselves need a bit more organisation.

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ROBERT
Male
30 years old
London
University of Auckland

Opportunity to leave your mark

9/10

The Philippines program is relatively new for IVHQ in the sense that it is now managed by Green Lion - this is a critical point as the Philippines program does appear to require a greater focus by the volunteers themselves as there is less structure to each of the placements (I only did teaching, but was told about the other placements by other volunteers).

You should only volunteer in the Philippines if you are willing to take ownership for your placement and put the effort in - do not expect everything to be done for you, because it won't be. Another key thing - don't bring any expectations of the placement with you.

I was fortunate in that I received a lot of support from the co-ordinator (Kim), as well as from the staff at the school. I was afforded the freedom to dictate my own hours and classes to attend, so I sought assistance from the head teacher to make a timetable of classes to be involved in.

In the weekends, you have the opportunity to explore - #1 tip is to book early. Flights in particular increase in price the closer you get to departure; other things may sell out.

Finally, always remember - you only get out what you put in.

How can this program be improved?

Increased structure and funding - The Green Lion foundation needs more funding/support to improve the Philippines program.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Robert, thank you or your insight on the program in the Philippines. It sounds as though you had the best attitude towards your time volunteering. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

About The Provider

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IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ) provides safe, unique, meaningful and extremely affordable volunteer programs in 35+ countries around the world, with a constantly expanding base. Programs are available in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, South America and the Pacific, where IVHQ works alongside local NGOs to

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