Affordable Volunteer Programs in The Philippines $220

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About

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!

Questions & Answers

Hi Jose, Volunteers are required to pay for their own flights. We know that flights can be one of your biggest costs when preparing for a volunteer trip abroad, so to help overcome this we have partnered with STA Travel to create flight itineraries and special offers, especially for IVHQ volunteers. Jordan McFadyen IVHQ Community Manager
It's very safe, the staff take good care of you. Also, what you do on the weekend is completely up to you. There's so many options.
The area is really safe. The northern part of Palawan is actually a known place of peace in the Philippines and the crime rates are really low. The village that this program takes place in is very small and wonderful but traveling around the island is also safe.
I want on the medical program but my roommate was and she went to the hospital every morning at 8:30 and came back to the camp between 3:30 and 4:00pm Monday to Friday. She did take time off as she was there for 12 weeks and they were fringe with it. She loved the program and was using it as her practical for her nursing degree.

Reviews

96%
based on 19 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 19
Shweta
10/10

My first time, but certainly not the last time

The only way you will experience what I experienced is if you volunteer at the Philippines! Being an Indian, where culturally solo travel especially for a woman is not common at all, I was very apprehensive and more so my parents were. All of that changed after my beautiful 2 weeks there. I arrived wanting to leave soon, but as days passed, I just wanted to stay back and not leave at all!

My personal tip: Stay for at least 4 weeks - that way you can truly make an impact and also make great connections with other volunteers

My learning: Being perfectly comfortable in the company of just myself as well as in the presence of nature - with animals, insects, fish, birds and of course with other volunteers irrespective of age, country or anything else. Also, learning from my little kindergarten kids was extremely valuable

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Shweta, thanks for your review and it's great to hear of your self-learning while on the IVHQ Philippines Program. I am glad that you ended up staying and loving your time, and I think that's a great tip for future volunteers. I hope you can return to volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Bradley
10/10

I had the time of my life in a third world country

My trip was to the Philippines on the beautiful island of Palawan. Even though I ONLY stayed 3 weeks (I emphasis -only- because most people stay 2-3 weeks) I grew attached to the other Volunteers, Coordinators, and my students. My volunteer program was "Kindergarten" and I absolutely loved it. I was so sad to leave, and saying goodbye to my kids was tough. Everyone there was super friendly and loved having us. The food they cooked for us was ASTOUNDING, I did not have a bad meal the entire time I was there. The accommodation was good compared to the surrounding area, however, it is quite sub-par to any first world places. If you expecting to live lavishly while you are volunteering, the Philippines is not the place for you. But if you want to live like the local people and experience their culture, food, and way of life, then the accommodation is sufficient.
I would 100% recommend this to ANY and ALL of my friends and family, not only because it was nice living on right on the beach for 3 weeks, but it was also very rewarding to see my students and the other volunteers students, grow and progress towards the amazing scholars that they will one day become. It was amazing to give my time and effort to the small village of Tigman, Palawan, Philippines. They taught me too many things to list, and I've mad some very good friends from all over the world.

How can this program be improved?
It's not for everyone, the living conditions should be made very clear before letting people sign up.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Kia Ora Bradley, thanks very much for taking the time to provide an insight into the amazing experience you have had on IVHQ Philippines. I am stoked to hear you enjoyed every aspect of the program and that is a great piece of advice for future volunteer expectations. The local team loved having you in-country, I am sure the children you taught were very appreciative and we would love to have you back to volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Courteney
10/10

Volunteering with IVHQ, it’s a must do!

Volunteering through IVHQ has been a great experience! Not only do you get to see the world through the people’s eyes, but you get to live it also. Working to make small communities a little bit better, making people’s lives a little bit easier, it’s an extremely rewarding experience!
You get to meet so many beautiful people from all across the world. In the group I had started my volunteer work with, each of the 8 people were from a different country, of different origins, and all different accents. That alone was a great experience.
You get to see the beauty of the areas you live in, live the way the locals would and eat the local food, which is still pretty good.
It is definitely an experience worth living through, I strongly suggest giving it a go. I had my doubts, but in the end, every part of my volunteer experience was incredible. Best decision I have made.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Courteney, thanks very much for taking the time to provide this excellent review and I am sure it will give future IVHQ Philippines volunteers an informative insight into the program. I am glad that your doubts were put to rest once you were in-country and you ended up having an amazing experience. We would love to have you back to volunteer with us again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Kevin
10/10

IVHQ - Green Lions

I wish someone had told me about this opportunity years ago because it’s an excellent program. You get to people from all parts of the world and go on some crazy adventures, but most importantly you can see how the work you do, directly impacts the residents of Tigman Village.

I just spent 3 weeks in the Philippines (it was supppsed to be 2 but I stayed for longer because I didn’t want to go) working on the Construction & Renovation project.

The first week is orientation, so the coordinators will take you around the village, teach you some of the basic words and phrases and take you to Narra market and the butterfly gardens so you get to see some of what the Philippines have to offer you also get to go to the Sandbar and try making some banana fritters which are delicious.

The weekends are great because it’s your own free time, so we took a group to El Nido, which was absolutely awesome, if you go make sure to do one of the island tours, it’s so much fun! (Just don’t but drinks with ice out there because you will get sick, that’s the only thing you’ll need to worry about).

The second and third week for me was helping to build a new communal area for the school teachers. I also needed to break down one of the walls in the school and rebuild a smaller one so bikes and tricycles could get through to deliver building materials. It was challenging work because it can get very hot during the day, but it’s so rewarding because you can see what it’s going to be used for and you know that you helped contribute to something useful for the community.

Personally I would say if your looking for an adventure, something different from your day to day, you will absolutely love the amazing work Green Lion do and the Philippines. The coordinators are excellent, it’s very safe in the village and outside and the school kids will come and ask how you’re doing.

There’s no WIFI and that might sound terrifying but it’s really nice to disconnect from the world. As there are lots of other volunteers there’s an opportunity to meet some great people with really interesting stories to tell.

The only issue I had with this program is that I didn’t want to leave. It really does feel like home after a couple of days and it’s nice be part of the Tigman family.

If there’s some advice I would pass on to future volunteers, I would say to remember that your not going to be able to change the world overnight, but it’ll be your help that directly impacts the overall success of the developing community as it continues to grow and develop.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kevin, thanks for providing this awesome review and I can't believe you have only just heard about IVHQ recently, where have you been?! :) I am so stoked to hear that you had such an amazing experience, made friends from all over the world while also getting the satisfaction of helping those in need. It's also excellent that you were in a position to increase your duration while in-country and next time you'll need to stay longer! Great advice for future volunteers and now that you know about the world of IVHQ you'll have to return sometime soon. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Caline
9/10

When in Tigman

My name is Caline Al Haddad, I come from Lebanon and I was a volunteer in Tigman Village for 3 weeks in January. Being part of the Tigman Family was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever gone through. Before reaching the village, I didn’t know what to expect. I was of course really excited and ready for a new adventure, however, I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Once I arrived, I was really surprised. Everything was already set in the accomodations, people were really nice, we got a big welcome from everybody, and The Green Lions made sure that we were comfrotable and well set.

We started by the orientation week, in which we had the opportunity to visit the Butterfly Garden, the Waterfalls and the Sandbar. Also, our host Miko gave us a Tagalog class as well as a cooking class and an introduction/safety class.

We started volunteering the next week. I was in construction. The project we were working on was building a teacher’s office in Tigman’s school. Since the schedule is flexible, I was also able to try teaching for a day. My friend Nour and I went to one of the schools and gave lessons for grades 1 and 2.

I can say that the best part of this experience was sharing it with all these amazing people that come from all parts of the world. 3 weeks are not enough to feel like you’ve made a big difference in the village. However, living like the locals, taking part in their festivities, in their traditions, in their everyday life and making friends from all around the world make of this experience an unforgettable one. Breakfast with all the volunteers, the chicken fight, the basketball games, the village’s fest, chocolate time with my roomates, the famous karaoke nights every thursday and the firefly river are what I am going to remember the most.

The worst part was actually leaving. Before arriving to Tigman, I had never thought that I would get this attched to these people and that I would cry on the last day. After spending all of this time with everyone and sharing unforgettable moments with them, you become so close and feel like you’ve known them forever.
Sadly, nothing lasts forever and each one has to go his own way. Memories will however never be forgotten.

Tigman village, forever in my heart

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Caline, we appreciate you taking the time to provide this detailed review and I am sure future volunteers will find this extremely informative. It is awesome to hear the amazing, unforgettable experience you have had on the Philippines program and I am stoked to hear that the hardest part was you having to leave. With that being said, we would love to have you back to volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Nikola
10/10

Christmas in the Philippines!

I travelled to the Philippines for a week to take part in their kindergarten volunteering programme. I enjoyed my time, far beyond my expectations, and the first thing I would tell prospective volunteers is...go for longer!

In the short time I was there, I met amazing people (both volunteers and locals), and was able to see how the team works so hard to make a positive, tangible, impact in the community. The children at the kindergarten are thrilled to have volunteers there, as are the other villagers who tell stories of how the programme has helped their community grow over time.

I was in the Philippines over Christmas and New Year, and would highly recommend it during this time, if you can. Everyone is in such good spirits, and you really get a feel for how strong the community is. We organised a Christmas party for the school, with games, karaoke, and performances from the children - which we all loved. Everyone in the village wishes you a Merry Christmas.

Though I have so many more great memories from the trip, instead of sharing them here I encourage people to go and experience the place for themselves. All the logistics work, and the coordinators are so helpful during your time there, so all that's left for you is to enjoy the experience. Get as involved as you can and be open to trying new things, and there's no doubt you'll have a great time!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nikola, thanks for your detailed review and it is excellent to hear that our Philippines program went above and beyond your expectations. It sounds as though your Christmas was one to remember and I am sure you and the other volunteers created the same lasting memories for the children of the village. We loved having you volunteer with us in the Philippines and I hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Athena
10/10

Best experience ever!

This trip to the Phillipines was everything and more. I started off by having no expectations and just let my open-mindedness take over. You definitely have to come to this third-world and not expect to achieve things as a high standard. As I was explaining to Dani who works for IVHQ in NZ, this program definitely gives you gratitude and appreciation but also teaches you how to let go of first world problems that are really just luxuries that aren’t that important. The biggest tip are to forget the amenities we have back home and try to live in their shoes in the Phillipines. Some of my favorite memories are just becoming family with the staff. I am also Filipino and they definitely helped me understand my culture more. Some of my favorite memories also include just the people you meet. The conversations, debates, and diversity is very unforgettable. This program has opened my eyes to traveling and future volunteer work and career work. I will definitely be back. Thank you to Green Lion for being my second family. I loved this program! (I was in the environmental program which is very unique because not everyone can handle the tropical environment so I was alone most of the time, but mark and construction was worthwhile as well and would definitely recommend construction with SuperKing Mark!!)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Athena, thanks for your review and it is great to know that the IVHQ Philippines Program exceeded your open-minded expectations, that is definitely some great advice for future volunteers. It's excellent to hear of your self-growth and I hope you can return to volunteer with IVHQ in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Deanne
10/10

The Philippines

Loved it here! The program I was on was the kindergarten one and it was very interesting and challenging at the same time, as the kinder children have very little English but try very hard to please the volunteers. The children and the teachers at the school are very welcoming of volunteers and that makes it easier to go there and have fun.
I would recommend this program to anyone who truly wants to live life the way the people in the Philippines do. The volunteer camp is beautiful and even though it is very remote it gave me a chance to realize what life is really like for the people living in Tigman Village. The staff at the Green Lion are very accommodating to all volunteers and try their best to make it work for everyone, I will never forget them or the children I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Deanne, thanks for taking your time to provide an excellent review. It's great to hear that the teachers, children and our local team welcome our volunteers with open arms and that you were able to do some reflecting while enjoying the down time in camp. We would love to have you come volunteer with IVHQ again! ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Ivana
10/10

My experience in Philippines

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

Yes, I recommend
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Susmitha
10/10

Highly Recommended

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

Yes, I recommend
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Miranda
10/10

Amazing IVHQ Philippines Volunteer Experience!

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

Yes, I recommend
Kieren
10/10

Weekly karaoke night

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

Yes, I recommend
Kaylor
10/10

My Two Months on the Most Beautiful Island in the World

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

Yes, I recommend
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Shuang
8/10

will do this program in the future for sure!

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!

Yes, I recommend
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Jennifer
10/10

i love tigman!

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!
Yes, I recommend

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