Affordable Volunteer Programs in The Philippines $220

Video and Photos

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 16 - 19 of 19
Default avatar
Jen
10/10

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

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.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jenna
9/10

the IVHQ family

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.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Fernanda
8/10

IVHQ Philippines

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.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
ROBERT
9/10

Opportunity to leave your mark

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!

Yes, I recommend

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...