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Teaching Volunteer Project in Palawan - The Philippines

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Sep 6, 2021

Filipino children learn English from a young age, and benefit greatly from communicating with fluent English speakers to develop their language skills. Having a steady stream of volunteers in primary and secondary schools means students get regular exposure to English expertise that can rapidly accelerate their learning.

Volunteer English teachers are based in local schools, mostly teaching English, but also lessons in math, science and arts and crafts. You’ll be leading the class under the supervision of the local teacher, with lessons that follow the government curriculum. It’s expected you’ll spend time each day preparing your lessons, and the local staff are available to help you with this.

Teaching volunteer in the Philippines with IVHQ

During school holiday periods, you’ll help to conduct classes in the community, where you’ll be free to use your creativity in delivering lessons that are outside the usual curriculum.

As you will work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to participate. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.

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Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $260 for 1 week
  • Help to teach English in local primary and secondary schools

  • Lead lessons under the supervision of the local teacher

  • Suited to volunteers interested in education and teaching English

  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Philippines at a glance
  • Based on the island of Palawan in the Philippines

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a volunteer dormitory

  • Between 10 and 40 volunteers start in the Philippines each month

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Philippines, based on your country of residence.

The IVHQ Philippines volunteer program is based in the Aborlan District in Palawan - often considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. This is where volunteer orientation and general administration is carried out by our local team. Placements are located in and around the Aborlan District.

The Philippines volunteer program begins every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.

The program orientation is held every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Palawan on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS) between 10am and 5pm. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Tigman Village. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are traveling in the Philippines prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Puerto Princesa on the day before your program orientation.

There are two options for orientation in the Philippines. The first option is a one-day orientation that begins on your selected start date, which all volunteers will attend. This covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in the Philippines, including an introduction to the IVHQ Philippines program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, you’ll learn about the projects, take a walking tour of the local area and arrange your sim card. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

The second option is an Introduction Week, hosted by our Philippines team in Palawan. The Introduction Week begins on your selected start date and your volunteer program will commence the following week. The Introduction Week is very popular among IVHQ volunteers and we recommend all volunteers take advantage of this week, as you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Filipino culture, a true appreciation of life in the Philippines and bond with your fellow volunteers. Plus, it’s a great way to help settle the culture shock you can face when arriving in the Philippines. Introduction Week in the Philippines does incur an additional US$20 surcharge to cover the additional costs.

If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate your interest in this option on your application form when you apply for the program or you can let your Program Manager know once you’ve been accepted on the program.

The Introduction Week schedule is outlined below:

Monday: Start off with an introduction to the Philippines program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, learn about the local projects, take a walking tour of the local area, and arrange your sim card
Tuesday: In the morning, take a tour of a local farm to gain an insight into local agriculture. After lunch, take part in a Filipino craft workshop, either weaving coconut leaves or making a local broom, and finish the day off with a Filipino cooking class
Wednesday: Visit downtown Puerto Princesa with a trip to the famous local church and memorial park. After lunch in Puerto Princesa, visit the Palawan Museum, followed by some shopping at the local mall
Thursday: Volunteers meet to discuss their upcoming volunteer placements and receive the placement-specific orientation
Friday: You will have the opportunity to spend time volunteering on your placement to help your prepare for the upcoming week

Please note, this schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the project, local and weather conditions, and unforeseen circumstances.

Weekdays: After the initial orientation week, you will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day and a typical schedule is as follows:

8.00AM: Breakfast with fellow volunteers.

9.00 - 11.30AM: Volunteers work at their placements.

11.30AM: Volunteers break for lunch. If volunteers are unable to return to the volunteer accommodation, they will be given a packed lunch.

1.30 - 2PM: Work at the placement resumes (except Kindergarten volunteers, who use their afternoons to prepare for the following day)

3.30 - 4PM: Work ends and volunteers have free time to explore the local area.

5 - 6.00PM: Dinner with fellow volunteers.

Please note this schedule varies from project to project.

Volunteers are accommodated in dormitory-style accommodation, located within Tigman Village, where the local team’s office is based. Volunteers should expect to share a room with up to 7 other volunteers of the same gender. The accommodation provides air-conditioning in the bedrooms, a shared bathroom with western toilets and bucket showers with cold running water (nice and refreshing in the hot weather!). A fridge is available to store your personal items and an area for hand washing laundry. Bedding is provided and includes a bottom sheet, thin blanket and a pillow.

For those volunteers wanting more comfortable accommodation or a private room, accommodation upgrades can sometimes be arranged. As this is not always available, this needs to be discussed with the local team directly once you arrive in-country. Please note that if you choose to upgrade, this will most likely be at a nearby resort and will be at an additional cost to yourself and won’t result in a reduction of your Program Fees. Volunteers can expect to pay approximately PHP2000 ($40) per night for private accommodation. ​

Given the remote island location, internet and phone reception at the accommodation site is limited and often non-existent. While at times there may be 3G WiFi dongles for volunteers to connect to, you shouldn’t expect to have the same connection speed that you are used to at home. There is better reception and internet available from some of the nearby villages (10 to 15 minute drive from the volunteer accommodation), or in Puerto Princesa City (60 to 90 minute drive). We recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card with data when you arrive in the Philippines. You can then use this to access the internet in the nearby villages.

Volunteers are served three meals on weekdays (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with two meals provided on the weekends. Breakfast consists of bread and spreads with tea or coffee, while lunch and dinner consist of local Filipino cuisine. Rice is a staple in the Philippines and most meals will include a portion of rice, accompanied by two or more dishes which will be a combination of vegetables, meat or seafood cooked in local spices and sauces.

“This was my first volunteer project with IVHQ and it’ll definitely not be the last! The online support and resources were really helpful along with the processes in applying - super simple! I only had a 2 week trip at Tigman Village and my only regret was not staying longer! The people were so welcoming, the location was beautiful and the support throughout was above and beyond.” - Cindy Yin (Kindergarten Volunteer in the Philippines)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in the Philippines here

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
1 week $260 Equivalent to $38/day
2 weeks $425 Equivalent to $31/day
3 weeks $590 Equivalent to $29/day
4 weeks $750 Equivalent to $27/day
5 weeks $910 Equivalent to $26/day
6 weeks $1,070 Equivalent to $26/day
8 weeks $1,290 Equivalent to $24/day
10 weeks $1,510 Equivalent to $22/day
12 weeks $1,700 Equivalent to $21/day
16 weeks $2,080 Equivalent to $19/day
20 weeks $2,460 Equivalent to $18/day
24 weeks $2,840 Equivalent to $17/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteering

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Philippines generally find US$30-50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

During the weekend, volunteers have free time to relax and explore the local area, or travel further afield. There are plenty of things to do and see around Palawan and volunteers are able to go white water rafting, visit local markets or relax poolside. For those volunteers interested in traveling further afield there are many great destinations to choose from including El Nido, Coron and many other nearby islands around Palawan. There are also many near our program location as well with volunteers able to enjoy a relaxing weekend by the beach, downtown Puerto Princesa to get your city fix or trekking up mount Tundalara or Ugong.

See our Philippines Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Philippines.

Capital Manila
Population 100 million
Languages Filipino, English
Currency Philippine Peso (PHP)
Time zone UTC+08:00

Weather and climate: The Philippines has a hot and humid climate all year round, with average temperatures between 25°C and 28°C (77°F to 83°F). The coolest months are in November through to January where average temperatures fall below 30°C (86°F). The hottest months are April through to May, where the average temperature sits above 30°C (86°F). The dry season runs from January through to June. The wet season runs from July through to December.

Volunteers who are under 18 years old will be required to provide IVHQ with parental consent and two character reference letters in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team. Independent volunteers under the age of 18 must provide a health certificate indicating that they are fit for the program in terms of physical, mental and emotional health. The IVHQ Philippines volunteer program is not able to accept participants under the age of 18 with psychological, serious heart or serious allergy health concerns. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in The Philippines.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

How to get started

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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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