WHY we need you in the Philippines
WHAT does cultural week involve?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: CULTURAL ORIENTATION WEEK
LOCATION: PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE
MIN DURATION: 1 WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
Use this week to learn and understand more about Filipino culture and to become more familiar with your surroundings in and around Palawan. Learn about the ‘do’s and don’ts’, cultural norms and other customs. It’s also a chance to meet your fellow volunteers and make friends before the start of your project.
During the week, you’ll have local language classes, a cooking lesson, swim in a waterfall, check out the local markets and more. Broaden your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture and get to know your fellow volunteers. Experience Philippine culture first-hand through your exploration of local spots, immersing in the cuisine, visiting famous sights and more!
(See schedule in dropdown section below).
Palawan is a long narrow island surrounded by numerous small islands to make up the Province known (after the largest of its islands) as Palawan. The island province of Palawan has been declared as a nature sanctuary of the world as it is wrapped in a mantel of rainforests, incredible dive sites with colorful marine life, mountains, caves, and pristine beaches. The island is very picturesque and dotted with fishing villages and of course surrounded by beautiful blue sea and green jungle mountains. It has an abundance of wildlife and is mostly undeveloped. The projects are located approx 45 min outside the main city of Puerto Princesa where you will be warmly welcomed into the community.
- Learn about the culture and immurse yourself in local life
- Become comfortable with your new surroundings
- Make friends and explore some local sights
Food & Accommodation
The volunteer centre provides rooms shared with 4-8 people per room, with the houses complete with either a fan or air con, T.V, kitchen, Wifi (this can be limited someties), mosquito protection, bed linen and lockable rooms. Limited laundry facilities, so expect to wash your clothes by hand, unless you’d like to use the laundry service for a small fee.
*Private rooms may be available for a small upgrade, please ask us in advance.
3 meals per day are provided each day (2 on weekends), with mainly local Phlippino foods being served, including lots of vegetables, rice, fish, meat and eggs. Meals are served on site at the accommodation.
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
If you want to gain a head start on your projects and feel comfortable in your new surroundings, before you begin, this week is a fantastic way to do just that! It gives you time to adjust before your project begins, to explore the local area and to learn more about the culture and customs. This can greatly help you to communicate with the locals on your projects.
- Introduction meeting
- Philippine language classes, Philippine do’s and don’ts and Philippine culture lessons
- Tour around the compound and local area
- Workshop: Weaving coconut leaves or broom making
- Philippine cooking Classes
- Welcome dinner
- Visit at a local farm (vegetables, coconut or rice)
- Visit to a Waterfall (where you can swim)
- Visit the capital of Puerto Princesa and its downtown area. Explore the famous church and the memorial park.
- Lunch in Puerto Princesa.
- Visit to the Palawan Museum and have time to shop in Robinsons Mall Palawan
- Back to our center
- Sightseeing around Nara, including its local market
- Lunch in Nara
- Trip to the beautiful and swimmable Secret Beach
- Visit the nearby island where they can swim and relax
- Orientation to the project location and observation, discussion and meeting about the projects.
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Your first day will consist of comprehensive overview of the program including what to expect, health and safety, introduction to Filipino culture and introduction to staff and fellow volunteers. A guided city tour is also included for Tacloban placements.
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS). You must arrive between 10:00 – 17:00 on Sunday.
If arriving outside the pickup times on Sunday, you can book a private transfer for US$50.
If arriving during the week, or on Saturday, we charge US$50 for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and another US$50 fee for a private transfer.
Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).
From the airport the accommodation, it takes 1.5 hours by road.
Beaches of Boracay
This small island is known for its outstanding natural beauty, and pristine white sand beaches. White beach stretches for 4km and is a popular place to visit. There are plenty of cafes and nightlife, including fire throwers and live music at the bars.
Bohol Chocolate Hills
Take a visit to Bohol island, around an hour from Cebu, and check out the 1200 hills of all shapes and sizes. This stunning natural formation is quite a sight. You can hike or take an ATV ride up the hills.
The Philippines have many amazing dive spots, and some of the most pristine water in the world! With plenty of fish, coral reef and even whale sharks, this is a divers heaven. You can even learn to dive here.
Twin Lagoon on Coron Island
You may have seen images of this spectacular beauty spot online- and it doesn’t disappoint! As well as some incredible diving, you can also explore some stunning viewpoints, secluded beaches, or go on a boat tour around these turquoise blue waters.
For those who love adventurous activities, why not try ziplining?! Check out the stunning one on El Nido, with beautiful views over the beach. It’s 750 metres and will give you that adrenaline kick for sure.
There are plenty of gorgeous places to kayak in the Philippines, and it’s secret lagoons are some of the best spots. Paddle your way through the stunning rock formations and crystal-clear waters.
This very pretty town has a Hispanic heritage that is evident as you walk through the artsy cobbled streets. Vigan town is on the island of Luzon and is a great weekend trip, with museums, cafes, workshops and quirky sights. For photographers, you can get some pretty shots at dawn, when the town is empty.
Underground River, Palawan
Puerto Princesa is a beautiful river that goes underground, through impressive limestone caves. Book a boat tour to take you through the caves.
The capital city, Manila is a hustling and bustling place, with plenty of culture. Be sure to check out the museums, art galleries, old buildings, cafes and bars.
*No extra requirements
The Philippines consists of more than 7000 islands and is a land apart from the mainland of Southeast Asia. The people are, simply, Filipinos – and proud of it. Welcoming, warm and relentlessly upbeat, it is they who captivate and ultimately ensnare visitors.
Islands are jungle-clad, mountainous and flanked by aquamarine waters and a world renowned coral reef. But you’ll find plenty of variations on this theme, from marooned slicks of sand in the middle of the ocean to sprawling, overpopulated mega-islands like Luzon and Mindanao.
About half of the Philippines’ 88 million people live in rural areas. Poverty is most severe and most widespread in these areas and almost 80 per cent of the country’s poor people live there. Agriculture is the primary and often only source of income for poor rural people.
Overall, more than a third of the people in the Philippines live in poverty. There are substantial differences in the level of poverty between the regions and provinces and the poverty gap between urban and rural areas is widening.
November to April is the most popular time to visit the Philippines, as this is when there is the least rainfall.
June to October is wet season and November to May is usally dry. Shoulder months can be a great time to travel as you can still get some good weather but there are less crowds. The island weather can vary, so it’s worth checking the weather for which islands you will be visiting at which time of year.
The Philppines has a big Latin and Spanish influence, due to the previous Spanish rule. Evidence of this can be seen throughout the Philippines. The Filipino people are very welcoming, like to have close family bonds, and getting together with friends and family to eat, sing and dance. They are also very religious and most go to church at least every Sunday.
Filipino people have a great respect for thier elders, saying the phrases ‘po’ and ‘opo’, when speaking with thier elders. They love a good party and festival, particually Christmas which they can celebrate right into the second week of January!
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