A sea turtle swimming underwater in the Philippines, searching for food

Your trip at a glance

Highlights

  • Get to know the Philip­pines’ impres­sive biodi­ver­sity
  • Actively contribute to marine research and conser­va­tion in the Philip­pines
  • Experi­ence the stunning reefs of Southern Leyte
  • Enjoy a mix of prepara­tory training and active conser­va­tion work
  • Go on regular dives while contributing to the protec­tion of coral reefs
  • Take the leap and obtain further dive quali­fi­ca­tions

Locations

philippinen-southern-leyte-natucate
Southern Leyte

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If you would like to learn more about dates and fees for this trip we are happy to help you. Just drop us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Chrissy

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Chrissy, your travel agent for the Philippines

You are interested in joining this adventure? I am happy to help you! From the first steps until the end of the trip – I answer all of your questions and support you throughout your time abroad.

Volunteers in the Philippines are watching the sunset near the coast
The coral reefs of the philippines are home to many different lifeforms
Volunteers in the Philippines are collecting data after a dive
The lecture room of our partner in the Philippines is a place for communication and learning
Volunteers in the Philippines are collecting data underwater
A crab underwater in the Philippines
A group of volunteers in the Philippines getting ready for a dive
A small little octopus is hiding himself in a coral reef in the Philippines
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Volunteering in the Philippines

Become a volunteer in the Philippines, get to know Southern Leyte’s magnificent underwater world and actively contribute to the protection and conservation of the island nation’s marine resources.

A coral reef off the coast of the Philippines

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in the Philip­pines

On the day the project starts you need to arrive at Tacloban Airport where you will be picked up at 01:30 PM. A representative of our partner will welcome you upon arrival and take you to the project site, approximately a 4-hour drive from the airport. Here you can settle into your room, get to know your team and are given a short introduction to the project, the country and everything else you need to know to feel entirely prepared for working and living in the Philippines.

Volunteers in the Philippines are collecting data underwater

Activ­i­ties in the marine conser­va­tion project

The day after your arrival you will start your training. If you are not a PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW) diver or equivalent, you will spend your first week undertaking dive training with a scuba instructor on the project’s spectacular house reef. Those who join the project for longer periods can enjoy further dive courses.

Three volunteers in the Philippines are wading through the water, getting ready for a scuba dive

At the end of this first week those who are already AOWs will arrive and all participants will start the project’s Skills Development Programme (SDP). The two-week SDP is intended to familiarise you with the subjects of coral reef ecology and marine conservation, with species identification and data collection techniques. During this time, you will always be instructed and supported by the project’s professional science team.

A baby sea turtle in the Philippines is swimming under water

After successful completion of the Skills Development Programme you are ready to join the survey team in actively studying and conserving Southern Leyte’s marine life. Your team will be divided into subgroups of four people. Together you will travel the bay, collect data on the ecological status of the reefs and assist with community outreach. The data you and your team collect is essential when it comes to understanding the impacts and effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Leyte region.

A multitude of marine animals is living in the waters that surround the Philippines

A typical day in the project starts with breakfast at around 07:00 AM, you’ll then travel to your survey location for the day with a packed lunch. On returning to site you’ll sit down for dinner with the team at 06:00 PM. We ask you to keep in mind, though, that working hours are always dependent on weather conditions and nature of the activities.

Volunteering in the Philippines: The bed of every volunteer is protected by a mosquito net

Accom­mo­da­tion as a volunteer

During your time on the project you will live in a remote volunteer house near the small village of Napantao, comprised of nine shared single-sex dormitories that are equipped with bunk beds. Each bedroom has en-suite wet room with a bucket-flushing toilet and a bucket shower. A communal screened shower can be found outside. The house furthermore has a kitchen, a large communal area, a science room and a medical room. You will receive three meals per day – breakfast, lunch, dinner – as well as drinking water. Other beverages and snacks can be purchased on site.

Volunteers in the Philippines observe a whale shark underwater

Leisure time during the conser­va­tion project

While five days per week are assigned for work and training, the sixth day is spent on a fun dive and Sunday is usually your off-day. This is the perfect opportunity for you to go on day trips, exploring local villages, magnificent beaches, beautiful waterfalls, or even whale shark watching tours (early year).

You can also use the evening hours of each day for your own activities. We therefore recommend you packing some recreational items like books or card/board games.

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  • philippinen-southern-leyte-natucate
    1. Southern Leyte

    Southern Leyte is a province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. It ranks as the second least populated in the region.

    Here, travellers can enjoy the beauty of the Philippines to the fullest. Picturesque coastal roads, magnificent beaches, jungle-covered hills and endless green rice paddies – the province of Southern Leyte can be considered a real tropical jewel. Furthermore, the province is every diving enthusiast’s dream as it is home to some of the most diverse and breathtaking coral reefs on the planet.

Background of the marine conser­va­tion project in the Philip­pines

The Philippines are found in the Coral Triangle, an area characterised by an enormous biodiversity and unmatched by any other marine region on Planet Earth. It is home to over 70% of all known coral species, to more than 50% of Indo-Pacific reef fish and to six of the seven marine turtle species.

Since 2002, our partner in the Philippines has been dedicated to studying and sustainably conserving the island nation’s fascinating coral reefs, focusing on the province of Southern Leyte. Work revolves around scientific data collection, community outreach and education programmes and capacity building. This holistic approach helps to understand the communities’ needs, to build relationships, to comprehend the importance of coral reefs and to work towards successful marine resource management.

The overall aim: to provide resources to help sustain livelihoods and alleviate poverty through the protection, restoration and management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in Southern Leyte. To keep up this crucial work, our partner relies on the help of dedicated volunteers who are willing to make an active contribution to marine research and conservation.

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