Volunteer On An Organic Farm in Philippines – Work Exchange
Organic Farm Volunteer Philippines
Volunteering or doing work exchange in the Philippines can be an excellent travel choice and if you enjoy organics, the environment or nature, then spending time helping out on an organic farm is an excellent and healthy experience.
The Philippines has so much to offer for travellers and with it being connected by super-priced budget flights from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, it’s an easy and cheap place to reach.
Despite some of the bad press the Philippines has had over the years regarding security issues, the real number of incidents are small, and you are very unlikely to every have an incident. Filipinos are in the very vast majority honest, super-caring and very helpful. Bring a westerner and having lived in the Philippines for five years now, I can say it is one of the most amazing countries in the world to live in and I have never personally experienced any major incidents.
Volunteering And Visa’s
On arrival most Western nationalities can receive a 30 day visitor visa on arrival. You can apply in advance of your arrival at an overseas Philippine embassy but check their website (www.immigration.gov.ph | immigration.gov.ph/index.php/faqs/travel-req) and if you are travelling on a passport that gives you 30 days on arrival, it may be a waste of time, energy and money to get a visa in advance unless you want to stay for more than 30 days. You will need an outbound ticket though to obtain a visa in advance or even to get on the plane – they are VERY strict about this so do not turn up at the airport expecting to bypass this! Once you arrive though you will never be asked to show your ticket again.
To get around this issue if you don’t know your exist date then just book the cheapest one way outbound flight with any of the budget airlines for 6 months or longer after you arrive. There are no issues having an outbound flight beyond your visa date because it is easy to extend your visa after arrival.
If you prefer you can extend your visa at the airport on arrival, but you will have to ask and pay the appropriate fees and do this at the arrival immigration desk – once you have passed immigration there is no way to do this at the airport.
Extending your visa later on after arrival is easy if you are in a major city such as Baguio or San Fernando and can usually be done on the same day but do expect to pay around 3000 pesos! And if they ask you to come back another day tell them you are travelling later that day and need the visa today – if they are busy (like they often are in Baguio), they will normally make you wait for an hour or two, so go get a coffee and come back later.
Philippine Volunteer Work Exchange
While not every organic farm can offer free work-exchange volunteer programmes most only charge a very nominal fee to cover basic food costs. Unlike in developed nations good quality food and accommodation costs a lot here in the Philippines comparative to other local expenses and local living standards. White rice and pulses are quite cheap but are a little boring for the Western palate eaten day-in-day-out. And while Filipinos are super happy to eat white rice for every meal including breakfast, Western people usually do not take to this easily desiring good quality bread, eggs or cereals for breakfast.
Being strongly Western focused we receive regular comments from our paying guest about the meals at our organic farm here in Luzon in northern Philippines. Everyone loves the food and can help out with the cooking at the same time as enjoying the final meals. We cook only with seasonal vegetables from both our organic farm and our neighbors farms topped up with some vegetables from the local market, supplemented with yummy local fish. We don’t eat other animals or chicken here seeing we prefer a more natural and light-feeling diet. In fact we are starting to notice the natural weight loss that our guests experience and the increase in vibrancy of their skin tone as they strengthen and clean their bodies in a natural and easy way.
At the Happy House Farm we receive guests from around the globe. Our guests volunteer with us because we offer a unique experience in a simple but superb environment. We are a small family run organic farm with our main focus being whole-life education. And while we have only been in operation for just over a year, visiting now is a perfect time because you get to spend a lot of time with the hosts David and Carol with baby Kyra and help create the infrastructure which is always a great way to learn so many natural skills.
HelpX Work Exchange In The Philippines
WorkAway Overseas Work Exchange Opportunities
WorkAway is one of the largest work exchange networks with most of our paying work exchange volunteer guests coming from here. We update our work exchange volunteer listing regularly.
Volunteer Base Work Exchange
We recently joined volunteersbase which is a free work exchange volunteer website hosting global work exchange volunteer opportunities. Right now there are only 2 Philippine organisations listed but I am sure thiis wukk change as more Philippine volunteer projects learn about this great site with no joining fees for volunteers. View our volunteer listing.
Volunteer Organic Farm Info
Life right now at the Happy House Farm is very simple which has been very appealing to our previous guests. We offer a local and international touch with a warm twist of enlightening education.
All our revenue comes from courses we run and from visiting guests. At the time of writing if you are not coming on one of our courses we charge a small fee of 500 pesos per night per person to cover food and accommodation costs allowing our guests to help out as they please. We offer great value to our guests and provide superb organic healthy meals.
Our focus for volunteers here is enjoyment while working. We have daily tasks and ongoing projects that our volunteer guests can participate in as they choose. On average we have around 3 – 4 guests staying at a time with a maximum of seven.
Why Volunteer On An Organic Farm In The Philippines
If you come from a developed nation visiting the Philippines will be an eye opening experience, and hopefully a heart opening one too, that is sure to enhance your life. The facilities that are often taken for granted in developing nations such as running water, sewage treatment, waste disposal, community and medical care are not common place in the Philippines.
In the smaller towns and in rural areas water is often a challenge and each household is responsible for their own water supply, sewage and waste disposal. Non-the-less the people are happy! This is a great gift to experience. Western people often get upset at the smallest of things while Philippine people rarely get upset about anything – they accept life as it comes and choose to be happy.
Once you get out of the ‘mess’ of Manila you can find so many great experiences. Manila is just a big and ugly city with nothing to offer except traffic and pollution unless you want to scratch around in the underbelly of things for a little while. It is best to exit Manila as quickly as possible and head into the country side. Rural Philippines is a special place to hang out. It is here that you will find the great smiles, the laughing children, the cheerful housewives and the chatty farm workers.
In the Philippines right now organic farming is still something quite new – after all most farmers live a subsistence life with little room for luxuries. Organics is quite a luxury here because of the time it takes to learn and implement. Fortunately organics is on the increase because there are increasing cost benefits because fertilizer and seed companies charge more each year for their ‘magic’ powders and seed. And also the ‘magic’ has worn off many farmers now who find they make little profit from their crops. Additionally the government is starting to sponsor more education projects.
The key benefit to volunteering or doing work exchange on an organic farm in the Philippines is the people you will meet and the experience of the local farming community.
The WWOOF list has the best list of organic farms and despite the list being small it is still worth paying for membership.
View Of Happy House Organic Farm From The Air
We were very lucky recently when we had a quadcopter enthusiast visit our organic farm and stay with us for two weeks. I think our neighbours thought the military had moved in next door with the drone of the engines each afternoon has he flew his ‘bird’ high above the farm. Watch the video to see our organic farm from the air.
Organic Farm FAQ
Do check out our FAQ page which details a lot of the information you may require.
Come and visit us soon! Also check out our photo history showing some of our previous organic farm volunteers in action.
David, Carol and Kyra