To visit the Philippines is to never be without friends.The Filipino people are known for their happy-go-lucky attitudes, and affinity towards foreigners.A majority of volunteer programs are located on the island of Leyte, and are based in or near its capital Tacloban.

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Deeply influenced by Malay, Spanish, and American culture, the Philippines is a truly unique blend of Eastern and Western culture.

The stone cathedrals, emerald rice fields, bug-eyed tarsiers, uniquely graffitied jeepneys, and smiling people create a scene that is distinctly Filipino.

There is a great need for volunteers in this sector to support these efforts.

Volunteers are generally assigned various tasks depending on their qualifications.

These tasks can range from anything from medical diagnosis to educating the local community on nutrition.

Health care work is a good opportunity for medical students as they will have the opportunity to observe medical systems and practices in a developing country.

In these programs volunteers work around 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week leaving plenty of free time.

Keep in mind that this work will not be available during school holiday seasons like April-May.

The southernmost region, the Mindanao is understood as the poorest region in the Philippines, and much volunteer work across the board is needed here. It is always best to schedule an appointment with your doctor for a travel consultation before traveling abroad for long periods of time.

Questions to Ask: How many people will I be working with? You are not required to have a visa if your stay is less than 21 days.

The deforestation threatens the stability of the eco-system including the local fish population who needs them to build nests for young fish.