This is a couple's account. My husband & I live in a suburb called Subic Bay that is a 2-hour drive, 100-kilometers north of Manila. Wiel is Dutch; I am Filipino. Between the 2 of us, we have 7 grown-up children (all not living with us), a Dachshund, and 2 long-haired Chihuahua dogs.
A fenced perimeter separates our home from a forest where different kinds of birds go about their daily rituals right before our eyes. (Have you ever seen a Rufous Hornbill upclose?) We are a stone's throw away from a natural falls and that's where we usually go for weekend picnics and or just to walk for exercise.
Formerly host to the US military fleet in the Pacific, Subic Bay is one of the few remaining dipterocarp forests in the Philippines. This place is so rich with unique flora and fauna species, some may only be found here- like the tiniest bat in the world (stretched wingspan fits your palm!)
We live in an international community where there's a good mix of foreign expatriates who are employed here, retirees, and Filipino residents. We have regular dinner and movie nights, cultural trips to Manila and nearby provinces. We are 40 minutes away from Clark International Airport, from where you could take plane trips around the country and in different Asian cities.
NOTE: From June 2016 to next half of 2017, WE ARE CLOSED FOR VOLUNTEERS. For the succeeding half of next year, you may get in touch via our daughter Trisha Velarmino's website: . Or follow her in Facebook and she would take a message for us if you PM her. Reading her articles may also offer you some insights about life of travel in these parts. (If you speak Spanish, she's another fluent speaker.)
Keep the faith, keep on workawaying.
Wiel & Jen
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Travelers will benefit immensely from the exchange since we are eager to teach about local culture and Tagalog, the main Philippine dialect. Your horizons may expand as you will come to meet like-minded individuals who care for the environment.
We are currently fighting a proposed 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant that is eyeing to locate in our bay and so far, we have already won 2 battles in the Appellate Court. Legal battle is moving up to the Supreme Court. Since we have regular paying jobs, we are juggling time between advocacy and work.
We can host one or two people for an initial period of 1 week (that may be extended to maximum another week, depending on shared energy and optimism.) We need help in promoting our advocacy through the Internet and we need telemarketers for that purpose (to call local business companies and residents who already know and like what we are doing; However, they need some prodding to join and support the cause by becoming regular members of our organization.)
Volunteers may only be asked to work 5 hours daily, from Monday to Friday. After the 10-day work period is completed satisfactorily, our organization- the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber for Health & Environment Conservation (or CHEC) will issue a Certificate of Co-Advocacy or Volunteerism.
Volunteers may go about exploring the areas in the morning and come back at 1.30 pm to begin telemarketing, clerical and Internet assistance. Dinner will be served after end of day's work.
During weekends they may feel free to take trips out of town or nearby provinces. We will be happy to help with the itineraries as there are so many places not written about, where you could enjoy a day or two, mingle with the locals and explore the Filipino diverse culture.
1-bedroom with a single bed and a sofa bed. Toilet and bath are accessible to the guest room. Fast Internet/wi-fi is available if you are bringing your own notebook or laptop. You will be requested to tidy up your room and the toilet and bath on a daily basis.
Jeepneys are picking up passengers in the village on an hourly schedule (12 pesos per person). There's also a taxi service that can pick you up to bring you to central business district (for 200 pesos or 4 Euro.)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours daily, from Monday to Friday (1.30 to 6.30 pm)