Volunteering in the Philippines: WTF to go and make a difference

Welcome to the jungle…the urban jungle of Manila that is.  Manila, for those of you not hip with capitals, geography, things not lathered in butter or featured on reality shows for my American friends – Manila is the capital of the Philippines. I have never been to the Philippines before, but after visiting 90 something countries, I had to stop the itch and finally visit the Philippines before I kick down 30s door (shh don’t tell) and embrace my golden years.



Why visit Manila and the Philippines?

side note - this is def. not Manila

side note – this is def. not Manila


Well – truth be told I don’t know much about the Philippines, just the occasional rumor around the watering hole from other travel bloggers/writers/hungover guy in the coffee room that catch my attention.  From the amazing beaches to the abundance of English spoken by locals to stories of just how incredibly nice the people are, I decided to make the Philippines my next destination in my around the world in 80 jobs odyssey.

Making new friends in Manila

Making new friends in Manila


Why Volunteering in the Philippines

Yeah - I kindddda dig these guys.

Yeah – I kindddda dig these guys.

Anyone who reads my site on the regular (thanks mom) knows that I have a big soft spot for animals. From volunteering with rescued elephants in Thailand to tackling one of Southeast Asia’s most controversial tourist attractions by volunteering  with tigers at Tiger Temple, I decided maybe it was time for my to see if giving my own species a little bit of TLC would be a nice change of pace. I still have yet to find that occupation that makes my heart sing, my feet tap and my ADD turn to off just yet, so volunteering to help out some homo sapiens maybe just what the doctor ordered.

As you all know from the non-stop media coverage, Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines in early November, killing almost 6,000 on record as of now, and leaving lives utterly destroyed. From lost family members, to obliterated homes, to businesses that now no longer exist and stimulate the local economy, if there were ever a time for me to help out my fellow man, now would be it.



So for the next two months (or more) I will make my way through the Philippines, in search of how I can make the most impact and make this world a little better for someone else. There also maybe some beaches involved. And beer. And bad decisions. To be continued.

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Jamie
    Posted at 11:15h, 09 December

    Amazing that you’re doing this. Good for you. I don’t know much (anything) about the geography of the Philippines but you should check the Waterfalls Restaurant out if you’re near it. It looks super rad.

    • Turner
      Posted at 00:22h, 19 December

      Yeah it has been a challenge getting around and figuring out where to go. But then again, I am more of a show up and let’s see what happens kind of guy.

  • Sab
    Posted at 12:17h, 09 December

    I’m so proud of you!! Thank you for helping the Philippines! I’m sure you’re doing a great job. How do you like Manila so far? It’s hard to fall in love with Manila, but believe me, once you’re out of the capital, you’ll be amazed!

    I’ll see you soon over there, can’t wait to come back to the PH…..take care until then! Hope you will love the country as much as i do 🙂

    • Turner
      Posted at 00:22h, 19 December

      Yeah it is nice thus far. Great beaches and people. But the internet has been a pain in the ass.

  • Adam Finan
    Posted at 13:52h, 10 December

    Just after reading that Comic Relief have been investing charity money in tobacco, arms and alcohol shares… So the money people give to them they play with in the stock market…

    Find the people who really need it and help the best you can Turner. Most charities are full of sh*t!

  • Arnette RTW
    Posted at 20:24h, 12 December

    Heartfelt thanks from this Filipina

    • Turner
      Posted at 00:23h, 19 December

      de nada

  • Micamyx|Senyorita
    Posted at 05:10h, 14 December

    Good to know you’re in the Philippines now! If you have plans of going up north, just let me know 😀

  • Turner
    Posted at 00:23h, 19 December

    Will do. Where abouts do you recommend?

  • Pristine
    Posted at 09:40h, 21 December

    Excited to see that you will be traveling/ volunteering through the Philippines. My family is from there and I was born there before growing up in Texas. I was shocked by Manila the first time I went back and was old enough to really see it, but there are a lot of beautiful places to see and lots of good food to eat! Enjoy!