Saturday, January 30, 2010


Travel to the fullest! And by that, I don't mean party like there's no tomorrow. Make your trip more meaningful by getting involved in 'voluntourism', or volunteerism while on vacation.

Just last January 28, we finally had the time to attend Hands On Manila's volunteer orientation at Powerbook's Greenbelt. That's where we got introduced to Hand On Volunteer Vacations (HOVV).

Hands On Manila Foundation, Inc. (HOM) is a non-profit organization which provides flexible volunteer opportunities for community service. HOM offers close to 40 projects every month, each led by the Sherpa or the volunteer leader. A 'Sherpa' is a Nepalese term which means mountain guide. Each project may involve five or more volunteers, and may last 2-5 hours.

HOM Volunteer Passport and newsletter, provided upon registration for the volunteer orientation.

Projects are printed in the monthly newsletters for distribution or can be asked thru email. The Calendar Projects are divided into the following categories:

- Differently-Abled People
- Elderly
- Sports and Recreation
- Women
- Children and Youth
- Housing
- Enrichment
- Computer Literacy
- Environment and Clean-Up Projects
- Culture and Heritage

Hands On Volunteer Vacations fall under the last two (or may also fall under other categories depending on the activity). The sample projects presented at the orientation included projects in Mindoro, Bohol (wildlife conservation) and Aklan (mangrove plantation).

How to become a volunteer? Four easy steps:

1. Attend an orientation.
2. Choose a service project.
3. Contact a Sherpa or the HOM office and sign up for the chosen project.
4. Show up, of course.

Orientation at Powerbooks Greenbelt is held every last Thursday of the month.

If time does not permit you to join the volunteer programs, you may also help by donating cash. Visit HOM's website today and check out your options. 'Be the change. Volunteer.' - HOM


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Stefi said...
February 12, 2010 at 2:53 AM

this is cool. we will be in manila for 21 days only because of visa. we cannot attend orientation. can we join one event without attending? sent you an email. informative blog. like your posts about seasia.

laryh said...
March 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM

What's great about HoM is that there's so many choices. It's perfect for yuppies who are into volunteering. There's always a project to help out on all-year round. :)

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
March 21, 2010 at 12:08 AM

HoM does organize so many volunteering projects, and you can get to choose according to your interest and schedule. Unfortunately, I haven't joined any activity yet since the orientation... hopefully soon!

naria said...
September 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM

wow. this one makes me want to join. why didn't i see this post during the summer bumming out times? :))i want to try out for those programs for the differently-abled. have you joined any activity since march?

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
September 15, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Unfortunately I have not joined any programs since then :( We got kinda busy after attending the orientation, then I also learned we're having a baby... Hopefully we could find time to volunteer soon after I give birth.

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