Volunteer program

If you would like free accommodation in tent and half price off renting any equipment (if not used by guest), please apply through the usual websites such as workaway or helpx. Below is an old autoresponse for applying volunteers, to give you an idea.
Here is a video submitted by one volunteer:



And here’s a video how the volunteers went on a local island hopping tour:

To spare you a lot of potential reading, will list the most important points first:

  • Toilet is a hole in the ground, several places, hidden behind a wall of coconut branches and leaves. Now we also have a porcelain toilet in a coconut leaf shack (to flush must bring a bucket of water), but I personally prefer the ocean.
  • Tents only for now, but most have a mattress, some have pillows, and you can help bring the rest.
  • Electricity only 100w solar at the moment, so you can charge your stuff during the day, capacity permitting.
  • Perhaps some of my ways may bother you, or vice versa. In short, do you mind staying with Tarzan? Details at the bottom of this letter or before “How to get here”.

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Volunteers recycling glass bottles collected from the beach to serve as a table and barrier to stop people from walking along beach ledge to keep it as a separate platform. Volunteers are told some basic concepts but given free reign to beautify the area according to their creative energy and inspiration.

On the flip side though, it is a wonderful paradise beach island (check out this video), declared clearest waters in the world, hundred of undeveloped paradise beach islands to explore in the area, and live along a strip of three breath-taking beaches on which reside simple Filipinos who probably do not have any electricity, children play naked, shower by pulling up bucket from local well, no TVs, and who survive each day by eating local coconuts or whatever they catch from the sea. 200 hectare island full of monkeys, jungle paths throughout. Sunrise directly opposite the beach, purple sky when sun setting on other side of the island. A truly magical place.

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Building trails up mountains in the jungle so guests have something to do.

Help bring something

One thing you could help out, if you so choose, is to bring something that I cannot so easily buy here, such as:

  • second hand windsurfing kit
  • fancy spices like cumin or caraway seed (preferably in bulk), Dijon mustard for making salad dressing, thyme
  • ultimate frisbee
  • if possible lots of rolling tobacco, filters and papers, such as from Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. Drum and Rizla are good, otherwise just ask what is good.
  • aloe vera seeds, to help all the whities who come here and burn their skin, or scratch up when renting a motorcycle.
  • cash if you have a PayPal account and I have funds in mine, since the nearest ATM machine is in Coron, a 6 hour boat ride away.
  • if you are a coffee drinker (I am not), I can tell you where you can get some good stuff on the way and teach you how to roast fresh beans on the fire.

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Almost anything can be built from nature or recycled.
Next project is to tie together fishing nets washed up on the beach, for a proper net.

I can buy these from you as soon as you get here (except the coffee), but this is strictly just an idea. The shops in this area are rather limited and not everything can be brought in through ebay. Please first ask me to see if I still need any of these or if I have the funds.

For food, I will be getting regular boatloads for myself, including a few cases of beer (I could never survive without), but the local village is limited for veggies supplies, so I request volunteers to bring as many veggies as possible. I can give you instructions on the best places to shop in Princesa, otherwise some veggies can be bought in Coron or El Nido, but those, once again, are pretty limited.

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Our budding kitchen area. Hardly ever rains, now with tarped roof for when it does.

You can rent my banca boat for 250p to explore the surrounding islands, or borrow my fishing gear to help reduce your food costs (I’ll buy the fish from you).

Drinking water is brought in from a delicious well on our boatman’s island, but if do insist on bringing in bottled water, please make it the 4-5L ones so that we or the locals can put them to good use.

You can check up on progress of the project here, or check out the Reviews to get an idea of what to expect. Or our latest pics uploaded to our facebook page top right of each page.

There is EXCELLENT snorkeling here and tons of islands to explore. I am an easy going guy and I’m sure you will really enjoy your stay here.

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Work

  • Most important work is cooking and keeping the place tidy, then about an hour a day of creating pockets in the jungle to make room for more tents and beautifying the place using natural resources. Those who stay longer and prove capable can learn how to make furniture out of bamboo, or do more fun, artsy stuff like hang seashells from tree branches. A bit hard to get to so you should try to stay longer to make it worthwhile.
  • Building the garden (if you could bring seeds that would be great), compost pile (need to fence it off against the local pigs and chickens etc.), creating offshoots of natural flowers on the property so the whole property is full of flowers along its paths.
  • Networking with locals to teach their children things or languages, and explain to them how they can make money from guests.
  • Help me make videos, my hobby. Can be skits we make up or whatever. Youtube videos are always a good promotional tool, help push the website up in the rankings, and may inspire guests to get involved. We’re all here to have fun!
  • Anything you can think of too add an artistic or warm touch to the place.
  • And what I was thinking of for the long term, a yoga teacher with some profit sharing plan. Possibly short-term if there are paying guests. The sky’s the limit and let your ideas flow!

We mostly cook food on the campfire, often fresh fish given or sold to us by locals, and there are tons of free coconuts to be had. The local selection of veggies in San Miguel is very limited. Whatever you manage to bring in we’ll split the costs between us. Coron is an excellent place to get mangoes and tons of other stuff, since it is only a boat ride away (Princesa is much farther and warrants a stopover in El Nido and other places).

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So many shells, so many things can be done with them.

Can you live with Tarzan?

These are some of my habits, ways of doing things and pet peeves. It’s a long way out here, so best you know what to expect so that you can decide beforehand if it is worth it.

  • Most of the nutrients in carrots and potatoes (even cucumbers) is in the peel. If you remove 85% of the pesticides, you also remove 85% of the nutrients, so it is a pointless exercise. Not to mention that they probably do not use pesticides here as most is grown by local farmers. I just wash and scrub them in the ocean with my bare hands.
  • Salt is a disinfectant, soap is not. The quality of soap is to separate oil from water, so it is not necessary to obsessively compulsively wash everything with soap (a simple rub in the ocean is enough), but if you really feel the need, you are welcome to do the dishes. Furthermore, youngsters these days are growing up with asthma and all sorts of allergies because they grew up in a sterilised environment. It is healthy and natural to expose yourself to the elements – consider it like a natural vaccine. I almost never get sick.
  • Other qualities which annoy me is even a sliver of pretentiousness, or generally self-serving nature. I want to build a community of mutually respecting people, a little bit like a rainbow gathering, and intend to apply the same screening to paying guests. I earn good money online and don’t pay rent here. I don’t need my paradise spoiled, but hope you can be a part of it and I love to host people.

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Things to do

I have many musical instruments so musicians are welcome for evening entertainment around the campfire, otherwise I have good music with sound system.

I’m on a small island with about 20 locals (fishermen families). Easy walk to the other side. Completely rural with freely wandering chickens and pigs, no concrete in sight. There is a local carpenter who builds boats and you are welcome to hire locals to teach you their skills (such as how to make a roof out of coconut leaves). Otherwise I have a lot of construction skills I can teach you if you stay longer term.

Then there is beach volleyball, basketball with the locals, badminton, jungle trails we’ve built on this and surrounding islands, or go on a cheap local boat tour (300p per person). Caves to explore on another island, two shipwrecks with two private local divers with gear. Then of course kitesurfing, but the gear is expensive and I have to rent that at full price (about 2,500p per day). I’m also building up a paper and digital library.

13 thoughts on “Volunteer program

  1. I’m very interested in Eco Resorts because I’m passionate about both sustainable food production and travel that is light on the planet. My family twice visited the likely first Eco Resort ever: Maho Bay, St John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We were greatly saddened to hear that it had to close because its 50-year lease was up and the land owners cashed in. That’s a shame because I had found no other that is nearly that affordable. Your place is something I can really relate to and its location makes it all the more special – what initially got us to St John was the world-class snorkeling. I’m also very attracted to the idea of island hopping and the opportunity to get to know local folk and their culture. I’m nearing retirement, will be able to travel for months at the time and I’ve put the Patoyo Kitesurfing Eco Resort on my bucket list to be a volunteer. For now I’ll be content to offer some of what I know.

    My major project these days is designing a system that combines community gardens, backyard chickens, vermiculture and the culture of black soldier fly larvae in an urban setting. I can send details; suffice it to say now that worm compost is by far the top soil amendment for many reasons; bsfl, native to the tropics, eat things like fish guts that worms won’t eat and they will self- harvest at the ideal time to be offered as a high protein chicken feed. It’s all good.

    Earthworm species that are used in vermiculture are very sensitive to salt – this could be a problem there. Have you been able to grow vegetables? Vegetables grown in saline soils would be much more of a concern. I’ve done some looking into this area.

    Please let me know your email and I’ll send more.

    • Hey Tom, it’s an honour to be added to your bucket list and I’ll send you a direct email.

      Haven’t started growing veggies yet but apparently potatoes and carrots grow well. Locals grow some things, like string beans. Looking forward to trying and half read half of Jim Mollison’s permaculture book, which I found very interesting.

      • Will have to start a new page at some point focusing on the eco development alone, but one volunteer just sent me an interesting link showing a concept developed by Canadian students who won an international competition: the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, which sought to inspire students and researchers to find a solution to food spoilage issues in areas without reliable power. Their project relies on concepts borrowed from the biology of insects, coral, kangaroos and elephants, to keep food at a temperature of 40˚ F”. Up until now I have been planning for a $1,000 combination of a wind turbine and 12V freezer to produce ice which is then thrown into a cooler. May have to roll up my sleeves to see if I can duplicate their design!

  2. Hi. I will be arriving in Manila on 15th Jan and my plan is to travel on my kayak from Coron to El Nido camping wild on the way. Your eco-resort sounds great and I would love to stop there for a week or maybe longer help you with some work.I may be not able to help bring stuff down there as I have limited space and I will carry all my gear with me (tent,hammock,food,water,2 bags,fishing gear and all necessary survival gadgets) Please let me know if you still needs volunteers and your exact location so I can add you to my gps. I will be there around end of Jan, as I will have to travel around 100km from Coron to reach Linapacan. If you interested you can find my project trial http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=11528378
    If any questions pls ask and hope to see you soon.
    Martin

    • That sounds really exciting and would be a pleasure for you to drop by our little island. Keep in mind though that around February-March the waves are the highest here, reaching as high as 4m some say. I will send you more info by email.

  3. Getting tired of dealing with short term volunteers, constantly repeating the same things, and thought some long termers might be a nice addition, so giving a crack at the rainbow gathering community:

    Hi, not sure how rainbow this is related, but I’m developing a nature resort on an island in the Philippines, surrounded by 52 other islands in the immediate area (of 7,107 total in the country), most of which are deserted or next to deserted. Locals are mostly fishermen with their families and abundant number of children. I like to make everything from nature, clearest waters in the world, excellent snorkeling, an undiscovered gem of the Philippines, which is set to become a traveler’s hotspot in not too long. Like to share with the locals, buying their coconuts and fish and inventing other ways they can make some additional income. Started a volunteer program at
    http://www.islandhoppinginthephilippines.com/palawan/patoyo/volunteer-program/
    but would be nice to have some long termers. Food can be paid for if there are enough paying guests and you cook for them etc. Toilet is hole in the ground, weeding out the type of paying guests I don’t want to deal with. Would like to expand operations to other islands, work out profit sharing plan with the owners, keep things all natural and respectful of nature. Teach the locals about growing own veggies, as most only eat seafood and rice. Teach the children other languages and other skills. Teach guests and volunteers how to cook on an open fire, grow veggies, open a coconut with a machete, survival tricks and so on. Build a happy family and community.
    Come frolic with me in my paradise!

  4. Just for fun, thought I’d post how the rainbow gathering describes itself. Sounds perfect!

    Old Native American Prophecy:
    When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow.

    Started in the late 1960s as an outgrowth of the anti-war and hippy movements, the Rainbow Family of Living Light describes itself as “the largest best coordinated nonpolitical nondenominational nonorganization of like-minded individuals on the planet.” The flagship Rainbow Family Gatherings, which have occurred every July since 1972 in a different US national forest, are like longer, more authentically weird versions of Burning Man, bringing together upwards of 10,000 “Rainbows” from a cross section of fringe culture: bikers, Jesus freaks, computer programmers, naked yogis, and gutter punks looking to escape “Babylon,” the Rainbow shorthand for the various evils of modern life. The gatherings are free and open to anyone. No one is in charge, and nobody can tell anyone else what to do.

  5. Just finished reading a bunch of articles on the downsides of rainbow gatherings, but ended with this nice article with lots of pics showing the intended spirit behind it:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3103895/Somewhere-rainbow-Fascinating-photo-series-captures-life-inside-Rainbow-Gatherings-thousands-attendees-listen-music-decorate-faces-embrace-nature.html

    Reminds me of when I used to treeplant in Canada and the type of people it would attract:
    http://001yourtranslationservice.com/travel-Europe/trip/2008/09.04_gone-treeplanting.html

    I think a rainbow gathering would be possible in this area, and although the group seems to pride itself as unorganised, I myself would want to get involved if anything of the sort would be planned here. Sure, pass around a hat so people can add or take according to what they have, but something like a 10% tax should be imposed and given to the locals (not just money but targeted charity or cause). There is now a 200 pesos (about $4.5) environmental tax per person (tourist) per week. This area has the clearest waters in the world and I am for preserving the beautiful coral reefs (even though most of the preservation is targeted against the local habits of fishermen). I think it would be a good opportunity to open up this area to the world and teach the locals about sustained living and growing vegetables, for example. But I am against that portion of the population who are primarily looking for a reckless, free ride of drug and alcohol consumption while disrespecting the locals and surrounding nature. There is definitely room for organisation in such events, such as first aid medical care, toilet facilities, and some sort of a respectful enforcement, to name a few. But I love the underlying spirit!

  6. Greetings Sailor Sam, 🙂

    My name is Liv and I stumbled across your post on Reddit accidentally while searching if there are any rainbow gatherings happening in the Philippines any time soon and I am intrigued as to the work that you are doing as you are in fact living the life I am dreaming about creating for myself. I have attended a couple of Rainbow gatherings in Australia and have found them to be profoundly life changing. I also wish to create or co create a family community of like minded, conscious individuals who work together to build a collective space of health, happiness and living closely with the earth. I absolutely love the work that you are doing there and would love to come and volunteer my labour and any skills you may find useful to contribute in any way I can and to bring whatever bits and pieces I am able to carry.

    I am flying into the Philippines on the 5th September to investigate mushroom cultivation in rural communities (and for poverty alleviation in third world countries) and a potential life there doing pretty much exactly what it is that you are currently doing. I noticed on your last blog post that you are sick of short termers and volunteers not pulling their weight and I am a hard working and conscientious individual and I have no time limits apart from visa limitations. I have oragnised to meet with a Filipino mushroom cultivator and spend some time learning from him and discussing my project with him but that can happen at any time down the track.

    A little bit about myself (from your ‘About’ page, I noticed that we have several similarities in terms of our background). I was born in Romania under the communist rule but my family was able to escape in the 80’s to Australia where I grew up. I studied a Science degree and then a Computing degree at Uni and then worked in the corporate sector for a short while before realising that my passions lie on the road, self exploration and envisioning a reality outside of the status quo. I quit my job, bought a van and have been traveling and working around Australia for the last 6 years. I have spent a year in south America, several months in SE Asia and three months in Europe so not as extensively as I would like but that is where my journey begins when I depart Australia for the Philippines in September.

    I have been dreaming about a life on the beach under the stars since the last time I spent two weeks living in Cedar bay, a secluded tropical bay in far north queensland. It would be an honour to come and spend some time on your paradise Eco resort for a visit, to contribute to building and creating and to meet you and hear all about your adventures and philosophies. I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

    (oh I also sent this to your other email mentioned on the volunteer page as I wasn’t sure which one you would be checking.)

    Cheers Liv

  7. Good day, sailorman! I’m pretty interested with the idea of a Tarzan-like life. Would you mind taking me under your care? I can’t commit for now but maybe by December i can finalize my decision. I first saw your post from a travel companion search page which was dated as far as 2013 or 2014 I think. Took me another 2 links to direct me to this page. What will I specifically need in the event I’ll push through your volunteer program–things and cash (provided you’ll accept me)? I’ve always wanted to volunteer for long-term, however, what’s long-term for me may not be the same for you. ? Since I’m not very much feminine/girly, I don’t mind doing tough jobs. Btw, I’m a working law student. I recently resigned from my job tho. So will I still be considered as such? Lol. I can probably commit my time until I get a response from my government job application. That will take more or less 6 months.

    • I’ll send you a PM with more detailed info but generally it is best to apply through workaway.info. I’ll send you a list of stuff that you can bring, such as cash if you have a paypal account (no atm around here), spices, or cheddar cheese and taco shells when in Manila so that we can cook up a juicy storm on your arrival (I got lots of red kidney beans 🙂

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