Philippines Volunteer Update

Here is a blog from Kate who is currently based in the Philippines through the Zoox ZEP


I have been awful at writing the blogs! I have never blogged before so here’s a summary of everything I’ve done so far.

Every day that I’ve woken up here I thank JJ and Chloe for giving me this chance. I love the Philippines! The people are so friendly and I love the hot weather. Living in this little village is great. All the people look out for you and are concerned for your well being. Now that I’m alone they all make sure that I’m ok and happy. I don’t understand why they can’t understand a female on their own but it’s to my advantage. For example: I was catching the local transport back from doing a dive and an elderly couple insisted on making me dinner with no strings attached!

Kate teaching some children about the importance of sharks

Me teaching some children about the importance of sharks

The work is so rewarding and I now know for sure that I am a “people person” because I thought I was becoming a real loner back in the UK. The first week here was spent doing training courses in the classroom which only really came together once I was out in the field. I was very nervous when the training courses were over because I felt a bit overwhelmed but once I did my first presentation to a dive centre I was fine. I can see the benefits of working with the dive industry and feel so inspired when you can see the information you are giving to them sink in! I just wish I could do this work as a permanent job but, we’ll see what the future holds.

Kate helping train staff from the Philippine Government

Aside from doing presentations and assessments of the dive centres I was also involved in an underwater clean-up a few days ago which was chaos! Nobody had any idea what was going on or where we were supposed to be. That being said, I did dive with a group of community divers (3 of who are the new Green Fins assessors) and we ended up taking some garden hoses, beer bottles, cans, cardboard and paper and a basin from the sea! Can’t say I’ve ever dived with a basin before! I have also used my teaching experience to form a lesson plan for kids educating them about sharks and their importance in the sea. They all seemed to have fun, as did I, so will organize a few more lessons at different places.

Philippine time is similar to Africa time so I don’t get that frustrated when things take forever to happen. The great thing is that nobody seems to mind!

Kate giving a Green Fins training presentation to divers

I have had a few great parties on white beach. I love the shows but not the hangovers the next morning! I also tried to rent a motorbike here after almost 20 years of not riding one and ended up crashing on the busiest street here! So embarrassing and the only time here that I wanted to cry. But, still alive and didn’t kill anything else so all good. Will try having a few more lessons this week before I attempt to ride on the road. The public transport makes me giggle. The tricycle drivers can be a bit aggressive at times but not too bad.

How many people can you fit in a tricycle?

I only have just over 2 weeks left here and wish it were longer. I am glad I can help and that maybe the message will get through to some. I will remember this experience forever as this is the first step into getting the career of my choice and will recommend this experience to anyone who wants to get experience, meet great people and have a lot of fun doing it!

Kate Holden

ZEP Volunteer


This entry was posted in Kate, Puerto Galera, The Philippines, The Zoox Experience Programme, Volunteer Coordinator, ZEP #1 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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