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The personal rewards in becoming a volunteer are overwhelming. We have outlined some tips and advise if you are a first time Volunteer or just need some more information. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information on becoming a volunteer for Operation Restore Hope.

Sign up to become a Volunteer

Long pants
Shirts, tops, T-shirts
Enough underwear for 7 days
Washing facilities are non-existent but the hotels generally have a laundry service for a charge.
Shoes - sandals, casual shoes, sneakers.
Bathers and goggles.
Most evenings are taken up eating out, so take some appropriate clothes, evenings are still hot and humid.
Shampoo, conditioner, hair-dryer with adaptor.
Insect repellent - roll-on and spray. Insect spray.
Alarm clock, saves wake up calls at the wrong time.
Thongs or similar to walk to pool.

We take a basic medical kit but please take your own prescription medications. Antimalarials, eg Doxycycline, should be commenced two weeks prior to leaving and continued four weeks after return. Ensure all immunisations such as Hep A & B, tetanus and polio are current.

Weather is hot and humid and can be wet.

Take up to $500 Australian in money or travellers' cheques.
Change money at Manila Airport or Casino - best rates.
Change about $200 Australian to start with, as you need money for food and supermarket shopping (sometime during the week).
Also, there may be other extra activities.

Save P40 to leave at Cebu Airport.
Save P500 to leave at Manila Airport.
Save P50 for taxi fare from domestic to international.

Allow 1½ hours to transfer between domestic and international terminals. Take only a taxi with the meter running. A taxi driver tries to grab fares as you come through the door. The fare is not more than P50, although some taxi drivers will try to charge P100-P160.

Remember there are long queues and many body searches, so allow plenty of time at all airports in particular the International.

The hospital is ultrabasic in everything from hygiene, non-working toilet, no toilet paper, no food, wards are stretchers. Patients are looked after by their relatives who also provide their food and drink.

It is not advisable to eat anything that has not been wrapped. Soft drinks in cans are available on request and a water cooler is provided - ensure you do not dehydrate as it is very hot and humid and the air conditioner is very basic.

Wear comfortable shoes, clogs or sneakers in the O.R. Overshoes are a good idea.
O.R. clothes are taken with us.

Scrub staff wear gloves only as there are few gowns.

Sinced Operation Restore Hope began we've found some great books, films and other resources along the way that might be of interest to anyone involved with cleft surgery and/or the Philippines.

BOOKS - fiction


Precious Bane - Mary Webb


Great Philippine Jungle Energy Cafe - Alfred A Yuson



BOOKS - non fiction


Manila: A Memoir of Love & Loss
Purita Echevarria de Gonzalez


Alejandro Reyes "Anding" Roces


100 Events that Shaped the Philippines
Adama Book Services Inc & National Centennial Commission ISBN 971-8508-050-2


Japanese Occupations of the Philippines, A Pictorial History
- Ricardo Jose & Ludia Yu-Jose (C) 1997 Ayala Foundation Inc. ISBN 971 8551 17 4


Gods Angels & Pearls Roses
- Sofia Adamson (c) 1982 American International Publishing Library of Congress Catalog Number 72-91145


100 Resorts in the Philippines, Places with a Heart
(c) 2nd Edition 2003 House Printers, Philippines 





Back to Bataan - Wartime film about WWII, starring John Wayne and Anthony Quinn, with a Filipino cast.


Apocalypse Now - Filmed in the Philippines, using then-President Ferdinand Marco's military helicopters for many of the scenes.


Heart of Darkness - A documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, that shows the trials and tribulations that the cast and crew suffered while filming the movie in the Philippines.





Lonely Planet Philippines  

Let us know of any recommendations at