26 JULY, 2019


Volunteering is a form of demonstrating empathy, and empathy can change the world. In today’s world of consumerism and industrialization, our environment suffers because of our neglect and apathy. Protecting Mother Earth is easier said than done.

In an effort to alleviate its environmental issues and concerns, Boracay was closed from tourist visits last year. This is a primary example of the actions people need to do to help the white-sand beach keep up with the international trend and call for a more sustainable form of environmentalism. The world urgently needs the empathy of its humans. 

But let’s face it, the six-month clean-up drive in Boracay can only do so much, and it does not guarantee environmental sustainability. 

Now that tourism in Boracay has resumed its operations six months after its closure, the influx of visitors has unsurprisingly brought about the same environmental problems as before in spite of Boracay’s plea to its tourists to help maintain the island. That is why as travelers and backpackers, we must be willing volunteers to help effect change in our environment. 

If you want to know how volunteering can change you, this article will show you the life-changing and fulfilling achievements you’ll gain when you become a volunteer traveler in Boracay. 

Here are some things you’ll gain when you become a volunteer traveler.

1. You discover nature while understanding yourself better

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Feminist Elizabeth Andrew said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” When you travel as a volunteer, you get to explore your real purpose in life. You’ll find out that it is not just about exploring the wonders of nature, but it is also about rediscovering the beauty of human nature. Travelling and volunteering put together can expand your life view, making you understand life at a more mature level.

2. You become a modern green activist

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People in the technoscape are continually finding ways to volunteer and help the environment. That is why things, like the #TrashTag Challenge, became so popular on the Internet because it creatively melds our love to take pictures and our desire to do something for Mother Nature.

Traveling as a volunteer is also another form of modern environmental activism, as it calls for people to be proactive in their encounter with Mother Nature. In this way, you’ll not only get to relax and enjoy the pristine Boracay beach, but you’ll also be accomplished and assured that you are part of what is keeping the island beautiful. Take for example the students of Agape Boracay Academy, Inc. who all opted to dedicate their rest days from school to keep the treasure of Aklan clean. 

3. You become compassionate to other beings

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Volunteering does not only benefit you and your fellow humans, but it also alleviates the suffering of marine life. Boracay’s beautiful coral reefs, for instance, urgently needs your help because of the damage it has incurred from constant human activity.  

Dedicating your time to creatures who are less intelligent than you are is a remarkable sign of displaying empathy and compassion. In spite of the difference in our genetic makeup, all of us equally matter and deserve a cleaner and better world.

4. You create and join networks of dedicated people

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Likewise, as a travel volunteer, you get to meet other people who are also pro-environment. You get to hear their stories and the ideologies they are fighting for. This could profoundly change the way you look at life, as you learn how they balance volunteerism with their work and social life. 

Travel volunteering will expand the horizon of choices in the future. For instance, you start planning what course in college you might take up, to go hand-in-hand with your life as a volunteer. To those contemplating their career path, you may consider becoming involved in community development projects.

You’ll be surprised that those who volunteer for the clean-up in Boracay aren’t just the locals but also people who come from faraway places. The Philippines nurtures a culture that has a lot of heart. Filipinos not only care for the environment, but they also care for other ideas as well, such as nationalism. In a similar vein, you may also find out about opportunities to volunteer abroad, once you establish connections.

5. You achieve spiritual satisfaction

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One of the main reasons why people travel is to go on a spiritual journey. They go on to enter into a quest to find themselves, particularly to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

When you travel as a volunteer, you experience the joy of helping others without expecting anything in return. You involve others in your spiritual pilgrimage. Nothing is more spiritually satisfying than knowing that you have helped transform the world and the people living in it to be better versions of themselves. That smile on a kid’s face, as he builds sandcastles along the beach, is possible because you helped in keeping the beach clean.

6. You will seek a greater purpose in your travels

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Yes, becoming a travel volunteer is demanding. But remember the point of travel volunteering is to have fun while you get to be part of something bigger than yourself. So go ahead and try it out for yourself.

 Volunteering in Boracay is one sure way people can help in saving the island.  As traveling becomes easier and accessible in the glocal world, the challenge for us now is to have fun while giving back to the environment.  If you’re interested, check out these environmental organizations you can join if you want to help clean the oceans and environment.