May 11 - 18, 2024

Batuan, Philippines, 2024

The cost of this trip for each volunteer is tax deductible donation of TBD.  We expect the volunteer fee to be less than $800.00. You will be notified of the final cost as soon as possible.  Volunteers are also responsible for purchasing their international airfare to Masbate City (MBT). 

About the trip: GFR has been invited to provide primary health care and dental care in Masbate Province, Philippines.  Masbate is the 8th poorest province in the Philippines and Batuan is a Fifth Class Municipality.  The primary occupation is fishing, farming, but mining is also prevalent. Our local partners have lived in Batuan part-time for many years and their large family are local residents.

Your team will provide medical and dental care and health education for the very youngest to the very oldest patients. In addition to general care, we will focus on pregnant women and infants as well as providing reading glasses to our older patients.

Sustainability:  GFR will continue our focus on maternal and neonatal/infant mortality reduction on this trip.  Many maternal and infant deaths occur on the island because families lack the funds, can’t find transportation, or simply wait to long.  Educating certified and volunteer midwives and educating families about how to care for acutely ill children will help to change improve outcomes.  While this is GFR’s first trip here, it won’t be our last.  Our local partners will continue your work and ensure our return.

GFR has a long history of building and repairing schools, clinics, and community centers in areas where we provide care, as well as placing permanent drinking water treatment facilities in communities that have great need.  In 2022, we built a school in the Peruvian Amazon, and in 2023 we built a community center and orphanage in Liberia, in addition to completing the installation of water purification systems in India, Uganda, and Zambia. In 2024, we are installing new water treatment facilities in Zambia and India and building a new community center in the Peruvian Amazon.

Arrivals and Departures for the Medical/Dental Team:  Plan to arrive in Masbate City, Masbate (airport code: MBT) on May 10, 2024.  The airport is on the main island of Masbate and your team will work in the township of Batuan, on the nearby Island of Ticao. The official start date of the trip is May 11.  Your hotel and food are “on your own” prior to May 11.

Please note:  You can arrive on May 11 in Masbate City but there is only 1 flight per day from Manila to Masbate City at 0535 (AM).   If that flight cancels or if you arrive late in Manila, you will be a day late arriving in Batuan.

After meeting your team on May 11, your team will travel on the early ferry (10 AM) to Batuan.  We will hold 5 days of medical clinics with a rest/sightseeing day during the week.  On May 17, your team will take the ferry back to Masbate City for flights home on May 18. Please see the “after the trip” section for more information on staying longer in The Philippines.

What’s Included: This trip includes lodging, transportation, translators, water, and most meals within the official dates of the trip (May 11 – May 18, 2024).  Most clinic supplies and any special projects are covered by GFR but in 2024, we are adding a $200 per person fee to cover the increased cost of medications and supplies.

What’s Not Included: Your international and local airfare, snacks and drinks other than water, personal vaccines, and pre/post trip travel costs and expenses, trip insurance, transportation to and from the Manila airport to the domestic terminal (appx $10/person), and any post-trip adventures you wish to engage in while in the Philippines There may also be a small licensing fee in the Philippines which you will also be responsible for when you complete the formal application for the Ministry of Health (appx. $25.00 for physicians).  US Citizens may travel to the Philippines for up to 30 days without a Philippine VISA.  Other nationalities should be researched accordingly.

Cost: The cost of this trip is TBD per person plus airfare. We expect this fee to be under $800.00. You are responsible for purchasing airfare that meets the required arrival and departure times.  We always suggest giving yourself extra time for delayed or cancelled flights and that you purchase trip insurance from a reputable carrier.  This trip is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.  You or your donors will receive a tax receipt upon making your donation.

How is your cost calculated? At Global First Responder we strive to keep your costs low and our quality high.   We value your participation and willingness to volunteer your time and expertise. Everyone at Global First Responder is also a volunteer, donating their time to administrative tasks and paying their own way to participate in medical and construction missions around the world and here at home.  The fee you pay covers the actual cost of your expenses in country including lodging, transportation, meals, and translator fees and expenses. In 2024, we are adding a $200 general fee to each volunteer to cover the increased costs of medications and supplies so that we can continue to provide excellent care for our patients.   At GFR, no one is paid a salary, and everyone is a passionate volunteer, doing our part to help drive our mission of “One Global World, One Global Family”.

After the trip:  There is so much to do in the Philippines that it is hard for us to choose what to highlight for you! In Masbate Province, the natural beauty of the area is unparalleled, with beautiful white sand beaches, sandbars, and rolling green hills. The Manta Bowl Shoal is a top dive location for whale sharks and mantas, and San Miguel Island is renowned for its untouched corals and varied macro life. Consider staying on Ticao for a few days – the island is absolutely beautiful!  It is a diver’s paradise, a hiker’s paradise, and a fisherman’s paradise.  If you prefer city life, spend some time in Manila or Cebu via a stopover on your way home!

 

Click here to apply for this trip:  I want to join the GFR team in BATUAN, PHILIPPINES!                                                                                                          

If this is your first time applying in our application system, please create a login and password.  You may use this login and password for all future trips you apply for (and we hope to see you on LOTS of GFR trips!!)

Sample Itinerary: 

Prior to May 11, 2024:  Plan to arrive in Masbate City Philippines as required.  The trip will officially start on the morning of May 11.  Hotels and meals are “on your own” prior to the morning of May 11 – please make your own hotel reservations (you will know the host hotel well in advance and we will block rooms there that you may access).  Arriving a day ahead is a great way to rest up from your long flight, explore the town of Masbate City, and find and meet your new teammates!

May 11, 2024: Masbate City: This is the official start of the GFR trip.  There will be a morning team meeting after breakfast.  Your team will come together to organize supplies and get ready for the week.  Throughout the week your team will work in small towns and barangay – small very rural villages with very limited access to care. The team will do some team building in the afternoon and organize supplies.  The beach awaits so that you can become immersed in the beauty of The Philippines!   Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

May 12 – 13 – 14, 2024: Your team will have clinic for the next 3 days in 3 different locations.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included.

May 15, 2024: Today is your rest day!  The activities are “on your own” but the team will have an option of something to do together for a nominal fee.  You can take a tour, go diving, snorkeling, do some shopping, or whatever else your creative mind can think of!

May 16 – 17, 2024:  The next 2 days are clinic days.  You are recharged and ready to work!   Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Late afternoon on the 17th we will catch the last ferry back to Masbate City for a farewell dinner and a recap of the trip.  Your hotel in Masbate City, dinner, and a light breakfast are included in your trip fee.

May 18, 2024: Today is the departure day for the team.  Saying goodbye to your team will be hard but you will have during the week to conspire for more fun as a group if you wish.  The hotel can help you make those arrangements.  We hope you will stay longer in The Philippines – natural beauty, diving, waterfalls, and the city of Manila and its rich and long history await!   Breakfast is included and we’ll sadly say goodbye.