Volunteer as a Yoga/Fitness Instructor
Secret Spot Siargao is an eco-hostel in a beautiful surf island in the Philippines called Siargao. We are fully committed to encourage guests to explore and enjoy our island consciously.
We would love to do different activities such as yoga, meditation, body weight pilates, cross fit, calisthenics, movement training, running, swimming, zumba or a combination of any of the above, be creative!
You will get complimentary accommodation at our hostel in exchange for teaching just an hour a day during your stay. If you are able and willing to stay longer, please let us know!
All classes held on the beach will be FREE for all the guests/staff. You may promote your classes to the community and to other visitors as well.
READ APPLICATION PROCEDURE CAREFULLY
Serious applicants only! Before you send your application, please do your research on us. Finalize your own schedule and know the rough cost of getting to Siargao Island, Philippines and make sure you are available to volunteer for at least 4 weeks or 28 days.
You will be placed in the dorm room, along with the other hostel guests. You will have access to the shared bathrooms and kitchen. We have a lot of pets and visitor pets so if you are allergic, you probably should reconsider your options. Non-smokers, early risers and nature lovers are preferred. We prefer yogis who practice yoga on and off the mat.
Please send us a cover letter and your yoga resume via firstname.lastname@example.org. On the subject of your email, please indicate the month/s that you’re available to volunteer with us.
Send us a link to your website or social media page so that we have a clearer idea on what you have to offer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
for yoga/fitness instructor volunteers
1. Do I get paid by the hostel?
No. This is an exchange program. You are NOT permitted to work or in the Philippines on a visitor visa. You may stay at the hostel for FREE in the 20-bed dorm room and have access to the kitchen and chillout areas. You have your own locker underneath your bed. Classes will be free for hostel guests, staff and visitors.
I prefer that you arrive on the 1st of the month and leave on the 29th of the month so that it's easier for me to organize the roster of volunteers.
2) How do I get around the island?
Most people drive around in scooters and you'll most likely have to get your own if you want to do the classes at Secret Beach. Rental prices average Php 350 per day and can decrease considerably if you are renting per week or per month. Reception team can help you bargain with the scooter owners for the best price.
The main strip of Siargao is only about 12 kilometers so you may also just rent a bicycle for Php 150 a day.
There are plenty of habal-habal or local motorbike taxis in General Luna. Please see the Tricycle Fare Rates posted at reception.
3) Do I have other perks?
We used to offer the free surfboard and bicycle, unfortunately some yoga teachers we've had in the past have abused this benefit, lending them to their friends and other people so we have removed it since.
4) What’s the cost of living on the island?
Small local restaurants have meals that average USD $3, double that amount for western style restaurants. Beer is $1 and hipster coffee is $4. You can really save money by shopping at the local market and making your meals and coffee yourself. A pizza at Kermit averages $7 and cocktails at $3 so that’s still cheap by western standards.
Being on a third world island, you might have quite limited choices for food than what you are used to back home. So if you are very particular or have food allergies, I suggest you bring some food along with you, as well as vitamins, supplemets, superfood, other meds you may need.
I would say that Php 1,000/day should be your budget.
5) What are my responsibilities?
You are expected to allocate about an hour of your day to teaching yoga/fitness classes. You will need to plan the classes and encourage guests and outsiders to join. Use the chalkboard markers at reception to write on our glass windows to advertise the schedule.
During low season (June to July) and wet season (November to February), you may only have to do a few yoga classes per week. All other times, guests might sign up every day. You are more than welcome to take a day off, for every week that you stay.
You may advertise your classes to the community and our Instagram page or other creative ways you can think of. You can keep all of the donations or choose to give some or all of it to your chosen local charity (mentioned below).
Please take some photos so that we can put it up on our social media pages. Upload yours on our Google Drive as soon as you are able to. This is very important and expected to be done before you leave the hostel.
You may also be needed to help us check-in late arrivals. These are people who arrive at the hostel after 4:00 pm, because our manager has usually gone home at that time. Let us know if you'd rather NOT help us out on this. This might take an extra hour of your time. If you do not clarify this during application, I will assume that you are okay with it and expect you to help out when needed.
6) How do I go about teaching the classes?
Life on this island revolves around the tides. Most people surf during high tide, so group classes will have to be during mid to low tide. It also gets too hot and sunny during mid-day, so classes preferably have to start early morning or later in the afternoon towards sunset time during dry season.
You will need to encourage the hostel guests to join your classes, and plan the best time possible to get maximum participation.
7) Locations for yoga practice
Our next door neighbor, Dahun Villas has a big flat open garden conducive to yoga earlier in the morning around 5 am to 7 am. Their restaurant serves Thai, German and Filipino favorites.
BEACH during low tide
The focus of these classes is to reconnect with nature. You may choose to practice with your own yoga mat, but the hostel will not provide any yoga mats nor beach towels for the guests at the moment. I have a lot of experience teaching beach yoga, most students, myself included end up removing the yoga mat or towel half way during the class because it gets displaced or way too uncomfortable.
About 3 kilometers away from the hostel is a magical place called Secret Beach. There are many flat open spaces with some grass/sand. Bring your sunblock, yoga mat/beach towel and water bottle. You'll want to chill here for hours. At high to mid tide, ask the boat men to take you through the mangroves.
Please keep in mind that the focus of these classes is to reconnect with nature. If you or any of the guests want to practice on a perfectly flat surface on a yoga mat in a very comfortable setting, feel free to practice at Sadhana Yoga, Lotus Shores, or Buddha at your own expense.
8) What else can I do on this island aside from yoga, surfing and eating?
Feel free to borrow any of the books at reception, write on your journal, co-manage our Instagram stories, walk our dogs, help out at the hostel, play tour guide to new guests, fall in love... really up to you. Spend your time wisely.
You can also volunteer for different causes such as Siargao Recycling Studio, The Sun Crew, Nature Kids of Siargao, Puppy Puddle, Sea Movement, etc.
9) Can I work for other businesses on the island while volunteering at yours?
At your own risk. As mentioned in #1, you are not permitted to work in the Philippines on a visitor visa. Random checks are being done by the Immigration office and we would not want to risk being fined.
You may work online but...
10) What’s the internet situation?
It really is difficult to get decent internet speed on the island as development has only started just over 2 years ago. There has been a major influx of people, new residents and tourists alike so the present network capacity is simply overloaded. The location of the hostel also doesn't help as we have a mountain range behind us which blocks most of the tower's signal.
Here's a few options you might want to consider:
a) Buy a Globe sim card for your phone so you will have your own data to use with your laptop. You may buy these prepaid load from the airport, Jolan's Hardware or any store that has the Globe banner.
b) Try connecting at Bravo, the Deli, White Banana, Harana, Kook Café, Lamari, Outernational Café, Bliss, or Ocean 101.
Please keep in mind that it's always a hit and miss, even if you go to these certain spots. I know it's quite frustrating, but hey, it's a small price to pay for living in such a beautiful island.
11) How long can I stay in the Philippines?
It's different for everybody so please do your own research.
12) I'm game, what's my next step?
If you have read the FAQs thoroughly and are agreeable to everything that is mentioned here, please let me know by e-mail the month that you are available. I suggest booking your tickets 6 weeks prior to the flight so you can get the best deal. If you wait until the last minute, prices will considerably increase.
Send me your confirmed flight details so that I can organize an airport transfer on the day of your arrival. You will have to pay the driver yourself Php 300. This is the safest, most convenient and fastest way to get to the hostel.
13) Anything else I should know about?
The island is secretly drowning in our tourists' plastic waste. Avoid bringing in more plastic and choose organic, eco-friendly, biodegradable products and try to be a positive example to other guests.
We do not have strict rules about consuming alcohol, but obviously, if you are intoxicated every night, I will have to let you go as this contradicts the idea of offering yoga classes to our guests.
Please do your own research about the island and the hostel before coming over to set realistic expectations. Due to the large volume of inquiries from volunteers, applicants and guests as well, I may not answer all your questions.
To get a glimpse of our practice, check out the YOGA section on our Instagram page @secretspotsiargao.
I usually travel but come back to check on the hostel from time to time. Looking forward to practice with you!
Adi dela Rosa