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 are looking for volunteer teachers who love to practice in nature! The hostel does not have enough covered spaces to practice in, but thankfully we have a nice, secluded beach just across the road from us and loads more possible practice places a short run or scooter drive away.
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!
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. You will need to encourage the hostel guests to join your classes, and plan the best time possible to get maximum participation.
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 will be FREE or DONATION BASED for all the guests/staff. You may promote your classes to the community and to other visitors as well. All proceeds will go to you, of course!
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.
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 pets! Non-smokers, early risers and nature lovers are preferred.
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 or donation based for hostel guests and staff.
Please book your stay via the link on our Instagram or Facebook page. Minimum stay is three weeks, maximum 2 months if we get a lot of positive feedback from the guests and staff about you. You will have to organize and pay for your visa extension yourself if needed.
2) How do I get around the island?
Most people drive around in scooters or semi-automatic motorbikes. 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 motobike owners for the best price. We only have one motorbike at the hostel which is shared by the managers and cleaning staff to run official errands, so best to rent your own.
The main strip of Siargao is only about 12 kilometers so you may also just rent a bicycle for Php 150 a day or borrow our old rusty staff bicycle when it's not being used by the staff.
Habal-habal or local motorbike taxis cost Php 20 to Php 30 per ride.
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 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.
5) What are my responsibilities?
You are expected to allocate about an hour and a half 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 couple of yoga classes per week. All other times, guests might sign up almost every day. You are more than welcome to take a day off, of course.
You may advertise your classes to the community “Siargao Business Classifieds” group on Faceboook, 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).
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.
You will need to encourage the hostel guests to join your classes, and plan the best time possible to get maximum participation. The beach across the road from the hostel is suitable for classes, just make sure it’s not high tide.
Plan your classes according to tides, sunlight and other conditions
Advertise the classes to guests and non-guests alike
Gather everybody at Secret Spot Café 15 minutes prior to class schedule
Walk to the beach across the road together, there are several beach access paths
Dogs will want to join, please make sure they cross the road safely
Pick-up any trash you see along the way and do a 5 minute clean up before class
Look for a comfortable, flat spot on the beach to practice on
Do an hour of yoga/fitness class
9. Take some photos with the guests
10. Swim, sunbathe or just chill out at the beach
11. Bring home the trash and dispose of properly
7) Are we going to use yoga mats?
The focus of the classes is to reconnect with nature. You may choose to practice with a 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.
You may borrow my black yoga mat at the hostel for the duration of your stay for your personal practice. Please wash and dry completely before returning it to the manager after your stay.
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 a novel, co-manage our Instagram stories, help out at the hostel, play tour guide to new guests, fall in love, or adopt a puppy to bring home with you when you leave, 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?
No. 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 Smart or 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 Jolan's Hardware or any store that has the Smart or Globe banner.
b) Try going to Bravo, the Deli, White Banana, Harana, Coco surf or Ocean 101. Better yet go to Secret Beach for decent speed, best place to work!
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 I have confirmed you for a particular schedule, please book your tickets immediately 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. We will refund the Php 300 fare, just ask the manager later on.
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.
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, managerial applicants and guests as well, I may not answer all your questions.
I usually travel but come back to check on the hostel from time to time. Looking forward to practice with you!
Adi dela Rosa