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New Peace Corps Response Volunteer Swearing in Photos

 
Five (5) new Peace Corps Response Volunteers (PCRVs) during their Swearing-in ceremony with Ambassador Phillip Goldberg at the Embassy last June 11, 2014 after a ten-day orientation at the PC office. Three of the PCRVs are assisting in the typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation activities while the two are into Environmental Planning and Research Program.  All of them are on a six-month assignment.
 
 
 
The PCRVs posing with the Ambassador, the PC staffs and their Counterpart staffs after the PCRV Swearing-In ceremony at the Embassy last June 11, 2014.

Denny's Update on Tacloban

 
Country Director Denny Robertson visits typhoon affected areas - December 15, 2013

Photo credit: M. Thomas Duggan

Photo Credit: M. Thomas Duggan
 
As much as the impact of the storm is still vividly evident, life is beginning.   Much of the debris has been cleared and roads are clear.  Power and cell phone coverage have been largely restored.  Trees are leafing making for a greener horizon despite the many downed trees throughout the region.  Markets are open and Filipinos are rebuilding everywhere on their own and with the assistance of their government and international organizations.  There is hope although it will be a long road to recovery.  It is still, by any definition, a grim situation.   We are pleased to be able to introduce our first Peace Corps Response Volunteer – PCV Mark Duggan – and we are optimistic that future Response positions will be identified and filled to assist.  Local officials asked us about the Volunteers who left and expressed concern for them even now. 
 
We drove from Tacloban to Ormoc – and saw power lines being repaired all the way.  Ormoc is bustling now and I was trying to imagine Sharene sitting patiently at the port waiting for Sakib and Boni over a month ago.  Today it is humming with business, transportation, and international relief workers, although evidence of the storm is still very clear.  Those PCVs returning to the Ormoc/Baybay area and Southern Leyte will likely be transiting on their way to their sites.
 
In short, progress is evident everywhere and Peace Corps is committed to sticking with our Filipino communities wherever possible.

 

Volunteer Success Story - Andrew Wynne

By Andrew Wynne
 
 
Being an above-average (in height) volunteer, I stick out like a sore thumb in the Philippines. Sure, some days are more exhausting from the constant stares and "hey joe" references, but I have been fortunate to be able to channel my genetics into a hobby of mine, and one of Filipinos too: basketball. My second day at site afforded me the opportunity to join a local team. A local store owner, noticing my height, called me over and asked if I wanted to play with him on his team in an upcoming tournament. Having played competitively back in the states, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. 
 
Fast forward 13 months. I have now played in 5 different tournaments around my province, winning that very first one in October 2012. The experience has been invaluable, providing me the opportunity to relieve some stress, exercise, and most importantly, integrate. The store owner who originally asked me to play basketball on day 2 at site has now become my closest Filipino friend. My teammates from that first tournament are now my barkada. People around town and throughout the province recognize me and know my name because of basketball. The relationships formed on the court have been great, but those that have formulated after the games are the ones that mean the most. Being able to share experiences (usually over some post-game pulutan or drinks) has given me the chance to learn more about Filipinos and their culture and share with them a bit of my own.
 
One of the most memorable nights I can think of was after a tournament game two months ago. The group was intermixed between my barkada and a few new friends and teammates when the topic of my service as a Peace Corps volunteer was brought up. I was asked the question "so why are you here?" I went through my usual explanation of why I chose to join the Peace Corps, what I do, how I live, etc. But then I get, "so why are you STILL here?" I sat there a bit shocked because I had never been asked that question before. But it didn't take me long to respond. "Because I want to be here. This is where I belong right now." With that, my friends were stunned, and the look on their faces gave me the most overwhelming feeling of humility, gratitude, and acceptance. Basketball truly is more than just a game.

Service now open to Same-Sex Couples

 
 
Peace Corps is now accepting applications from same-sex couples who wish to serve together as Volunteers. The agency as a whole is committed to creating a more open and diverse Peace Corps, while ensuring Volunteers are placed in secure living and work environments.
 
Here at Peace Corps Philippines, we are happy to announce that the Philippines is an eligible country for same-sex couple placement! We are currently undergoing trainings and developing resources to effectively place same-sex couples for our next batch of volunteers, arriving in-country July 2014.
 
For more information, please check out the Same-Sex Couples FAQ and the agency’s official press release.
 

Welcome and Mabuhay to Peace Corps Philippines!

Peace Corps Volunteers have been working and living in the Philippines since 1961. For over fifty years, Peace Corps Volunteers have worked tirelessly to address the specific needs of the Philippines, its people and its resources.

 

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   Philippines

  •  
  • CAPITAL CITY – Manila
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGE(S) – Filipino (Tagalog), English
  • REGIONAL LANGUAGES – Bikol, Cebuano (Bisaya), Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Pampango, Pangasinense, Waray 
  • AREA (KM2) – 115,830 mi2  composing 7,107 islands
  • POPULATION – 96.71 million (2012)
  • GDP – 250.3 billion USD ‎(2012) 
  • CURRENCY – Peso (PHP)