Program Design
Travel Arrangements
Health and Safety

   Current    |      Past

Philippines Study and Leadership Experience
December 2017 - January 2018


The motivation for this program was derived from the personal and professional experiences of its authors in conjunction with the vision prescribed by Adventure Learning Experiences for all of its programs. This vision involves Learning, Leadership, and Service within the context of safe Adventure. 

Service Learning
A unique and distinguishing component of this program is the concept of “service learning”.  Service learning can be identified as experiential education when the learner adopts a life role that provides meaningful service to a community in order to learn about oneself and others.  The pedagogical value of the service increases when the following are added to the learning:  an academic component designed to prepare the learner in terms of content and competencies relevant to the service; an opportunity to reflect upon and think critically about the experience; an element of adventure and challenge; an international and cross-cultural context; and an alignment of individual, placement, and system goals. 

This program will be delivered with the cooperation and support of ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor). ANCOP is a worldwide network of charities designed to demonstrate Catholic values.

Mission: Working Together for the Integral Human Development of the Poor by building shared commitments and mobilizing resources through values formation, shelter, education, productivity, health and environment stewardship.



Approximately 22 young people will be selected for admission to this program and will include primarily high school students.  There will also be approximately 3 adults accompanying the students and participating in this program. Participants will be selected according to the following criteria:
            1.        Trustworthiness and reliability
            2.        Respectfulness of other people and cultures
            3.        Adaptability to new experiences
            4.        Fitness
Pleasant disposition
Interested students will be invited to submit an application and two letters of reference attesting to their suitability according to the criteria cited above. 

The leader for Adventure Learning Experiences for this trip is Michael Consul. Michael is an experienced teacher employed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board and will be the Service Trip Coordinator.

Code of Conduct
Each student will be expected to pledge commitment to a Code of Conduct,  which will be designed to ensure that respect for each participant, his/her property, and well-being is safeguarded.  This code will preclude harassment and abusiveness and will prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs.  Above all, the rights and responsibilities of all participants will be clearly defined so that the objectives of this program may be achieved within a healthy and safe environment. 

Each applicant will be invited to a private interview with the Directors to assess his/her suitability for the program. This will also give the applicant the opportunity to determine if the program serves his/her needs and interests. Students will be asked to bring their letters of reference to this meeting.

Program Design
The authors propose that this learning program be offered as a one credit education model using the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum document.  The course will be designated IDC 3O or IDC4U (with the necessary requirements) and will derive learning expectations from a variety of courses described in Part 4. 

In-Class Component

The in-class component will begin in October 2017 and will conclude in January 2018.   All students in this program will meet as a single group for this component. 

These meetings will take place on the following dates:

to be announced    

There will be 9 additional meetings arranged during the experiential component (45 hours).

There will be one formal examination that has been scheduled for the following class: 
date to be announced

The assignments in this program are designed to provide background to the course themes and to stimulate relevant learning and personal reflection.  To this end required readings will be assigned and considerable options with respect to written assignments will be offered.  There will be two types of written assignments: 

            1.            Discovery Paper:  This is primarily intended for learning new information                            about a topic. 

            2.            Reaction Paper:  This is primarily intended for reflecting about a course                            theme that was previously reviewed in class, was part of one’s experiences                            on the trip, or contained in a reading. 


Experiential Component

Michael Consul will be assisted by other senior supervisors in leading the group to the Philippines This excursion will serve as the Service Learning component of the program.  

There will be a variety of service learning opportunities distributed across a few locations.  Formal classes will be conducted whereby teachers and students will be given opportunities to discuss their reactions to the learning experiences and which will offer support for their adjustment to the new environments.  Upon returning to Canada, the students will meet to reflect and process their experiences, and will be given an opportunity to formally present their learning to corporations, institutions, family and friends.  

Topics for discussion during classes in the Philippines will be governed by the nature of the activities in which the students will be engaged.  Daily journal writing will be an essential component of this time. 

Reading List
A short reading list will be provided at a later date.

Daily journal writing will be an essential component of the program. A composite journal with volunteer submissions from all participants will be compiled and offered to all participants at the end of the experience as a memory of our shared experience.

Building Activities
Building activities will include painting, digging, sifting rocks and sand, manual mixing, and moving and unloading cinder blocks. There will be no use of power tools by the participants.

Service and Leadership Opportunities

  1. Community appreciation: Learn about ANCOP and their relief effors to develop communties in the Philippines.

  2. Issues education: Hands-on exploration of issues like poverty and the environment.

  3. Cultural education: Connect with local youth by sharing educational opportunities.

  4. Wilderness Adventures: Experience the beauty of Tagaytay, Philippines including a donkey trek up the Taal Volcano.

Travel dates 
December 27, 2017 until January 10, 2018

Sample Itinerary:  

December 27 Toronto(T3)-Vancouver
December 28 transit
December 29 check into Hotel, buy and arrange gifts for orphanage and El Dorado; Dinner at 5 p.m., Mass at 7 p.m.
December 30 morning departure for St martin Orphanage, activites until 5 p.m.
dinner with ANCOP at 6 p.m.
evening debriefing, preparation for tomorrow's excursion
January 1 Morning departure for Tagaytay, lunch, sightseeing and dinner
return to hotel after dinner, prepare gifts and leadership bgames for next day
January 2

visit to El Dorado: leadership games, gift exchange, serving lunch, community clean-up
3 p.m. visit to Baclaran market, 6 p.m. dinner at Singing Waiters
evening debriefing

January 3 morning departure for Manila, city tour
4 p.m. visit to Avalon Ark Zoo
New Year's Eve celebration
January 4 Mass and Build Orientation, depart for build site
noon lunch and worksite orientation
1 p.m. building activities, 4 p.m. games with local children
dinner with ANCOP
January 5 breakfast and 10 a.m. departure for build site
noon lunch and onsite orientation, 1 p.m. building activities
4 p.m. games with local children, 5 p.m. prayer and departure
evening dinner with ANCOP
January 6 8 a.m. Mass, breakfast and 9 a.m. departure to build site
noon lunch and onsite orientation, 1 p.m. building activities
4 p.m. games with local children, 5 p.m. prayer and departure
evening with ANCOP
January 7 travel to San Mateo, tree planting
lunch and Boodle Feast served to local children, leadership games
dinner with ANCOP and Trinoma
January 8 breakfast and depart for build site, building activities
Community bonding activites, farewell party
Fiesta dinner at build site
evening sharing and party
January 9 breakfast and departure for airport
January 10 Manila(T2)-Vancouver

Travel Arrangements

Local transportation will be organized and provided by the ANCOP Chaperones.   This is the organization that we have partnered with and is affiliated with the Catholic Archdiocese in Toronto and Philippines. International air travel will be provided by Philippine Airlines.
In Philippines, the accommodations is expected to be Legend Villas Hotel in Manila (3 star).  Appropriate separation between genders will always be ensured in these residences.  Adult supervisors will always be staying in the same facility in close proximity to student rooms.

NOTE: Living standards and practices with respect to the provision of utlities, services and accommodations at the destination may differ from those found in Canada.

Trip cost: $3995, including all taxes and fees

return economy airfare from Toronto to Manila
all ground transportation, all meals and accommodations
all donations and gratuities, any activity fees, all service charges, all taxes and departure fee
preparatory learning program

cost of passport
any medical costs and inoculations
out-of-country health insurance and cancellation insurance (assistance available upon request)
private expenses

Payment will be made by regular installments according to the following schedule:
            $150               Deposit accompanying application
            $850               October 16, 2017
            $1000             November 6, 2017
            $1000             November 27, 2017
            $995               December 18, 2017
Payment Options:
1. personal cheques made payable to Adventure Learning Experiences Inc. Post-dated cheques are acceptable.
2. e-transfer to
3. credit card (Visa, Mastercard), 2% surcharge on all credit card payments


Fundraising activities will be supported by the authors.  In particular, the principal endeavour will be a booklet which will describe the features and participants of the program.  The sale of advertisements in the booklet will be directly subtracted from the fee charged to individual participants, with a nominal charge for the cost of printing the booklets. 

Refund Policy
For cancellation on or before October 1, 2017, full refund minus 50% of deposit.

For cancellation after October 1, 2017, and on or before November 10, 2017, full refund minus deposit plus any nonrefundable amounts sent to suppliers.

All payments are non-refundable for withdrawal after November 10, 2017, except through cancellation insurance (if purchased).



For Canadian citizens, it must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure.

All participants are advised to purchase the Manulife World Travel Insurance: Youth/Student Deluxe Policy. Its coverage includes Emergency medical, Travel Accident, Trip Cancellation/Interruption/Disruption, and Baggage & Personal Effects. It provides 100% coverage, within certain qualifying terms and conditions defined by the policy.

In particular, The Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage includes assurance of coverage for unforseen events. With respect to Labour Disruption and School Board Decision, the policy includes the following: "The cancellation of your trip by the school board due to a teachers' labour strike or the school board determines there is risk of harm to you during your trip when you are scheduled to travel to specific region of a country during the trip".

The cost of this policy is not included in the total price quoted for the trip. A minimum of 10 people are required to purchased this policy for the School Board Reasons and Labour Disruption to be included in the policy.

Adventure Learning Experiences strongly recommends this policy and will provide the details for its purchase.

NOTE: It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter.

Health and Safety

NOTE: It is most strongly recommended that each participant seek proper medical advice for all potential health concerns at a travel health clinic prior to departure.

Careful attention to sound health and safety practices will be an important part in the preparation of the program.  This will involve mandatory immunizations, learning  healthy eating and drinking habits, and understanding effective illness prevention practices.  An attempt will be made to have a registered nurse accompany each group.  For maximum benefit it is recommended that participants, in general, be in good health and achieve a sufficient level of fitness prior to the trip.  Physical and dental check-ups are highly recommended prior to the departure date. 

Protective Wear
All participants who work at the build site will be required to wear the following protective equipment: hard hats, steel toe footwear, gloves, and safety glasses.

Please see your family doctor 2 months prior to departure for a general check-up and advise him/her that you will be travelling to the Philippines.

As indicated above, careful preparation prior to departure about safe eating and drinking habits and illness prevention practices will be undertaken. Participants are encouraged to read, “The Travel Doctor” by Dr. Mark Wise (Firefly Books, 2002) as part of this preparation.  A close working relationship has been developed by the authors with Dr. Mark Wise.  Dr. Wise is a family physician in Thornhill whose medical practice includes a travel clinic. He  is considered a leading authority in tropical and parasitic diseases.  Dr. Wise will be available to conduct a training workshop at his clinic about preventative health practices for our students prior to departure and will make recommendations about appropriate inoculations.

It is expected that our groups will greatly benefit from the local contacts which our program coordinators have established in the Philippines through ANCOP in the event that medical care in required. Each participant will be expected to purchase out-of-country health insurance.

It is expected that each participant complete the Consent to Medical Treatment Form in the event that urgent and emergency care is required.






  • A one credit High School course
  • Hands-on exploration of issues like poverty and the environment
  • Learn about ANCOP and their relief efforts
  • Experience the beauty of Tagaytay, including a donkey trek up the Taal Volcano


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