Before travelling to El Nido, you can first have a look online to get some names of locally run businesses. Better to eat in local restaurant rather than in branches.
Buy food supplies from a local farmer
If there are any chances that you will have a kitchen while renting your accommodation, just head to the market to buy your own food. As it is very common in Philippines along the high way local will be selling some products (mostly the excess of their own garden). This is the best way to support local farmers. Eating local is also the key to limit our impact on the environment as you buy directly from the producer.
Donate to some local foundations
Philippines is having the support of many NGOs (local or international). As it is always better to help collectivity rather than individual, it is not advisable to give randomly some money or others…
Here are some structures doing a good job in the Philippines:
Children of Asia
Enfants du Mekong
You can also try to be in touch with local health center and school as well. There are always in the need of material.
Share some knowledge about global warming and be responsible of the ecosystem
Newly touristic destination such as El Nido is having a big challenge regarding environment matter. As locals don’t have always the information of our to protect our beautiful nature, if you can share with them about it, it will be a big help. You can also participate to the changes by showing the perfect example: not using any single us plastic (travel with your own tumbler), never throw anything on the sea, street, jungle or anywhere else, to take or buy anything which should stay in the ocean or on the beach.
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”
This might be obvious for some people but it is always important to keep in mind that local have their own culture. Many of them never had the chance to travel themselves abroad so even thus they try to welcome on their best travellers still there is a gap of culture.
Here are some tips about Filipino culture:
The legendary Filipino smile: Filipino never show they feeling at first, they mostly always smile
Same same but different: their have they own idea about distance, timing,
Westerns have watches but Filipino’s have time: don’t be too much on the rush as you may loose patience. Just relax and enjoy your vacation.
Negotiation: it is not really in the culture to negotiate (expect maybe for some transportations), other prices are pretty fixed
Body languages: Filipino use their mouth to point an object or a direction. When they pass between two people they always put one of their hand up in front of them in order to apologized of any disturbance.