This Travel Agency Crafts a Unique, Immersive Cultural Experience Just for You


More than 100 million Filipinos live on the 7,600-plus islands that make up the Philippine archipelago. Despite bolstered tourism efforts, many parts of the Philippines, as well as the respective cultures of their islands, remain unknown to the greater international community.

To this end, Make A Difference Travel hopes to make a lasting impact. The non-government organization is a social tourism platform that carefully plans and supervises tailor-made adventures for international travelers, and seeks “to inspire people from all over the world to have fun and make a difference in the Philippines.” The growing organization caters to a different kind of traveler: not those who merely visit a place to see the sights, but those who wish to engage with the community, appreciate their culture, and bridge gaps across societies.


MAD Travel organizes trips for individuals, schools, and even corporations, and brings them to some of the country’s most breathtaking destinations. At these locations, travelers are able to immerse themselves in different local communities. There are opportunities for visitors to get to know farm-village communities in Bulacan, isolated indigenous communities in Zambales, eco-farm communities in Bohol, and even surfing village communities in Aurora.

“I want MAD Travel to educate and inspire the youth to work with more communities, be aware of the environment, and fall in love with their country,” MAD Travel co-founder Rafael Dionisio says. “I want us to make developmental work fun so that more people join in.”

Each trip is meticulously planned to make a mutual difference in the lives of both the guests and the host community they are brought to. According to Dionisio, the organization has also added several other goals to their original mission. “We want to help reforest the Philippines since the country doesn’t have a successful reforestation program yet and I think we can help,” he says.

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As the organization continues its work to inspire meaningful travel around the Philippines, it aims to identify and eventually contribute to other issues facing the country. For more information on how you can join, visit

This story was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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