Tim Tebow talks about his mission trip to the Philippines: 'There are so many people who need our help'

Tim Tebow poses with schoolgirls from the Philippines.(Instagram/Tim Tebow)

Former NFL star Tim Tebow has a special affinity with Filipinos. After all, he was born and spent most of his early life in the Philippines.

Because of this special connection, Tebow's charitable organisation Tim Tebow Foundation often conducts missionary trips to the Southeast Asian country.

"I love the Filipino people – they're some of the friendliest, warmest, nicest people in the world. And, to be able to come back here and care for them and love them, well it's truly a dream come true," Tebow tells PEOPLE.

During his most recent trip, Tebow visited an orphanage and shared inspiring messages to people in schools and prisons. He also visited the Tebow CURE Hospital, a facility in Davao that his foundation opened in 2014.

Tebow said he was happy to know that the hospital has already treated some 3,300 patients who did not have proper access to healthcare.

The best thing about the hospital is that it has a "Timmy's Playroom," which is a special facility for children who are seriously ill.

In this facility, "kids are being carried in and they're walking out," he said. "They're coming in with their heads down and walking out with their heads held high."

One thing's for sure: Tebow is going to do even more great things for the Filipino people. In fact, he considers his philanthropic works there as even more important than his sports career.

"We're just getting started because there is so much to do, and there are so many people who need our help," he said. "We want to continue giving people hope, giving them love they've never had their entire life and introducing them to a God who loves them and has a plan for their life. I just think that when you're in a place like the Philippines, you realize it and it hits you just how important this is."