Philippine Transportation

The Philippines,” Pearl of the Orient Seas” being strategically located in Southeast Asia, surrounded by aquamarine blue seas reflecting the sky, stretches of world class beaches, coral reefs, exciting nature & water sports and verdant rainforest. Exploring the entire country makes a point of concern specifically, transportation. The Philippines, being an archipelago and therefore not connected by land to any of its neighboring countries is the usual reason why this undiscovered paradise destination is skipped by many uninformed travelers.

The country has an adequate transportation system which makes any island or inter-island as well as international tour possible.  Philippines has a good public transport system with domestic and international airports, roads and rail networks between major cities and towns of Philippines, as the saying goes for Filipinos “mula Aparri, hanggang Jolo” (From Aparri-northern tip of the country to Jolo-the southern most end of the country). The same thing for the Philippines transportation, whenever, and wherever you go, there will always choices of affordable transportation for every traveler.

Land transportation provides for an impeccable view of the sprawling countryside. Air-conditioned and regular buses are aplenty and interconnected. With the dawning of the so-called nautical highway, one can even go around the entire archipelago by bus.

Reaching the Philippines is possible by air or sea. But sea travel is mostly for cargoes only. The experience of riding the different modes of transportation on your Philippine flight and TRAVELING here will surely be a unique experienced worth remembering.

Getting There

By Air

The Philippines being an archipelago of more than 7.100 islands, tourists mostly fly to get to the Philippines. Getting to Philippines is accessible as the country is well linked to the rest of the world. The Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the premier gateway to the Philippines. But tourists have other options depending on their itinerary, may opt to land on airports in other parts of the Philippines. If visitors intend to stay in Manila then NAIA is it. If they plan to tour Northern & Central Luzon they can fly to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). If in Visayas, they may opt for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. They can also fly direct to Davao International Airport Andif they opt to see Mindanao. These airports cater domestic flights too. It is wise to reserve seats well in advance for any travel you may wish to do, flights are often fully book especially around Christmas, Chinese New Year and Holy Week.

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the primary gateway to the Philippines. It is situated along the boundary of Pasay City and Parañaque City in Metro Manila, about 7 kilometers south of the country’s capital Manila.

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has 4 passenger terminals and with more than 30 airlines serving NAIA, International flights arriving at NAIA may use one of three terminal buildings with international arrivals handling capability while domestic flights may use one of two domestic services terminals. NAIA handles nearly 22 million passengers in 2008.

Philippine Airlines is the country’s flag carrier and links Manila to more than 26 cities and 19 countries worldwide. Philippine Air also provides service to and from 43 local destinations.

Airport facilities include restaurants, coffee shops and bars, shops for souvenir items, ATM’s banks with foreign exchange, post office, and telephones. Duty free shopping is available, however it is located several kilometres from Terminal 1. Of all the terminals, only in Centennial Airport terminal where you can find a Laptop Station.

Terminal fee

All departing passengers need to pay a terminal fee. Only cash is accepted, so be sure to have some on hand. For international departures, the fee is P750, and for domestic P200.

The Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has 4 passenger terminals:

Terminal 1 – The 67,000 square meter terminal is the original terminal and has a capacity of 6 million passengers per year. This terminal handles all International flights except those operated by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

Terminal 2:   This terminal is popularly called the “Centennial Terminal” , was finished in 1998 and that same year the country was celebrating the   centennial year of the declaration of Philippine Independence from Spain. The terminal is located at the center of the complex and exclusive for the country’s flag carrier- the Philippine   Airlines. The 75,000 square meter terminal has a capacity of 9 million passengers per year.

Terminal 3: The ultra modern facility terminal is the newest of all the terminals. It has a capacity of 13 to 15 million passengers per year.                                 Terminal 3 is built on a 63.5-hectare lot that sits on Villamor Air Base. The terminal building has a total floor area of 182,500 m², having a total length of 1.2 kilometres. A four-level shopping mall connects the terminal and parking buildings. The terminal is capable of servicing 33,000 passengers daily at peak or 6,000 passengers per hour. Its apron area has a size of 147,400 m², Its apron area has a size of 147,400 m², 34 air bridges, 20 contact gates with the ability of servicing 28 planes at any given time. International flights of Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines and PAL Express is provided in this terminal.

Domestic Airport: A short distance from NAIA on Domestic Road. This is the  older terminal, caters to all domestic flights like Zest Air, SEAir and other domestic carriers.

Public Transportation  Services at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)


The most accessible and plentiful to provide service to the visitors arriving in the country. It is wise to book one before leaving the airport at one of the Taxi Desk just outside the airport. Just tell your destination and you will pay a flat rate according to the distance, then an attendant will organize an official metered taxi.

Taxi is by far the most convenient in NAIA with the rate of dollars to the Philippine pesos; the fare is still a bargain. Take only official, metered or pre-booked taxis. Do not accept rides from people that approach you in the terminal. Many of the major hotels run cars which you can book in advance or You can walk to the adjacent departure area, where you can get a cab that just dropped off a departing passenger-they charge they way it is supposed to be: by the meter.

The airport is also connected to the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) by a two kilometer taxi ride to Baclaran Station. In the future, another LRT line is to be constructed to connect LRT-1’s Baclaran Station directly to the airport’s 3 terminals.

Car Rental

Renting a car could be availed at the airport. Avis, Hertz and National have desks at the airport.

Buses and Jeepneys are also available BUT, you have to walk from the terminal to the main road outside (quite a long walk — not practical) and wait for a cab or jeep to take you to the nearest MRT or LRT station.

For more details contact:

General Information Tel: 833-1180.
International Flights: Tel 832-1961.
Domestic Flights: Tel 818-6757 or 831-1395

Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB)

Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the main gateway to the historical and exotic beaches in the Visayas Region of the Philippines. Located in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island, province of Cebu, it is 20 km away from Cebu City, the province Capital through the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge.

The airport is about 600 kilometers of the Ninoy Aquino (Manila) International Airport (NAIA) and the 2nd busiest airport in the country Mactan-Cebu International Airport is ideally and strategically located that travel time is only 3 to 4 hours to 14 cities in Asia Pacific Region.

Its terminal building which incorporates both the domestic and international wings has four aero-bridges (jetways). Its traffic is continually increasing and is now serving 668 commercial flights weekly transporting around 11,000 passengers daily. The airport operates 24 hours.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is easily reached through direct flights from Tokyo, Hongkong, Doha, Seoul, Singapore, Busan, Taipei, Incheon, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur, and cities in the Philippines like Manila, Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo and Zamboanga.

Tourists can go around the island by taxi, jeepney, multicabs or tricycles. Most of the hotels and resorts in the island also provide shuttle buses for their guests. Amenities in the airport include a shopping center, restaurants, wide varieties of souvenir shops, cafés, business centers, food shops, car rentals, banking facilities, communication facilities, hotel and resort reservations, and beauty & health services.

Duty Free is located at the International Pre-Departure Area, customers should present a valid passport to make any purchase. In Mactan Airport, a freebie like free-internet access through wifi supported by SmartBro is available for visitors.

The airlines serving Mactan-Cebu International Airport

The International Airlines:

Philippine Airlines
Cebu Pacific
Cathay Pacific Air
Qatar Airway
Malaysia Airlines
Silk Air
Korean Air
China Eastern
Asiana Airlines
China Airline

The Domestic Airlines:

Philippine Airlines
Air Philippines
Zest Philippines
Cebu Pacific
Pal Express

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (CRK)

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), also called Clark International Airport or Manila Clark Airport is located in the former United States Air Base, the Clark Field, in Angeles City in the province of Pampanga.

The Clark Aviation Complex covers an area of approximately 2,500 hectares with a 3,200-meter long runway and associated taxiways, aircraft parking apron, a passenger terminal building and other related facilities. The entire Clark Field, which used to be the biggest American military base outside the United States, is a sprawling 33,653-hectare site.

From an initial design capacity of 500,000 passengers per year, the new Clark Airport terminal can now handle more than 2 million passengers annually, looking very futuristic, clean and technologically advanced which are being catered by Low Cost Carrier airlines like the AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Asiana Airlines, SEAir, Tiger Airways and among others. DMIA average at least 35 flights per week since operations started in October 2003. The airport operates 24 hours.

Clark Airport is connected to Metro Manila (about 76 km southeast of Manila City and around 92 northwest of Makati City) through the Clark Zone South Interchange and the North Luzon Expressway. It would take around 2 hours in a good day

Comfort and convenience are guaranteed to all passengers coming through the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport with their easy and well-coordinated processing flow for arrivals, departures and transits/transfers. There is also a sufficient variety of dining and shopping choices.

Getting to and from DMIA is easy and convenient. From the airport, there are taxis that could get you to the front gate of Clark Airport or all the way to Dau Bus Station for around 300 pesos, it would be wise to wait some lone travelers and you can split the taxi fare. From Dau Bus Station you have ample choices of buses plying north bound like Baguio City, Dagupan City, Laoag and among others. And Manila (Pasay or Cubao Station) for south bound buses. The buses are either air-conditioned or non air-conditioned buses.

If coming from NAIA, take a taxi to either Five-Star or Victory Liner bus terminal in Pasay City. It is very close, if you got an honest taxi cab the fare is about 100 pesos only. Taxi drivers try to charge a big flat fare so make sure they use their meter. So don’t forget to haggle with them. In the terminal, look for a bus to Dau. The sign on the bus will probably say Dagupan because that is the final destination for that route or Baguio City. Get off at Dau Bus Station and find a jeepney that goes to Clark Main Gate or SM Clark. Tricycle cab could also bring you to the main gate, from there get a taxi that will bring you inside DMIA. The jeepney ride cost 7 pesos tricycle charge 50 pesos and the car taxi charges 300 pesos (flat rate and not subject to negotiation).

Clark International Airport is operated and managed by the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

Davao International Airport (DVO)

The Davao International Airport is officially known as the Francisco Bangoy International Airport. It is the busiest and the only international airport in Mindanao Region in Southern Philippines. The airport has a single 3,000 meter precision runway that can handle wide-bodied aircraft such as Airbus A330, Airbus A340 , Boeing 747 and even Airbus A380. With a capacity to accommodate more than one million passengers yearly.

Davao International Airport accepts international flights from countries like Hong Kong, Indonesia,Singapore,  and as well as major Philippine cities such as Cebu, Zamboanga, and Manila. The airport is served by Philippine Airlines, Zest Air, Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, Merpati Nusantara Airlines (Manado), SilkAir (Singapore), Sriwijaya Air (Gorontalo, Manado)

Passenger Facilities include Restaurants, Cafeterias, VIP Lounge, Post Office, souvenir shops, tourist information center Travel Agent, Car Rental, Taxi Service, Disabled Access/Facilities.

Davao International Airport is 15 minutes from the city center. Like most cities in the Philippines, there is an abundance of taxicab available from the airport. Hotel Car- Hotel transport can be arranged with hotel representatives at designated counters at the arrival lobby. Car Rental – A trip to the city proper by hired car can be arranged with representatives at the airport.

Kalibo International Airport (KLO)

The Kalibo International Airport in Aklan province is one of the gateways to world famous Boracay Island, the country’s top beach destination. Kalibo airport receives direct flights from Seoul in South Korea, Shanghai in China and Taipei in Taiwan. The airlines serving the airport includes Philippine Airline, Cebu Pacific, PAL express, Mandarin Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and among others.

The Air Transportation Office of the Department of Transportation and Communications has classified this airport as secondary airport. The airport is located at a distance of about ten minutes from the center of Kalibo, Aklan.  Kalibo Airport, although a small airport, has 34 flights departing per week.

There are buses, vans and jeepneys available outside Kalibo Airport. If your destination is Boracay Island, take an AC van or bus for the 1½-hour ride to Caticlan Jetty Port. Pump boats from this jetty port will take you to Boracay in 15-20 minutes.

Subic Bay International Airport (SFS)

The Subic Bay International Airport in Subic in the province of Zambales serves as a secondary airport and a main diversion airport of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.. Subic Bay Airport has a 10,000 sq.m International Passenger Terminal and two Steam airbridges that can easily accommodate sudden influxes of passengers. This airport used to be the Naval Air Station Cubi Point of the United States Navy. The airport receives direct flights from Taipei in Taiwan, Pacific Pearl Airways, a Charter Airline currently offers flights to Kalibo, Cebu, Puerto Princesa and parts of South Korea.

Comfort and convenience are guaranteed to all our passengers coming through the Subic Bay International Airport with their easy and well-coordinated processing flow for arrivals, departures and transits/transfers. There is also a sufficient variety of dining and shopping choices.

Laoag International Airport (LAO)

The Laoag International Airport is the northernmost international airport in the Philippines, located in Laoag City in the province of Ilocos Norte. The airport receives direct flights from Guangzhou in China. It has one 2,420-meter runway and is designated as a secondary international airport. The airlines that fly to Laoag International airport are Cebu Pacific, China Southern Airlines.Chartered flights are available via small air companies such as Airspan Corporation (helicopters), A. Soriano Aviation, and Aerolift Philippines. (small-to-medium-sized planes)

Getting Around the Philippines