Transportation in the Philippines has never been better. More airlines, and more international airports are being built in major cities. Public transport is also improving with the MRT, LRT 1 and 2, and more light-rail trains are planned to be built in the years to come. Cabs are newer and there are more reliable call-a-taxi services in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Iloilo, and other major cities.

When local travel was encouraged by the Department of Tourism, services of bus and boat companies also started getting better. Along came well-lighted, modern, and clean terminals, resembling that of airports.

More airlines

When before there was only Philippine Airlines, now there are about five airlines taking locals and tourists in, within, and out of the country.

Aside from domestic airports in almost every major city, international airports are now being built outside the frenetic Metro Manila. Tourists and returning overseas Filipinos can now fly direct to the nearest international airport of their province or city.

Domestic airports

Luzon: Laoag (Ilocos Norte), Penablanca (Tuguegarao), Palanan (Isabela), Cauayan (Isabela), Baguio City (Baguio), Bagabag (Nueva Vizcaya), San Jose (Occidental Mindoro), Magsaysay (Occidental Mindoro), Santa Cruz (Marinduque), Talabas Island (Romblon), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Daet (Camarines Norte), Naga (Camarines Sur), Virac (Catanduanes), Legaspi (Albay), Masbate, Caticlan (Aklan), Kalibo (Aklan), Roxas (Capiz), Sta. Barbara (Iloilo), Bacolod City (Bacolod), Dumaguete (Negros Oriental), Mactan (Cebu), Tagbilaran (Bohol), Catarman (Northern Samar), Calbayog (Samar), Palo (Leyte), Ormoc (Leyte), Tacloban (Leyte), Hilongos (Southern Leyte), Dipolog (Zamboanga del Norte), Pagadian (Zamboanga del Sur), Zamboanga City (Zamboanga), Cagayan de Oro City (Cagayan de Oro), Baloi (Lanao del Norte), Ozamis (Misamis Occidental), Davao City (Davao), Maguidanao (Maguindanao), Lebak (Sultan Kudarat), Butuan (Agusan del Norte), Surallah (South Cotabato), General Santos (South Cotabato), Surigao (Surigao del Norte), Tandag (Surigao del Sur), Bislig (Surigao del Sur)

More international airports

In Metro Manila, there are now two international airports---the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the Centennial Airport---with the third one to open soon.

In Luzon, there is also the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, also called Clark International Airport. It is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines. The airport is being developed to be the Premier Gateway Airport of the Philippines replacing Ninoy Aquino International Airport by year 2010. This international airport caters mostly to low-budget airlines servicing Manila, but definite plans to transfer full operations of NAIA to DMIA have been implemented. (Source: Wikipedia)

Farther north, is the Laoag International Airport, which is a popular charter destinations for tourists from mainland China.

In the Visayas, in addition to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, two more international airports opened -- the Iloilo International Airport and the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

In Mindanao, there's the new Davao International Airport, also called Francisco Bangoy International Airport, and another one is a work in progress. There'll be more to come as Mindanao gears up for more progress.

Pier or Boat Terminals

By the very nature of the Philippines, which is archipelagic, people often have to take inter-island trips. In fact, among the most idyllic beaches are found off-island. To get to these beaches, tourists take the boat or ferry, or even bancas (wooden outrigger boats). There's hardly a coastal barrio that does not have some ferry service.

A number of large ferry companies operate between major ports connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao:

Bus Terminals

Hundreds of bus routes spread out like a web from Manila and every other town and city; even the most isolated barrios have occasional buses making trips to the closest town center.

The larger bus operators that ply from the Manila to the provinces are:
Jam Transit

Around the metro cities are also reliable bus companies that take people from one municipality to the next.


The jeepney is a familiar icon of the Philippines. For the longest time, it is touted to be the "King of the Road." Its popularity is partly due to its being useful and affordable to most Filipinos and even tourists. The jeepney can ply even to narrow and rugged roads, and can carry about 25 people.

The jeepney also offers a cheaper---cheaper than the air-conditioned vans---alternative mode of transportation to groups of tourists. Tourists can rent a jeepney for the day to take them sightseeing. If you like to experience Philippine travel in the raw, then take the jeepney.

FX Taxis

Plying like jeepneys are the FX Taxis, Toyota FX Tamaraw Vans, only that they have a more fixed route. These FX taxis are more popular to working people who prefer to go their offices, still feeling and smelling fresh. Like the jeepney, tourists can also rent the FX for day/night trips.


There is only one operational line left of the government-funded Philippines National Railway (PNR). It runs from Manila to Bicol via Laguna and Naga.

Around Metro Manila, however, there are three lines of electric-powered light trains. The MRT that runs along EDSA, LRT 1 along Taft Avenue, and LRT 2 along Aurora Bouevard.

Tricycles have also become a familiar feature of Philippine trips. In destinations where jeepneys, vans, and other vehicles do not go, tricycles will be happy to take tourists there---for a reasonable price of course. A tricycle ride is another Philippine experience tourists can't get anywhere else in the world.

Rent-a-car services are a dime a dozen now in the country. Tourists also have the option to self-drive the cars, rented or borrowed. Foreign tourists will need an international driving license to be able to do so. Just a word of advice: they read up on traffic rules and seek sound advice on how best to settle an altercation with policemen and traffic aides.

The major car rental agencies in the Philippines are:
Budget (632-7768118; 632-8981754; 632-8318247)
Dollar Transport (632-9278718)
Dollar Rent A Car (632-8933950; 632-8925708; 632-8890521; 632-8116850)