Gateways and Transport

Related post: The Philippine Tourism Highway

7,107 ISLANDS!

That the Philippines has this many islands has never failed to amaze friends. A common follow-up question is, “So, you go to the beach often?”

Manila has long taken the role of stopover or buffer zone in tourism. But there are other potential (and existing) hubs already.

There are 85 public airports in the country: 4 international, 4 alternate international, and the rest are trunk line, secondary, and feeder airports.


  • Manila: Ninoy Aquino International Airport
  • Subic
  • Cebu: Mactan International Airport~ Japan, Singapore, Australia, etc.
  • Clark


  • Laoag: Taiwan & Macau
  • Davao: Indonesia, Singapore
  • Zamboanga
  • General Santos


  • Legaspi City: Bicol region
  • Tacloban: Eastern Visayas (Samar, Leyte)
  • Iloilo: Panay, Aklan-Boracay, Bacolod, Dumaguete
  • Puerto Princesa: Palawan
  • Cagayan de Oro: Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Agusan del N/S, Surigao, Bukidnon


1. Pan-Philippine Highway (formerly the Maharlika highway)

The road network from Manila to the tip of Northern Luzon, to Davao in Mindanao via Bicol in Southern Luzon and Samar and Leyte in the eastern Visayas, this 2,500-kilometer arterial trunk route remains the country’s principal transport backbone. Improved with Japanese government assistance, it is also known as the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway.

2. Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH)

Launched in 2004 to boost inter-island commerce, trade, domestic tourism, and agro-industrial investment opportunities, it is a highway through land and sea routes using the Roll-on-Roll-off (RORO) network of ferry terminals and vessels connecting the country’s major economic centers with 22 links involving 41 sea ports.

It is an alternative route to the Pan-Philippine Highway, as it makes travel to the Visayas and Mindanao shorter and more efficient. It covers 919 kilometers of land travel and 137 nautical miles of sea travel, interconnecting 17 provinces and cities:

Luzon: Oriental Mindoro, Tagaytay/Cavite, Marinduque, Romblon, Batangas

Visayas: Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Capiz, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Cebu, Guimaras, Siquijor

Mindanao: Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Dapitan City

a. Western Nautical Highway
With 11 RORO-capable ports with shipping companies regularly plying the route.

b. Central Nautical Highway
With 11 out of 14 ports RORO-capable (Placer, Aroroy, Donsol), and 4 out of 7 routes serviced regularly by shipping companies (Mambajao-Jagna, Bogo-Placer, Aroroy-Donsol).

c. Eastern Nautical Highway
With 2 out of 4 ports RORO-capable (Naval, Cataingan), and 1 out of 2 routes serviced regularly by shipping companies (Cataingan-Naval, Biliran).

- from Manila, drive to Batangas port
- board the RORO to Calapan City
- from Calapan, drive south of Roxas, Oriental Mindoro
- board the daily RORO trip to Caticlan
- Iloilo via Capiz town is a 5-hour drive from Caticlan
- from Iloilo, go to the Guimaras Islands (famous for mangoes!)
- go south to Bacolod City – Dumaguete – Zamboanga del Norte

3. North Luzon Loop

The highway for land travel from Manila to Ilocos Norte, it passes through Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Baguio, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Cordilleras, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, and Quirino.

Local Transport


  • jeepneys
  • aircon or non-aircon buses
    • North of Manila:* Aladdin Transit * Auto Bus * Baliwag Transit * BLTB * Dagupan Bus Co. * Dominion Transit * Dangwa Tranco * EMC Bus * Farinas Transit * F. Franco Lines * Genesis Transport * Maria de Leon * Partas Transpo * Philippine Rabbit * RCJ Transit * Viron Transit * Victory Liner
    • South of Manila:* JAC Liner * JAM Transit * JS Vergara * Penafrancia Transit * Philtranco * Genesis Transport
  • taxi
  • tricycles
  • pedicabs
  • tourist buses / coasters
  • car rentals
    • PAL
    • Air Philippines
    • Seair
    • Asian Spirit
    • InterIsland Airlines
    • Corporate Air
    • Superferry
    • RORO
    • Negros Navigation


    There are more than 100 government ports in the country, 66 of which have RORO facilities, and 24 private RORO ports. On the Strong Republic Nautical Highway are the following ports:

    o Phase 1 (Short Haul Route): Batangas – Puerto Galera/Calapan/Roxas (Mindoro Oriental) – Caticlan/Roxas(Capiz) – Iloilo – Guimaras – Bacolod/Pulupandan/Kabankalan/Bais/Dumaguete – Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte)

    o Phase 2 (Long Term Plan):
    - Lateral connections: Panay – Negros – Cebu – Bohol – Siquijor – Masbate – Romblon – Leyte – Samar – Camiguin Islands


    Port of Batangas: (043) 7231701
    Customer Service Center: (043) 7238243
    Starlite Ferry, Inc.: (043) 7220162
    Montenegro Shipping Lines: (043) 9803445, 7237975

    Port of Calapan: (043) 2886187
    Terminal Port of Roxas: (043) 2892813
    Starlite Ferry, Inc.: (043) 7220162

    Port of Iloilo: (033) 3377791
    Terminal Port of Dumaguit: 0919-7165075
    PhilHarbor Ferries & Port Services, Inc.: 7750441, 7750442, 0918-9247850
    Millennium Shipping Co.: (034) 4339360
    Montenegro Shipping Lines:
    Caticlan office: (036) 2887373

    Bacolod City
    PMO Pulupandan: (034) 7030700
    Terminal Port of Bacolod: (034) 7038505
    Millennium Shipping Co.: (034) 4339360
    Montenegro Shipping Lines: (034) 7081322

    Dumaguete City
    Port of Dumaguete: (035) 2250973
    George & Peter Lines: (035) 2254337
    Cokaliong Shipping Lines: (035) 2253588

    Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte
    Port of Ozamiz City: (088) 5210238
    Terminal Port of Dapitan: 0916-8212789
    Cokaliong Shipping Lines: (065) 2122461
    George & Peter Lines: (065) 2122664

    Philtranco: (02) 8518077, 8518079
    Bachelor Express – Ceres Liner: (02) 7317287, 7435677
    Marina (Maritime Industry Authority) 24-Hour Hotline: (02) 5218045, 5215030
    DOT 24-Hour Hotline: (02) 5252000, 5242384
    Tourist Security: (02) 5241728
    DOTC: (02) 7316643