Getting around the islands: Domestic flights in the Philippines

approaching laguindingan

It may not look like it but the Philippines is composed of thousands of islands big and small, inhabited and uninhabited. There are 7,107 islands to be exact (though so many claim that number could change, depending on the tide). The main point of entry to the country from abroad is mainly from the capital city of Manila, Cebu in the Visayas region and Davao City in the south. There are international flights landing at Clark in Olongapo City, Iloilo, Laoig and Kalibo too.

Philippine map

Our plane landed in Manila and from there, we need to get on another flight to my hometown down south. It’s an hour and a half flight. However, depending on the time of arrival of our international flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, we may need to stay for a night in Manila and board the flight the next day as there are no night flights going to my hometown.

Domestic flights around the Philippines is operated by 2 main carriers namely, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. There are other small fleet of airlines like Air Philippines, Sky Jet, Tiger Air, Air Asia Zest. Cebu Pacific regularly offers sale on flights, in fact I bought one to fly from my hometown to my father’s relatives in Davao that’s about 30% of the normal price! However, the cheap flights comes with an inconvenience of delays, sudden rescheduling or worse cancellation of flights sometimes without logical explanation. Philippine Airlines is the national carrier and is so much better in my opinion.

We stayed in Manila for one night. Do you have any idea how it feels to finally land in the bed after more than 15 hours of travel?

at hotel in makati

We went out for dinner and then back to the hotel, brushed our teeth and ready ourselves for bed. I went to the washroom for a quick shower and saw this.


We were early at the airport the next day – this is Manila when traffic can be unpredictable, from heavy to heavier to a standstill. I cannot risk missing our flights.

TIP: If you have to stay in Manila and need to catch a flight the next day, it’s best to stay close. We stayed in a hotel in Makati which was less than 30 minutes to the airport, even with traffic.

We had some time to look around the domestic airport before boarding our flight. I asked the kids if they wanted to eat something and they weren’t interested in food (saved me mega calories from Cinnabon because they declined…weird kids…who says no to Cinnabon?!).

Pristine found National Bookstore and both went inside. “We need books to read on the plane since there is no entertainment system on domestic flights, right mama?” YES.

boarding gate 1

Benjamin’s book didn’t make it to the plane unopened.

boarding gate 2

And finally, boarding time! Our Philippine Airlines flight was on time! Great because we did not want grandpa and grandma to wait for us for too long at the airport.


My little travelers tired and sleeping. I finally found the meaning and purpose of my huge lap…

onboard PAL to CDO 2

Our flight was short and sweet and we finally landed at Laguindingan airport. The weather which I had been worrying about was wonderful! It did not rain, only blue skies with fluffy clouds.

We can’t wait to make the best summer memories.

NOTE: As much as I would like to write full blog posts like this about our travel to the Philippines, I may not be able to but follow our adventure in Instagram, Twitter and I do post snippets on my blog’s Facebook page. See you there!

One Comment

  1. Aww, they look so cuddly while sleeping! 🙂 I think it’s better that way too while flying, and if possible, until plane lands. They wake up fine and alright without queasy tummy issues.



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