No fly, no problem: Air travel alternatives in the Philippines

WITHIN VISAYAS VIA FAST CRAFT

TWO2TRAVEL AIRTRAVEL ALTERNATES

Once you’re anywhere in the Visayas, you can easily hop on a fast craft to get to the nearby islands. We’ve tried Iloilo-Bacolod-Iloilo (two hours per way), and Cebu-Bohol-Cebu (2.5 hours per way), but there are far more routes we have yet to try. Can you now imagine going from Manila to Batangas to Caticlan, then heading south to Iloilo by bus, taking a ferry to Bacolod, heading down south to Dumaguete by land, then on to Cebu? And then of course, you can head to Bohol, and from Bohol (and other parts of the Visayas), there are ROROs going all the way to Mindanao. And if you can go there, you can simply retrace your steps back (of course, it’s not simple, but it’s doable).

WHY TRY
  • Seats of fast craft ferries are comfortable and air-conditioned; interiors resemble airplane coaches, only bigger and wider
  • If a 10-year-old can enjoy the ride, so can you (referring to my younger sister, who was with me during my Cebu-Bohol-Cebu trip)
  • Onboard meals available (pricey but at least you have an option if you’re dying of hunger already)
  • Booking online is available, but there really is no need to do so (except if you’re on a strict schedule) because there are trips five times a day and you can simply walk in.

TWO2TRAVEL AIRTRAVEL ALTERNATES

CONS
  • Quite pricey if you’re not staying overnight at your destination (Cebu-Bohol/vice versa is around P800 per person, round trip; discounts apply to students, children, and senior citizens; Iloilo-Bacolod is P300-P500 round trip)

TWO2TRAVEL AIRTRAVEL ALTERNATES

TIPS/USEFUL INFO

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What are other alternatives to flying have you experienced within the Philippines? Please share! :)