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How to Get In and Out of Gensan Airport On Tight Budget?

In the mid-1990s, the General Santos City experienced boom in investments, most especially in infrastructure. Foreign-aid multi-million dollar projects such as the road network, a world class container port and fish port were just some of the infrastructures that were given to the southernmost city of the Philippines. General Santos City International Airport has been one of the largest projects that were made in south-central Mindanao. It has the longest runway in entire Mindanao, third longest in the country—with a span of 3.2 kilometers. It can accommodate large aircraft such as Boeing 747 or Airbus A380.

It was opened in 1996, replacing the smaller and older Buayan Airport, located at the east of the city center–which hadonly accommodate turboprops and doesn’t have a direct link to Manila. General Santos City International Airport is located in a high altitude terrain at Barangay Fatima, some 14-15 kilometers away from downtown Dadiangas. There were allegations that the airport was built to reestablish a US military base in the Philippines, since the construction was funded by the US government.

General Santos City International Airport is the primary gateway of General Santos City, South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat province of the Soccsksargen region. It serves as a transit point for Gensan’s major export–tuna, being exported to Japan and to the rest of the world.

Big bird

Yellow Bird

Given that General Santos City Airport is far from Dadiangas proper, here are some tips on how to get out of there and get in.

How to get out?
Getting out of General Santos Airport is easy as pie. Choose from these:

Arrival Area

  • Of course, taxi is the most convenient option, albeit very expensive. Usually, it reaches P300 in order for you to reach the airport. Yet it is best for people who travel in groups—got to share the pie of expense.
  • Hotel shuttle service. That is if you have a hotel reservation with airport shuttle service.
  • I’ve tried this one, taking airport multicab all the way to the city. For P50, you can reach downtown on door-to-door basis. Unfortunately, as of Friday (03 June 2011), the drivers are having a meeting with CAAP regarding this mode of public transportation. Added to it is the issue that they don’t have a terminal at the city’s downtown area, hence…unlikely (as of the time of writing) that the multicab service has a return route. I hope that their petition would push through, as this would be a very affordable option for those who don’t have the budget for taxi.
  • [UPDATE] GOOD NEWS TO VISITORS AND DADIANGASNONS/SOCCSKSARGEN RESIDENTS: There is a van shuttle service available for those who seek affordable ways on how to get in or out of Gensan Airport. For P150 per passenger, you can get to the airport with an air-conditioned van in less than 30 minutes.

Airport Multicab

Taxi Parking Area

Wellwishers and Shuttle vans

Now, how to get in here?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the multicab service hasn’t gone full yet (as of the time of writing). Getting here with a meager budget was a challenge for me, personally. It was raining hard and has tried my luck by using this:

Pre-departure area

  • Take the Airport-bound multicabs at Bulaong Bus Terminal. It is still P50 as of the time of writing.
  • Take a Jeepney bound for Uhaw-Fatima (bound either Centro or Labus) area at Papaya Street corner Acharon Boulevard. From downtown to Uhaw, that would be P20. However, the jeepney cannot enter the airport area. Either you take the tricycle or habal-habal which you have to pay P100 (negotiable) just to reach the airport terminal building. In my experience, I have been to the airport through habal-habal and tricycle, and both are available in Uhaw-Fatima area.
  • And of course, taxi service is the most convenient yet expensive mode.
  • And hotel shuttle service is only available for those who have hotel accommodations.

Location of the Airport Shuttle van in General Santos City:

View Gensan Airport Shuttle Terminal in a larger map

Gensan Tricycle

A view of Mount Matutum from the airport

Location of General Santos City Airport:

View Gensan Airport in a larger map

  • bari


    This post is a big help to visitors flying in thru the GenSan International airport!

    If you haven’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have known that aside from the expensive taxis, there’s the much cheaper multicab which could take you downtown from our airport.

    Thanks for this Bernie.

    Now am excited for the rest of your blog posts on your South Central Mindanao adventures.

  • Berniemack Arellano

    It has started @Avel. 😉

  • cagayandeoro

    This is a very useful blog, I would say. Thanks for sharing those tips. I am planning to visit GenSan but I should say it would be my first time.I would note all of these things.

  • Berniemack Arellano

    Your welcome @Cagayandeoro. :)

  • orman

    it’s like reading a guide book! thanks for this!!!

  • Pinoy Adventurista

    wow! great tips! i’m going to Gensan in Jan2012, thanks for sharing this! :)

  • Berniemack Arellano

    By that time perhaps I hope that the public transport may have been improved.

  • chin chan

    Thanks for sharing this im on a tight budget ill be there for the upcoming tuna festival .. This post is very useful.

  • Berniemack Arellano

    Thanks. Aviso nga lang, medyo tricky yung papunta. Will be in Tuna Festival and hopefully i can get an update.

  • Amber

    Hi, what taxi I can get from Gensan to Polomolok? I need a registered taxi please :) thanks!

  • Berniemack Arellano

    Hi! Sorry, I wasn’t able to get the names of taxi companies in Gensan. Will try to obtain these when I get back there.
    Thanks for reading.

  • Jake Monte

    This airport is under served, I so wonder why. tsk!

  • Britty

    HONESTLY SAYING AND I’M SORRY na ang airport natin sa Gensan ay masyadong “ugly”, walang pagbabago, kung mayroon man eh masyadong mabagal at paunti-unti lang at saka yung sa mga taxi, ampangit kuhanan ng pictures kasi mga luma na at walang pagbabago at konti pa sila. :(

  • danez

    hi… I just want to ask if you have updates about the multicabs? pupunta kasi sa gensan this weekend yung friends ko and gusto sana nila mag-commute papuntang city. thanks in advance!

  • Berniemack Arellano

    Let me ask the people around, regarding that one. Thanks for the heads up danez.

  • gabriel

    Win a friend, share a ride–with them.. People from GenSan are very kind– because GenSan is still a city with ‘mababait na constituents’… From the airport that you are flying in to GenSan–sense people who ARE really from GenSan..strike a conversation; best to show your most winning smile plus adorable, ‘pinaka-best’ pleasing and radiant personality..then honestly tell them that you are tight in budget, but really dream of visiting the Tuna Capital of the Philippines.. Tell them that you need a ride going to town– I bet, 1 out of maybe 5 GenSan personalities that you will meet will have a ‘sundo’ and ride and can definitely give you a free lift going into town… Mind you, when you’re already in GenSan, everywhere, as in everywhere is always a ‘trike’ ride away… You’ll never know, the one you’ll meet can also be your guide in GenSan for the duration of your stay–if you’re really visiting… (o;

  • lynette G

    nice post about the gensan airport! can’t wait to read more of your blogs!

  • thepinaysolobackpacker

    very helpful guide. will take note of this when I visit Gensan. thanks for the info

  • isabelle

    hi! thanks so much for the update on getting in gensan airport using the van shuttle. This blog is terrific!

  • Dales Jake

    meron po ba sasakyan from gensan airport going to isulan sultan kudarat kahit hapon po?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this very informative post!

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I went to Citra Mina (the one near Champaca) this morning to check out the van shuttle service. The shuttles weren’t there and I was informed by the guard from Citra Mina that they have transferred some place else. Alam nyo ba kung san nag-transfer yung shuttle? Or what’s the best (and cheapest) way to get to the airport conveniently? I don’t want to take the taxi coz it’s unreasonably expensive. Thanks.

  • Sherry Ann Ibanez Espiritu

    Where can we find the cheapest transpo to the airport?

  • Berniemack Arellano

    Good day Miss @sherryannibanezespiritu:disqus! Thanks for visiting the blog. You may refer to the blog post above. It has been updated. Thank you!

  • Kelly Rogers

    Thanks for this post. I read your blog and the comments section. When is the tuna festival? Is it safe to travel to Gensan?

  • Berniemack Arellano

    Thanks @disqus_ERiRr9swbt:disqus for visiting the blog. Tuna Festival is held every September 5th, which is a week-long celebration in line of the city’s charter day celebrations. You may check it out here —

    Regarding security, I can assure you that GenSan is generally safe.