With the internet and mobile phone networks still cut off in some badly damaged areas, a full assessment of Phanfone's damage was not immediately possible on Thursday morning.
But at least 16 people had been confirmed killed in villages and towns in the Visayas, the central third of the Philippines, according to disaster agency officials.
Phanfone also hit Boracay, Coron, and other holiday destinations that are famed for their white-sand beaches and popular with foreign tourists.
The airport at Kalibo, which services Boracay, was badly damaged, according to a Korean tourist who was stranded there and provided images to AFP.
"Roads remain blocked, but some efforts have been made to clear away the damage. It's pretty bad," Jung Byung Joon said via Instagram messenger.
"Everything within 100 meters of the airport looks broken. There are a lot of frustrated people at the airport as flights have been canceled. Taxis are still running but it's windy and still raining so no one wants to leave the airport, including me."